- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - What’s worse than a marriage-ending affair?

Ask Rosalie Hart.

When her husband reveals his indiscretion, Hart, a Chevy Chase resident, decides to exile herself to the Eastern Shore.

Hoping to start fresh in the home willed to her by her late aunt, Hart’s world is flipped upside down once again when she discovers a dead girl in the marsh grasses of her new home.

Sound horrible?

Sounds like a good story.

Hart is the main character in Millersville resident Wendy Sand Eckel’s newest mystery, “Murder at Barclay Meadow.”

Published in July by Minotaur Books, “Murder at Barclay Meadow” is the first in a two-book deal of murder mysteries set on the Eastern Shore.

“The setting is what drove the book,” Eckel, a former Eastern Shore resident said. “There are so many characters in a little town on the Eastern Shore. It gives you so much to work with.”

With a college-aged daughter herself, Hart isn’t satisfied when the sheriff deems the young coed’s death accidental so she decides to take matters into her own hands.

Enrolled in a creative writing class at the local community college, Hart shares her doubts with classmates and they form a private Facebook group, “The What-If’s,” where they hash out details of the death.

It was an aspect of the book added after Eckel, a psychotherapist with a minor in criminology, finished the story four years earlier.

“I was at a writers’ workshop in Virginia and (workshop leader Michael Neff) said, “This is never going to sell’,” Eckel said.

A hook was needed.

Together, they came up with the idea to include Facebook in the story.

It’s part of what adds to the appeal of the mystery.

“I have had so many people tell me they sat down and didn’t stop reading,” Eckel said.

Available at www.wendysandeckelauthor.com , www.amazon.com, and in book stores, Eckel said she wrote the book as two stories in one - the mystery and Hart’s mission to get her life back.

Baking is one thing that contributes to Hart’s healing process and recipes for some of the treats she makes are included in the book.

Though Eckel provides fool-proof recipes, finding out ‘whodunit’ won’t be as easy.

“I don’t decide who did it until the end,” she said. “It could be any of the suspects.”

___

Information from: The Capital, https://www.capitalgazette.com/

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