A Baker's Dozen: 13 Tales of Murder and More - a mystery short story book by Eleanor Cawood Jones

If you like mysteries and short stories, you'll love this 5-star debut by an author who grew up waiting by the mailbox every month for the latest issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

A Baker's Dozen: 13 Tales of Murder and More (
amzn.to/ZydmBA) will take you from murder in the mountains of Tennessee and the adventures of an all-woman air-conditioning repair crew to the terrible secret that comes to light in the aftermath of a violent tornado and the antics of a popular television master chef who is not quite what he seems. This page-turner is a blend of murder mystery, psychological suspense, surprise endings, satire, tearjerkers, and just plain, laugh-out-loud fun.

Stories include: "Dog's Best Friend," where a farmer's wife has to make the ultimate decision between life and death; "Mrs. Gallagher," when you will learn not to underestimate a determined 85-year-old; "The Sampler," the co-author's award-winning short story about a happy retired couple with a really big secret; "Exit 36," a surprising tale of ongoing revenge, and "Burying Toby," a touching yet humorous story of two teenagers who help their beloved younger sister stage a funeral for her recently deceased favorite pet.

Also included are a rollicking satire of the Nancy Drew Mystery series, a tongue-in-cheek piece on soap operas and game shows, a trip down the runway of a senior citizen's beauty pageant, a fantasy built around a young boy's trip to the local convenience store, and a first-person account by a very intelligent house cat who witnesses a brutal murder and lives to tell the tale.
This reviewer sums it up: "Sometimes a book is like a can of Pringles—you start in on it thinking you'll just have a few and then come back later, and the next thing you know it's three in the morning, the Pringles are all gone, and you're driving to 7-11 for more. The stories in this collection have a rapid-fire pace and an admirable light touch even when the topics turn to murder and revenge; it always feels like a fun beach read. Add to this the fact that the unexpected always lies on the next page. The real allure for fans of Ellery Queen-style mystery will be that all of the wrongdoing within these pages would be eerily tempting to commit—a hallmark of all the most fascinating fiction depicting the evil that people do."