A Good Day to Buy (Sarah W. Garage Sale Series #4)

A Good Day to Buy (Sarah W. Garage Sale Series #4)

by Sherry Harris

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Overview

HER BROTHER IS NO BARGAIN
When Sarah Winston’s estranged brother Luke shows up on her doorstep, asking her not to tell anyone he’s in town—especially her ex, the chief of police—the timing is strange, to say the least. Hours earlier, Sarah’s latest garage sale was taped off as a crime scene following the discovery of a murdered Vietnam vet and his gravely injured wife—her clients, the Spencers.
 
BUT IS HE A KILLER?
All Luke will tell Sarah is that he’s undercover, investigating a story. Before she can learn more, he vanishes as suddenly as he appeared. Rummaging through his things for a clue to his whereabouts, Sarah comes upon a list of veterans and realizes that to find her brother, she’ll have to figure out who killed Mr. Spencer. And all without telling her ex . . .
 
Praise for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries

“There’s a lot going on in this charming mystery, and it all works . . . Well written and executed, this is a definite winner. Bargain-hunting has never been so much fun!” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars on All Murders Final!

“Full of garage-sale tips . . . amusing. A solid choice for fans of Jane K. Cleland’s Josie Prescott Antique Mystery series.” —Library Journal on Tagged for Death

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496707512
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 04/25/2017
Series: Sarah W. Garage Sale Series , #4
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 179,926
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Sherry Harris is an award-winning author of cozy mysteries that usually involve garage sales. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. An independent editor for fiction and nonfiction writers, she is also a member of Sisters in Crime, Sisters in Crime New England, and Sisters in Crime Chesapeake Chapter.

Hillary Huber is a multiple Audie Award finalist, an Earphones Award winner, and an AudioFile Best Voice. She has recorded over three hundred titles spanning many genres and holds a bachelor's degree in English literature. A voracious reader and listener, she was raised in Connecticut and Hawaii but now splits her time between California and New York.

Read an Excerpt

A Good Day To Buy


By Sherry Harris

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2017 Sherry Harris
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4967-0752-9


CHAPTER 1

Love fades. People change. It's happened to me. I'll fall in love and buy something, but in a few years, I'm ready to move on. Fortunately it happened to other people as well, which was what kept my garage sale business growing. But today my client was a story all her own.

"Sarah Winston, are you going to sell my Pyrex for so little? You might as well give it away." Not only did Mrs. Spencer's voice shake but her whole body did too — even her rigidly hair-sprayed, gray curls. She snatched the red Pyrex bowl out of my hand and thrust it at the startled woman standing in front of me.

"Go ahead, take it. Just take whatever you want."

The woman looked at me with raised eyebrows. I gave her a small nod before turning back to Mrs. Spencer. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the woman hurry to her car. Happily, we were having a lull in the Spencer garage sale so there weren't a lot of people to witness the outburst or decide to help themselves to items based on Mrs. Spencer's comment.

I'd tried to be patient with Mrs. Spencer over the last two weeks since the Spencers had hired me to run a garage sale for them this Saturday. Mostly because I loved her husband, a Vietnam vet. He'd decided it was time to downsize and head south to Florida to be near their son and grandchildren. Mrs. Spencer was on board with the move to Florida, but not with the downsizing. While I wouldn't call her a hoarder, she was definitely an avid collector and she didn't want to part with anything.

Her cupboards and closets bulged with everything from old aluminum foil pans to plastic Dunkin' Donuts cups to embroidered samplers her ancestors had made. Her biggest problem was not knowing which things had value, like the samplers, and which didn't. I sighed and shook my head. Actually that wasn't true. Her biggest problem was that she was just a piece of work. I didn't know how her husband, a gentle, patient man, put up with her. I'd have killed her long before now.

Not long after they'd hired me, I'd called Mrs. Spencer by her first name, Velma. She'd laid into me about respecting my elders and knowing my place. I was the hired help. Since that day, I'd called her Mrs. Spencer and her husband Mr. Spencer, even though he'd asked me to call him Verne. Better to be overly polite than to incite more of Mrs. Spencer's wrath.

