Title: Dumpster Dicing (Bunco Biddies #1)
Author: Julie B Cosgrove
Genre: Cozy Mystery
As Janie and Betsy Ann go for their morning jog, they watch the city sanitation truck follow its normal five-mile Tuesday morning route through their retirement community of Sunset Acres. At the club house, the Bunco biddies notice a leg dangling out of the dumpster when the truck lifts the trash container high in the air to flip it. The women scream for it to stop. As they do, an arm, then a head drops into the sanitation vehicle. Someone has diced up one of their new residents— a grouchy loner named Edwin Newman. No one had seen him since he moved in the previous Friday. Could it be he unpacked too much of his dicey past?
The two widows eased to a bench under one of the many sprawling live oak trees dotting the community. Their eyes followed the blue dumpster as it rose in the air. The sanitation lorry’s built-in forklift maneuvered the box up and over the cab.
“Amazing how they lift and dump, isn’t it? The dumpster must weigh several tons.”
Janie nodded. “Hydraulics, no doubt. My bother became a mechanical engineer, you know. Explained them to me one Thanksgiving, oh, back in 1972…”
Betsy Ann’s eyes glazed over. Janie exhibited the epitome of a walking encyclopedia. Her mind, even though encased in seventy-two-year-old wrinkles, still resembled a sharpened pencil lead.
Her attention left her jogging mate’s diatribe on modern mechanics and turned to the labored whir of the metal arms grasping the garbage container. Black plastic sacks, white ones, and various cartons tumbled into the truck’s receptacle like upturned chocolate-covered mints into a wide open mouth. Then, something long and blue-jean colored caught Betsy Ann’s eye. She jolted to her feet.
“Oh, my word. A leg! With an orthopedic shoe attached.”
The sanitation worker crawled down from his seat and walked to the back of the garbage truck, which rumbled and spewed more putrid fumes. The dumpster titled down at a forty-five-degree angle. Suspended in time clung numerous trash bags, pizza boxes, a broken lawn chair and…an arm?
“Blessed Mary, Mother of God.” The man crossed himself and dug a cell phone from his back pocket. He punched in a number and began sputtering Spanish rapid fire like a machine gun from a 1940’s noir movie.
Janie and Betsy Ann edged around to peer up into the dumpster’s contents, their cupped palms shading their eyes from the morning sun’s rays. Janie scrunched her mouth to one side. “If I am not mistaken, it’s Edwin Newman in there.”
“Who?” Betsy Ann swiveled her torso towards her sprinting partner.
“You know. The old grouch who moved down the street into the Williams’ old condo last Friday.”
“Oh, yes. The Williams transferred to the assisted living units didn’t they? He developed advancing Alzheimer’s and she’s recovering from double hip replacements. Or a knee and a hip? Oh dear, I get fuddled sometimes about all that medical stuff. So many of us are losing body parts and getting titanium joints…”
“Betsy Ann!” Janie hissed. “Body. Dumpster. Remember?”
“Yes. My, aren’t we testy?” She brushed her jacket with the palm of her hand. “Why do you think those belong to…What did you say his name was?”
“Newman. Edwin Newman. He chewed out Mildred Fletcher because her Yorkie barked at him. Threw a coffee mug at the poor animal. Whack! Right on the nose. It left a raw, sore spot.”
Janie gave her a quick nod. “Mildred must apply a special salve on him three times a day. Says it cost her $22.95.”
“On Mr. Newman?”
Janie scoffed into her velour v-neck. “No, the Yorkie.”
Betsy Ann’s lips formed an “O.”
Janie pointed to the dumpster. “Mr. Newman’s in there all right.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.” Janie bent to Betsy Ann’s ear. “I see his head.”
Freelance writer, award-winning author and professional speaker Julie B. Cosgrove leads retreats, workshops, and Bible studies. She writes regularly for Light from the Word, Faith-filled Family Magazine, Thoughts About God, Life.com, Good News Daily, and The Journey. Julie has published three Bible studies, a devotional, two inspirational guides, and has nine faith-based fiction novels published or contracted to be published by 2017, including a new cozy mysteries series, The Bunco Biddies Mysteries. All can be previewed on her website.
Awarded one of the 50 Writers You Should Be Reading by the Author’s Show in 2015, and Best Religious Fiction by Texas Ass’n of Authors in 2016, Julie is a member of Texas Association of Authors, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Toastmasters International.
Julie is widowed and lives in Fort Worth, Texas where she is a church secretary, involved in mission funding, women’s ministries, and servant to two house cats. She is mystery aficionado—especially British ones—and loves word games.
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Visit her blog: Where Did You Find God Today? http://wheredidyoufindgodtoday.com
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