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Myrtle's Ultimate Mystery (A Myrtle Drinkwater Astrological Investigator Mystery: 1)
 
 

Myrtle's Ultimate Mystery (A Myrtle Drinkwater Astrological Investigator Mystery: 1) [Kindle Edition]

Linda G. Shelnutt
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

What is the Ultimate Mystery? That question holds the note as Myrtle Drinkwater gets into more than she could have imagined. A 55 year old astrologer investigator, Myrtle receives a phone call from a new client with connections to the Cherry Creek Mansion in Denver. She drives three hours to the metropolitan area accompanied by cohorts [a dog and two cats] to meet the client for lunch at The Gemini to discuss the disappearance of an elderly aunt. As far as we know, readers of this story have not been able to predict the outcome prior to reading the whole book. Successfully Red Herring-ed readership includes a doctor of holistic medicine, a district attorney, a cherished cousin, a young author, and a young mother who said if she could be like Myrtle at 55, she would look forward to getting older.

This is a 2014 updated edition of MYRTLE'S ULTIMATE MYSTERY with several bonuses, some of which were included in previous editions:
-- Sample graphics of Astrological Charts used in the investigation.
-- Internal hyperlinks for easier navigation.
-- A book cover design upgrade included with the Kindle book content.
-- An author biography and photo
-- A hyperlinked, categorized list of other books by this author
-- Improved formatting and corrections of a few typing errors from earlier Kindle editions.

MYRTLE'S ULTIMATE MYSTERY, conceived in concept and written through three chapters in the early 1990's, was offered during that time to multiple literary agencies and publishing houses. The novel was completed in original manuscript form in 1998 and again sent out to various agents and editors.

Editor Peter Stampfel of DAW Books was so captured by the Myrtle pilot that he kept the manuscript for several months trying to find a way to get it published, including sending it to an editor he knew at Penguin Books. Thank you, Peter, for your belief in this book [and others by this author] a confidence which shed a light in decades of darkness. Your professionalism and kindness are legendary.

Though the book was intended from conception to be a pilot to a mystery series, it works as a stand alone novel. These time frames and facts of concept and development were documented in the autobiographical parts of Shelnutt's Books of Gem, a sci-fi fantasy series, and in the MOLASSES MOON series of nonfiction. At the time of this updated publication those titles are available on Kindle.

The second book in the Myrtle series, MYRTLE'S PENULTIMATE WALKABOUT, is in process. It was stalled in chapter nine in the late 1990's. We hope the time will come soon enough to see several more books in this series.

In a concluding remark we'd like to note that a free preview of MYRTLE'S ULTIMATE MYSTERY can be seen in a series of videos on YouTube in which the author reads most of the first four chapters of that novel. This no charge availability on YouTube is the reason the publisher has not placed MUM in the landmark KDP Select program which understandably requires that a book enrolled in Select with Amazon Prime be offered exclusively through Kindle when in digital format. Shelnutt's nonfiction book MOLASSES MOON is in this same category, with that whole book available on YouTube as read by the author with commentary. If a reader has questions whether Myrtle or Molasses would be his cup of tea, he is invited to view any of the videos featuring the author reading these books.

With respect for readers and writers with an honest love of books,
KINDLE GLOW BOOKS
*

MYRTLE’S PENULTIMATE WALKABOUT: Chapter 1:
ASIN: B00CAA7M0O
Original Kindle publication date:
© April 8, 2013
By Linda Gail Shelnutt

Chapters 1 through 16 of MYRTLE'S PENULTIMATE WALKABOUT, the sequel to MYRTLE'S ULTIMATE MYSTERY, are available in individual chapter installments with ENDNOTEs of backstage tidbits. For info see product pages and Shelnutt's Author Page.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 7358 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Publisher: KINDLE GLOW BOOKS; 20th Kindle edition (17 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00116ROFQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #452,021 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I've been a United Airlines flight attendant, high school English teacher, crime prevention officer, entrepreneur, parapsychologist, free lance writer, and a novelist. I may be a has been on all that now... except that I still spend all the spare time I can gather writing like a maniac, with several novels and nonfiction works in progress... new ones in mind.

On my current very satisfying home front, I hold a great respect in my heart for my husband's dedication to his work. He's a coal mine mechanic, high voltage electrician, and has helped me survive while I continue my career as a novelist (with a two-decades delayed paycheck).

I also cook and clean house (sort of). After I've been click-clacking on my laptop from 5 am - 10 am [I've discontinued this shift; decades collected are wearing], I fry a few eggs for Tom's breakfast when he arrives home from his night-shift at the mine. Sometimes I resume the clicking in the afternoon, after midday household chores, prior to cooking supper. Sometimes I resume the keyboard capers in the evening when Tom's napping prior to leaving for work at 9 pm. I wash supper dishes at 9:15 each evening, prior to retiring to read a while before the zzzzzzz's overwhelm the day.

