Dye, Dyeing, Dead
by Bobbi A. Chukran
A Kendra Louise Harper Mystery Novella of 35,000 words
Kendra Louise Harper is a folklorist, avid gardener and accidental sleuth. All she wanted to do that nice fall day in September was help her Aunt Jewel conduct a Natural Dyeing with Plants workshop for some ladies from the Nameless, Texas Garden Club. Before the workshop is over, a dead body lay face down in a pool of glass and indigo in Kendra's courtyard garden. The next door neighbor swears that he saw Aunt Jewel whack the victim over the head with a silver hammer.
No one else really believes Aunt Jewel killed Mrs. Bunch--that is, except maybe the sheriff. And he's the one who counts. He'd just as soon throw Jewel Moore in jail as look at her. But he has no solid proof; he's not going to waste his time trying to prove her innocent. He'd rather bide his time and wait for the murderer to slip up and come to him.
Kendra decides that if anything is going to be done to get her aunt off the hook, she'll have to do it. Along with Kendra's friends---a very colorful waiter at Do-Lolly's Diner named Jeremy, Deputy Jim Wyman (Kendra's love interest), Ginger Marshall (a local art quilter) and her friends---she sets out to prove that her aunt is innocent.
The victim, Mrs. Eula Mae Bunch, was not a popular person in Nameless. As Kendra gathers information, she realizes that Mrs. Bunch was probably the most unpopular person in town---for good reason. As one resident said, "That old woman is meaner than a room full of peckish wolverines."
Why is Kendra's neighbor so sure that her aunt killed Mrs. Bunch? And if she didn't kill her, who did? And why?
And there are other mysteries in town. Who chopped down Jewel's indigo bush in her own yard? Who is the inebriated stranger that shows up to Eula-Mae's funeral? And what does an erotic romance novel have to do with all of it? Tongues are waggin' in Nameless! Things haven't been this exciting since George Leroy Johnson got the back of his britches caught in the revolving door at the old Railroad Hotel and was pitched out the middle of Main Street with his wherewithalls showing.
Dye, Dyeing, Dead is the first novella in the Nameless, TX mystery series and features Kendra Louise Harper, Folklorist.