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This excerpt is from Cloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay

“Scarlett Elizabeth Parker, put down the MoonPie and listen to me,” Vivian Tremont ordered.

<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>I held my cell phone away from my ear and frowned at it. How could my cousin who was almost five thousand miles away in another country know I was eating a MoonPie?

I put it down on my coffee table and swallowed the bite of cookie, marshmallow and chocolate I’d just taken.

<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>   </span>“I’m not eating a MoonPie,” I said. Technically, it was not a lie since I had just put it down.

<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>    </span>“Oh, please, I know you, pet,” Vivian said in her crisp British way. “You always eat MoonPies when you’re upset.”

<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>“How’s business?” I asked. I had learned in my twenty-seven years of knowing her that a change of subject was the only way to throw Viv off track.

<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>“Not good because I’m too busy worrying about you,”she returned.Obviously she was not to be thwarted today.

<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>“Now here’s what I think you should do.”

<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>    </span>Viv paused to take a deep breath and I thought about how much I disliked any sentence that had “you should” in it.

Still, she was winding up for what sounded like it would be a lengthy monologue, so I decided to make use of the time by finishing my MoonPie.

“Now you know Mim left the hat shop to both of us,” she said. “ I know you had other career aspirations but since those have imploded, I think its time for you to come to London and take up your half of the business.

<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>I choked on a bit of cookie. I had to give it to her. I hadn’t seen that one coming.

I would consider this opening in<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>two categories…one “anecdote” and the other “question.”

Anecdote because Scarlett is relating this phone call to the reader, and question because Viv is asking Scarlett to come to London.

I love this<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>book and this series because of the comedic interplay between the characters.I can just picture Scarlett eating her MoonPie and Viv, her cousin, knowing her so well she knows what she is doing.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  </span>I also like that there is an element of suspense in that I am left to wonder what happened to Scarlett that her career imploded on her, and now I am left to wonder if she will go to London to run a hat shop.

I just looked back at the categories and I also think of this book opening as “Strong Sensations” because I can totally picture Scarlett eating her MoonPie. I can identity with Scarlett because when she is upset she eats….something lots of us do!!!!


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