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Alan Cook

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Member Since: Jun, 2006

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Books
· Hit that Blot: A Carol Golden Novel

· Pictureland: A Matthew and Mason Adventure

· Dangerous Wind: A Carol Golden Novel

· Dancing with Bulls: A Matthew and Mason Adventure

· Relatively Dead: A Carol Golden Novel

· Forget to Remember: A Carol Golden Novel

· Freedom's Light: Quotations from History's Champions of Freedom

· Aces and Knaves

· Catch a Falling Knife

· Run into Trouble


Short Stories
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· Freeway Exit

· Red Dress

· Antietam Adventure--Matthew and Mason Adventure

· Have a Nice Knife

· Echo's Story--Matthew and Mason Adventure

· Hot Days, Cold Nights

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· Little Willie Chews the Scenery

· Freedom Sneezes--Matthew and Mason Mystery


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· A Blog on a Blot: Backgammon Anyone?

· Are We in Dystopia Yet?

· Are You Normal? Do You Want to Be?

· Blaze a Trail: Do Something Nobody Else Has Done

· James Bond and Me--and a Few Other People

· Internet Backgammon (9 of 9) Glossary

· Internet Backgammon (8 of 9) Playing the Microsoft Computer Backgammon Prog

· Internet Backgammon (7 of 9) Psychology

· Internet Backgammon (6 of 9) Using the Doubling Cube

· Internet Backgammon (5 of 9) Bearing Off


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· Amy Anne Diane

· Clarence High School Alma Mater

· Corporal Ed Lincoln, 23rd New York

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· Limericks--Lady from France

· Eyeful

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Category: 

Mystery/Suspense

Publisher:  FirstPublish ISBN-10:  1929925328 Type:  Fiction
Pages: 

172

Copyright:  October 15, 2000 ISBN-13:  9781929925322


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Alan Cook, Mystery and walking writer

Retired math professor Lillian Morgan gets suspicious when a fellow resident of her retirement community drops dead at the bridge table with an unbelievable hand of 13 diamonds.

Lillian Morgan, a retired mathematics professor who can remember any number but not what she did yesterday, is resigned to living a boring life when Gerald Weiss, a Nobel-prize-winning Economist and fellow resident of Silver Acres Retirement Community starts choking and then dies during a weekly meeting of the bridge club.

Gerald was holding a bridge hand of 13 diamonds when he died, which is rarer than winning the lottery. When the autopsy reveals that his death was caused by an extreme allergic reaction to shellfish in what was supposedly a tuna casserole served by the bridge club lunch committee, Lillian decides to investigate the possibility of murder.

   


Excerpt

"Those napkins are going to catch on fire!"

Twelve pairs of eyes turned toward the table against the wall where a candle flame used to keep the contents of a serving dish warm threatened a pile of paper napkins stacked on a nearby plate.

As we watched, the napkins did catch on fire, sending a jet of flame and a spiral of smoke toward the high wooden ceiling of the recreation room.

"I thought I put that candle out!" Dora, a small silver-haired lady whose back had been to the napkins, exclaimed. She sat closest to the fire. She jumped up from her chair and hopped the two steps to the table. Her gait reminded me of a bird, but she showed complete competence as she grabbed a pitcher of drinking water and poured it over the napkins, quickly extinguishing the blaze.

The other eleven bridge players at the three card tables spontaneously applauded. Dora took a bow and said, tartly, "Now help me clean up this mess."

Two women sitting at her table got up and among the three of them they quickly sopped up the water from the wet table and the hardwood floor underneath, with paper towels. They disposed of the charred napkins and everything was neat and tidy again.

A remnant of smoke odor hung in the air and reminded me of the fires that burned in the large stone fireplace at one end of the room during the winter. I started to deal the cards I had shuffled just before the crisis and said, "Well, I guess we've had our excitement for today. A false fire alarm, followed by an actual attempt to burn the place down. Something tells me they happened in the wrong order. Now can we play some bridge?"

"Quit your grousing, Lillian, and bid," the lady to my left, said.

"Pass," I said. "My cards are as dull as everything else around here. I wish something really exciting would happen."

"Cheer up," Tess, my partner, said. She was slightly plumper than the average woman there, with a round, smiling face and every hair immaculately in place. Tess was my best friend at Silver Acres, a retirement community in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She continued, "As a mathematician, you know you're not always going to get interesting cards."

A commotion started at the next table. A man named Gerald Weiss was making strange noises and pointing at his throat. Dora, who was a retired nurse, quickly got up from her chair again and asked, "Gerald, are you choking?"

He nodded, unable to speak. Dora went behind his chair and wrapped her arms around him, making one hand into a fist. She pulled it sharply into his body below the rib cage, once, then again. At that point Gerald fell forward and his head hit the table with a thud. A woman sitting at the table screamed.

"Help me get him onto the floor," Dora said.

Several people who had already stood up assisted her.

"Call the clinic!" someone said in an urgent voice.

"Call 911!"

I carry a cellular phone in my purse; my son insists that I do. I pulled it out and asked, "What's the number of the clinic?" I had wanted excitement, but not this much. Be careful what you wish for.... Somebody told me the number; I punched it in and was quickly connected to the clinic, a part of the Silver Acres retirement community. "One of our residents has collapsed in the recreation room," I told the man who answered the phone.

"He's not breathing!" Dora shouted.

"He's not breathing," I repeated.

"We'll be right there," he said, and hung up.

Professional Reviews
Robyn Glazer
Struck down in the middle of one of the best hands of bridge ever dealt,
Gerald Weiss dies eating concealed shellfish. Since Gerald was holding thirteen diamonds at the time of his demise, everyone just assumed he died of shock. After all in a retirement home a shock isn't the best thing to have. After the autopsy, it becomes apparent that his shellfish allergy has caught up with him and won. Everyone chalks it up as an accident. Everyone except Lillian Morgan,
that is.

Lillian Morgan was a mathematician professor and knows the odds of getting
thirteen diamonds are extremely high. She smells something fishy and it is not Gerald's breath! Her investigation begins with help from her best friend Tess, who also resides at the retirement home. She also manages to talk her granddaughter into doing some scut work. After flying to San Diego, checking out Gerald's will and just generally interrogating everyone who knew Gerald, Lillian is still having trouble figuring out who could have wanted to murder him and why. Thank goodness she has a little help and a lot of smarts. Those smarts just might keep her from getting killed.

I really enjoyed this book because the protagonist is different from any
other. Lillian Morgan is unpredictable which is interesting to watch. She acts
like a young kid in an old person's body. This book is actually really short and moves very fast. The writing is energetic and very funny, which is also a good way to describe Lillian. The relationships are well explained and very realistic. I loved her granddaughter and her granddaughter's boyfriend. This is a very successful start to what is hopefully a new series. I will keep my eye out for more books by Alan Cook. There is no real violence and fits appropriately into the cozy genre.





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Books by
Alan Cook



Walking the World: Memories and Adventures

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Aces and Knaves

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Nook, Smashwords, more..




Freedom's Light: Quotations from History's Champions of Freedom

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Nook, Smashwords, more..




Pictureland: A Matthew and Mason Adventure

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Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, more..




Hit that Blot: A Carol Golden Novel

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Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, more..




Dancing with Bulls: A Matthew and Mason Adventure

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Forget to Remember: A Carol Golden Novel

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Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..



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