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Dying to Get Even

Dying to Get Even

4.3 8
by Judy Fitzwater

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Edgar's Down Home Grill is flourishing, but the reprehensible owner, Edgar Walker, is finito. Jennifer Marsh finds his body--and catches her dear friend Emmie, Edgar's former wife, nearby, gripping a bloody knife.

Jennifer knows that gentle, white-haired Emmie could never kill anyone



Edgar's Down Home Grill is flourishing, but the reprehensible owner, Edgar Walker, is finito. Jennifer Marsh finds his body--and catches her dear friend Emmie, Edgar's former wife, nearby, gripping a bloody knife.

Jennifer knows that gentle, white-haired Emmie could never kill anyone. Edgar's current wife, however, with her lush body and scheming brain, fits the bill. But unless Jennifer and her writers' critique group can figure out who's been plotting murder, Emmie's neck will be in the noose . . . and reluctant witness for the prosecution Jennifer will be the one to tighten it!

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One warm Atlanta night, Jennifer Marsh--part-time caterer and unpublished mystery writer comforted by her writing group--comes upon her dazed friend Emma Walker holding a bloody knife as her ex-husband, Edgar, floats facedown in their swimming pool. Worse, it turns out that Emma holds the controlling interest in the family business, a popular local restaurant chain called Edgar's Down Home Grill. Jennifer knows in her heart Emma couldn't have killed her husband, but how can she prove it? Can the real murderer be Lisa, Edgar's young second wife; Roy, who makes the secret steak sauce; or a glamorously mysterious management consultant? Jennifer enlists the help of the women in her writing group and uses her fictional detective, Maxie, to test her theories. With this eccentric gang, Fitzwater (Dying to Get Published) once again offers an entertaining read. (Feb.)

Product Details

Cengage Gale
Publication date:
G. K. Hall Paperback Series
Product dimensions:
6.01(w) x 9.15(h) x 0.84(d)

Read an Excerpt

As she perched on the witness stand, Jennifer Marsh steeled herself, her long, taffy-brown hair wound into a neat, businesslike French twist. She might be facing one of the most difficult situations in her almost thirty years on this earth, but she knew exactly what to do, exactly what Maxie Malone, the confident heroine of her mystery novels, would do. She would make it tough for the district attorney and his team, who were determined to put her dear friend in prison for life--or worse. They'd have to force information out of her if they were going to get it at all.

The judge, the prosecutors, and the defense team had been in a sidebar for what seemed like forever--at least five minutes. Why was it taking so long? What could they be talking about? Why didn't they just admit defeat, excuse her, and release her from that horrible witness box?

She looked out over the sterile, upholstered sleekness of the new courtroom. Not a vacant seat in sight.

The only ingredients missing were low ceiling fans, the cloying smoke of cigars, white suits on the defense team, and maybe a statue of a Confederate hero. And those uncomfortable wooden benches and slat-backed chairs. Broad-brimmed hats on the ladies, a hankie or two...

Okay. So there was a lot missing, not the least of which was a little real justice. Atlanta could do better.

And where was the emotion, for Heaven's sake? A woman was fighting for her life. Yet there sat the spectators, chatting, smiling, passing the time as if they were at a cocktail party or the racetrack.

Where was the heat? Where was the sweat? Where was the smell of fear? And where were those wonderful little paper hand fans that Southerners fluttered in all those vintage movies to indicate their excitement and their despair?

In the middle of the very last row of benches, Jennifer could see her writers' group: Leigh Ann, Teri, April--young, aspiring authors all. Even Monique had come. Of course, she wasn't holding any part of the banner that stretched from Leigh Ann to Teri across April's bulging, pregnant stomach, the banner that proclaimed hang in there, Jen, the banner that the police officer was even now removing from their grasp.

Her eyes wandered to the row reserved for the press and to Sam--sweet, sensitive, infuriating Sam, who just might turn out to be the love of her life if their relationship ever actually made it to love. He sat there with his fellow journalists, pen and paper ready to represent the Macon Telegraph. Sam Culpepper would do his best, bless his heart, but he had a most irritating habit of including all the facts in his stories, facts that might be misconstrued by the public. Facts that would point straight to the accused.

Next to him, Jennifer recognized Teague McAfee, cub reporter for the Atlanta Eye, the tabloid that daily redefined yellow journalism. Teague had been dogging her trail ever since the murder, and his smug expression ensured he'd do a number on this trial. He loved the seamier side of life and saw it as his mission to expose it, to toss it like fodder to the unimaginative masses. Most likely, he'd toss them Jennifer, too.

