Garnet Gold and her husband Clyde are reporters jumping from newspaper to newspaper -- overworked, underpaid, and burned out. When Garnet’s grandfather Joe dies, he leaves Garnet his bait shop and house with a challenge to his nomadic heir: Fish or cut bait. Garnet and Clyde sell their meager possessions, buy a Harley and a truck, and move to central Arkansas, to continue running Joe’s Bait Shop and Boat Rental.
Six months later, Garnet questions her sanity as she realizes that she is now underworked but still underpaid. She is addicted to soap operas, checks out fishermen for America’s Most Wanted, and is crafting her way through the bait shop creating everything from a fishing fly shadow box to a decoupaged tacklebox. But her investigative reporting itch kicks into high gear when a former Miss Arkansas sashays into the bait shop and claims to have been Joe’s friend.
Garnet soon discovers she’s inherited more than one bait shop, Joe’s four poker buddies, and six aluminum Jon boats. She has also inherited a sixty-year-old mystery that the former Miss Arkansas threatens to unravel. Unfortunately, some things are better left alone. The beauty queen turns up dead. Worse yet, when Garnet begins to believe her grandfather’s death wasn’t as natural as it seemed, she finds herself a target of a person willing to kill to keep the past quiet.
Fish or Cut Bait is a 50,000 word cozy mystery. (short word count)
Generally people who are overworked and underpaid as newspaper people are so by choice. They've got college degrees (usually) and they LOVE what they do. Trading it in on a bait shop would require some precipitating event.
I'm as fond of raw fish as the next New Yorker but this one is as contrived as California roll.