PW #423: Adult Mystery: BEYOND THE CALL OF BEAUTY
Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Name: Sarah Henning
Mentee Name: Lucy Goacher
Title: BEYOND THE CALL OF BEAUTY
Word Count: 90,000
Miss Marple with a makeup bag, shop girl Ella dreams of using her deductive talents for more than matching foundation swatches and catching shoplifters. So when a gaudy-but-famed ring goes missing, Ella can’t resist blagging her way onto the case and into British high society—but searching for the truth in six-inch heels soon turns deadly.
Splashes of blood spread across the shadowy cobblestones like breadcrumbs, and I followed them. He wouldn’t get away, not this time. This time he’d feel the same pain and fear as his pale, glassy-eyed victims. I’d make sure of it. I tightened my dripping fingers around the killer’s knife, blinking hard at the dozens of crimson footprints smeared through the alleyway ahead … Dozens? I stumbled, my drained heart gasping. It was my blood, my footprints. He’d led me in circles. I wasn’t hunting him anymore. I never had been. He was hunting me. And now—
“Brian’s cheating on me,” Pamela declared. “Twenty years of marriage—wasted!” The miniature brunette spun on the spot and shoved through the staff room’s double doors as abruptly as she’d arrived.
Sighing, Ella Lane snapped her book shut and wedged it back onto the shelf with the other battered paperbacks. Another day, another Pamela meltdown … Still, there were worse times to be interrupted. C.B. Bates’s blood-soaked finale was as predictable as ever, and she’d pegged the chef as the killer in chapter three anyway. His enthusiastic meat cleaving and mysterious past gave him away.
Ella stepped into the beige hallway, straightening her Wellingtons name badge. A head popped out of the ladies’ changing rooms.
“Did Pam just say—?”
“—that Brian’s cheating on her, yes,” Ella said to Danni. They exchanged knowing looks. “Well, it is Monday morning. Come on, let’s get this over with …”