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Deadly Reunion

A Cealie Gunther Mystery, #3

Author(s): June Shaw

 On a trip that will make readers recall reunions they didn’t want to attend (but went to anyway), widowed Cealie Gunther gets a call to join friends from high school for a get-together during an Alaskan cruise. She hasn’t seen them for years, but jumps in when she learns a good female friend who’s attending has a major problem to solve. There are other good reasons to get away too. Cealie can visit her son who lives in the area and at the same time put distance between herself and Gil Thurman, who wants commitment, but she doesn’t. 
 
Tragedies begin on day one of the cruise when people start dying. Stunned by altered appearances and personalities of former friends, Cealie soon discovers their view of her has also changed. The brief visit with her son is a disaster and Gil’s appearance on the ship adds to her anguish. Soon Cealie knows she’ll need to uncover secrets of the friends she’d thought she’d known, before more people from the class die.
 
Including Cealie herself.
 
“Fast-paced cozy mystery served with wit and humor aboard an Alaskan cruise ship” Author Marilyn Clay
 
“A mini–class reunion on an Alaskan cruise is a disaster from day one.” Kirkus Reviews
 
“I loved the heroine of this story! I'm giving this one my Socrates' Great Book Alert Award!” Socrates Book Reviews 
 
“Set sail with Cealie and ask yourself how well you know your classmates from years ago. Are you still the same person you were then? And who is now capable of murder?” Lesa’s Book Critiques 
 
“Cealie is intriguing. Recently widowed, she cherishes her independence but considers rekindling a romance with Gil Thurman while ferreting out a killer” Reviewing the Evidence

Excerpt


 She faced me. “Where’s Sue?”
 
“In her room. She ran into the shelf holding her TV and cut her cheek. She’s okay now but wanted to rest.” 
 
“I’m glad she’s okay,” Tetter said.
 
“But she learned that the man who fell in the stairwell died,” I said.
 
Tetter’s jaw dropped. “From what?”
 
“We don’t know. But Sue wanted to rest. We’ll see her at breakfast.”
 
Jane faced all of us. “Let’s eat in the dining room instead of the buffet. The newsletter says there’s going to be a celebrity chef. I want to check out his food.”
 
I kept out of kitchens as much as possible now that I lived alone, and I wasn’t especially concerned about chefs. But if Jane was, we’d go meet one. The orchestra music swelled. Silver and pink and gold lights swirled across a lithe dancer pirouetting onstage. 
 
The show was extravagant, yet I found myself peering up toward where Randy and I previously sat. Streams of light in chartreuse, burgundy, and electric blue flowed over the faces above. Gil was no longer in the area. 
 
Maybe I didn’t want to stay around him, but disappointment at not seeing him ruined the rest of the performance for me. As soon as it ended, others in my group agreed that we were ready for bed. None of us wanted to stay around for the late-night performance, a comedy act with adult only material. 
 
“This adult is too tired for all that,” I said, and the others agreed. “I’ll slip a note under Sue’s door to let her know about our plans.”
 
We parted for our rooms, promising to meet at breakfast.
 
My stateroom made me smile. The steward had folded back my covers and left two gold foil wrapped squares of chocolate on my pillow. 
 
Since no one else would be sleeping with me, I ate the excellent candy. I then wrote a note about when and where we’d meet for breakfast, brought it to Jane’s room, and listened. No sound came from inside. No sliver of light shone under her door. I slid the paper underneath, returned to my room, changed into my gold knit pj’s with green dragonflies, and set my alarm clock. 
 
Stretching on the comfortable mattress, I considered Randy. He always seemed a nice enough person, although I never knew him well. But having him in the mix felt different. Why would Jane invite only one man? And why would one man come with us?
 
Of course Stu used to be a guy, but Randy didn’t seem to know he was now Sue. None of us, I figured, had really kept up with each other since our teen years. I’d spoken to some classmates during the first couple of years after we finished school, but then we all went our separate ways for college or jobs and marriage. 
 
A man I met died on this ship. 
 
I wished I could have done something to help him.
 
What did Sue really know about that man?
 
Nagging uneasiness told me I was being deceived. People I’d known onboard might be hiding too many secrets. Even Gil was not the man I thought he was. 
 
I worried about Tetter. Calamity could greatly alter a person’s life. I would make a direct effort to help that wonderful woman with hers. 
 
Gloom set in. I drew the covers to my neck, concerned that more than one person on this ship could meet up with an unhappy situation. 
 
An untimely death? 
 
I needed to find answers, to strive to make certain no one I knew was involved in tragedy.
 
Shutting my eyes, I twisted and rolled over and turned.
 
Unable to shut the worries out of my mind, I switched on the light over my bed. I grabbed the book I’d put on the nightstand. It would get my thoughts on something besides problems and quickly put me to sleep. Smiling with anticipation, I opened my newest cookbook. Sleep came within minutes.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 9781611876130
Genre: Mystery
Date Published: 09/20/2013
Publisher: Untreed Reads

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