Handbag & Book with
Judy Penz Sheluk
I’ll admit it. I’m not much of a purse person. In fact, I’ve been carrying around the same old black leather purse, year-round, for the past three years. When the shoulder strap finally broke, I simply took the carry strap off my Lululemon gym bag and used that. Problem solved.
But even a crusty old purse curmudgeon like me has at least one nice handbag, right? And in fact, I do: This lovely sequined evening bag that I’ve owned—and loved— since the mid 1970s. Note the rhinestone in the snap, and lovely creamy white silk lining. Not to mention all those shiny sequins and seed pearls.
The purse was a Christmas gift from a boyfriend’s parents. The boyfriend turned out to be a two-timing loser (a lesson learned later rather than sooner). His parents, however, were decent hardworking folks, and I enjoyed spending time with them, and their miniature poodle. I like to think the feeling was mutual.
Anyway, this was a time when you’d dress up for New Year’s Eve, even if you were just going to a house party. I can remember wearing a floor length black velvet skirt and a red blouse that year, along with this lovely little clutch, and feeling quite mature (I was about seventeen at the time). The moment was ruined when said boyfriend’s best friend asked me if I’d gained weight, but I digress. The point is, I still own that purse, but I’ve never worn it since that evening.
And yet, in all my moves, in all my de-cluttering attempts, I’ve never once been tempted to get rid of it. Maybe that’s because it’s more than just a pretty purse to me, a memory maker if you will.
And maybe because one day this pretty purse will serve as inspiration for a short crime fiction story. After all, it has all the ingredients needed for a darned good murder mystery: a cheating boyfriend, his jerk of a best friend, a naïve seventeen-year-old girl, New Year’s Eve…
Small-town secrets and subterfuge lead to murder in this fast-moving, deftly written tale of high-stakes real estate wrangling gone amok.
“We need an answer ASAP. You’d move in by the end of the month, sooner if possible. The rental house has been recently renovated and is currently available.”
Michelle stood up. “Emily, you’ve been in this business long enough to know this kind of assignment doesn’t come along every day. Work with us. Get rich with us. And help us to expose Garrett Stonehaven for the lying, cheating, bastard we both know he is.”
Definitely more to this scenario than meets the eye. Emily pulled a gold-plated pen out of her handbag, a graduation gift from her mother a dozen years ago. She twirled it between her fingers, remembering how proud her mom had been, her daughter the first one in the family to go beyond high school. Remembered the way her mother had looked the last time Emily saw her, shell-shocked and shattered.
“Where do I sign?”
Find Judy at: Website
Find The Hanged Man's Noose at: Amazon
Judy, I swear I had a handbag like this one. I'm going to look now...