AAAhhhh Chhhoooooooo!!

Unfortunately, that's the usual result of my house cleaning.

Given the gift of a wash machine, I do well with Tom's daily-wash diggers, which are his work clothes packed with mud, oil, and coal dust, which I bang against an old tree trunk prior to hefting them into the house and arranging them into the washer. If the debris around that tree trunk had a "For Sale" sign on it, it could bring in more $$$ than my career as a novelist. I'm so obsessed with writing I can't stop long enough to put up the sign. If I added a lemonade stand next to the mound of coal dust, I may have to ask permission from Trump to use the essence of his name.

When the wash machine goes on the blink, I blink off from a broken gyroscope. My reboot switch is activated only by a thumbs up proclamation of the appliance repair man.

I have dyslexia and received my only D grade in reading, among the hoards of A's, a few B's, and one C in my school attendance records through college, with a Master's equivalent from graduate level courses in English, Philosophy, and Psychology. In spite of the difficulties Dyslexia offers within the world of words and syntax, I love reading and writing uplifting, escape fiction. Strangely, my typo skills have steadily decreased as I progressed from a manual typewriter to electric, then to an electronic keyboard. With each surge of electronic ease, my Dyslexia seems to dissipate.

I've recently been unable to keep up my previous regimine of writing customer reviews. In previous posts, I have reviewed only books which I'm able to give 5 Star Raves. I'm actually thankful that life has worn me down to the point that I avoid spitting comments of the slashing kind. Maybe it's more truthful to say I'm soul smashed by criticism so try to avoid dishing it out. The fact is... sometimes my opinions are wrong! Sometimes I happen to notice I'm chewing on my toes, at which time, if possible I focus on getting my foot out of my mouth. As I get older (will be 62 Oct 2009) and creakier (not crankier; don't have the steam) I seem to become more adept instead of less at raising my foot to eye level.

I have 300+ reviews posted on the Amazon USA site and have also posted some of those on the Canada and UK sites.

On the Amazon USA pages for my novel and first Amazon Short (COAL & COCA-COLA), I've posted a few Customer Forums; one gives tidbits on the evolution of the original Sloppy Joe recipes. C&CC and 3 more of my Amazon Shorts have been upgraded into KINDLE editions with photo essays.

The original 1987 edition of THE ROSE AND THE PYRAMID is out of print (available periodically at collectors prices for used copies), but, as of January 2009 that novel (and 14 other books) is now available on KINDLE! Celebrate!!!!!!!!! See my Amazon USA profile page Listmania of my Kindle books.

As I live & breathe, I write and write...

Linda G. Shelnutt
LGShelnutt@aol.com

Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Author Linda Shelnutt's singular tale of mystery, detection and a whole lot of other stuff begins in conventional enough manner with a telephone call:

"Ms. Drinkwater?"
The voice was female. Timid. Low key, lightly musical.
"Yes."

And then swerves right off the expected course:

"You're the astrologer?"
"Yes." ....
"I found you in the yellow pages."
"Yes. Go on."
"I think I need your help."
"Sure. What's the problem?"
"Maybe I should tell you my name first..."
"Certainly."
"It's Jean. Jean Bertha Merriweather. In Denver. That is, I live here. Denver ... Well, actually I live in Wheatridge. A suburb of Denver."
"Yes?" Most people have trouble getting started telling their stories but this was getting ridiculous. [Chapter 1]

So, already we are faced with a slightly impatient heroine--a lady of a certain age rejoicing in the extraordinarily un-hard-boiled name of Myrtle Drinkwater. She is, we quickly learn, a private eye (of sorts), a bodyguard (de facto, anyway) and an astrologer(...!) As the story progresses, it will turn out that she's a lot of other unexpected things, too.

It also becomes clear with great rapidity that we're not in Chandler's mean streets anymore, Toto, and that it's a good bet that the Black Bird won't turn up in the next mail delivery.

Time now for a bit of disclosure. Linda Shelnutt is my friend. Before Kindle was ever announced, she and I had indulged in lengthy discussions of this book in its manuscript form. I'd even displayed the hubris to suggest a different version for the final chapter--a change, I am happy to say, that the author was wise enough to reject out of hand in its entirety.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ABSORBING ADVENTURE 1 Sep 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
There is a certain song recorded by Frank Sinatra I still cannot listen to without being reminded of this story. The moods created by the author are compelling...as when the piano was playing in the middle of the night....I was hoping NOBODY was going to look to see what...not who...it was. My wife was in Europe at the time...the apartment was empty except for me. it would be too scary!

