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Guess who cries at Lou Thorpe’s funeral
No one. His wife, grown children, and best friends all attend the service, but no one sheds a single tear. Poor Lou. He goes out for his morning walk, and a crazed driver knocks him out of life. Crazed? With no car, no driver, and no witnesses, it’s difficult to say. Was it an accident or intentional?
Until that morning, Bill O’Shea is living the dream. After a career of fighting crime in the big city, Bill buys a condo in the beautiful mountain resort community of Wintergreen, Virginia. When he meets his attractive new neighbor, Bill knows his retirement is off to a great start. But then the short-staffed police department asks Bill to help them investigate Thorpe’s death.
Soon, Bill falls into an old routine. Interviewing suspects. Checking alibis. Everyone has a secret to hide, but Bill lacks evidence to tie any of the suspects to the crime. He is missing something–like he has an itch he can’t reach to scratch.
Will Bill and his new friends solve the case, or will the murder of Lou Thorpe remain a mystery forever?
If you love beautiful mountain settings, a charming cast, and intriguing plot twists, you’re going to love this new series!
Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language
Bill O’Shea Finds a New Home
When you read The Mountain View Murder, you’ll meet Bill O’Shea, a retired detective from Columbia, South Carolina. The story of how Bill found his new home is here:
Alex Sharp sure could talk. Bill asked one question, “What’s Wintergreen like?” and Alex talked for the entire twenty-minute drive from his real estate office in Nellysford to the Mountain Inn near the summit of Wintergreen. Alex related the resort’s history and described the area’s many attractions: the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail, wineries, breweries, and special events hosted by the resort.
Having recently retired from the police force in Columbia, South Carolina, Bill was seriously considering relocating to a more rural setting. He wanted to live far from concrete and tall buildings and the motives of bad people. A friend had recommended that Bill look at the Wintergreen community, and Bill found Alex while searching for real estate agents on the internet.
“This first place I’ll show you is a real find,” said Alex. “It’s ski-in ski-out and has a dazzling view of the chairlift. Are you a big skier, Bill?”
“Never tried it.”
“But you look like a born athlete. You’d pick it up in no time.”
Truthfully, Bill had never been much of a sportsman. His boys had inherited their natural athleticism from Wanda, Bill’s ex-wife. No, he’d get more out of the hiking and fishing opportunities than the ski facilities.
Alex took a narrow road down a hill and parked his shiny white F150 next to a condo building. The condo had a master bedroom, one and a half bathrooms, and a loft with a fold-out couch. As Alex had advertised, the balcony provided a great view of a ski slope and chairlift. Bill stretched his neck and caught a glimpse of the Rockfish Valley below.
“It seems a little small,” said Bill. “How much is it?”
“One ninety. Right in the sweet spot of your budget range.”
“I could go a bit higher if that’s what it takes to get the right place. Can we see something with two beds and two full baths?”
Alex pointed a finger at Bill. “You bet. I know just the place.”
Back in the truck, they climbed even higher on the mountain, up to thirty-six hundred feet. Down in Nellysford, it had been a sticky day–high humidity with the temperature in the low nineties–but up here the temperature was refreshingly cooler. Bill powered the window down halfway, and the breeze chilled his arm. They passed an overlook on the right with a splendid view of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
“Feels nice up here, doesn’t it,” said Alex.
“It’s reliably ten to fifteen degrees cooler on the mountain than in the valley.”
The next place had a bigger layout that Bill found more to his liking. The balcony provided a view of a bright green golf course fairway. When Bill stepped to the railing, a golfer standing a hundred feet to his left struck her ball. It was a picture perfect shot that climbed high in the air, hovered for what seemed a long time, and then landed smack in the middle of the green ten feet from the flag. The green was surrounded by tall hardwood trees, oaks and hickories. It might have been a scene from a professional golf tournament.
“Do you play, Bill?” asked Alex.
“No. But I might try it now that I’m retired.”
“This is the eighteenth hole.” Alex pointed right. “That’s the clubhouse beyond the green. Members sit on the back patio with a glass of wine and watch golfers hit their approach shots.”
“Sounds nice. How much is this one?”
“Two-twenty. Right at the top of your range.”
Bill scratched the back of his neck. “I like this layout but prefer the balcony view of the first one. Have you got anything that combines the two?”
Alex scratched his chin. He stood a half a head taller than Bill. His eyes turned up to the left and then the right, as if searching through the available inventory in his mind. Then he snapped his fingers and nodded. “Yeah. You’d love it, but it’s about twenty thousand outside your price range.”
“Let’s take a look.”
The Vistas Condo building was in the middle of a group of twelve such buildings that lined a ridge of the mountain. The layout of the unit was a great match for what Bill had in mind: twelve hundred square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a single living area with a small kitchen. And the view? Whoa.
The crest of the hill across the wooded valley rolled softly down from the right. The curved line of the hill resembled a woman lying on her side, wider at the shoulders and the hips, narrower at the waist, beautiful and mysterious at the same time. The Mountain Inn lay at the top of the valley on the right. Idle chairlift towers and cables ran up the cleared ski slopes. Hidden ski runs cut sweeping lines through the forests. Silence hung heavy and comfortable, broken only by the intermittent chirping of small birds. Two yellow birds flew back and forth in roller-coaster patterns near the balcony.
“Do you know the name of those birds?” asked Bill.
“No clue. I’m not a birder.”
The crazy loops the birds flew reminded Bill of the fast turns NASCAR drivers made around the tracks. He’d have to buy a book to learn the names of all the birds he saw in Wintergreen.
“How much is this condo?” he asked.
“Two hundred and forty,” said Alex.
“Let’s make an offer.”
This is how Bill O’Shea found his new home. Read The Mountain View Murder: A Wintergreen Mystery to enjoy more encounters with nature and to learn whether Bill and his new friends can solve a head-scratching mystery.
About the Author
Pat Kelly was raised in the idyllic suburb of Yorktown, Virginia, where children ran barefoot through the grass and fished in the York River. After graduating from UVA, he left the state to pursue a career in finance. He settled in Texas, married a wonderful woman (Susie), and together they raised two daughters in Austin.
With the girls now grown and gone, Pat has pursued a lifelong love of writing stories. Countless hours at the keyboard have produced the Joe Robbins Thriller Series, two book awards, and four standalone novels.
A few years ago, Pat and Susie bought a summer home in the bucolic mountaintop resort of Wintergreen, Virginia. The beautiful vistas there inspired Pat to write a cozy mystery series featuring the reluctant detective Bill O’Shea. Join Pat’s newsletter to follow Bill’s adventures as he dodges irrepressible bears, pursues romance, and solves mysteries.
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/patrickkellywriter
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/patrickkelly
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