I smiled as Mr. Spencer came outside just then, taking Mrs. Spencer's elbow. He was looking especially spiffy this morning in a bomber jacket, newsboy-style hat, pressed khakis, and a plaid shirt. He winked at me over her head. "How about a cup of coffee, dear? I brought you some of those Italian cookies you like from DiNapoli's." Her body relaxed and she allowed herself to be pulled away from the sale and into the Cape-style house.

A man approached me, carrying the last of the five wooden lobster traps the Spencers had for sale. "I'll give you ten bucks for this."

In your dreams. I had it priced at a hundred and twenty-five dollars, and that was a bargain. It was a real, wooden vintage trap. People loved to use them as bases for coffee tables. I could picture setting one on its end, adding some shelves, and using it as a nightstand. Or adding long legs and turning it into a small desk. Inwardly, I'd hoped they wouldn't all sell, but that was as much of a dream as this man's offer.

"I can do one-twenty," I countered. The other four had sold first thing for full price. Earlier, two people had argued over one and an interior designer had offered to pay fifty dollars over the asking price. Mr. Spencer had brought this one out when he'd seen how much they were going for. It made me wonder what else he had stashed that I hadn't seen.

"You aren't even taking ten percent off." He glared at me.

Better men than you have tried to intimidate me. Ten percent was standard in lots of cases. "It's the best I can do."

"I ain't paying that much for something at a garage sale."

It was a common problem. Just because it was a garage sale didn't necessarily mean it was cheap. I understood where he was coming from though. Everyone wanted to find something of value and pay next to nothing for it. "Sorry. It's my best offer."

A woman came over and stood next to him. "We'll take it." She opened her purse and pulled out the cash as the bargain hunter beside her stood with his mouth open. It took all my strength not to smile. This woman got pricing.

"Did you see the wooden lobster trap buoys?" I asked the woman. Now I was trying to upsell. "There are only a few of them left."

She whipped her head around when I pointed at a table. Mr. Spencer had an extensive collection, which he'd winnowed down to seven that he wanted to keep. Mrs. Spencer didn't like them so they'd been banished to the garage, where they hung by thick ropes on a pegboard.

"What the heck are you going to do with those?" her husband asked.

"I've seen them turned in to the base of a lamp," I said. "Or stuck in a trap like yours for decoration." If I had a bigger place, I would have bought some myself.

"Or hung on a wall — inside or out," the woman added as she snatched two off the table. She didn't even ask for a better price. As they walked off, I heard him say, "Some negotiator you turned out to be." His wife snapped something back, but I couldn't hear what.

The lull gave me time to straighten things up. I'd tried a new system today because I found pricing every single item tedious and time consuming. Today I'd color-coordinated plastic tablecloths to bright matching circle stickers. All the dollar items had yellow stickers and sat on tables with yellow cloths, five-dollar items had red stickers and cloths, etc. Anything over twenty-five was priced individually. I'd also posted signs showing the color of the item and the price.

The stickers on clothes had been a bit tricky because they tended to fall off. They worked best when stuck to a tag with the size or washing instructions. I'd priced some of the more valuable items in two places. One that was obvious and easy to see and one less obvious, like inside a vase or on the bottom of a chair. I hoped this would impede sneaky people who moved stickers from one item to another. It happened all too often at garage sales, but I couldn't control everything. Which is one of the reasons I'd hired Lindsay, a high school girl, to help keep an eye on things. She was a former neighbor when I'd lived on nearby Fitch Air Force Base. She was already straightening and reorganizing.

"Thanks, Lindsay," I called. "Help yourself to some coffee and donut holes." Lindsay nodded. Her long, golden-brown ponytail swayed as she worked. Hopefully, we would have a few minutes before more people descended. Mr. Spencer was getting rid of lots of tools, camping equipment, and hunting and fishing gear, which meant there had been more men at the sale than usual. Mentioning all of it at the beginning of the online ads I'd placed had worked out well.

I looked across the yard as rock music played from speakers I'd hooked my old iPod to. I'd bought colorful balloons to pass out to kids, plus some wash-off tattoos and a big box of Dunkin' Donuts coffee and donut holes. Mrs. Spencer had complained vehemently about me wasting money until I'd explained I'd done it all on my dime.

This was my first big sale of the season, and I wanted it to be fun, not only for the Spencers but for the people who came. And it was working. People bopped their heads to the beat of the songs and smiled. One group of women had even stopped shopping to sing part of Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." I would have joined in if I hadn't been so busy.

