This week on Excerpt Tuesday, Matt Ferraz is here sharing about his newest release, Grandma Bertha Solving Murders: The Convenient Cadaver.
The woman sitting at the other side of the table was probably in her forties, but could pass for a thirty-something. She didn’t rely that much on makeup to look younger; her light-blue lipstick only made her smile look friendlier. Her brown hair had been dyed once or twice, and her eyes seemed a bit tired, but there was a youthful feeling to her that pleased Todd and Lydia from the start.
“So, Sharon,” said Lydia, looking at her notes. “Do you have any experience with this sort of thing?”
“Well, not professionally,” replied Sharon. “But I did take care of my mother for three years before her passing. She was eighty-one when she died, six months ago.”
“I’m sorry,” said Lydia. “Was she . . . difficult?”
“Very,” answered Sharon. “She was in the final stages of Alzheimer’s. The last couple of years she didn’t even remember who I was. It was like taking care of a baby.”
“You wouldn’t have that kind of problem with Grandma Bertha,” said Todd. “She is difficult, but in a completely different way, if you know what I mean.”
Lydia went back to her questions. “What kind of work do you do? I mean, professionally.”
“I was a kindergarten teacher,” explained Sharon. “For twenty-five years. Children were my life. I have a kid of my own, but his father has custody. We’re divorced.”
“Don’t you think of going back to that?” Lydia asked. “With your experience, you certainly can find a job in teaching.”
“I don’t know if I could,” said Sharon. “I still love kids, but after this experience I developed some sort of connection with elderly people. I thought this might be the time to make some drastic changes in my life.”
Todd and Lydia stared at each other. “What do you think?” Lydia asked.
“I have to be honest with you, Sharon, we’ve never done this before,” he said. “And you’re only the third person we’ve interviewed. We like you, though.”
Sharon seemed pleased. “Thank you,” she said. “If there’s anything else you want to know . . .”
“I think that the most important thing,” said Lydia, “is to see how you interact with Grandma Bertha. That will be decisive.”
“I’d love to meet her,” said Sharon. “I could do it right now.”
Todd pretended to write something on his piece of paper. “She’s not an easy person,” he said. “She doesn’t get along with new people, especially . . .”
“I fully understand that,” said Sharon. “Trust me, I do. And I’m not afraid of trying.”
Lydia whispered something in his ear and he whispered something back. “Okay,” said Todd. “Let’s see how this goes.”
The second they opened the back door, the dogs started jumping around them and sniffing Sharon. “I’m so sorry!” said Lydia. “Go back inside while I put them on the leash.”
“That’s no problem!” said Sharon. “I love dogs.”
The dogs seemed to like her, and that put Todd and Lydia in a good mood. She played with them for a couple of minutes, and they continued on their way.
“Remember,” said Lydia. “Never comment on the film she’s watching. Not even good things. She watches a lot of bad films and a compliment may come off as an insult.”
“Okay,” said Sharon. “Should I watch it with her?”
“If you like that sort of thing,” continued Lydia. “But I warn you, they can get pretty gruesome.”
Todd added: “Never, ever say she’s drinking too much. Nothing irritates her more than that. Plus, you don’t have to worry, she can take more beer than the three of us together.”
“And if she mentions the investigation,” continued Lydia, “just listen to what she has to say and smile.”
Sharon was confused. “What do you mean? What investigation?”
They stopped in the middle of the yard. “You must have heard about what happened behind our house, haven’t you? It was all over the papers.”
“You mean the little girl who got killed?” Sharon asked in a surprised tone. “I knew it was in the neighborhood, but had no idea it was close to the house.”
Todd and Lydia looked hopeless. If she decided to take her things and leave now, they wouldn’t judge her. But she stood still. “Are you still interested?” asked Lydia.
“In the job?” replied Sharon. “Of course! Why? Do you think the killer is going to come back?”
“No! No!” they both said at the same time.
“The only problem is Grandma Bertha’s silly fixation with being a detective,” explained Lydia. “Somehow she thinks she’s going to get the killer.”
Grandma Bertha Solving Murders: The Convenient Cadaver
When Grandma Bertha moved to her son’s place, she brought along three dogs, several cases of beer and many, many horror film DVDs. While her daughter-in-law insists on the idea of sending Grandma Bertha to a retirement home, a dead girl appears near the house, shot three times in the back. Many years ago, Grandma Bertha let a murderer escape for not trusting in her own detective abilities. Now, armed with her wit and wisdom, she decides to solve that crime before the police. Could this crazy dog lady be a threat to a cold-blooded killer? And for how long can the family stand that situation?