By: (Name withheld)
From: Esri Allbritten's Chihuahua of the Baskervilles
[Establishing shot: View of a parquet floor and one leg of a tripod. Camera jerks up and zooms in on two men seated at a glossy conference table. Angus MacGregor is in his early fifties, with thick, salt-and-pepper hair and a bemused look on his craggy face. He wears a tweed jacket over a shirt and tie. The other man, Michael Abernathy, wears a gray T-shirt, jeans, and a sardonic expression. He is close to thirty, with olive skin, wire-rimmed glasses and dark, shaggy hair.]
Angus (looking at watch): Suki, what time did your security-guard friend say people will start showing up for work?
Suki Oota (off camera): Some of them get here as early as five-thirty, so we pretty much have one shot.
(Suki comes into view from behind the camera and walks to the table, where she sits between Angus and Michael. She is in her late twenties, with cropped black hair and Asian-American features. Suki wears black-velvet leggings, red suede boots and a ruffled shirt.)
Angus (staring into camera with a fixed smile): Is it on?
Suki: Yeah. Go ahead.
Angus (sitting up straighter): Are you looking for vacation destinations with paranormal interest? Tripping Magazine features the most haunted bed and breakfasts, best UFO sites and, on the lighter side, fun family events like the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival.
Michael: Tripping also covers breaking stories, whether it’s Bigfoot in Bulgaria or Alien Big Cats in your own back yard.
Suki (leaning forward): Tripping Magazine -- for vacations that will blow your frickin’ mind.
(All smile for a few seconds more. Suki gets up and disappears behind the camera.)
Angus: That went fairly well. Michael, I would have liked to hear a little more enthusiasm from you.
Michael: Too much enthusiasm makes our conspiracy-theorist readers nervous. Now let’s straighten these chairs and go. The last place I want to get caught trespassing is a law firm.
[Camera shuts off.]
Esri Allbritten’s first mystery, Chihuahua of the Baskervilles, comes out in hardback and ebook formats on July 5, from St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books.
In Chihuahua of the Baskervilles, the staff of Tripping Magazine hears about a ghostly Chihuahua seen by Charlotte Baskerville. Charlotte is the rich founder of Petey’s Closet, a clothing catalog for small dogs. Angus, Suki and Michael travel to Manitou Springs, where the ghost howls advice and spells out threats in tiny paw prints. But is the glowing apparition really Petey’s ghost, or is someone in Charlotte’s household trying to teach a dead dog new tricks – like murder? It’s up to Tripping Magazine to save Charlotte Baskerville, preferably without losing their story.
Visit EsriAllbritten.com to read an excerpt and find out more.