I hoped it would help my business too. So far, so good. Three people had asked me to organize sales for them and merchandise was moving fast. The warm early May weather lent to the overall party atmosphere. Forsythias blossomed with bright pops of yellow. The air was scented with lilac and warming earth. I was thankful because May in Massachusetts could be dicey. Although I'd learned since I'd moved here three years ago that any month in Massachusetts could be dicey. In my book that's just another reason to love living here.

By ten, the sunny skies had lured more people out, making the lull short-lived. Several groups of friends stopped by, but with the crowds, I only had time to say hi. Soon, I was negotiating the price of an oil painting of a harbor scene with a man who enjoyed bartering as much as I did.

A shrill shriek pierced the crowd. I jerked my head up and looked around. Oh no. What now? A little girl pointed up, emitting a sound that would have dogs cowering, as her lime-green balloon drifted away. Lindsay rushed another balloon to the girl, tied it securely around her wrist, and the shrieking mercifully stopped.

My heartbeat dropped back to the normal range as I countered the offer on the painting. The man and I went back and forth until we agreed on a price. Both of us left smiling — that was the fun part of the sale.

While I did all the bargaining and kept all the money, Lindsay continued to help people find things and did a great job of putting items back as they were moved from table to table. I was grateful Mr. Spencer had taken Mrs. Spencer inside to keep her out of my hair. It was hard to bargain with Mrs. Spencer watching my every move and giving people the evil eye when they bought something. I empathized with her difficulty in parting with her possessions. As a former Air Force wife, I had parted with many things over the years, as well as places I loved, dear friends, and even my husband.

While someone paid me for a captain's chair, a woman headed toward the part of the garage that was off limits to the public. I'd hung sheets with clothespins to divide the public and private space.

"You can't go back there," I called to the woman.

It didn't stop her, so I hurried after her. Mr. Spencer had a lot of expensive tools stored in a work space at the back of the garage. Mrs. Spencer resented he wasn't selling more of "his crap" as she called it. I'd heard numerous arguments on that topic over the past two weeks. The woman parted the curtain anyway.

She screamed and stumbled back, pulling one of the sheets down. I gasped, taking in the scene. The Spencers lay sprawled across the concrete floor. Mr. Spencer was on his stomach, head turned to one side, eyes open. Blood pooled under his head. Mrs. Spencer was curled into a fetal position near his feet.

CHAPTER 2

I raced toward them, pulled my cell phone out of my pocket, and dialed 911. Lindsay ran over to me.

"Keep everyone back unless someone thinks they can help. No one else comes in the garage. And don't let anyone leave if you can stop them." It was a lot to ask a seventeen-year-old, but I knew Lindsay could handle it.

"Okay." Lindsay hustled to the front of the garage. "Is anyone here a doctor or nurse?"

I glanced back as a crowd of people stood at the garage door gawking. "Unless you can help, get back," I shouted. No one came forward. Lindsay put her arms out and started shooing them back.

As soon as the 911 dispatcher came on the line, I gave her the address. "This is Sarah Winston. I've got two badly injured people. One may be dead."

"I'll make sure Chief Hooker knows what's happened." Sadly, the 911 operators were all too familiar with me. I checked for pulses as I talked to the dispatcher, but couldn't find one for Mr. Spencer. I hoped it was because I wasn't trained to find it, but the way his eyes looked blankly at the wall didn't give me much hope. A faint beat pulsed from Mrs. Spencer's neck when I pressed my cold fingers to it. But she didn't move when I called her name.

"What's the extent of their injuries?" the dispatcher asked.

"I'm not sure. Mr. Spencer has blood near his head. I can't imagine what happened."

I looked around. The back door of the garage was open. The backyard stretched to one of the many wooded paths that wove around and through Ellington. I saw a brown blur of movement, the impression of a man running. There were popular trails through much of the conservancy land, but that wasn't a jogger. It was someone fleeing.


* * *

I started to rise to go after him. But I quickly sank back to the floor next to Mrs. Spencer. Chasing a possible murderer through the woods was a terrible idea. I told the dispatcher what I'd seen. Maybe the police could catch him at the end of the trail. I stroked Mrs. Spencer's arm as we waited. I told her everything would be all right, even though I knew I was lying. With her beloved husband dead, her world would never be the same.

