Nina Bell Mysteries
Nina Bell is back! You loved her in the mystery serial that ran on Keep It Coming from 2004-2006. She continues to stumble into murder and mayhem, trying to make it as a theatre professional in the New York City of the mid-1990s, and her love life is more complicated and hilarious than ever. If you like the antics of Stephanie Plum, you’ll love Nina Bell!
“Too Much Mistletoe”
A Nina Bell Mystery for the holidays!
Nina’s college friend Winter disappears after a bad ending to an affair with her professor. The former college friends join forces to figure out what happened to her, while Nina juggles a new job backstage, and every man she meets seems to want to kiss her under the mistletoe. Soon, Nina’s not sure which is the bigger mystery — her friend’s disappearance or her complicated love life!
Excerpt: (©2012 Devon Ellington):
“Did our other friend ever show up?” I asked, not wanting to get into the semantics of the performance.
“No.” Sigrid shook her head.
Lesley began to fret again, but was cut short when Dmitra, in street clothes, came out onstage, vaulted down, and joined us. “Thanks for coming!” she exclaimed. “It meant a lot to me.”
“Great work,” Lesley enthused. No wonder she got a job on Broadway. I’d underestimated her acting ability.
“I’m really glad I came,” I added. Tom coughed again. I didn’t dare look at him.
Dmitra looked around and some of her post-performance glow faded. “Where’s Winter?” she asked.
“She’s not here,” said Lesley.
Dmitra’s face darkened, and her cornrows clicked with anger. “Why not? She couldn’t be bothered to come because of her professor?”
“We don’t know where she is,” said Lesley.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Pretty straightforward,” I said. “No one’s heard from her lately. She’s not answering her phone or her door. No one knows where she is.”
Tumble: A Nina Bell Mystery
by Devon Ellington
When Nina discovers the body of a co-worker in the theatre’s dryer on New Year’s Day, , she knows she’s tracking down someone she knows. Juggling her responsibilities on her own show, her dead colleagues, and a handsome actor courting her, can she ferret out the killer before she becomes the next victim?
Excerpt (©2012 Devon Ellington):
An arm flopped down out of the dryer when I unlocked and opened it, the hand hitting the floor. The arm was attached to the rest of a body stuffed in the dryer.
Even more upsetting — it was the body of someone I knew.
I didn’t scream. It was as though a part of me immediately detached from what I saw.
I didn’t need such a hassle this morning. For Christ’s sake, it was New Year’s Day and I had to work, instead of lazing around somewhere, nursing a hangover and watching football. I didn’t even have a hangover to nurse, unlike me. I planned to retrieve the laundry from the dryer, located in the basement labyrinth of the theatre, bring it upstairs, fold it, sort it, distribute it, run two good shows, put the laundry back in the washer, have a few drinks with cast and crew, go home alone (wishing I wasn’t), get some sleep, and, tomorrow, do the whole thing again. You know — that glamorous life in the theatre.
Instead, I opened the dryer door and there’s a body. I crouched down to look inside and saw Lily, the wardrobe person from the other show in the building. A long thread of blood was caked down one side of her face. Her eyes were closed, thank God. I checked the dangling wrist for the pulse I knew would not be there.
I didn’t even turn and run. I relocked the dryer and I walked out of the room. Perhaps because, at age twenty-two, living in New York City circa 1994, it was not my first dead body. Three months previously, when I was working on a temp job between shows, my boss was strangled. I’d seen the body not too long after death. It was a violent, vile sight that sometimes still haunted me in my dreams. Several days later, my boyfriend was gunned down in front of me and disappeared. His image, too, haunted my dreams. I didn’t even know if he was alive or dead.
But that’s another story. The point of the anecdote is that Violent Death and I were more than casual acquaintances.