When antiques store owner Kristin Clark stumbles upon Barclay Shields, Bryn Mawr’s newest real estate developer, lying unconscious beneath the hydrangea bushes lining the driveway of one of the area’s most distinguished estates, the entire town is abuzz with intrigue and gossip.
In this excerpt from Amy Korman’s new novel, Killer Wasps, Kristin and her three best friends — Holly, a glamorous chicken nugget heiress with a penchant for high fashion; Joe, a decorator who’s determined to land his own HGTV show; and Bootsie, a preppy but nosy newspaper reporter — have joined forces to solve the crime. And since they’ve been invited to a cocktail party at the home of Barclay’s soon-to-be-ex-wife Sophie Shields — well, what can they do but go to the soiree, drink, and snoop?
The debut novel by Korman, a former Philly Mag senior editor, is available from Witness Impulse on September 16th.
“THESE ARE MY FRIENDS, Holly Jones and Joe Delafield,” I said to Sophie. “Sophie Shields,” I added unnecessarily to Holly and Joe. “And you know Bootsie.”
“Good to meet you. And nice to see you, Beebee,” Sophie added to Bootsie, who nodded and then rudely took off, making a beeline for the house with a determined look.
“I think she’s hungry,” I explained, embarrassed. I knew exactly what Bootsie was up to. It had nothing to do with the buffet, and everything to do with rummaging through Sophie’s belongings.
“Your friend with the flowered outfits doesn’t waste any time!” giggled Sophie good-naturedly, watching Bootsie dash past the loaded hors d’oeuvres table and up a flight of stairs into the house. “I guess she must need to use the little girls’ room! ’Cause the party’s outside, not inside. But that’s okay!” The only thing Bootsie was interested by in the bathroom were the contents of Sophie’s medicine chest, and that would be only the first stop on a full forensic snooping tour of the house. Hopefully Sophie didn’t mind Bootsie rifling through her shoe cabinets and flinging open the drawers of her nightstands.
“This is so nice,” I said to Sophie, gesturing to the pool, where more guests had arrived, including Honey Potts, in a Bermuda-shorts ensemble, and Mariellen Merriwether, in her usual tasteful linen dress accessorized with opera-length pearls. The Colketts were there, too, futzing around with some potted boxwoods.
“You look amazing!” I added to Sophie, not sure what else to say about her appearance. She looked attractive enough, to be sure, but amazing was the best I could muster up at the moment.
“It’s Versace!” blinked Sophie. “Listen, I gotta go mingle, but I’m so glad you came over to my humble abode!”
“Speaking of which,” said Joe smoothly, “Sophie, who’s your decorator on this, um, fabulous place? Let’s get a drink.” He took her arm and guided her down to the pool as he started his pitch.
“Sophie’s husband has mafia ties!” I hissed to Holly as soon as Sophie was out of earshot. “That is, he probably does.” I gave her a quick update as we made our way along a slate walkway flanked by Colkett-installed peonies.
“I love it,” said Holly happily. “This town is seriously lacking in organized crime. Just think of how great it would be to have an occasional drive-by shooting!” I was about to remind her that we weren’t exactly Drea de Matteo and Edie Falco, but she’d lost interest already.
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