I studied the garage, trying to note what, if anything, was different from how it had been early this morning. On the workbench, a few tools were askew, as was the pegboard hanging above it. Maybe there had been a struggle. It couldn't have been too prolonged or loud, or surely I would have heard something.

The song "Help" by The Beatles boomed from the speakers outside. It made me realize the music must have blocked any sounds of fighting. I'd never imagined the music would allow a bad person to do something horrible. It was supposed to be fun.

Both of the Spencers had multiple bruises. Mr. Spencer's plaid shirt was askew and his hand was out as if he was reaching for something. There were some tools scattered on the floor, along with a brightly painted wooden lobster trap buoy on a thick rope, Mr. Spencer's Purple Heart medal, and a white business-size envelope with cash spilling from it. I squinted and saw most of the bills were hundreds. That couldn't have been money for the sale because I always asked my clients to get an assortment of small bills. What could possibly have gone on back here? It must have been an attempted robbery, but somehow the word "payoff" popped into my head.

Why? I realized how little I knew about the Spencers other than that they wanted to move to Florida. I'd grown fond of Mr. Spencer over the past two weeks I'd been working at their house. What a contrast he was to his wife. But other than having a fairly intimate knowledge of their household goods, I knew almost nothing about them.


* * *

The EMTs and police converged at once. I hurried over to Lindsay after a police officer ordered me out of the garage. Someone re-hung the sheet for privacy.

"Are you okay?" I asked her. Quite a few people still stood on the front lawn. Some huddled in groups. Others talked on their cell phones. A few filmed everything like this was a sporting event. I hated to think this tragedy might go viral online.

Lindsay jabbed a finger at the street. "A few people left even though I told them not to."

"Don't worry about it," I said. "It's not like you could sit on them." I pulled off the light sweater I'd worn this morning for our eight-o'clock start.

"I couldn't believe it. What's wrong with people?" Lindsay said. "But I took pictures of them and their license plates." She held up her iPhone.

I smiled at her. "Good thinking." It was possible whoever attacked the Spencers might have blended back into the crowd. Could someone be that cold? I thought about the man I'd seen near the woods. Maybe he had a good reason to be there, but he certainly seemed suspicious to me. "Will you send the photos to me?"

Lindsay nodded, and in a few seconds, my phone vibrated in my pocket as each picture came in. "You'd better call your mom," I told her.

"I already did." Lindsay's father had deployed last fall, and she'd come to me for support when she and her mom were fighting. When I'd asked her to help out with the garage sale, I'd never imagined anything like this would happen. Her mom wouldn't be happy.

Two EMTs hustled by with Mrs. Spencer on a gurney, an oxygen mask covering part of her pale, frail face, and an IV stuck in her arm. This was the first time I ever wished I could hear her voice berating me for not valuing her things. I waited but couldn't see what was going on behind the sheets. Soon enough, another set of EMTs came out. They walked slowly and lugged their equipment. I knew it meant Mr. Spencer was dead. I dug my nails into the palms of my hand. Keep it together.

More police cars arrived, and officers Pellner and Awesome, whose real name was Nathan Bossum, climbed out of a car. Awesome had joined the Ellington police force last winter after leaving the New York City Police Department. He dated my friend and landlady, Stella Wild. Pellner had been with the force for years. We'd had a rocky start when we first met last spring, but had slowly eased into a friendly-ish relationship.

