For Better Or For Worse (Ginger Barnes Main Line Mysteries, Book 8) by Donna Huston Murray

Release date: January 10, 2018
Subgenre: Cozy mystery, small town mystery

About For Better or Worse:


A cozy mystery with a difference.

Finally back to her spunky self after the loss of her husband, men have once again become an issue for amateur sleuth Ginger Barnes—men who mistreat their wives, men accused of murder, and men who ask her out.

While working on a DIY project at her newlywed daughter’s house, a bag of bricks is thrown from the neighboring third-story window. Next, pops that sound like muffled gunshots have Gin racing for her phone. Eric, who lives in the house with his grandmother, claims she’s obsessed with mystery novels. Yet after the septuagenarian falls down a flight of stairs, she’s so frantic to keep Eric away that Gin must intervene. Was the fall actually attempted murder?In her husband’s eyes, Cissie Voight can’t do anything right. Gin occasionally helps the frazzled young mother, and when she needs a dresser carried upstairs, Gin brings Eric along. Bad move! The electricity between the two new acquaintances sparks a chilling premonition. This time Gin’s good intentions will produce grave consequences—for everyone involved.
Recommended for fans of Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich.



"MOM!" CHELSEA SHOUTED up to me on the third floor. "Eric needs you. It's an emergency."
I threw down my paintbrush and ran down the stairs.
"Gram fell," Eric told me before I even reached the foyer.
When we were face to face, he explained. "She's pretty shook up, and she's confused, too. Thinks I'm her ex-husband, who's dead by the way, but she hated the guy and won't do anything she thinks he wants her to do, which includes going to the hospital. Could you please try to convince her...?"
"Lead the way."
Eric ushered me into the gray Victorian’s front hall. “Thanks a million,” he said with a sigh.
"No problem."
Tucked under a blanket at the bottom of the stairs, Maisie Zumstein moaned with pain. In the distance we heard the strident approach of an ambulance.
"Maisie?" I said softly as I kneeled beside the woman. "My name is Gin. I'm Chelsea's mother from next door. It seems that you had a fall.”
Mrs. Zumstein met my eyes and nodded once. Tears trailed into the fuzzy hair that had fallen onto her face. I cleared her eyes and wiped her nose with the clean tissue I kept in my pocket.
"Don't make me go with him," the old woman begged. "Please don't make me go with him."
"I won't," I said, gently stroking her cheek. "But you should go to the hospital and get checked out. I can see that you’re in pain."
The fright in the woman's eyes emphasized just how bad the pain really was.
"What should I do?" Eric asked from a discreet distance.
“Why don’t you follow us?” I suggested.
"You're going with Gram?"
"If they'll let me."
My stomach lurched to see the unnatural angle of Maisie’s right arm as the emergency crew maneuvered her onto their gurney. I’m sure they were handling her as carefully as they could, but she cried out pitifully with each change of position.
Hovering as near as he dared, Eric shuffled and twitched and desperately tried to tell the EMTs about his grandmother’s confusion. The two technicians were so focused on Maisie, I didn’t think they were listening. But without taking his eyes off the patient the older of the two men responded.
"To be expected," he reassured her distraught relative. "She's had quite a shock."
When the time came to decide whether I should go or stay, the same EMT convinced me to stay. "If she gets upset, we'll tell her we're doctors, although the drugs should knock her out pretty quickly."
My daughter and I stood helplessly on the sidewalk watching the ambulance roar down the street, siren blaring.
When it was out of sight, Chelsea put her arm across my shoulders. "Maybe you should move in with us,” she said with mock earnesty. “My neighbors can’t seem to manage without you.”
I huffed out a little laugh, but that was all.
I was remembering Eric’s unsolicited remark. “I’m supposed to inherit the house.”

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About Donna Huston Murray:

Donna Huston Murray's eight cozy mysteries feature a woman much like herself, a DIY headmaster's wife with a troubling interest in crime. FINAL ARRANGEMENTS, set at a world famous flower show, achieved #1 on the Kindle-store list for both Mysteries and Female Sleuths. The first in Murray’s new mystery/crime series, WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, won an Honorable Mention in the 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.
At home, she assumes she can fix anything until proven wrong, calls trash-picking recycling, and, although she should probably know better, adores Irish setters.
Donna and husband, Hench, live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

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