The Last Word
A Deadly Deadlines Mystery
For obituary writer Winter Snow, memorializing one’s life is more than a way to make a living, it’s a way to give comfort to the grief-stricken next of kin. So, when the very much alive Leocadia Arlington requests an obituary for herself and insists it be done by week’s end, Winter’s intrigue turns to alarm. Is her client being threatened? Is she ill or worse suicidal? Even more troubling, after finding the woman sprawled at the bottom of the staircase in her magnificent Ridgefield, Connecticut mansion, Winter finds herself thrust in the center of the murder of a woman shrouded in a mysterious past and whose secret revealing memoir has gone missing.
As more bodies pile up, fingers point at Winter, and after the very sexy cop Kip Michaels arrives on the scene along with his lascivious partner Tom Bellini, she isn’t sure if they are there to help her or to arrest her. With the aid of her foodie Uncle Richard who solves all his problems in the kitchen; her wise octogenarian neighbor Horace who seems to know her next steps before she does; her last of a dying breed reporter friend, Scoop, a vegetarian rescuer of pets; and a willful Great Pyrenees puppy named Diva, Winter discovers that secrets from Mrs. Arlington’s past have set murder in motion. Now she must unravel the mystery before the next obituary written is her own.
About the Series
The Last Word is set in Ridgefield, Connecticut, a postcard worthy small town with a tree-lined Main Street of grand homes, lamp posts dripping with colorful flower baskets, outdoor diners spilling onto the sidewalks and mom and pop shops where everyone knows your name. Once home to such publishing magnates as J.P. Dutton and Charles Holt, this idyllic New England town with its many attractions and visitors is just begging for a mystery series that can grace the window of Books on the Common, the local independent shop on the corner of Bailey and Main. Ridgefield is an ideal place for obituary writer Winter Snow, documenter of resident stories and keeper of family histories, to happen upon mysteries—all in need of unraveling.
“This cozy debut features an unusual job for an amateur sleuth and a likable cast of characters to rival those of Jenn McKinlay’s cozies.”
“—numerous plot twists, the sympathetic Winter’s backstory, well-drawn secondary characters, a precocious puppy, a budding romance, details of obituary writing, and the lovingly described Ridgefield, Connecticut, setting add up to a satisfying cozy.
“Lewis has created a fun, playful world—despite a murder—that many cozy readers will love to return to.”
“A fast-paced caper… Lewis has created a witty and eminently likable sleuth.”
—Annelise Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of A Death in Door County
“The combination of excellent writing, intriguing characters, and vivid details make The Last Word by Gerri Lewis an immersive reading experience. With its quick paced, action-packed story line, a dash of romance, and on-point, witty banter, The Last Word is a tribute to everything that makes cozy mysteries so captivating.”
—Jody Holford, author of the Wannabe Sleuth Mystery Series
“Strange things are happening in upscale, artsy Ridgefield, Connecticut. The mysteries begin when local writer Winter Snow gets a call from a wealthy West Mountain matron who needs her own obituary done by Friday—when she expects to die. The problem is, she seems perfectly healthy. It’s just the start to a tale full of twists and turns in this lively Fairfield County town. Author Gerri Lewis has lived most of her life in the real Ridgefield and has written countless articles about its people and places. In her first venture into fiction, Lewis has fashioned a crisp and engrossing cozy that’s deadly fun.”
—Jack Sanders, Ridgefield historian and author—Ridgefield’s Great Estates
“Now and again, you read a fresh voice in fiction and feel that you’ve found a pearl in a seashell. The Last Word by Gerri Lewis is just that. A book of great style, substance and with a plot that’ll keep you spellbound from the first to the last page. This wonderful and brilliant debut needs to be on the reading list of every fan of the quality crime novel.”
—Andrew F Gulli, Strand Magazine
“A delightful debut that drips with charm and intrigue. Gerri Lewis brings obituary writing to life!”
—Brad Parks, international bestselling author of Unthinkable
“A fun, pacy mystery starring an unflappable heroine. I loved every absorbing word of The Last Word and can’t wait for more Deadly Deadlines books!”
—Alicia Bessette, bestselling author of the Outer Banks Bookshop mystery series
“Who better than an obituary writer to distill the mysteries of life, death, and murder? I enjoyed every last word of this fun, fast-paced cozy.”
—Ann Claire, author of the Christie Bookshop Mysteries and the Cyclist’s Guide Mysteries
“The Last Word by Gerri Lewis was a joy to read. Its obituary-writing sleuth is refreshingly original. The author’s smooth prose brought to life the Connecticut town in which the book is set and moved the mystery along beautifully. I look forward to reading more books in this delightful series.”
—Tamar Myers, author of Meat Thy Maker
“Who knew the obit business could be so funny–and so dangerous? This cleverly plotted cozy mixes the inevitability of death with the surprise of murder with wit and wisdom and good-old New England know-how. Obituary writer Winter Snow is a character readers will want to come back to again and again… a wonderful debut!”
—Paula Munier, USA Today bestselling author of the Mercy Carr mystery series
“There are so many surprises interlaced flawlessly in the author’s debut cozy mystery. I loved it!”
“It is full of mystery and intrigue that kept me up reading late into the night.”
“I loved this book and was on the edge of my seat from start to finish!!! There’s hardly anything better than a cute dog and a mystery combination. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!!! I highly recommend!!!!!”
“The cozy is charming from cover to cover. A delightful stand-alone, but I’m hopeful it becomes a series with more adventures. I’d click a pre-order button for sure.”
—Instagram Reviewer (☆☆☆☆☆)