Pellner headed over to me, and Awesome hustled over to the garage and disappeared behind the sheets I'd hung so carefully earlier this morning. If only I hadn't, maybe none of this would have happened, at least not in the garage where they couldn't be seen. I should have cordoned the back off with a rope and a sign that said PRIVATE. But no, I had to hang the sheets. It was the one thing I'd done Mrs. Spencer had approved of. That in itself should have been a sign.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Good Day To Buy by Sherry Harris. Copyright © 2017 Sherry Harris. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A Good Day to Buy 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Marla-Bradeen More than 1 year ago
A GOOD DAY TO BUY is another entertaining installment in the Sarah Winston series. With many of the same characters, another intriguing mystery, and a continuing military focus, fans of Harris's books will find this volume to be a worthy addition to the series. Disclosure: I won a free copy of this book in a giveaway.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Sarah Winston is helping the Spencers, a Vietnam vet and his wife, downsize with a garage sale. The sale is going well until the couple is found in a closed off area in the garage. The husband is dead but the wife is hanging on. Sarah is beside herself, how could this happen at one of her sales? Especially with so many people around. To her, that means plenty of suspects. She is also surprised when her brother knocks on her door. She hasn’t seen him in years. He says he is working undercover on a story and begs her to keep his visit a secret. Even from her ex, who she is dating again and is around all the time. She discovers some of his notes, a list of veterans. Could his investigation have something to do with what happened at the garage sale? She is definitely going to find out. I read this book all in one afternoon. The action started early and I just couldn’t put it down. I was intrigued by the introduction of Sarah’s brother Luke. Had he crossed over to the dark side? Had his years in the service changed him. I went back and forth about him the entire story. Sarah, now dating only C. J. but Seth is waiting in the wings really had her hands full. She is trying to solve the murder, trying to find out what her brother is up to, trying to help the Spencer’s son sell the things that were left over when the sale abruptly ended and trying to move her relationship with C.J. in the right direction. There were many nights she was exhausted and for good reason. All these characters are complex, real and entertaining. I am probably the only one but I am still on Team Seth. The story has many layers and is very well plotted. Twist and turns and plenty of action kept the pages turning rapidly. The mystery centered on a topic I had never really given a lot of thought and I learned something. That always makes a story better. I do enjoy Ms. Harris’ writing style. Her books are very easy to escape right into leaving the stressors of real life behind. A quick pace, plenty of suspects and a very entertaining mystery make this a good day to buy, A Good Day To Buy. There is a cliffhanger at the end of this one. In a way, I am glad I was late to the party for this series because I don’t have to wait a year for the next book. I Know What You Bid Last Summer will be out February 27.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
Sherry Harris does it again in this latest addition to the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, in fact, it is the best I have read so far. If you have not visited Ellinton Massachusetts in this series, it is time you did. Sarah Winston is divorced from ex-military, now Sheriff, C.J. They have begun dating again and it seems a remarriage may be in the future. While running her latest garage sale at the Spencers, she discovers Mr. Spencer, a veteran, dead in the garage and his wife unconcious on the floor beside him. When she returns home that day, she answers her door only to find her estranged brother Luke standing there. As CJ investigates the crime, Luke becomes a suspect in the murder when his fingerprints are found in the garage. Of course, this causes Sarah to begin her own investigation to exonerate her brother. As another body turns up, Sarah once again finds herself in danger. When she begins to have suspicions about a group of visitors to the town, CJ tries to get her to stop her questions and interference. Will she be able to find the true murderer? What is Luke really involved in? Will Sarah and CJ proceed to the next step in their relationship? The plot is well paced, and the characters are well developed. It is easy to get a good sense of Sarah through her interactions with the other characters. She continues to be loyal and stand up for thsoe she cares about. She is honest and not afraid to turn in her brother if she finds evidence that he did kill Mr. Spencer. I did not have any idea who the murderer was and the twist at the end of the story was very good. At the end of the book there are some tips for yard sale buyers and sellers. I thoroughly enjoyed this cozy mystery. I recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers out there. This is a good series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
