BOB AND THE POLKA-DOT HIGHWAY
Book 3 of The Bob Books
by R. Murphy
Poor Roz…once again stuck on the horns of a dilemma. Does she accept the great offer for a job that’s hundreds of miles from Crooked Lake? Or does she pick David, the great guy who grows grapes half a mile from her house? And either way—assuming our crabby woman-of-a-certain-age manages to make a decision—what about her ghost, Bob?
Granted, Bob and Roz have never had a … ummmm… ‘traditional’ relationship but still, martini-loving ghosts don’t toddle along every day of the week. What happens to the wit, the sparkle, the laughter?
So many questions…(sigh).
Join Roz, David—and Bob—as they spend a beautiful, but confusing, summer on Crooked Lake. And oh, by the way, watch out for drips…
Bob, the ghost who turns up at my place on a very regular basis, watched me as I placed the phone quietly on the table, a rare worried look on his face. “Good news, or bad news?” he asked. “It sounded like Tess offered you the job, but you don’t seem particularly happy about it. Should I make martinis to celebrate or to drown our sorrows?”
“Oh, it’s definitely time to cue the martinis,” I responded (more about the martinis later). “We need a party right about now.”
Bob brightened and got busy. While he’s occupied making his lethal cocktails, I’ll take a minute to bring you up to speed. (But as I said, for the full story, you probably want to read the previous books in this trilogy—Bob at the Lake and Bob at The Plaza). As you might guess from the titles, Bob and I have a fairly checkered history.)
The Cliff Notes version of these volumes, though, would be something like: “Roz, a woman of a certain age, struggles valiantly (some might point out, rather crabbily) with the financial havoc wreaked by the Great Recession. To complicate matters, the Universe (Clive?) assigns Bob, a martini-loving ghost associated with the Algonquin Round Table, to ‘help’ me (quotes added here by a thoroughly exasperated author) with two tasks: 1) do something ‘special’ (again, quotes = exasperation) and 2) decide whether to sell my beautiful but isolated and high-maintenance lake house.
The latter challenge seems to have been met—I listed my house about a month ago with Crooked Lake’s Marilyn Monroe-look-alike real estate agent, Penny Mae. (Who, incidentally, is now in hot pursuit of David, my mostly-ex-boyfriend.)
As for the ‘special’ task, Bob and I still debate the exact meaning of that assignment. In my mind, that job might be something related to my freelance work as a corporate writer who raises big money for Community Chest. Bob disagrees, hinting that my mission is probably more personal, perhaps pertaining to the unpublished book manuscript I’ve penned regarding our relationship. … The exact nature of this task has always been murky and an ongoing source of frustration.
And I hardly need another source of frustration—my life abounds with the stuff, thank you very much. I’m broke, with an expensive lake house to maintain. Plus, I recently lost one of my two paying freelance clients. And, even though my house survived Crooked Lake’s wicked spring floods, they left their mark, mostly on my psyche. The financial uncertainties caused by all of these challenges caused me to break off my budding relationship with David. I knew I’d have to look far afield to find a decent job, and I didn’t want to take the chance of getting in too deep with land-locked, mutually impoverished David and his vineyards. Not a fun decision, but probably a wise one since it turns out my new job places me squarely in the middle of Ohio…
Bob at the Lake
What would happen if Roz, a crabby woman of a certain age, moved to the wintry shores of a New York lake—and got a ghost? And not just any ghost, mind you. Bob’s a ghost from 1920’s Manhattan, full of quips and over fond of his martinis, who swans around in a silk smoking jacket and makes Roz’s life very . . . well, let’s just say ‘complicated.’
Especially after Roz meets David, the good-looking grape grower who lives up the hill. Join Roz, David—and Bob—as they navigate blizzards, cookie mazes, holiday shopping sprees, and the occasional power outage. (You know, all of those delightful challenges of a good, old-fashioned Northern winter . . .)
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Bob at the Plaza
Bob, our favorite martini-loving ghost, has vanished. Now Roz faces a miserable snowbound Crooked Lake winter alone. Well, almost alone. Thank goodness for David, the practical, kind grape grower who lives up the hill.
What a winter it is! Record-breaking snows followed months later by record-setting rains. Ah, the joys of living on a lake shore when the spring floods arrive.
High water, anyone?
Undeterred by mice, sociopathic relatives, Carnegie Hall disasters, and spring floods, Roz searches for her MIA ghost. In the process she goes toe-to-toe with the hyper-verbal crowd at the Algonquin Round Table. Can Roz best smarty-pants Dorothy Parker in a game of wits? Will Harpo Marx finally speak out and help Bob return to Crooked Lake?
For the answers to these and many other spirited questions, read BOB AT THE PLAZA!
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Roz Murphy is the pseudonym of a long-time Finger Lakes resident who lives with ghosts and doesn’t want to confirm in her neighbors’ minds how nutty she really is. (They already have their suspicions.) After decades of writing in Manhattan and throughout the country, Roz settled on the shores of New York’s Keuka Lake, some of the most beautiful country ever created. She’s an ardent fan of the Finger Lakes wine industry, especially the local dry Rieslings.