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Look Inside Chapter 1

Sleepy Creek had a million secrets.
Some secrets drifted below the surface like crispy French fries trapped in a well of oil, others were as juicy as a sumptuous beefy burger. Those were the secrets that intrigued me the most.
Maybe that was the hunger talking.
I hadn’t eaten since I’d gotten on the bus, hours ago.
This place was simultaneously snooze-ville and the friendliest town in the Midwest. With gossip and lies for seasoning.
I adjusted the straps of my backpack and strode away from the bus. “Here we go again.”
I hadn’t planned on coming back to my hometown when I’d left years ago—which sane woman would come back after what this place had put me through? Being back here brought back way too many memories.
Don’t go there.
But now, I didn’t have much of a choice. I had to be here.
“Guess it’s time eat my weight in burgers and fries,” I muttered. Emotional eating for the win, right?
“Talking to yourself, dear?” An old lady hopped off the grated steps of the bus and came over. “You know what they say about that, don’t you?”
“It’s the first sign of insanity?”
“No, no. It’s a sign of clinical loneliness,” she said.
I blinked and shook my head. Typical Sleepy Creek.
“You should get a cat,” the woman continued. “Did you know they’re capable of eating an entire human being? A dead one, of course.”
“Uh, what?”
“It’s true. I saw it on that Discovery Channel.”
“Who are you?” I scanned her lined cheeks. She had a speck of chocolate on her bottom lip.
“I’m Missi, dear, short for Mississippi,” she replied. “Cats are good housekeepers. If you die while you’re here you won’t have to worry about the clean-up.”
“I’m thirty,” I said, because how on earth was I supposed to respond to that?
“Accidents happen.” Missi winked then shuffled off, her silver curls bobbling atop her head.
Yeah, I definitely didn’t like being back here. Any other town in Ohio would’ve been fine, but here—
“Christie?”
I spotted my friend outside the windows of an old-timey lookin’ barber shop, complete with a striped barber’s pole.
Her blonde hair was tied back, and an escaped strand hung loose next to her ear. That hair had a kink in it, but not from a hair tie. It was from a pillow.
She’d overslept.
My gaze flicked over the lipstick smudged in the right corner of her mouth, then to the clump of mascara on her left eyelid.
“I did call ahead to give you enough time,” I said.
“I—uh?” My blast from the past high school best friend, Grizzy, frowned. “Huh?”
“You overslept.”
“How did you know? Wait, you’re doing that thing again, aren’t you? That Sherlock Holmes thing.”
Ugh, Grizzy knew I hated that reference. I’d read a lot of crime novels growing up because of my mother’s obsession with them. It was the reason she’d named me Christie. After Agatha Christie, of course.
“Attention to detail.” I shrugged off my backpack. “How are you?” She was tired, obviously. It’d be rude to point that out, though.
“I’m good. But what does that matter?” Grizzy grasped my forearm and half-walked, half-dragged me down the sidewalk, past groups of elderly citizens and young mothers out bright and early.
The old folks because sleep had eluded them, and the mother’s for the same reason but a different cause: the screaming babies. Poor souls.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“To talk. We haven’t talked in what, like, ten years? I need to get a good look at you.”
I wrinkled my nose. “It’s been two days since we last Skyped, Griz.”
“That’s not the same thing and you know it.” She stopped in front of her restaurant and relinquished her grip on me. She rammed her fists onto her hips. “What happened?”
“You mean, apart from my unending hunger for one of your burgers? Nothing.” I didn’t want to tell her what’d happened.
“Liar.”
“I’m serious.”
“Why did you take a break from work? You love Boston. You love your job.”
“Loved,” I said. “Loved it. Past tense.”
Understanding flashed across her face. “Oh. Oh, no. I’m sorry, Chris. I’m real sorry about that.”
“It’s not your fault.” It was mine.
I had overstepped the line when I’d questioned a witness. The only witness in a murder trial who happened to be a senator’s daughter. After ten years as a homicide detective with the department I hadn’t been offered a promotion. I hadn’t led an investigation, though I’d solved countless cases.
I was my own worst enemy. Too impulsive. That was the phrase the Captain had used.
Well, boo hockey to that. I wouldn’t let a hiccup like this slow me down.
“Chris?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I zoned out for a second there, didn’t I?”
The pity on my best friend’s face made my cheeks hot.
“You want a burger? On the house.” Grizzy gestured to the restaurant. Its sign glimmered against the bricks overhead.
“Grizzy’s Burger Bar—Guaranteed Best Grilled Burgers in Sleepy Creek,” I said.
“And don’t you forget it.” She grinned. “Come on. I’ve got the Mexican Fiesta special going at the moment. You’ll love it.” Grizzy pushed into the interior of her restaurant, and I followed her, ignoring the curiosity of the diners and the information assaulting my senses.
I was back. And my conscience prodded me—the niggling voice in the back of my mind I despised. It wanted me to investigate the one case I’d sworn I’d never touch.
My mother’s murder.

