Wisecracking Kate Sullivan and her loving husband Bill stumble into mysterious goings-on while vacationing at the Great Lakes Lodges resort on the shore of Lake Superior. But what starts out as intriguing gossip soon becomes no laughing matter . . .  and maybe Kate’s first attempt at amateur sleuthing will be her last.

“Out of the Jacuzzi, Into the Sauna” was originally published in Resort to Murder, edited by Carl Brookins, Ellen Hart, and William Kent Krueger. The theme of the anthology called for each story to be set in a real-life resort in Minnesota; the story itself would use a fictional name (no lawsuits, please!), but you had to tell the editors the real name so that they could make sure there wasn’t duplication. I loved the idea, because my wife and I had stayed at a resort in northern Minnesota where many little things had gone wrong and we got horrible customer service, and I thought that would make a funny backdrop for a mystery story. Kate is named after Katherine Hepburn, because she’s the kind of fast-talking dame that Hepburn played in classic screwball romantic comedies like Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia Story. Kate returns in “Of Murder and Minidonuts.” The excerpt below is the opening of the story.

The buttons above are for my revised e-book of the story; below is one for the Resort to Murder print anthology.

Out of the Jacuzzi, Into the Sauna

“I’m taking off my clothes,” Kate said. Holding her damp white shirt away from her skin, she flopped it around to try to cool off, then started unbuttoning.
       Bill looked up and dragged an arm across his forehead to stop the sweat from running into his eyes. His graying hair was plastered across his head, and his blue polo shirt was soggy and hanging on his shoulders. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
       “First off, I never thought I’d hear my husband say that. Second, we’re in a sauna.”
       “Locked in a sauna. There’s a difference.”
       She stopped unbuttoning. “That’s all you’ve got to say? How about the guy with the gun doesn’t deserve to see me topless?”
       That’s when the door opened. . . .

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