The Wordplay Mysteries
Wanda – loves word games and cooking.
A widow in her early 60’s whose nephew, Todd,
is a rookie cop recently hired in Scrub Oak.
He also is a word game wizard.
Betty Sue – a retired elementary school teacher who can recall each child and their family in her classes since 1975. She and Wanda grew up in Scrub Oak together and have been BFFs most of their lives. She has a sharp mind and a big heart.
Evelyn – a relative newcomer to Scrub Oak, she moved there in 2010 to care for her sister until she passed from cancer three years ago. Widowed in the Gulf War in 1990 at the age of 35, she never remarried. She stayed in Scrub Oak because she and Wanda became friends and she wanted to finally put down roots. She loves CSI shows.
Word Has It – Not prone to gossip, Wanda keeps herself to herself. But when she hears from her nephew that a ring of thieves may be hiding out in the area, she begins to wonder if the old Ferguson place is still abandoned. When words like jewels, woodshed, landing, and evil appear on their weekly word game days after a deadly shooting on the property, she determines it is a sign she and her friends should investigate.
Word Gets Around – Each of the three ladies receives a nonsensical note slipped between the wiper blades of their cars. When the ladies combine the words on a word game board, it spells trouble for one of Betty’s former students, who is now a freelance reporter for the Oakmont County Gazette. Could it be she reported way too much?
In Other Words – Many English words contain the same letters but in a different order, like stressed and desserts. After the local thrift store owner is found dead in the alley behind his store, the ladies will need their word playing skills to unravel the dual meanings of the graffiti that appears around town before two more people’s games end.
Hang On Every Word August 26, 2022
Tom Jacob retires, leaving the operation of The Oakmont Gazette to his daughter and son-in-law, Vicki and Tom Jacobs. They decide to turn it into an online paper and hire Wanda to design with the biweekly Wordplay puzzles. But when they publish a new clue for the interactive Hang Man puzzle each Tuesday and Friday, someone uses the clues to decide who to rob next in Scrub Oak and people begin to blame Wanda. Will Todd end up arresting his own aunt?
Away with Words scheduled for September 2023
While on a women’s church retreat, Betty Sue, Wanda, and Evelyn discover more than they anticipate on a Scavenger Hunt based on Biblical references. They find a man’s shoe floating in the creek with a blood-soaked sole. Can the reporters at The Oakmont Gazette clue them in on what happened? Has a poor soul found its end or just its footwear?
Loss for Words scheduled for March 2024
While driving back from visiting Old Mrs. Tucker at the retirement home, Betty Sue and Wanda find a disheveled woman wandering down the road. She has a large goose egg on her head and no memory of who she is or how she became injured. While the church ladies organize a yard sale to help pay for the woman's treatment, Wanda tries to piece together her nonsensical mumbles in order to discover what happened and why.
Words to the Wise watch for it in September 2024
Betty Sue ropes Wanda into being one of the judges at the upcoming elementary school's spelling bee. As each grade seeks to find its best speller, more and more of the kids develop a sort of temporary dyslexia. Is an overzealous parent spiking their juice boxes, or does someone else have a motive for skimming the cream of the crop from the contest?
The Last Word coming March 2025
After a fall in her backyard, Wanda decides it is time to sell her home and move to a 62 plus community. Skyrocketing resale values on homes have Evelyn and Betty Sue thinking the same once they see Wanda's almost complete, brand new condo equipped with emergency fall detection sensors and other smart technology. But as soon as the word gets out that a house is on the market, it gets robbed. Before Wanda leaves Scrub Oak for good, can she help her police nephew Todd discover who is behind the burglaries?