Sherry Harris does it again in this latest addition to the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, in fact, it is the best I have read so far. If you have not visited Ellinton Massachusetts in this series, it is time you did. Sarah Winston is divorced from ex-military, now Sheriff, C.J. They have begun dating again and it seems a remarriage may be in the future. While running her latest garage sale at the Spencers, she discovers Mr. Spencer, a veteran, dead in the garage and his wife unconcious on the floor beside him. When she returns home that day, she answers her door only to find her estranged brother Luke standing there. As CJ investigates the crime, Luke becomes a suspect in the murder when his fingerprints are found in the garage. Of course, this causes Sarah to begin her own investigation to exonerate her brother. As another body turns up, Sarah once again finds herself in danger. When she begins to have suspicions about a group of visitors to the town, CJ tries to get her to stop her questions and interference. Will she be able to find the true murderer? What is Luke really involved in? Will Sarah and CJ proceed to the next step in their relationship? The plot is well paced, and the characters are well developed. It is easy to get a good sense of Sarah through her interactions with the other characters. She continues to be loyal and stand up for thsoe she cares about. She is honest and not afraid to turn in her brother if she finds evidence that he did kill Mr. Spencer. I did not have any idea who the murderer was and the twist at the end of the story was very good. At the end of the book there are some tips for yard sale buyers and sellers. I thoroughly enjoyed this cozy mystery. I recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers out there. This is a good series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: A Good Day to Buy - Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery Book 4 Author: Sherry Harris Publisher: Kensington Books Published: 4-25-2017 Pages: 288 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers, & Suspense Sub-Genre: Amateur Sleuths; Hobbies; Cozy Mysteries ISBN: 9781496707512 ASIN: B01JEJCA4G Reviewed For NetGalley and Kensington Books Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.5 Stars Sarah is delighted and worried when her brother comes calling, but asks she tell no one he is in town. Then a customer is murdered and his wife badly beaten. Next her brother disappears. Searching for clues to his whereabouts it becomes apparent that the murder and Luke disappearing are connected. Sarah begins investigating the two events in the hope of finding a killer and save her brother. Her biggest fear that the killer may in fact be her brother. As always Sherry Harris delivers a well written story filled with characters we quickly come to enjoy visiting with and places so well described we can imagine ourselves being at. Moving at a fast pace you will soon find yourself immersed in the story. my rating of "A Good Day to Buy" is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
csrsvivr More than 1 year ago
Garage sales can be murder! Strong, interesting and well developed characters. Tons of twists and turns to you drawn into the book. Another great installment to this fun loving series!
LisaKsBooksReviews More than 1 year ago
It’s a good day to buy, A GOOD DAY TO BUY, and an even better day to read it! As with the first three titles in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries, A GOOD DAY TO BUY is a wonderful cozy mystery read. Author Sherry Harris has what it takes to not only ensure previous readers will return for more, but to draw in new readers and make them instant fans. The introduction of Sarah’s brother, Luke was interesting. I kept getting a strange feeling about him. Was he a good guy, or was he bad? Well, that’s for you to decide when you read the book. The action in, A GOOD DAY TO BUY, started off earlier than a garage sale! Seriously, I was only a few pages into this story, and bamm . . . everything started happening. Glued to my chair, I had to remind myself to breathe as event after event flew across the pages. Seriously, there was always something going on! A first rate mystery, and a carefully thought out whodunit, A GOOD DAY TO BUY is the perfect addition to this already fantastic series. Trust me when I say, once you start reading, you’re not going to want to put this book down! And just when you think it’s over, Ms. Harris throws in one more twist. Don’t miss the garage sales tips at the back of the book!
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
A Good Day to Buy by Sherry Harris is the fourth book in A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series. Sarah Winston is helping Verne and Velma Spencer downsize their collections for a move to Florida. Today is garage sale day, and Velma keeps trying to reclaim items. Her husband, Verne takes her inside, and Sarah gets ready to bargain. Later in the morning, a customer attempts to enter an off-limits area in the garage that Sarah has cordoned off with sheets. Behind the sheets, Sarah discovers the couple on the floor. Verne is dead, but Velma still has a pulse. Through the back door of the garage, Sarah sees a man fleeing into the woods. After giving her statement to the police, Sarah is home enjoying a Fluffernutter sandwich (marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter) when there is a knock at the door. It is Sarah’s estranged brother, Luke who is twitchy and acting cagey. He needs a place to stay and asks Sarah not to tell anyone that he is there especially C.J. (Chief of Police and Sarah’s ex-husband/current paramour). Luke tells Sarah that he is an investigative reporter working on a story. Luke stays a short time, but he is soon gone without a word. When Luke’s fingerprints turn up in the Spencer’s garage and he becomes a “person of interest”, Sarah knows she must take action. Sarah finds a notebook of Luke’s in the couch that contains a list of names. Sarah hopes that Luke’s research will