Handyman witnesses a murder in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills

LITCHFIELD, Conn. — Sunbury Press has released Murder Run, Shelly Frome’s latest murder mystery, set in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut.

mr_fcIn this crime novel, a wayward handyman grapples with the suspicious death of his employer, a fragile choreographer who secluded herself in the Litchfield Hills. As the fallout mounts, the reader is taken to various locales in and around Manhattan, an escapade in Miami Springs and back again to the hills of Connecticut until this twisty conundrum is finally laid to rest.

EXCERPT:
Jed turned around and headed back for the cellar. Banging into things, he brushed past the mess the guy had made, located the breaker panel, flipped the switches, and climbed the stairs as the lights came back on. He called her name as he passed the kitchen and cut around the dining room, but there was no answer.

He hurried up to the bedroom and stopped short. Though he’d never entered, never gone beyond the pull-down attic ladder, he could picture exactly what should have happened. She should’ve opened her window and cried out the second Jed pulled in. Or shouted the moment the guy split. Or certainly just now when Jed barged into the cellar, hit the breaker switches, and began calling for her.

Hesitating a few seconds more, he slipped through the open door and found the bedroom half in shadow. Lit only by the little Coleman lantern he’d given her in case the power went off, knowing how frightened she was of being alone in the dark.

And there, in the dimness, he saw her. On the canopy bed, wearing a ruffled nightgown, looking half her age like a sleeping princess. Only she was lying sideways, on a slant, her back to him, clutching her raincoat. And she didn’t appear to be breathing. Didn’t respond at all even as he stood over her.

In his panic, he thought of CPR . . . but didn’t know how to do it and was afraid to touch her . . . spotted the phone cradle but couldn’t dial 911 because the handset was missing.

He found the wall switch and the bathroom lights, scoured the medicine cabinet and the nightstand for prescription vials. But there were no pills anywhere, no beta blockers or whatever it was she said she was taking. He thought of opening her mouth, at least doing that, but stepped back and froze when the motion-detecting floods flashed onto the rutted drive below, merging with the sound of squealing brakes.

He didn’t have to wait to find out what was next. First the crackle of the police radio and, in practically no time, Road Trooper Charlie Tate was up the stairs and upon him.

Tate glanced at the lifeless form on the bed, glanced back, and uttered the inevitable words:

“Right. Jed Cooper. Now how in hell did I know it would be you?”

Murder Run
Authored by Shelly Frome
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
244 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620066164
ISBN-10: 1620066165
BISAC: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Amateur Sleuth

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Murder-Run-9781620066164…

Navigating a SleuthFest

by Shelly Frome

totd_webHow do you assess what’s being offered at a sunny Florida SleuthFest, especially if you may be receiving some mixed messages?

For example, in SleuthFest 2014 there were three keynote speakers: Laura Lippman, Ace Atkins and Hank Phillippi Ryan. Let’s start with the renowned Laura Lippman who, in her inspiring talk, declared that crime writers don’t occupy a formulaic niche as Isabel Allende claimed but have created some of the most enduring works of literature.

Segue to a small panel discussion where three out of four “successful” authors tell how much fun they’re having. One lady, in fact, disclosed that her heroine is a much younger, beautiful, intrepid version of herself, able to embark on all the hair-raising adventures the author herself wished she could still have and survive without a scratch.

Best-selling writer Hank Phillippi Ryan exhorts everyone to take their time and concentrate solely on the quality of the work till it’s fully polished and receives a stamp of professional approval. At the same time, at another small panel focused on cross-promotion, the objective seems to be a continual flow of material while garnering enough followers so that a group will let you in on their joint commercial venture.

There’s no problem with Ace Atkins advice on the dais and around the pool. As long as you accept his theory that former crime reporters have an edge. That is, they know the value of a great hook up front, appreciate writers like Robert B. Parker (Atkins was selected by Parker’s estate to continue the adventures of P.I. Spencer) and are perfectly willing to toss out passages and chapters that don’t work and slow up the action.

