Dearly Beloved Departed: A PIP Inc. Mystery
by Nancy Lynn Jarvis
About Dearly Beloved Departed
Dearly Beloved Departed: A PIP Inc. Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – California
Good Read Mysteries, an imprint of Good Read Publishers
Number of Pages: 241
Pat is hired by attorney Jason Forman to “get some dirt” on his daughter’s fiancé. Before she gets very far in her investigation, the young man is murdered. Did his past catch up with him or is what Pat fears, that there’s a serial shooter going after Christmas Eve grooms, the reason he was killed? Pat and her fiancé, Detective Sergeant Tim Lindsey, are planning a Christmas Eve wedding which means, if she’s right, he’s on the shooter’s hit list.
Character Guest Post
I thought things were going so well. My best friend, the extraordinary former Santa Cruz County Law Librarian turned sort of private investigator, Pat Pirard, was engaged to a great guy, Sheriff Sergeant Tim Lindsey, and I was going to be Matron of Honor for their wedding. I even volunteered my services as their wedding planner.
Oh, wait. Back up. I guess I should introduce myself. I’m Syda Gonzales, a woman of many artistic talents―too many you might say, because I haven’t eliminated some of my creative paths so I tend to get distracted, or scattered―who thought perhaps being a wedding planner would be a great outlet for my unique abilities and my future career.
So, back to Pat and Tim. Don’t get me wrong; I think Tim is a wonderful man. My husband, Greg, is a deputy sheriff who started working for the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department the same week Tim did and they’re buddies, so he agrees with me in thinking Tim is a great guy. But I do think this whole wedding is happening awfully fast. Greg and I knew each other for a couple of years before we got engaged. Pat and Tim only met in May.
Pat’s life was kind of a mess at that point so I gave her a glass-making class as a birthday present to distract her from all that was going wrong in her life. The class was great and we were learning a lot until the teacher was murdered. Tim and my husband worked on the case and Tim and Pat met when he interviewed her about what she saw. Now it’s only November and they’re planning a Christmas Eve wedding. Don’t you think May to November is pretty fast to decide you’re ready to spend the rest of your lives together?
According to Greg, Tim knew Pat was “the one” pretty much the moment he met her. And Pat? Well, she took some persuading. You see, she had a bit of a thing for this gorgeous attorney I thought might be perfect for her…but that’s another story. Anyway, Tim’s not only one of the good guys―even if he isn’t as gorgeous as that attorney―he’s also persuasive and persistent, and clearly in love with Pat. So it may not have been love at first sight on her part, but once she fell for him, she fell hard.
Now they’re planning a Christmas Eve wedding. Isn’t that romantic? Kind like a Hallmark movie that comes out for the holidays. I love those movies even if they are sappy and predictable…wait, sorry. I’m going off on another tangent here again. Pat and Tim weren’t originally going to get married that soon, but as their wedding planner, I had to let them know when the perfect venue became available because of a sudden cancelation. I was excited and convinced them they should go for it.
I don’t know if you believe in coincidences, but it turns out the cancelation happened because the future groom was murdered. Pat had been hired before the killing by the groom’s soon-to-be father-in-law. Future dad wanted the groom checked out because he had a bad feeling about the man and wanted to be sure his daughter wasn’t making a big mistake marrying him. What are the odds of that happening, I mean the interconnection and all: Pat hired to investigate groom, groom murdered, wedding venue available because of murder, and Pat and Tim now scheduled to get married on Christmas Eve?
Pat did find out all sorts of things about the dead groom’s past―none of them good―so the almost father-in-law may have been right to worry. Motive for murder came from many directions and it looked like the groom’s past was catching up with him, but then something really disturbing happened. Brace yourselves; here comes a spoiler alert. Other men scheduled to be married on December 24th started being shot! OMG. And now, because I talked them in to planning an earlier wedding, Tim is going to be a December 24th bridegroom, too.
Should Pat call off the wedding because she’s worried about becoming a widow before she can be a bride? Is there a serial groom-shooter lurking in Santa Cruz County? Or could it be that nothing has anything to do with anything, Tim is perfectly safe, and something in the dead groom’s past really is the reason he was murdered?
I have my own theory, but who knows if I’m right. If you want to know what’s going on, you’re going to have to read Dearly Beloved Departed to find out. All I can say is I think wedding planning isn’t for me. I’m going back to one of my other pursuits, something simple like painting or novel writing, or making jewelry. And I’m hoping, really hoping, everything works out for Pat and Tim.
About Nancy Lynn Jarvis
Nancy Lynn Jarvis left the real estate profession after she started having so much fun writing the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series that she let her license lapse. She’s enjoyed writing about Regan and her husband, Tom, but decided it was time to do a new series.
PIP Inc. introduces protagonist downsized law librarian and not-quite-licensed Private Investigator Pat Pirard. “The Funeral Murder” is the second book in the series.
After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, Nancy worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager for Shakespeare/Santa Cruz at UCSC.
Currently, she’s enjoying being a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Santa Cruz Women of Mystery.
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