Featured New Story: Sweet Murder by Paula A. Smith


I’m tickled pink about a series of Featured New Stories I’ll be running here at the Meet and Greet at West of Mars. The stories all appear in the new Lucky Charms anthology edited by my friend Ramona DeFelice Long, and put together by a bunch of my local ladies: the Mary Roberts Rinehart Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Yep, I’m a member. And yes, I offered advice as the anthology took shape.


I offered the Featured New Book spotlight to the ladies lucky enough to make the editorial cut, and Paula A. Smith is the first to take me up on it.

So, Paula! What song makes you think of your story?

If life’s like a card game and not a gooey box of chocolates as others say, we have to play the hand that we’ve been dealt and remember, “Every hand’s a winner and every hand’s a loser” as Kenny Rogers sings in “The Gambler” (1978).

In my short story, Sweet Murder, appearing in the newly released Lucky Charms Anthology that contains 12 crime stories by members of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Chapter of Sisters in Crime, you could say the main character is a pretty good gambler. She looked at her cards and seemed to “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run.”

When she snaps her cards face-up on the table, how did she know what cards to give up and which ones to keep? You won’t know that until the end. But you will get inside her head as she figures out what to do while playing the game. It’s a high-stakes card game and the deck is stacked against her. But by the end of the story she finds that “the secret to survivin’ is learning what to throw away and what to keep.”

You’re probably wondering about the murder victim? How does the ace of spades get shuffled into the deck and who gets it? Ah-hah, if I told you, I’d be showing you my hand, wouldn’t I? And don’t try to peek. Wait and see how it all plays out and how your own gambling strategies reveal what I’m holding. After all, “they’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.” Just to be nice, I’ll up the ante for your curiosity with words from the song, “The best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.”

Gamble and get the book.

I didn’t get to read any of the stories until the anthology came out, so I’m as intrigued as you are. And I am intrigued!

Want to know more about the project as a whole?

Inside LUCKY CHARMS you’ll find twelve crime tales from the members of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Pittsburgh chapter of Sisters in Crime, Inc. You’ll dig into gritty police procedurals; enjoy a spangle of suspense; tuck into a cozy or two; and thrill to a cool touch of noir. Each story tells a tale of surprising good luck or of good luck gone sour. We invite you to brace yourself for an entertaining read.
Buy a signed copy by 12 authors from:
Mystery Lovers Bookshop (Oakmont, PA)

Link to the SinC website page for the book where the full list of stories and author bios are shown.

Link to and “like” the new SinC Facebook page where updates will also continue to appear

The book is available in paperback and electronic forms:
Electronic purchases are available through: Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Kobo and Apple (iBooks). Print are available through Amazon and CreateSpace.


1 Comment

  1. Paula Smith

    January 6, 2014 11:04 pm

    Susan– Thanks for the fantastic opportunity to be on your website with Lucky Charms! So “sweet” of you…

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