Excerpt from Best Laid Plans by Gwen Florio, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Best Laid Plans

A Nora Best Mystery #1

by Gwen Florio

Best Laid Plans by Gwen Florio X
Best Laid Plans by Gwen Florio
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2021, 256 pages
    Jul 2021, 256 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Ian Muehlenhaus
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About this Book

Print Excerpt

Nora tried to recall the Towing A Trailer manual she'd skimmed too many weeks ago. She tapped the brakes far in advance of the pullout, tentatively at first and then with a surer tread. Exulted in coasting in for a smooth landing. Then stomped the emergency brake, flung open the door, and sprinted back to christen the trailer.

She'd be forever grateful for portable creature comforts of Electra's bathroom. But she could have done without the mirror, not to mention the vaunted brightness of the lights.

Was that her actual face? The one she'd present to the world as a single woman? Because, as she'd spent the last hundred and more miles reminding herself, that's what she was now, her whole reality changing in a split second. That's how these things happened, wasn't it? The truck bomb, the tornado, even the pink slip. You cruised along on automatic pilot, and then boom. You turned around and everything that had come before was obliterated.

Including her bathroom at home, with its muted lighting, its cabinet full of concealers and creams and foundations that she patted on each morning without thinking, a routine grown familiar as the face in the mirror, the one she seemingly had not taken a really good, long look at in far too many years, secure in the knowledge that, compared to a lot of her friends, she looked pretty damn good – oh, how the words came back to her now – for her age.

She stared at the stranger confronting her, the smeared mascara, the incipient grooves from mouth to chin, the triplicate lines across the forehead. The deltas of crow's feet spreading away from her eyes, the bags beneath them dark and puffy as plums, and let's not even get started on the neck. She tucked in her chin. Combed her hair across her forehead with her fingers. Thought a minute. Pushed the button that kept the vanity drawer from sliding in and out while Electra was in motion and sorted through the stuff she'd stocked there – her comb and brush, hair dryer, emery boards, tweezers, and there, right where she'd placed them, a pair of nail scissors. She ran her fingers through her hair again, pulling a hank forward, down over her face. Eyed it through the strands, lifted the scissors, and cut. Another hank, another cut. A third time. She shook her head, scattering cut hairs across the little countertop. There. Not much she could do about her neck, but now a fringe hid the offending forehead lines.

She tore off a piece of toilet paper, moistened it, wiped up the hair and flushed – flushed! No roadside Port-a-Potty, her Electra. Washed her face, working at the delicate skin beneath her eyes until she was satisfied that the mascara was gone and the remaining smudges were attributable solely to exhaustion. What was it, three in the morning? Time to get back on the road.

Excerpted from Best Laid Plans by Gwen Florio. Copyright © 2021 by Gwen Florio. Excerpted by permission of Severn House. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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