Tagged for Death (Sarah W. Garage Sale Series #1)

Tagged for Death (Sarah W. Garage Sale Series #1)

by Sherry Harris

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Overview

Tagged for Death (Sarah W. Garage Sale Series #1) by Sherry Harris

Starting your life over at age thirty-eight isn't easy, but that's what Sarah Winston finds herself facing when her husband CJ runs off with a 19-year-old temptress named Tiffany. Sarah's self-prescribed therapy happily involves hitting all the garage and tag sales in and around her small town of Ellington, Massachusetts. If only she could turn her love for bargain hunting into a full-time career.

One man's junk is another man's treasure

But after returning from a particularly successful day searching for yard sale treasures, Sarah finds a grisly surprise in one of her bags: a freshly bloodied shirt. . .that undoubtedly belongs to her ex, CJ, who now happens to be Ellington's chief of police. If that's not bad enough, it seems Tiffany has gone missing. Now it's up to Sarah to prove that her cold-hearted ex is not a cold-blooded killer. . .

But finding that treasure can be murder.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617730177
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 12/02/2014
Series: Sarah W. Garage Sale Series , #1
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 115,528
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sherry Harris is the author of Agatha Award-nominated Best First Novel Tagged for Death, The Longest Yard Sale, and All Murders Final! Sherry started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry combined her love of garage sales, her life as an Air Force spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for this series. Sherry is an independent editor for fiction and nonfiction writers, a member of Sisters in Crime, Sisters in Crime New England, and Sisters in Crime Chesapeake Chapter. She blogs with New England mystery writers at WickedCozyAuthors.com.

Read an Excerpt

Tagged for Death


By Sherry Harris

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2014 Sherry Harris
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61773-017-7


CHAPTER 1

A gunshot sounded. I jerked the phone away from my ear. This time I hung up first. That had been the pattern—one gunshot and then the caller disconnected. I couldn't decide if I was mad or freaked out, probably both. What did it say about my life that I knew more people who might be willing to do this than any normal person should?

My mother had warned me not to marry military. "Sarah Winston, stay away from those boys at DLI. They're nothing but trouble." DLI, the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, sat a few blocks up the hill from my childhood home in Pacific Grove. Since I'd pretty much always done the opposite of whatever my mom suggested, I marched up that hill, met CJ, and married him when I was eighteen.

So the calls could be from CJ Hooker, my ex-husband, the former Fitch Air Force Base Security Forces squadron commander. He'd retired quickly and quietly four months ago after what was called "misconduct" or, as some would say, "conduct unbecoming an officer." His new career as police chief of Ellington, Massachusetts, the small town just outside the base gates, where we both lived—separately—offered him plenty of resources. In my angry, hurt heart, I couldn't imagine he'd do something like that to me. Of course, then again, I hadn't thought ... I shook my head. I didn't need to go down that path yet again.

I paced across my second-story apartment, trying to shake off the remaining edges of fear from the gunshot call. It didn't take long with only a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bath. The apartment had looked a lot bigger empty. The slanted ceilings, two dormer windows, and uneven wooden floors held some charm. I'd really warmed up to the place the day I moved in when CJ had accidentally rammed his head into the low ceiling.

I'd wanted to knock him upside the head since the day I figured out the sudden increase in patrols outside our house on base by the voluptuous Tiffany Lopez had nothing to do with base security and everything to do with CJ. He'd looked hurt when I laughed as he rubbed his head. I could tell him a thing or two about being hurt.

I stared out the front window onto the town common. It had the requisite white church surrounded by a large lawn. The steeple reached to the blue April sky. Trees on the common were starting to bud and joggers had reappeared. I was adjusting to the noise of the bells from the Congregational church. Now, if only I could sleep through the sirens from the fire department, two buildings up the street from me, on Great Road.

Tiffany, the nineteen-year-old airman, and coconspirator in the "misconduct," was another possible caller. Tiffany had many skills I lacked. She was an expert marksman, attended culinary school in preparation for being an enlisted aide to a general, and could cook a four-course dinner. While I'd failed for years to get pregnant, Tiffany could even do that better. She was able to get pregnant on the first try. That was CJ's story when he begged me not to leave him, not that I believed it.

I'd heard she wasn't happy. She'd lost a stripe and the opportunity to work with the general. Although he promised to love and support the baby, CJ wasn't planning a future with her.