lead her to him. She knows her brother did not hurt the Spencer’s. Now, she has to prove it and then explain her deception to C.J. Sarah will need to stay alert and on her toes, because she is not the only person trying to find Luke! A Good Day to Buy is nicely written and has a good pace (and flow). A Good Day to Buy can be read alone. The needed background information on Sarah is provided in the book (and she has a complicated history). There are some wonderful descriptions of antiques in the book. I love vintage items and there are several objects described that I want to own. I give A Good Day to Buy 4 out of 5 stars. I am not a fan of the romance in this series. I was very disappointed to see Sarah take up with her ex-husband again (I preferred her with Seth). He strikes me as a self-centered individual, and he does not seem happy with the new Sarah (who she has become since the divorce). I believe Sarah is with him because it is comfortable, easy, and familiar. It will be interesting to see what happens between C.J. and Sarah in the next book. The murder mystery was complex and a delight to solve. I believe many readers will be stumped by this one. The secondary storyline regarding veterans was shocking (spoiler). There are some handy garage sale tips at the end of the book. I enjoyed A Good Day to Buy better than the previous book in the series. I was especially grateful that Ms. Harris cut down on the Fluffernutter sandwich references (makes me queasy just thinking about them). I was surprised by the cliffhanger ending (and disappointed). I hope the author will resolve the issue early in the next book and not drag it out (sorry, but I do not want to spoil it for anyone).
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Today is a Good Day to Read This Book I hadn’t realized just how addicted to the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries I’d become until a few days before I sat down to read A Good Day to Buy, the fourth in the series, and realized I couldn’t wait to dive in. The book didn’t disappoint me at all. Spring has arrived again, which means that Sarah Winston is in full garage sale mode. This particular Saturday, she is running a garage sale for the Spencers, an older couple who are looking to downsize before they move to Florida to be closer to their son and his family. Part way through the morning, Sarah goes behind a curtain she’s set up in the garage to find the couple lying on the garage floor. While Mrs. Spencer is only unconscious, Mr. Spencer is dead. When Sarah finally gets home, she has another surprise – her younger brother Luke shows up at her door. She hasn’t heard from or seen Luke in years. He says he’s undercover and needs a place to lay low for a few days. Sarah quickly agrees, hoping to get more information from him and work on repairing their relationship. However, hiding Luke turns out to be more difficult than she expected, and then he disappears again just when the police want to question him in Mr. Spencer’s death. Why is Luke a suspect? Where did he go? What is he doing in town? And can Sarah clear his name? Obviously, Luke’s presence adds a nice layer to this mystery, and it really drew me into the book. I needed to know what he was really up to and how it contributed to the disaster of a garage sale that opened the book. I couldn’t put it down, and I finish the book in just a couple of days. I had a couple of niggle with the climax, but they are very minor things. The reason I couldn’t wait to get to this book is the characters. I absolutely love them, and it was wonderful to be spending time with Sarah and her friends again. It was interesting watching her relationship with CJ, her ex-husband and current boyfriend, taking another step forward. And for those wondering, Seth does also have a presence in the book, although the love triangle isn’t the strong element it was in the earlier books. We meet some interesting new characters in this book as well. Another aspect I love is the nearby air force base. As an air force wife herself, Sherry Harris knows the life she is portraying, and it adds a great unique element to this series. With how this book ended, I am anxious to find out what happens next to Sarah. But even without that ending, I’d be back as soon as the next book was released. A Good Day to Buy is another fantastic read that will leave fans of the series satisfied. And if you aren’t among the series fans yet, you’ll find no better bargain for your money than fixing that today. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
This is the best book in the series! I absolutely loved reading this exciting story and I found myself glued to my chair until I finished it. Sarah Winston is such a fun character and she really shined in A Good Day to Buy by Sherry Harris. Searching through used items is a pleasure for Sarah. The thrill of finding a treasure in someone else's junk is rush, wiping away the dust and cobwebs to uncover a prize is what she lives for. When Sarah isn't on the hunt, she's organizing tag sales for her clients. Not expecting a tragedy at her normal tag sale, Sarah is overwhelmed with emotion when she stumbles upon a pair of victims in a garage. A knock on her door brings Sarah into the past, and may possibly ruin her future. Will Sarah have the courage to do what's necessary for everyone involved? This story was everything I love in a cozy mystery. The characters were colorful and fun, the mystery kept me guessing and there was a nice romantic twist as well. Of course, Ms. Harris left us with a cliffhanger and I will be eagerly waiting for the next book. I proudly volunteered to read an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.