Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Retirement - throwing away the alarm clock

Baby Boomer Mysteries Press, Paperback 2009
Kindle and Nook e-book 2011
Book #1 in the Baby Boomer series

What do you do after you throw away the alarm clock, after all those years of living by the clock and the calendar? Where do you go if you aren’t going to work? RETIREMENT CAN BE MURDER is a  cozy with humor and a bit of an edge. It's a light-hearted look at a serious subject: the first wave of what will be a tsunami of Baby Boomers facing retirement.

Carol and Jim Andrews, married for 36 years, live in a small Connecticut town that’s an easy train commute to New York City, where Jim works. He gets up at five o’clock in the morning to watch The Weather Channel and goes through obsessive coupon-clipping phases, but those are minor complications in a happy marriage. A real complication is Jim’s decision to retire. Carol imagines him hanging around the house 24/7, sitting in his recliner and clutching the TV remote while his mind turns to mush.

To ward off that disaster she maneuvers him into an appointment with a retirement coach, Dr. Davis Rhodes. Jim is intrigued but apparently the coach is not all he appears to be. When Jim shows up to confront him, he finds the coach dead. To say that it puts Jim in an awkward situation is an understatement.

Adding to the general confusion is the return of Carol and Jim’s daughter, Jenny, who has fled L.A. and her live-in lover and moved back home. It so happens that one of Jenny’s high school friends, Mark Anderson, is now a cop, romantically unattached, and assigned to the Rhodes investigation.

Reading this book is like enjoying a leisurely, gossipy luncheon with your best friends. Carol’s confidantes are Mary Alice, a veteran nurse; Nancy, a top-notch realtor; and Claire, married to a busy attorney. The four women are a modern menopausal version of the Three Musketeers: One for all, all for one. Whatever the problem, they rally around with loads of takeout food and unconditional moral support. Carol also has two canine confidants: her English cocker spaniels, Ethel and Lucy.

Carol is a corker. She has spent 36 years finessing Jim into and out of situations and now, fearful that he may be accused of murder, she fantasizes coming to his rescue. One scenario:

“At the very last minute, right before the jury was certain to find him guilty, I rushed into the courtroom … and dramatically announced to the judge, ‘Release this prisoner, Your Honor. I have irrefutable evidence that Mr. Andrews did not commit any crime.” Jim burst into tears. Of course. ‘Honey, I knew you’d save me!’”

When it becomes evident that somebody is trying to frame Jim for murder, Carol and her friends turn their talents into a real investigation.

The author has thought of everything, including an easy-peasy, handy-dandy Ice Cream Bread recipe at the end.

My thanks to the author for a review copy of this book.

About Susan Santangelo – from the back of the book:
An early member of the Baby Boomer generation, Susan Santangelo has been a feature writer, drama critic and editor for daily and weekly newspapers and magazines in the New York metropolitan area, including a stint at Cosmopolitan. A seasoned public relations and marketing professional, she produced special events for Carnegie Hall’s centennial. Susan is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Cape Cod Writers’ Center, and divides her time between the Connecticut shoreline and Cape Cod, MA. She shares her life with Her Personal Beloved, husband Joe, and three English Cockers: Tillie, Tucker and Lucy.

A portion of the proceeds from Retirement Can Be Murder will be donated to the Breast Cancer Survival Center (, a non-profit organization Susan founded in 1999 after being diagnosed with cancer herself.

Susan loves to hear from readers. Contact her at E-mail her and share your retirement stories.
End Quote

How Baby Boomer Mysteries Press came to be: an excerpt of Susan’s interview by Jean Henry Mead on the Mysterious People blog.

Q: Susan, what prompted your decision to become an indie writer?

I queried several top agents in New York with my first Baby Boomer mystery, Retirement Can Be Murder. Three of them absolutely loved it, but were unsure as to whether there was a market for it. As one of the 78.2 million Baby Boomers myself, I knew there was a market. So I decided to heed the advice of the Books Editor of our daily paper -- if you're a new author, relatively unknown, take the leap of faith and do it yourself. I am blessed to live on Cape Cod, which has a wealth of talented artists and writers. Some of these folks and I now collaborate as Baby Boomer Mysteries Press. It's a win-win for all of us.

The full interview is at

I don’t have the foggiest idea what this is all about, but I keep seeing it on other blogs, so here it is.

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