Then there was the entire Ellington police force. They'd already bonded with "Chuck," as they called CJ. Promised they had his back. I'd been pulled over so many times in the last few months for "speeding," aka "going one mile over the limit," that I'd started going one mile under the speed limit at all times, not easy to do living fifteen miles from Boston. It caused a lot of honking, brakes squealing, and one-finger waves. It had worked until some smart aleck officer decided to pull me over for obstructing traffic. I had so many warnings that I was sure everyone on the EPD knew the exact number of points left on my driver's license before it got revoked. It was like a game of chicken for the Ellington Police Department: who could get the closest without going over.

The gunshot caller could be one of Tiffany's fellow airmen. The security forces squadron was a tight-knit group of people. CJ and I had called them "our kids," since we hadn't been able to have any of our own. Lots of airmen were eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds fresh from boot camp, far from home, carrying big guns, little guns, and some in between. I'd taken cookies (thank you, Stop & Shop) to the squadron, threw parties for them, and even dried some tears. When "Mom" and "Dad" divorced, they all sided with Dad.

Who wouldn't? CJ had controlled their future, their assignments, and their promotions. They still sought him out for advice. Too many of the Southern boys thought I should stand by my man. Too many young girls believed that leaving nasty messages on my Facebook page would get me out of the way so Tiffany and CJ could be together. What they didn't get, no matter how many times I'd said it, was Tiffany could have him. I was done, checked out—adios, amigo.

I regretted the one drunken Facebook message I'd sent Tiffany telling her in no polite words to call off her dogs. The next morning, I'd deleted my Facebook page.

Maybe the gunshot caller hoped they'd wake me. I was already up, ready to head out to some garage sales. I looked out the window. Carol Carson stood in front of her store, Paint and Wine, on the other side of the town common waiting for me to pick her up. I called her shop "Paint and Whine" and was very grateful to have a friend like Carol, who always listened to me. I grabbed a light sweater, then headed out to my Suburban.

I was taking Carol to her first garage sale (tag sale, for those in the Northeast). I'd known Carol, and her husband Brad, since our very first assignment. We had just clicked. This was the first time we'd lived at the same place, at the same time, since we'd met nineteen years ago.

They'd moved from base to Ellington six months ago. Carol opened a store, where her ingenious method meant anyone could create a painting. Between the shop, her eight-year-old twin boys, and six-year-old daughter, she didn't have much free time. After hearing me drone on about garage sales, she'd decided to give it a try. Or maybe she couldn't care less about the sale and knew I was lonely.

I drove around the common. Carol hopped in. She looked like what Mattel would dream up if they decided to have a blond artist Barbie. Fortunately, her personality wasn't plastic. We both wore jeans and T-shirts. Carol's high-heeled boots and a leather jacket made me feel underdressed in flats and a sweater. She handed me a steaming cup of coffee, along with an oversized cinnamon roll. The roll smelled way better than the cinnamon-scented air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror.

"Homemade?" I asked before biting into the warm roll.

"Yes, it made me feel less guilty for deserting the family on a Saturday morning. The kids are attached to our routine of pancakes and snuggling up to watch cartoons."

"These are heavenly. I'm glad we finally ended up at the same base at the same time again. Not just because you make the best cinnamon rolls on earth."

"Me too. I don't know what I would have done without you here to help set up the store."

"How's Brad's new job going?" Brad served his twenty years. He'd retired from the air force about six months ago. Since he was only in his early forties, like most military retirees, he started a second career. Brad now worked for the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford.

I ate the cinnamon roll as I drove. Carol filled me in on the latest shop news. Usually, I unloaded my news first. Even though the gunshot call was on my mind, it was time to step back. I'd blathered on about myself too often.

We headed out toward Concord, passing the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery—not the one with the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane, made famous by Washington Irving. That cemetery was in New York. Concord's Sleepy Hollow has its own claim to fame because of its Authors Ridge, where Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau were buried. We passed the Colonial Inn, went through two rotaries—rotaries in Massachusetts, roundabouts or traffic circles in other parts of the country. A right turn took us into a neighborhood full of colonial and Victorian homes. When Carol asked what I'd been up to, I filled her in on the latest phone call.

"How many calls is that?" Carol asked.

"I'm not sure. I haven't kept a tally. Enough to be annoying."

"Annoying?"