Back to the panelists. On one devoted to editors’ demands, a publisher blatantly put down what he called M.F.A. writing because it smacks of a love of words and no clue what it takes to write a good story. At the same time, around a table at lunch, a pleasant lady from San Francisco was happy with her M.F.A. from Goddard. She also disclosed she was doing quite well as a crime novelist at Minotaur.

On the other hand, there was a panel devoted to plot springboards, especially geared to those writing a series about an amateur detective. Here you could find tips if you find yourself stuck for ideas and/or want to avoid the same old, same old motivation ploys.

Skipping now to the auctions. A duo of auctioneers claim if you win the bidding on, say, a thirty-page manuscript critique by Lee Child, you’re well on your way to climbing the proverbial ladder. But, then again, after plunking down some 600 to 1,000 dollars, this former British advertising executive may be the last person whose advice a writer should follow. He’s on record insisting his Jack Reacher character can’t evolve or even have a humanizing back story because that would ruin the brand.

Moreover, haven’t we heard over and over that any story, be it crime fiction or what-have-you, deals with at least one flawed character forced to change due to pressure and provocative unforeseen circumstances?

In short, maybe like everything else, it takes a critical eye to know exactly what you’re doing. So that you have a sense that whatever notes you’ve taken during your stay may help take you where you want to go.

TinseltownFINAL.inddShelly Frome

Crime fiction author at Sunbury Press

Mystery Writers America

Playwriting and screenwriting feature writer for Southern Writers Magazine

Shellyfrome.com

Shelly Frome's latest novel "Tinseltown Riff" a 'ride along the Hollywood fringe'…

HOLLYWOOD, CA — Sunbury Press has released Shelly Frome’s latest novel “Tinseltown Riff.”

Tinseltown Riff

Tinseltown Riff

About the Book:
Tinseltown Riff centers on Ben Prine, a thirty-something hack screenwriter who, on a Labor Day weekend, finds himself in desperate straits. Latching on to a dubious last-minute opportunity, he unwittingly embarks on a collision course with a Montana tracker connected with a Vegas mob; an odyssey which culminates in a fateful showdown on an abandoned Western movie set.

“Tinseltown Riff is a twisty tale of quirky characters in a dangerous world of shadows and subterfuge, that company town called Los Angeles. Shelly Frome opens the door on a fascinating and all-too-real scene of hustle and hope. One lovely riff.”
– Donald E. Westlake, Oscar nominated and three-time Edgar Award winner, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, author of over a hundred crime novels, many of which have been made into motion pictures.

“Tinseltown Riff is a kick — a funny, well-told tale about the world’s most insane business.”
– Peter Lefcourt, Emmy Award winner, screenwriter and best-selling novelist specializing in the Hollywood scene.

“Shelly Frome’s Tinseltown Riff takes us on a ride along the Hollywood fringe that is equal parts gritty intrigue and social comedy. In a subculture where get-rich-quick screenwriting workshops are a con and even the Santa Ana winds can be an illusion, Frome’s characters are heartbreakingly real. Under this pulp fiction lurks an unsettling yet compelling truth about the Dream Factory and its high-risk allure.”
– John Fusco, mainstream Hollywood screenwriter of Young Guns, Thunderheart, The Forbidden Kingdom, winner of two Bronze Wrangler awards and the Spur Award for Hidalgo, an Academy Award nominee for Best Screenplay and showrunner for Marco Polo.

“Shelly Frome writes with loving attention to the moment and the milieu of Hollywood and the aridity that surrounds it. Some of the best scenes give us a real taste of the Hispanic world most tourists never see. A fast moving and intriguing book with real energy.”
– Lee Jacobus, book critic, Connecticut Public Radio.

Tinseltown Riff
Authored by Shelly Frome
List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
244 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620062050
ISBN-10: 1620062054
BISAC: Fiction / Literary

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Tinseltown-Riff-97816200…

Also available on Kindle and Nook