Carole Fowkes

Mysterious Tales from a Food Loving Author


Excerpt from Carole Fowke’s cozy mystery: A Plateful of Murder BOOK ONE 72 dpi modified face

My gut demanded I turn this job down. Dealing with an ocean of tears and denials from the cheating spouse was one thing. Stepping into a scary confrontation with a crazed letter writer didn’t fit into my life plan. The smartest thing to do was to recommend another PI, forget the case, and the hefty payout.

Then again, I was in dire need of business, and something about this brother and sister duo drew me into this thing. I banished my misgivings and reassured myself the author of those threatening letters was probably some nerdy mail clerk who got angry when Constance refused to lick her own envelopes.

Okay, Mr. Adler. Let’s meet at McGregor’s Café on West 140th and Madison at 6:00 tonight.”

He nodded, but he wouldn’t get a ribbon for enthusiasm. Still, he put half down, with the rest of my fee coming when I found the Ernest Hemingway who wrote those letters to Constance.

The rest of my day was spent shuffling papers and mulling over my budget. Praying Adler’s check would clear, I deposited it and arrived at the café a bit before 6:00. By 6:30, no Michael Adler and what remained of my tea had grown cold. I left the café, annoyed and relieved at the same time. Danger wasn’t exactly my middle name.

I’d made it as far as my car when Adler called, hysterical.

“Constance. She’s dead.” His breath caught. “I went to her office to pick her up. It was torn apart and…and. Please, come.”

My eyes got silver dollar-sized. Those letters hadn’t been idle threats. “Michael, where are you?” I kept my voice firm to push through his grief or shock. “Did you call the police?”

“In Triton’s lobby. Police are in her office.”

Every molecule of my skittish innards told me to refund his money and go back to finding cheaters. But Michael’s tears touched my heart. “I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.” Unable to stop myself from pulling back, I added, “That is, if you really, really want me to come.”

He did.

On the way over, I rehearsed how to back out of our contract, and make it look like his idea. No one would get hurt. Jealous spouses are one thing. Murderers are way past my experience. The thought of chasing a killer made my knees want to buckle. The police could handle Constance’s murder while I offered condolences and a full refund.

One look at Michael convinced me resigning from his sister’s case now would be cruel. Poor guy looked like someone took out his spine and left his body to flop about. Sort of like those balloon men snapping in the wind at grand openings of car dealerships. His red-rimmed eyes and drooping shoulders showed the depth of his sorrow. I blinked back the sympathy tears springing to my eyes. I’m a hugger but refrained myself. “Michael, I’m so sorry.”

The guy with Michael, looking every inch a police detective with his strong jaw and ‘sweat a confession out of them’ attitude, spoke up. “And you are?”

I peered into the bluest eyes I’d ever seen outside of a movie. Too bad their owner was staring at me over a dead body. Any other time I’d be batting my eyelashes for all they were worth. Better to play it straight. “Claire DeNardo. Mr. Adler hired me to protect his sister.”

I could’ve sworn he muttered, “Yeah, hell of a job.” The scowl on his face was loud and clear. “Don’t get in my way.” He flashed his badge. “Detective Corrigan, Cleveland PD. This is our investigation now.”


Excerpt from Little Cookbook of Horrors, Volume 1

Seven for the SoulLittle-Cookbook-of-Horrors by Carole Fowkes

Audrey paid no attention to Mary’s explanation about the woman needing her. “You obviously can identify with her. I guess fatties stick together.” Audrey ignored Mary’s flinch. “You really should do something about your size. Pretty soon your butt will be big enough to blot out the sunlight.”
Mary, keenly aware of her heft, nonetheless couldn’t believe her ears.
“Here.” Audrey handed Mary a red and black business card. “This doctor can do wonders for your figure. Check him out and you’ll never have a weight problem again.”
Mary looked down to hide her hurt and without a word, took the card.
“Oh, come on, Mary! Don’t be so sensitive. I just made a bad joke. But you seriously need to lose weight. This guy will fix you up, and without surgery. Give him a call.”

…The white haired, silver bearded man sat across the desk from Mary and waited for her response. It sounded like the opportunity of a lifetime.
“So it’s like a donation?” Her small nose creased and her eyes squinted, disappearing into the question.
Dr. South leaned forward, placing his fingertips together, resting his chin on them. “You could think of it that way. You would be donating it to produce a new…” He hesitated. “body image sculpture.”
Maybe Audrey did her a favor by suggesting she meet Dr. South. Scared of going under the knife, Mary looked at this as a chance to get rid of the fat that ruled her life, without the terror of general anesthesia.
Although a little hazy on the method, she concluded if it could do what she just heard it could, Ooh my Goodness!


If you think dieting is a horror, read “A Losing Contract”

Paula signs up to use a weight-loss system but loses much more than weight.

Another gut-wrenching tale in Little Cookbook of Horrors, Volume 1.

Theme by Sash Lewis.