"Okay, scary." I slowed the Suburban, looking for the garage sale.

"Don't you think it's about time to report the calls to the authorities?"

"You mean CJ?"

"Oh, right. Wow, that's awkward." She took a long drink of her coffee. "Maybe you should, anyway."

"I have no proof. No one's ever been around when a call came in."

"Couldn't CJ check your phone records?"

"No. I don't want him to know anything about my social life." That was the last thing I needed to have happen.

"You have a social life you don't want him knowing about? Are you holding out on me? I want details."

How did I get out of this gracefully? I'd never been one of those "share everything" people, unless it was CJ. That was another thing that had ended with our marriage. "It's more I don't want him to know about my lack of a social life."

"Maybe it's time to get out there."

"I'm not ready. If I call CJ about the gunshot calls, he might think it's my way of trying to get his attention."

"Especially after telling him 'no, no, never' for months. I'm still worried about you."

"Thanks. If it gets worse or anything else happens, I promise I'll call."

I parked in front of the first sale. "No matter how excited you are about something you see, act like you don't care. This is all about the fine art of negotiation. Find your inner poker player."

Carol nodded enthusiastically before jumping out of the car.

I followed her. "Take it down a notch."

"Oh, right." Carol tried to get her smile under control. It's what made her business such a success. It might not help her here.

I did a quick scan of the garage sale. It was a mess. The only reason we'd stopped was because it advertised "like new" designer clothing for kids. If it hadn't been for Carol, I would have kept driving. Clothes were heaped on a table and in bags on the ground. The couple of nice pieces of furniture were barely visible from the road. I shook my head.

I poked around a table, pulling out a perfectly good graduation robe, scrubs, and an old cheerleading uniform. I headed over to the woman in charge of the sale. "If you grouped these together with a little sign that said great for costumes, they'd be gone in no time."

"Thanks," the woman said, looking at me like she was anything but thankful.

Ten minutes later, Carol squealed. "Sarah! Get over here. This platter matches your dishes!"

Yeesh, had she heard nothing I'd told her in the car? "Just a minute!" I yelled as I continued to look at a vintage Christmas tablecloth. I finally meandered over. Carol still bounced with enthusiasm.

She shoved the platter at me. "Look, it's Dansk. Only five dollars. It would cost way more at Macy's. Aren't you excited?"

I glanced at the woman running the garage sale. "I don't need it."

Carol looked like a little girl who'd just had her favorite doll snatched from her. I took it over to the woman. "Would you take two for this?"

"Sure," the woman said.

Back in the car, I broke into a big smile. "Great find. The platter would cost at least forty-five dollars at the store."

Carol looked at me oddly. "Oh, right, poker face. I'll do better next time."

"Smiling and being friendly is fine. No bouncing. No squealing. It leaves no room for negotiating."

CHAPTER 2

Thirty minutes later in Lexington, we stopped in front of a large three-story Victorian with a sweeping lawn. A crowd of people milled around an area full of walnut wardrobes, marble-topped dressers, and tables. I could tell at a glance these beautiful antiques were out of my price range. With that many people interested, the chance to get a good deal was nil. I zeroed in on a parlor table I spotted off to one side, almost hidden behind a rack of clothes.

I dragged Carol over with me. It was in two pieces. The top leaned up against the base. The four barley-twist legs each ended in a large clawed foot holding a glass ball. The undershelf held the four legs together, barely. The oak top was serpentine with a serpentine apron. The wood of the two pieces matched—a sign that it was all original. I turned the tabletop over to examine its underside. The legs hadn't broken off. I could easily fix it with carpenter's glue. It would look perfect by my great-grandmother's rocking chair, if I could get it for a good price.

In an antique store in pristine condition, this piece would sell for around eight hundred dollars. The table was priced at two hundred. I wasn't willing to pay that much for something I had to fix. As much as I wanted it, I had to walk away if I couldn't get a better deal.

I found a gray-haired woman roaming around; she had a partially open fanny pack full of ones around her waist. I presumed she was the seller. If not, with that many single bills, she might be heading to the Chippendales Male Revue I'd heard an ad for on the radio.

"Excuse me. I wanted to ask about the broken table over there." I put a slight emphasis on the word broken. "Is that your best price?"

The lady looked over to where I pointed. "It's worth the asking price, even broken. What did you have in mind?"