Point is...there is some great writing here. The author demonstrates the ability to not only create fabulous traditional mystery moods...she also launches off in some very original directions based on her expressed philosophical concept that the story is for the enjoyment to be found within it...not intended to get an "A" in "criminal investigations" class. Nor is it likely to win prizes for the bite-sized, easily digestable, first grade reading level simplicity of its characters. Its protagonist is a complex woman of many skills...all of which the author possesses, as I touch on below.

I've taught a few criminal investigation classes in the course of my 25 years as a prosecutor...and I got thoroughly in the swim of both the plot and its accompanying background noise. I was often practically shouting "NO! DON"T GO IN THAT HOUSE!" or thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to despise that slick servant Hans, or hearing THAT SONG in my dreams. As the author's own philosophical statement put it: the book is for ENJOYMENT.

In learning something about this author, I found out she is well familiar with 'witchcraft', psychic phenmomena, astrology and of course writing...all of which her protagonist is. Throughout the story, I learned a lot about each of those disciplines and other readers have the opportunity to do that too...if they WANT to learn, anyway.

Linda G.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ENTERTAINING LEARNING EXPERIENCE 1 Sep 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm one of those people that likes to LEARN SOMETHING
in every book that I read. This book was a standout in that goal, as I learned all kinds of things about witchcraft, astrology, several environmental issues, cooking, and got to read a great mystery besides. Checking on this author's qualifications it is plainly obvious the lady knows of what she speaks, having even been called upon by law enforcement to help with open murders.

Linda Shelnutt's mind soars in this story, adding bits of fantasy to further pique the reader's interest.

I will add that anyone thinking of giving credence to the one star reviews need only check the profiles behind the false names to discover an agenda not at all related to the quality of this book.

I don't know about typos. I was so engrossed in the story I didn't notice them.

Do yourselves a favor and get this book! I'm sorry to say I was told by a friend to take a look at this story on her Kindle, that I would like to buy. I would have, except that I didn't return her Kindle until I'd read it all (in two days!)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VIVID AND ENGROSSING 25 Jan 2008
By Sherman Lawler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
As I was waiting for this page to upload I couldn't help but read Linda Shelnutt's statement that without Kindle this and other works of hers would never have seen the light of day. For a lady who so energetically celebrates the human spirit in her work in so many different genres this is tragic. But Kindle has helped solve this problem. I have a feeling we're going to see many good books that those new york publishers have decided the American public shouldn't read.

That said, Myrtle's Ultimate Mystery is so vividly visual and so rich in sound as well that you find yourself totally involved in the Cherry Creek mansion as well as other settings of the story. As a westerner I felt sorry for those cowboys, but that was just another way this book got under my skin. You won't be able to put it down and you will NEVER guess who done it.

You'll have lots of suspects though. I also enjoyed Linda's social commentary that emerges through her characters in this book. She'll be happy to know that i happen to agree with her campaign for coal minng. when you read this book, see if you can pick out the essential Linda Shelnutt from the story.

And I guarantee you that you'll be humming a certain tune for a week or so after you finish it!

Way to go, Linda...a great story you've written here. SL
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining 9 Mar 2012
By SESMBW - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Linda Shelnutt never lets me down. I loved this story. She has such smooth prose and such
a gift for telling a story. I love her work and consider her to be an author of
outstanding talent. Five stars for this one.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ENTERTAINING EDUCATION 1 Sep 2011
By Dom DiLorenzo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm one of those people that likes to LEARN SOMETHING
in every book that I read. This book was a standout in that goal, as I learned all kinds of things about witchcraft, astrology, several environmental issues, cooking, and got to read a great mystery besides. Checking on this author's qualifications it is plainly obvious the lady knows of what she speaks, having even been called upon by law enforcement to help with open murders.

Linda Shelnutt's mind soars in this story, adding bits of fantasy to further pique the reader's interest.

I will add that anyone thinking of giving credence to the one star reviews need only check the profiles behind the false names to discover an agenda not at all related to the quality of this book.

I don't know about typos. I was so engrossed in the story I didn't notice them.

Do yourselves a favor and get this book! I'm sorry to say I was told by a friend to take a look at this story on her Kindle, that I would like to buy. I would have, except that I didn't return her Kindle until I'd read it all (in two days!)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let Yourself Be Carried Away 24 Jan 2014
By Judy Gillis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you want to feel what it’s like to be a welcomed guest, like part of the family, in a luxurious Victorian mansion in Cherry Creek (an elegant Denver, CO neighborhood) and you aren't afraid of being wrapped up in a multi-murder mystery, then read Myrtle’s Ultimate Mystery. It’s completely unpredictable while being edge of your seat scary. Let yourself be carried into Myrtle’s world of astrology and adventure while she tries to solve this whodunit. It's a world of fascinating characters where anything can and does happen. It's an action packed psychological thriller that you won't easily forget. I tell all my friends to read this book, but warn them they will be seeing the world differently afterwards.
p.s.
I just finished reading the first twelve chapters of Myrtle Drinkwater’s 2nd mystery “Myrtle’s Penultimate Walkabout”. I can’t wait until Linda and Myrtle finish that story it’s turning out to be even more multidimensional and intriguing than Myrtle’s first mystery.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Know ye the land where the cypress and myrtle / Are emblems of deeds that are done...? 29 May 2008
By L. E. Cantrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Author Linda Shelnutt's singular tale of mystery, detection and a whole lot of other stuff begins in conventional enough manner with a telephone call:

"Ms. Drinkwater?"
The voice was female. Timid. Low key, lightly musical.
"Yes."

