Dear Miss Snark,
What if you suddenly suspected, eighteen months later, that your husband's fatal accident might not have been an accident?
Cassandra (Casey) Edgar, a freelance researcher, makes a good living providing information to Silicon Valley companies and individuals.
Casey spent eighteen months battling depression while she adjusted to the sudden death of her husband, Barry Stewart, in a hiking accident. Still not quite her old self again, she reluctantly attends a wake for Michael Mohr, a friend who had been on the hike with Barry. At the wake, Casey learns that two other hikers who'd been with Barry that day have also died.
Is the cluster of deaths coincidence or something more sinister? Was Barry's death really an accident? Casey decides to investigate. Soon, she is almost killed, a victim of a hit-and-run. Is she a threat to someone who has murdered before and would murder again or is the hit-and-run just another coincidence?
INTO THE WEB is an eighty thousand word mystery. I've enclosed the first ten pages.
Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
well, this is a good set up but there's no sense of the plot. We obviously don't want a synopsis here, but we should get some sense of the antagonist and the conflict.
Silicon Valley movers and shakers had all known and trusted Michael Mohr. Mohr & Jacobs wrote wills, setup trusts, bullet-proofed pre-nups, and argued divorce cases when the firm wasn't handling IPOs, stock options, mergers, and acquisitions. If a client's child was picked up and facing charges, Mohr & Jacobs handled that too.
The wake was a crush. Casey Edgar was late. College students in Silicon Valet uniforms had filled Hill Prep's parking lot and were now parking cars on the tranquil, tree-lined street in front of the Mohrs' sprawling, pseudo-Italian villa. The Hill Prep lot looked like the sales floor of Silicon Valley Auto Group in Los Gatos, filled with swank cars up to and including a couple Rolls Royces and a vintage gull-wing Mercedes. Beemers, Mercedeses, Boxters and a Hummer or two lined the street for a quarter mile in either direction. Casey's ten-year-old Honda Accord with 180,000 miles on the odometer was outclassed.
The rainstorm had lightened to drizzle. Damp, fall leaves splattered the vans from A Moveable Feast that were parked out front. From the sidewalk, Casey could hear the low rumble of conversation, the muted clink of crystal, and Jackson Browne's "For A Dancer."
Music from her college days was now on oldies stations and also appropriate background music for wakes, it seemed. They were all getting older. Scratch that. Michael Mohr wasn't getting older. Neither was Barry.
Casey started up the flagstone path. She'd managed to muster the nerve to mingle with people, some of whom she hadn't seen since Barry died, but she dreaded it. Was it too late to turn back, go home, make some excuse? Too late, she told herself. Besides, Pamela expected her.
Earlier, at Huntington's Memorial Chapel, she'd found herself caught up unexpectedly in the emotional undertow of Michael's service. She'd thought she had her memories and emotions under tight control, but when Michael's daughter, Jenna sang "You Are The Wind Beneath My Wings" a capella, Casey's heart ached. She fought back tears as memories of Barry's service eighteen months earlier overwhelmed her. The melancholy pipe organ, the flickering candles, the stained glass windows in Memorial Chapel, the minister's somber voice as he spoke of the sudden death of someone who'd been so vibrant, so alive, and so seemingly invincible. Barry. Michael. Michael. Barry.
After the closing prayer, she'd stood near the glass doors at the back of the church, waiting for the rain to let up, wrapped in her own misery.
Someone clutched her arm, startling her.
(here's your starting point)
"You're coming back to the house, aren't you, Case?"
Casey turned as Pamela Mohr repeated the question, "Aren't you?"
"I hadn't planned to, Pamela. I, I wouldn't be much help."
Pamela Mohr's voice softened to a whisper. "They're saying Michael was drunk when he drove into that tree. Michael couldn't have, wouldn't have, Case. You know that. Come back, please? Talk with me. No one else understands."
How could she say no?
So here she was after finding her nerve.
Casey stepped up on the porch. The heavy, carved door opened quietly, before she could knock. Handing her dripping raincoat to the attendant at the door, Casey side-stepped the swirling conversations and tray-carrying catering staff and went in search of Pamela. She knew (where) she'd find her, in front of the antique pink Carrera marble fireplace that served as the living room's focal point. (take out -where- and you have a sentence that doesn't clunk as much)
you're awash in description. ACTION.
No plot, too much description, concept is pretty run of the mill.