PW #421: Adult Upmarket Mystery: THE BODY IN THE ROSES

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Manuscript Status: Finished

Mentor Name: Sonia Hartl
Mentee Name: Jen F.
Category: Adult
Genre: Upmarket Mystery
Word Count: 92,000


To hemispherectomy survivor Carey, Greer Russo—sharp-lipped mystery chick and original bad feminist—is way-too-real for a dead girl. Discovering who whacked her leads Carey to a skull-and-bones study group, where a secret you’d kill to keep is required entry in a corrupt town. THE LOVELY BONES meets VERONICA MARS.


It was another party on the front lawn of a run-down house a couple of seniors rented from a local slumlord. An inflatable pool claimed most of their brown lawn. Even though when they woke, hung-over—craving greasy bacon on biscuits—it would be November.

Isn’t that just college for you?

Greer couldn’t remember, but it looked more and more like she’d been a chick sporting a bikini that somehow, but not-quite-brilliantly, doubled as a Halloween costume, splayed out in a kiddie-pool drinking cheap beer with guys who were kicked out of a frat for being too douchey. Yep, classy.

She’d been dead two months, give or take. That was one thing Greer had figured out. The other: water helped. She’d learned in elementary school water was the secret to life. Bodies ended rather nastily without it. Plus, it conducted electricity, carried sound across vast distances.

Around water, she could take more away, recover more of the old memories. So, while she was kind of pissed her life was the stuff of a Halloween hook-up attempt, she was okay these fools decided to do it in a pool.

Except for the creeping weight of wool against her ankles. A chick got sick of wearing wet socks. Something she knew she never liked, even as a kid. Why she clung to that detail, when she knew no one in their right mind liked fucking wet socks, she didn’t understand. But she wasn’t about to question it.

It didn’t feel safe.


Author: Brenda Drake

New York Times bestselling author of Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1), Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers #2), Touching Fate (Fated Series #1), and Cursing Fate (Fated Series #2) available now, creator of #PitchWars, #PitchMadness, and #PitMad, fueled by coffee and Goldfish crackers (but not together), and represented by Peter Knapp with The Park Literary Group. @brendadrake

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  1. I’d love to read more of this! Please send the first 50 pages attached as a word document to:



    Rena Rossner

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