And then swerves right off the expected course:

"You're the astrologer?"
"Yes." ....
"I found you in the yellow pages."
"Yes. Go on."
"I think I need your help."
"Sure. What's the problem?"
"Maybe I should tell you my name first..."
"Certainly."
"It's Jean. Jean Bertha Merriweather. In Denver. That is, I live here. Denver ... Well, actually I live in Wheatridge. A suburb of Denver."
"Yes?" Most people have trouble getting started telling their stories but this was getting ridiculous. [Chapter 1]

So, already we are faced with a slightly impatient heroine--a lady of a certain age rejoicing in the extraordinarily un-hard-boiled name of Myrtle Drinkwater. She is, we quickly learn, a private eye (of sorts), a bodyguard (de facto, anyway) and an astrologer(...!) As the story progresses, it will turn out that she's a lot of other unexpected things, too.

It also becomes clear with great rapidity that we're not in Chandler's mean streets anymore, Toto, and that it's a good bet that the Black Bird won't turn up in the next mail delivery.

Time now for a bit of disclosure. Linda Shelnutt is my friend. Before Kindle was ever announced, she and I had indulged in lengthy discussions of this book in its manuscript form. I'd even displayed the hubris to suggest a different version for the final chapter--a change, I am happy to say, that the author was wise enough to reject out of hand in its entirety. It was only when I began to write this review that I discovered that Author Shelnutt had actually included some too-generous references to me in her prefatory remarks in this Kindle edition. The upshot of all this, of course, is that I have had a devil of a time trying to maintain an objective point of view in reviewing the book. (I leave it to the reader to judge my success.)

I said that this novel swerves off the expected course. I wasn't kidding. "Myrtle's Ultimate Mystery" is like some contrapuntal descant to the plainsong of the classic detective story--and to the romance novel and supernatural tale, too, for that matter. I originally received it in one- or two-chapter chunks. After each chapter, I would speculate on what was to come in the next installment, only to find myself dead wrong almost every time.

Or maybe it's not so much that the author is playing with the conventions of the detective story, the romance novel and the tale of the supernatural as those of the world, the great globe itself, yea, all which it inherit. Myrtle's world is a place where wonders regularly pop up and apparently rational, hard-headed people accept them as casually as traffic lights, paperclips and Starbuck's franchises. It's a place in which a vast load of menace hangs suspended from a feather-light popular tune. A world where expected, gaudily explosive confrontations and climaxes are marked by understatement of truly profound degree. (The great cathartic moment of the book is expressed in these words and these words only: "'I see,' he said, succinctly. 'Thank you,' he concluded." [Chapter 30])

In short, Myrtle's world is a truly warped and twisted piece of space-time in which even Ayn Rand and Carlos Castenada are intellectually ... respectable!

Shifting from content to presentation, Linda Shelnutt has consciously opted for an artfully un-artful plainness in her prose: the more fevered her plot points, the flatter her words. Take this example:

"Hans's briefing was a concise update of all relevant events that had occurred thus far, including Jean's invitation of myself into Ruth's disappearing act and her concern about the potential danger of Jean's Environmentalist Groups' machinations, the backyard prowler episode, Jerome's 'coming out', the arrival of Barrymore and Black, all five 'real' staff murders, Ruth's 'double' and subsequent 'murder', George's letter and 'return' to fetch Lilith, and a perfectly astute recap of my own Sand Creek history, various astro chart analyses, and varied dreams and 'alleged' psychic attacks.

"How, you may ask, did Hans summarize... all THAT... during the first course of a meal? What can I say? He's a brief... man. Gets to the point in a hurry. Then lingers over the issues, savoring an extended time-lapse, while his audience catches up to him.

"He would allow each listener to draw his own conclusions as to my relative sanity. He and I were teetering on that issue ourselves." [Chapter 23]

In answer to Lord Byron's query in the title of this piece, I think readers will find "Myrtle's Ultimate Mystery" to be entertainingly emblematic of some very strange deeds. And, true to form, this "ultimate" mystery is not Myrtle's final adventure, but merely her first to see the light of day.

Five peculiarly askew stars.
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