Here was the tricky part. If I went too low, she'd say no and it was hard to negotiate after that. If I went too high, I wouldn't get the best possible price. "Fifty?" I asked, knowing it was a dangerously low price. Several people were lined up behind me, holding items they wanted to buy. This was good. She was out here alone and wouldn't want to lose paying customers bargaining with me.

She shook her head. "One-fifty."

"Split the difference? One hundred?"

She shook her head again. As I turned to go, she said, "Oh, all right."

Carol, who'd watched the whole process, squealed. This time I joined her. I handed over the money to the seller. "Are you running this by yourself?"

She gave me a look. "My daughter's baby is sick. My husband's out golfing. My cell phone's in the house. Haven't had a minute to go get it."

I handed her my phone so she could call a couple of friends. With this big of a sale, things could go missing.


Although I'd spent what I'd allotted for myself that day, we hit more sales. Two hours later, after traipsing through Lincoln and Bedford, I dropped Carol in front of her shop. She'd found some barely worn jeans for the boys and a couple of dresses that were as good as new for her daughter. Carol scored a fifty-cent unopened copy of Top Gun for her husband, plus a box of paperbacks for herself. Sometimes she remembered the poker face, but Carol did just as well by charming whoever it was that she talked to. One lady even gave her some free clothes and promised to bring a group of women to her shop for a night of painting.

I hauled the two pieces of the table up to my apartment, placing them near the window. Since I'd moved to a smaller place, my new policy was something in, something out. I'd take the small table that had been by the window to the thrift shop for consignment. I scrounged around under the kitchen sink, found the carpenter's glue, some clamps, and bungee cords. After smearing glue on the underside of the table, I set the two pieces together. I used clamps, where I could, bungeed the rest, and then stacked a bunch of hardback books on top to weigh it down. After the glue dried, it would look as good as new. Or in this case, as good as old.

