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Have you ever dreamed of being a part of a reality show. No, not on camera where the whole world can see you make a fool of yourself, but as a part of the crew? In Death on the Set, we get to tag along with Brenna Flynn who is working on a cooking show. The minute I mention cooking show in my house my daughter launches into her Mary Berry imitation from the Great British Bake Off. What a great place to set a mystery! Let’s find out more.
About the Book
Former high school guidance counselor, Brenna Flynn, returns home to Bayview City after the sudden death of her husband. Unable to find work in her field, she signs up with a temp agency to find employment. Sent on an interview for a cooking reality show, she aces it and gets the job of production assistant.
On her second day at work, Brenna discovers a body in the studio. She soon learns she’s the police’s primary suspect. Determined to clear her name, she uses some skills she’s honed as a guidance counselor to learn more about the victim. Drawing people in comes naturally to Brenna, and she becomes a confidante to cast and crew on the show.
The stakes are raised with threatening notes, poisonings, and blackmail. Can Brenna uncover who the killer is before someone else dies?
“Come on, hurry up!” The light was taking forever. Brenna drummed her fingers against the steering wheel. Monday morning traffic should have been over by now. A glance at the clock on her Jeep’s dashboard showed she had less than ten minutes to get across town. She couldn’t be late for this interview. Finally, a lead on a job. The light changed and Brenna hustled to her meeting. It had been a rough six months. Her husband’s sudden death and then losing her position at the school. Coming home to Bayview City in Northern Michigan seemed like a good idea at the time, but work as a high school guidance counsellor didn’t come easily. Most of the school boards had been impacted by the cuts to education funding.
Jackie Randall, of Randall Temp Agency, had been working with Brenna to find her a temporary position for the last month. There wasn’t a lot available and this position had popped up this morning. Jackie had called before eight this morning to let Brenna know about the posting and had secured an interview for her. This job promised good pay and interesting work, even if it wasn’t in her field. How on earth could she translate her skills to a cooking show? Helping high school students deal with the challenges of being a teenager and navigating their futures demanded specialized knowledge, compassion, good listening and speaking skills, and being well organized. Jackie had told her the posting indicated no experience needed. She had to at least try.
Arriving at the studio, she noticed a publicity poster on one side of the door. The poster featured the three chefs starring on the show, Bayview Cooks! She paused for a moment, recognizing two of the chefs. She’d eaten in both of their restaurants, several times. The food and the atmosphere were excellent. Walking into the lobby, she stopped and took a breath. She felt rushed and out of control. Not how she wanted to present herself. Come on. There’s nothing to lose. I’ve got this. She squared her shoulders and went to the reception desk.
The receptionist asked Brenna to have a seat. She took deep breaths to settle herself. Looking around the reception area, she noticed large windows overlooking the harbor. Lake Superior was calm today and there were a few pleasure boats heading out toward Pebble Island. The reception area had comfortable seating and a low coffee table with the local paper. Brenna sent Jackie a quick text letting her know she had made it in time for the interview. A few minutes later, Brenna heard footsteps coming down the hall.
“Hello, Ms. Flynn? I’m Tim Harris, executive producer for Bayview Cooks!” He held out his hand.
Brenna stood to greet him. At five-two, Brenna had to tilt her head back a bit to see him. He was probably just over six feet his dark brown hair cut close on the sides. With his round tortoiseshell glasses and casual sweater and pants, he reminded her of a former college professor. On his feet were a pair of black Keds.
“Nice to meet you.” Brenna clasped his hand.
Tim smiled as they shook hands. “Let’s go to my office. The producer is waiting for us. We’ll talk there.” He pointed down the hall.
Brenna picked up her brown leather tote bag and followed him. They arrived at his office door and she could hear someone speaking.
Tim cleared his throat. “Mathew, what’s wrong?”
Mathew put his hands on his hips. “We’ve got a situation. The electrical contractor isn’t coming in to work on the lights on the set. He says the contract is to do the wiring only. Any issues aren’t his problem. I’ve never heard of such crap.” Mathew’s voice vibrated.
Tim shook his head. He addressed Brenna. “We’ve had some challenges with this contractor. Less than quality workmanship and now refusing to fix the mistakes his employees made. It’s holding up production. Without the lights, we can’t film.”
“Which contractor did you use?” Brenna asked.
Mathew checked the contract. “Bayview Electric.”
“And what does the contract say about them having to fix mistakes or issues that come up as a result of their work?” Brenna’s gaze moved from Mathew to Tim as she asked the question.
Mathew threw the contract on the desk. “Nothing! You’d think a reputable company would do it without question, but these guys are impossible to deal with.” His brow furrowed as he stared at the contract.
“I might be able to help you out with this.” Brenna glanced at Mathew and Tim.
“If you can get the lights working again, the position is yours,” Mathew stated.
“You might want to read through my resume before you make that kind of promise.” Brenna reached in her bag and provided each of them with a copy of her resume. She pulled out her phone and moved by the table at the back of the office to place a call.
“Hi, Mary, Brenna here.”
“Brenna, how are you?”
“I’m well. Mary, I’m at Studio One. They have a problem with the lighting on their set. Are any of the electricians available today to come by and see what the issue is?”
“Let me check the schedule. I just had it open a moment ago. Did Flynn and Family have the contract? I don’t remember seeing anything from Studio One.”
“No. It was Bayview Electric.”
“We have a team of electricians available this afternoon. I can make certain they know to be there by one today.”
“Sounds great. I’ll let management know to expect them. Do you want to talk to someone here about the invoice?”
“Yes. We don’t have anything in our system for Studio One.”
Brenna turned around. “Who does she need to speak to about invoicing?”
Tim glanced up from skimming her resume. “You found someone to come in today?”
“Yes. My family owns a contracting company. They have most of their own tradespeople. The contract with Bayview Electric is completed, right? Otherwise, no one else will come in to do any other work.”
Mathew held out his hand for Brenna’s phone. “Yes. That’s the reason why they aren’t coming in again. I can talk to her about the invoicing.”
Brenna smiled and held up a finger. “Mary, I’m going to hand you off to one of the producers from Studio One. He’ll let you know about the invoicing. We’ll talk soon.” She handed the phone to Mathew.
Tim put her resume on the desk. “Well, I’m impressed. Are you that good with anything else that can go wrong?”
Mathew finished up with Mary and returned Brenna’s phone to her. “I agree. Can we expect the same results with any other problem that may come up?”
Brenna wondered what problems they might be referring to. “I have a lot of personal connections with contractors and people in the construction business. My grandfather started the company, Flynn and Family. My father and one of my uncles run it now. I grew up in Bayview City and studied at the university here. I worked for the city for a while before leaving four years ago. There have been some changes with the city council, but the city employees haven’t changed.”
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About the Author
Rose Kerr lived most of her adult life in small towns. She and her husband raised their family in a small town on the shores of Lake Superior, in Northern Ontario. The town and surrounding communities provided the scenic setting for Rose’s Brenna Flynn Mystery series. Rose has worked in several administration roles throughout her career. Rose has worked for provincial figure skating and synchronized swimming associations, Northern Options for Women, and Contact North.
Currently, Rose and her husband live in Southern Ontario. Rose is a member of Sisters in Crime, and the Guppy Online Chapter of Sisters in Crime. For more info visit www.rosekerr.com
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