A SARAH BOOTH SHORT MYSTERY
Covid-19 has knocked the publishing world on its ear, including the release date of my 22nd Sarah Booth Delaney mystery—THE DEVIL’S BONES. The book was slated to drop May 12, which happened to be my birthday.
Thanks to COVID-19, the book release was rescheduled for July 21.
I was disappointed (but very glad the publisher did this), and I knew the Sarah Booth readers would also be disappointed to have to wait another 9 or 10 weeks, so I spoke with my editor and team at St. Martin’s and they agreed if I could write and finish a short story quickly enough, they’d love to publish it as a stop-gap until THE DEVIL’S BONES comes out.
I do love a challenge!
I plopped down in front of the computer and tore into the story of a toddler found in the middle of the woods when Sarah Booth is riding Reveler on a brisk October morning.
The little girl, who Doc Sawyer names Carmelita, is a rare child that seems to have no fear or discomfort. She adapts quickly. Birds and beasts are drawn to her. But she has an odd birthmark, almost a third eye, right in the center of her forehead. And when Sarah Booth found her, there was a note pinned to her back saying she needed to live in the woods because she was cursed.
Sarah Booth, with a little help from her favorite lawman, sets out to find who Carmelita belongs to and arrest whoever left her in the woods to fend for herself. The quest takes them into the strange communities that float up and down the Mississippi River in houseboats.
In the process of tracing the toddler’s family, Sarah Booth also learns the fate of a small river town devastated by a plague.
“Enchanted Bones” took some unexpected twists in the telling of the tale, but I had a great time with my favorite Zinnia characters.
I hope you enjoy this novella—and a taste of Sarah Booth and Coleman before THE DEVIL’S BONES goes on sale July21. Just a little tidbit of true fact—THE DEVIL’S BONES is set in my hometown of Lucedale, Mississippi.
And here’s a little bit of enchantment from one of my grandmother’s favorite singers, Perry Como: Some Enchanted Evening.
Until next month!
Carolyn and the Critters