A Charlene Parker mystery.
Another season is coming to a close and Charlene is relieved. How much longer can she do this before retiring she wonders? She turns 56 soon and Freedom 55 was so close she could taste it but it’s the Scotch she tastes. She has a dram or three as she works her muddled mind through the stress of work, two men in her heart and another death on her property. This time, it hits her hard.
Set mostly in northern Ontario at a cottage resort and partly in rural Nova Scotia at her old fixer-upper house, Cocktails at Five (book five in the Kirk Lake Camp series of books) features a former Hamilton police detective, Charlene, who would like most of all to spend the season just doing the never ending everyday chores of running a resort, but who seems to end up having to solve murders instead.
Then there are the guests. Not only are the trees too sappy, too messy, too numerous, the mosquitoes and black flies are too many and too pesky, the cabins are too rustic with too few luxuries, with too few televisions (as in none) and too expensive, the other guests are too loud, too drunk, too close, too present, the air temperature is too hot or too cold or too windy or not windy enough, the lake is too cold or too rough, with too few pickerel and bass, the wolf howls are too scary and too close, the black bears are too smelly and too scary and too close, the water snakes too skittish and scary and too close, the garter snakes too, too, too close, the red squirrels and blue jays too chattery and bossy and too close, and the guests' own families are too obnoxious, too stressful, too close.
It's enough to make Charlene want to head south back to a dark alley in the north end of Hamilton to chase a criminal in a hoodie (always a hoodie), with a gun, who is too scary, too mean, too drunk, too stoned, too hilarious, too stupid and too close.
Charlene can’t wait to get back to Nova Scotia and her old house in the quiet coastal village where there is never a murder, complaining guests or prying eyes. First she has to get cracking to solve this death for Sarah before she can leave it all behind and head east and start the freedom part of what's now Freedom 56.
Related collections and offers
About the Author
Ms. McCluskey is a Canadian author of cozy murder mysteries and short stories. Her current cozy mystery series, Kirk Lake Camp, takes place primarily in Ontario but with an ever stronger connection to Nova Scotia as the series progresses. The author has first hand experience similar to that of the main character of the Kirk Lake Camp and Back Road to Shore cozy mystery series. Her book of short stories is life on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia as seen through the eyes of a CFA, Come From Away, after having moved from northern Ontario to the Eastern Shore.
She joined the Hamilton Regional Police Service in Hamilton, Ontario and was a police officer for 14 years. She started as a beat officer in Stoney Creek, then became a Detective Constable in the Criminal Investigative Division, partnered with a Sergeant, investigating crimes such as serious assaults, robberies, sudden deaths, sexual assaults and break and enters. She was promoted to Sergeant and worked in the Special Investigative Unit as a detective in the Sexual Assault Unit. She was also specially trained in Child Abuse investigations and Domestic Violence.
She passed her Staff Sergeant exams and attained the rank of Acting Staff Sergeant before she left policing and moved on to another career in which she owned a water access resort in northern Ontario that included 12 rental cottages, fishing boat and canoe rentals, and a small general store.
After seven years she sold the resort and taught Police Foundations at a small college in Sudbury, Ontario, before she moved to Victoria, B.C.
She moved back to northern Ontario and concentrated on her work as a freelance writer going back to what she missed most, writing.
Well before her policing career, she graduated from Print Journalism. She has been writing for over 40 years including her time as a police officer and resort owner. Her articles included a weekly fitness column, feature stories, and a short stint as a beat reporter for criminal court and town council.
She now lives with her partner in an old farmhouse in a small community along the eastern shore of Nova Scotia, not far from Cape Breton Island.
She enjoys traveling to visit her daughters and grand-children. While at home she kayaks, hikes, cycles, swims, practises yoga, and drives the back roads to explore the beauty of her new province where she gets inspiration for her writing and life in general.
K.L. McCluskey is currently working on the Kirk Lake Camp murder/mystery series of books. The series will consist of six books in total and when completed will lead to the Back Road to Shore series. The books are available as ebooks and are published by An Taigh Buidhe air an Lohan (The Yellow House on the Pond in Scottish Gaelic) Publishing, a small Nova Scotia publisher, and distributed by Smashwords.