I made a sandwich, flopped on the couch, and assessed my life. Or my former life as a military wife, that is. My literature degree had kept discussions interesting in the Spouses' Club reading group. I made killer Cosmos for my friends when we played Bunco, a dice game. Some of the women claimed my Cosmos loosened their wrists just enough to change their luck when rolling the dice during the game. Cooking wasn't my strong suit (thank heaven for potlucks and Costco), but my parties were always fun. I'd edited the Spouses' newsletter, volunteered at the Airman's Attic, Red Cross blood drives, and the base thrift shop.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris. Copyright © 2014 Sherry Harris. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Tagged for Death 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wanted something fun and new to read while at the gym and this worked perfectly! Kept me interested the whole time, wanting to read more about the charecters that I grew to love, and had me worrying about if the killer was going to get Sarah. Love this series, I'm hooked!
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
This was a particularly good start for a cozy mystery series.  Both the setting and the interest of the main character were a bit unusual.  Sarah Winston is the estranged wife of Ellington, Massachusetts' chief of police, CJ, who has just left the military in the adjoining military base.  Sarah loves looking for treasures amongst other people's cast offs.  She has found that her services are requested to organize garage sales amongst her friends, giving her access to more information about their lives than she might normally get on her own. After confessing to a one night stand with a flirty 19 year old, CJ finds himself alone because Sarah just won't forgive him.  Then when Sarah finds his bloody shirt in a bag of cast offs, and Tiffany has gone missing, while bones in the woods are presumed to be her body, Sarah seeks to prove CJ's innocence.  CJ's loyal police friends are not helping Sarah at all.  So the chase to find the killer and stay out of trouble herself begins. I really enjoyed the push and pull of Sarah's trying to investigate and still avoid all the traps set up by her friends and the police.  The interaction between the military base and civilian life was very interesting.  It was definitely similar to small towns where everyone knows everyone's interest, and rank definitely has it's place.  There are some great tips at the book's end on garage sales also.  Looking forward to the next one in this series.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
4 stars Good cozy mystery. Had some twists I did not see coming. Was a clean read. I liked the characters, the community. I was not sure who to trust. Sarah Winston is 38 and divorced. She is still hurt and mad that she did not see it coming. She is also being harassed by the police. Her ex-husband is the police chief. C.J. Hooker just got a dishonorable discharge. He was the former Fitch Air Force Base Security Forces squadron commander. Now the Police chief of Ellington, Massachusetts. He did not want the divorce. His girl friend is pregnant. Now Tiffany has disappeared. Sarah found a plastic bag with Tiffany's blood on her uniform and her ex-husbands old one. She calls C.J. and gives him the clothes. Sarah starts asking questions to try and find out what is going on. She does not believe that C.J hurt anyone. Sarah likes to go to garage sales. She also asks for donations after the garage sale for the base thrift store. She also finds some bones by the base thrift store. Sarah helps her friend get ready for a garage sale and she is thinking of seeing if she can make it a job. Everyone asks her why she is staying and not moving away. The setting is on Fitch Air Force Base, and Ellington surrounding area. I sure would like to know what happens next in Sarah's life. I will be waiting for the next book.
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
WOW! By the end of this book I was turning the pages so fast I saw smoke, lol! Well-written and really kept me guessing (and surprised me!) - can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series! A+++
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got pulled right away and really enjoyed reading this book! Excellent character development, plenty of details, a plot twist I didn't see coming, and great yard sale tips! I can't wait to read more in this series! Leslie E Brady
Marla-Bradeen More than 1 year ago
TAGGED FOR DEATH is an enjoyable start to a new series. The heroine is likable, although I had trouble understanding her failure to take action at certain times. I found the military base setting to be rather unique, and I appreciated the inside look into the lives of military families. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in this series. Disclosure: I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characters, wouldn't put this book down!
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Sarah Winston may be starting her life over after her husband, CJ cheated on her but she is still connected to several places and people from before her divorce. She stills spends time on the Fitch Air Force Base working at the thrift store. A perfect job because she loves hunting for bargains at garage sales and she donates several of her finds to the store. But one of her recent bargains, a bag of clothes, included a bloody shirt and she recognizes it. It is belongs to her ex, the new chief of police of Ellington. His “girlfriend” also happens to be missing and more blood has been found in her dorm room. The investigation includes the security at the base too and CJ is their prime suspect. As mad as she is at CJ, Sarah knows he is not a killer and she is going to prove it. What a fantastic story and introduction to these characters. You can tell the author is drawing from personal experiences, sans the murder/s of course Sarah comes across as so genuine and I loved her almost obsession with garage sales. It is all about the negotiating and the deal she can get. When she took her friend with her and tried to teach her “the art of the deal”, it was hilarious. That friend could have been me. All the characters grew over the course of the story and there is so much more room for them to grow in this series. The plot is very strong and filled with surprising twists. The connection to the Air Force Base was very appealing and the details of the workings of such a place was appreciated by this reader. I enjoyed solving the mystery right along with Sarah. The garage sale tips were a nice addition and food for thought. I am super exited to get caught up on this series.
SewWrite More than 1 year ago
