Owning and operating a cottage resort in a peaceful northern Ontario setting should be a piece of cake for a former police detective. Families should be happy to be on a vacation in rustic log cabins set among acres of old-growth pines along a vast shoreline of a clean lake ideal for swimming, boating and fishing.
It should and they should, is what goes through the mind of this former detective turned resort owner every time a guest shows up and havoc reigns.
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 pikerel 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 the former detective turned resort owner want to head south back to a dark alley in the north end 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.
But instead, the former detective turned resort owner stays put and cleans toilets, cuts wood, sells gas, worms and ice, rents fishing boats and canoes and cottages, smiles at guests, and helps the local O.P.P. solve murder in the north on the resort, because every time guests show up, someone gets killed.
After spending a peaceful and relaxed winter in a small village in Nova Scotia Charlene is back in Ontario to open her cottage resort for another noisy and hectic season of catering to strangers, working long days with no break for months.
It started well. The geology students were back and a group of women from a women's shelter had a chance to unwind a little and let mother nature help soothe their worries. It didn't end well. Her angst over the man she left behind on the east coast mixed with her resentment of the man she once loved who lived just a short drive away from the resort, caused Charlene as much stress and worry as the dead body discovered on her property just a week before the May long week-end.
About the Author
Ms. McCluskey has first hand experience similar to that of the main character of the Kirk Lake Camp and Back Road to Shore book series. 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. Back in her early days, as an offshoot from her fitness column and training as a fitness instructor, she started her own business, Basic Fitness. It was a bi-weekly exercise class for local women in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Her business was in operation for eight years until she was asked to be the Director of Fitness at the downtown Kitchener YWCA. 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.