Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes: A Lilly M. Mystery
by Kathryn Long
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"Some days I hated my life. Turning forty, pre-menopausal migraines, single, gaining ten pounds in six months, not to mention having three, sometimes overbearing mothers, and an editor with no compassion.
On the other hand, I had Kline, sort of, and there was my career, or what was left of it. I had a dog that idolized me, even if no one else did, and a house of my own. Those pluses should sustain me through my crises. So now, I would go home and write. It's what I do." -- Lilly Millenovanovich
Aunt Fran is missing. Those words echoed throughout the town, worrying family and friends. So, Lilly Millenovanovich, a mystery writer, decides to help the authorities find her aunt. The Barton police have very few leads and Lilly is between novels with time on her hands. Her search becomes a hazardous journey in Whips, Cuffs, and Little Brown Boxes. Thrown into awkward situations is familiar to Lilly Millenovanovich, like hiding in a stranger’s bedroom closet and discovering a naked man cuffed to the bed. Though events sometimes turn dangerous Lilly continues her sleuthing and recruits Mona, her cousin and best friend, to assist in the search.
Complications erupt, making their quest almost impossible. A chain of store robberies, the unusual behavior of Aunt Fran’s husband, and death threats from the mob are just a few. No matter where the search takes them, Lilly sees one common element – Ron Kinecki, known by women in town as Slick Dick Ron. He’s the owner of Repo Ron’s Used Cars, but might be selling more than automobiles.
As luck would have it, not all eyes watching Lilly intend harm. Her eccentric neighbor, Kooky Colonel Crockett, proves to be a helpful witness as he stands guard over the neighborhood. Aunt Sadie, the bold matriarch of Lilly’s family, who may tip the bottle once too often, executes strong will and bold opinions to keep Lilly on a straight path. Even an anonymous emailer feeds Lilly clues.
Before it’s over, Lilly must face more trouble than she can manage alone. Still, with friends and family to lend their support, everything turns out well in the end. Certainly, it doesn’t happen without a murder or two, but then all is back to normal. At least until the next mystery hits town.
- Kathryn Long, June 2011
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