Sarah Winston is a garage sale queen. She knows all the rules to find the perfect bargains. Unfortunately, her ex-husband CJ didn't follow the marriage rules when he had an affair with a young subordinate named Tiffany. Sarah tries hard to start a new life for herself by doing what she loves best, going to garage sales and volunteering at the thrift store on base. After a great day of garage sales, Sarah finds a bloody shirt inside of a bag of clothing she was going to take to the thrift store. The shocking thing is she recognizes the shirt as belonging to CJ, now the police chief. The fact that Tiffany has gone missing only adds to the mystery. It didn't take any time at all before I was enveloped into this well written story full of surprises. As a past military wife from Massachusetts, I found the entire town and military base to be so realistic and brought back many fond memories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Tagged For Death - Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery 1 Author: Sherry Harris Published: 12-2-14 Publisher: Kensington Press Pages: 304 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Crafts & Hobbies; Cozy Mystery ISBN: 9781617730177 ASIN: B00KFP7Y5G Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . When Sarah Winston's husband C.J. leaves her to be with his 19 year old girlfriend, Tiffany, she finds herself starting over at 38. She discovers a new passion to ease her pain, Garage Sales and the thrill of searching for the best prices. While going through her daily finds she locates a bloody shirt that she knows to have belonged to her now ex-husband who also just happens to be the Police Chief in Ellington. Added to that it seems that Melody is missing. Sarah sets out to prove that just because CJ was a lowlife lying scum cheating ex-husband, he was not a killer. From the moment I opened the book I felt for Sarah. Her pain at her husband's desertion, her anger and her hope for the future. Sherry Harris has written her and the other characters in her series so well that they will seem like many you have know in your life already. They will quickly become dear friends you will want to visit often. The plot is well laid out and flows nicely. The pace of the book is quick without leaving you dizzy. A wonderful new series to add to my must follow list. I hope to read much more from Sherry Harris in the future.
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Debb23 More than 1 year ago
What a great start to a new series, it has started off with a bang, literally. This book grabs you from page one and keeps you guessing until the end. Sarah is a likeable character unsure what to do with herself with the breakup of her marriage, but is pulled in trying to help her ex. You aren't quite sure who to like, dislike or trust with the twists and turns in this story. I definitely will continue on with this series, I just have to wait now for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Linda__ More than 1 year ago
This is a great cozy mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. I loved the characters and their quirky characteristics. The tag sale/military setting made it interesting and I loved the detail they added to the story. This is a stand alone book, but I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series to see how the characters develop. Thank you to Netgalley for providing a complementary ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can become addictive flea markets craft shows mall booths both for buyer and seller
LRaderDay More than 1 year ago
You might expect a cozy mystery about yard sales (that's how they say it in the Midwest) to be light and breezy, but this cozy mystery is more than that. It has depth, surprises, and consequences for its characters. I liked seeing how the tag-sale business evolved and I especially liked being wrong about whodunit.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
Great Cozy! This was a great cozy mystery; it is the first book in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery Series by Sherry Harris. Sarah has had a rough year; she found out that her husband cheated on her with a 19 year old named Tiffany. Sarah’s therapy is going to garage sales and helping her friends get ready for their own garage sales. One morning after attending garage sales she is going through a bag that she is taking to the shelter she discovers some bloody clothes which happens to be her ex’s uniform. She then discovers some bones of a woman behind the shelter and learns that Tiffany is missing. Her ex husband CJ is the number one suspect, but Sarah knows that CJ would never kill someone. She is determined to find the real killer, which is if they don’t find her first. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.  A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Sarah couldn't take her problems to the police. One of the biggest problems in her life was the Chief of Police and her ex-husband. When his shirt shows up in a garage sale bag covered in blood, Sarah can't help but think the worst...he is either dead or killed the mother of his affair baby.  This is a great mystery with extremely unexpected twists.  I did feel it definitely gave off a depressing vibe. No matter how hard Sarah tried it seems like a constant series of unfortunate events overwhelmed her. Life circumstances were definitely not on her side. Although, there is quite a bit of small town quirkiness it did not outweigh the “bad luck” so even with all the quirkiness it didn't push the story be considered humorous. An enjoyable mystery to solve, a likable heroine and lots of garage sales, Tagged for Death provides ample entertainment for the cozy mystery fan.
TessT More than 1 year ago
Two of my favorite things all wrapped up in another of my favorite things. Doesn't get any better than tag sales in a cozy mystery book, along with a few antiques thrown in.  Reinventing yourself at age 38, after your no good husband takes off with a younger (I mean like half his age) chick, is probably not the easiest thing to do, but that's exactly what Sarah Winston finds herself doing. When the younger chick turns up missing, the suspicion, of course, goes to Sarah's ex. Police chief or not he is arrested for her murder, but without a body it's hard to make it stick. I found this to be a fairly quick read, if cozies are for you, pick this one up.  FTC Full Disclosure - A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Read This Debut Now – Don’t Wait for the Garage Sale After almost twenty years as an Air Force wife, Sarah Winston finds her husband, CJ, had a one night stand with a young woman also in the Air Force, resulting in Tiffany becoming pregnant.  Sarah immediately divorces CJ, but stays in the area to rebuild her life.   One thing she loves to do is go going to garage sales on Saturdays, often returning to pick up donations for the thrift store on base near the end of the day.  However, when she starts sorting through her most recent load of donations, she stumbles across two shirts covered in blood.  Worse yet, she recognizes them as belonging to CJ and Tiffany.  When she learns that Tiffany has disappeared, she truly begins to worry.  What has happened to the young woman?  And who planted the items in Sarah’s car? The plot started out strongly and never really slowed down thanks to some sub-plots and red herrings.  The characters were well developed as well.  It all lead up to a climax I didn’t see coming but made perfect sense.   My only complaint involves the writing style.  There are many short sentences, which made it feel choppy to me at times.  I especially noticed this as a scene or chapter was starting.  However, this was a minor complaint overall; I really did love this book.   So this is a debut to buy now.  You’ll find the characters and story are a real bargain you’ll enjoy. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.