Reading Order: 

The Burger Bar Mysteries

Book 1: The Fiesta Burger Murder

Placed on sabbatical for a little ‘over-enthusiasm,’ homicide detective Christie has to stay out of trouble or risk losing her job for good. When she finds a dead body in the back yard, she can’t resist investigating. And that means trouble, big trouble, and no amount of delicious burgers can keep the real bad guys at bay.

Book 2: The Double Cheese Burger Murder

When another resident of the Sleepy Creek dies, Christie realizes that staying out of this case might be the one thing she can’t afford to do. Especially, when her best friend’s innocent cousin becomes suspect number one.

Book 3: The Chicken Burger Murder

The owner of the local pizzeria, Sal, drops dead after sampling his own pizza, everyone is sure it’s just a case of cholesterol and bad timing. Until his wife dies the very next day. With two bodies and the pressure mounting to keep her head down, Christie has to solve both cases.

Book 4: The Breakfast Burger Murder

When one of Christie’s good friends is attacked, the case hits a little too close to home for Christie’s liking. If she solves the mystery this time around, she might get more than the truth.

Book 5: The Salmon Burger Murder

When her new next-door neighbor drops dead, the suspicion lands squarely on the shoulders of the two elderly women, who wouldn’t hurt a fly—but definitely a burger. Christie has to clear their names or risk losing them for good.

Book 6: The Cheesy Steak Burger Murder

Christie Watson is sure she’s about to solve her mother’s murder case. That is until another dead body turns up in front of the Burger Bar. A local charity owner has been killed and in Christie’s name, as well. If she can’t solve this murder, there’s no telling who might be next.

The Pizza Parlor Mysteries

Book 1: Slice of Murder

After being kicked out by her cheating fiancé, Gina Romano decides to return to her hometown of Lake Basil, New York. But when Gina arrives expecting a warm, cheesy welcome, she finds her uncle’s pizzeria on the brink of closure instead. Desperate to help, Gina takes over and is forced to fire the head chef who refused to do things the “authentic” way. Until he winds up authentically dead.

Book 2: Murder Boxed Up

When one of Gina’s regulars is found murdered in the alleyway next to the parlor, she’s sure she knows whodunit—her chief competitor. But the local police, including the crotchety sheriff, have other suspects in mind.

Book 3: Hold the Murder

A local ice cream shoppe owner is murdered right before the summer celebrations. And Gina’s best friend is the last person seen with the victim. Gina’s got to keep her friend out of prison and figure out who committed the crime, all while keeping her “unique” uncle out of trouble, and the pizza parlor running smooth as mozzarella cheese.

Book 4: Dough Not Murder

When a family friend passes away, Uncle Rocco begs for Gina’s help. He’s sure that this is murder with a capital Mozzarella, even if the cops aren’t convinced. Gina’s got to choose: stay and lose a major career opportunity, or leave and let a killer run loose.

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About Rosie A. Point

Rosie A. Point is the new burger-lovin’ cozy mystery writer on the block. She’s passionate about all things ‘cooking’ and spends evenings devising new recipes to put in the backs of her books.

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