In front of the press sat Lisa Walker, grieving widow of the deceased, and a walking stereotype of the blonde bimbo. Red, pouty lips lay below an ample nose and heavily lined eyelids fringed with false eyelashes weeping mascara. Her black suit was cut in a low V, and Jennifer wanted to lean forward and offer her a little advice. They meant for you to wear a shell under that jacket. But why bother? Her answer, no doubt, would be "I know."

She tore her gaze from Lisa's tear-streaked face to look at the defense table. Bile gathered in her throat. Dear Mrs. Walker--the first Mrs. Walker--her white hair framing her angelic face like a halo, her tiny body swallowed by a padded chair, stared back at her wistfully, expectantly. Brave, surprising Mrs. Walker. If she had killed her former husband, no doubt he deserved it. After all, Jennifer trusted Mrs. Walker's judgment. Too bad Fulton County, Georgia, didn't.

The guards passed a hand signal, and Jennifer watched as one of them slipped through the back doors. She caught a glimpse of the crowd teeming like bacteria in the hall outside. A low rumble traveled across the room and reverberated back again. Something was finally happening.

The judge sat up straight, repositioned the microphone, and motioned the lawyers back to their places. Jennifer felt her blood race through her veins at breakneck speed, a flush filling her cheeks.

The Honorable T. S. Leonard shook his head as the defense lawyer's mouth opened. "I've heard all the arguments I intend to consider, and I have my ruling. The prosecution will be allowed to treat Miss Marsh as a hostile witness."

He turned to Jennifer. "That means the prosecution

may ask you leading questions that require only a yes or no answer."

Jennifer opened her mouth, but the judge again shook his head. "Only yes or no. I hope I need not remind you again that invoking the Fifth Amendment is a privilege reserved only for people who could be accused of having committed a crime, not for someone reluctant to give testimony. Miss Marsh, you are still under oath."

He didn't need to remind her. That had been the problem from the beginning. Jennifer had sworn on the Bible. To God. She couldn't lie. She'd been reared a good Baptist girl. God would never forgive her, or, at least, never forget. But how could she forgive herself if it were her testimony that sent that wonderful little woman to her execution?

The judge was speaking. "You may proceed." He nodded to the prosecution.

Arlene Jacobs stood. She was short, painfully thin, and dressed in an expensive, beige linen suit. She looked like she hadn't fed for some time, and Jennifer was about to become her dinner.

Ms. Jacobs smiled a wicked, triumphant smile. "All right. Now, Ms. Marsh. Shall we try this again? Did you or did you not, on the night of the murder, travel to Edgar Walker's estate and come upon the defendant, Mrs. Emma Walker, in proximity to Edgar Walker's deceased body, holding a bloody knife that was later determined to be the murder weapon?"

Jennifer closed her eyes and swallowed hard. Even Maxie Malone couldn't get out of this one. There was nothing left to do except answer the question. "Yes," she said, "I did, but--"

From the Paperback edition.

Meet the Author

Judy Fitzwater grew up an Air Force brat and has lived in New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Hawaii, Maine, Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, and North Carolina. She began her writing career freelancing as a columnist, feature writer, and reporter of Superior Court proceedings for a newspaper in rural North Carolina. She made her debut as a novelist with Dying to Get Published. Ms. Fitzwater lives in the Washington, D.C., suburbs with her husband, two daughters, and their Norwich terrier.

From the Paperback edition.

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Dying to Get Even 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes. This is what I was looking for. Likeable, easy to get to know characters. A story line that hooked me right away. The book was hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun characters, enough twists and dead ends. Recommend to all cozy fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ThePolyBlog More than 1 year ago
PLOT OR PREMISE: Jennifer Marsh is back with her reporter boyfriend. This time, her elder friend Emmie Walker is in trouble: Jennifer finds her standing next to the dead body of Edgar Walker, with the murder weapon in her hand. . WHAT I LIKED: The rambling around by all of the characters is great. As usual, Jennifer's writing group throw themselves in to help her investigate all the goings-on at Edgar's Down Home Grill, complete with a special sauce that may be to-die-for. . WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The storyline jumps around a bit in time at the start. It might have read a lot better in normal linear fashion rather than the resulting stilted jumping. Its only the first few chapters though, so it doesn't overly hurt the story. . BOTTOM-LINE: Even better than the first in the series . DISCLOSURE: I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, but I have interacted with her on social media.
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