Wednesday, March 7, 2018

March Secret Agent Contest #16

TITLE: Doggedly Dead - A Killer Dogz Mystery
GENRE: Adult Cozy Mystery

I stared at my pristine white bathtub debating to bath bomb or not to bath bomb. My best friend and now business partner had insisted on rectifying the situation when I’d confessed to never partaking in the craze. She’d bought out half the selection Wal-Mart had on offer.

A knock on the bathroom door was followed by the one sentence that brought sheer terror to our entire neighborhood.

“Mrs. Rogers wants to talk to you.”

Placing the bath bomb on the vanity, I wondered what offense the kids or I could have done to incur the wrath of our next door neighbor. I opened the bathroom door and found my oldest sitting on the edge of my bed, twisting a strand of Auburn, today, hair.

“Where’s the phone?”

“Sorry, she’s on the porch, not the phone.”

Ignoring the smirk on her face, I grabbed the fuzziest robe I had ever owned and stuffed myself into it, covering my pajamas. “Just great,” I muttered.

Dropping the strand of hair, she offered to send, “the wicked witch” on her way.

“Hailey Ann Harrison, stop calling her that.” Even if it was true, I couldn’t risk such impolite behavior making its way back to my parents. I shuddered at the thought of their reactions.
I walked down the hall and sighed before opening the front door. A scowl on her face was the norm, I’d come to learn but her normally hairspray lacquered hair stuck out at odd angles as if even her hair was angry with me.


  1. Nice opening. Nobody wants a relaxing time like a bath to be interrupted by one of their kids or even the annoying neighbor on the front porch. It's relatable, and that's good.

    A couple of things did stand out to me, though. "She’d bought out half the selection Wal-Mart had on offer." Did you mean "to offer"? Just wondering because I critique with someone who struggles with prepositions and that jumped out at me. Also, with "the wicked witch" comment, maybe just keep that dialog going. It would give us a better feel when it comes to the daughter's attitude. The last thing is that "twisting a strand of Auburn, today, hair" is worded awkwardly.

    I'm very interested in the conversation between the MC and the neighbor lady so, yeah, I'd keep reading!

  2. It's a good hook...I would just tighten it up. Have her daughter knock on the door when she's in the bathtub and say:The wicked witch is at the front door for you." Then have the protagonist get right to the front door to address the problem/conflict.

  3. The first sentences about the 'bath bomb' definitely grabbed my attention. Then, saying 'Mrs. Rogers wants to talk to you,' the one line that sent terror through the neighborhood, adds a nice bit of suspense here. What on earth does she want to talk about? The one thing I would change is where you say 'my oldest twisting a strand of hair, Auburn, today,' was a little confusing. I wasn't sure what you were trying to convey there. Otherwise, I think it's a good beginning.

  4. This really grabbed me, it was clever, but also organic. It feels like you have a great command of your characters and the tone of your work and that comes through in this compelling and charming introduction.