Out Today from Jane Jago – A Cold Frame

In A Cold Frame, a new release from Jane Jago, Grace finds herself caught up in murder, mystery and mid-life romance in the beautiful Cornish coastal countryside…

It takes a certain sort of courage to change your life at fifty-five. But Grace had never lacked chutzpah, so she took redundancy as a sign from on high. Within a month of the factory closing she had rented out her house, bought a campervan, and acquired an oversized shaggy mutt called Jeremy.
Bright and early on one of those April mornings where the sky is pale blue and the world looks washed clean, she engaged first gear and set out to find adventure.
The first couple of weeks of campervan life was interesting, as Grace learned the ropes and Jeremy learned acceptable behaviour. However, by the time May poked its nose over the horizon they felt like a proper team. As the weather was unseasonably warm, they settled into a shady pitch on a tidy little campsite in north Cornwall and sat back to watch the surfers, and walk the coastal path.
On day two of their stay, they acquired neighbours, who had a big orange muscle truck and a silver bullet of a caravan. Geoff and Mona were large, loud and friendly and they had a French Bulldog who adored Jeremy, even if she did bully him.
Most of the rest of the campsite was filled with youngsters, in tents and beat-up vee dubs, whose only interests appeared to be surfing and getting laid.
Grace wasn’t surprised that most of these youngsters chose to ignore her, though she was always pleased to chat to any polite enough to pass the time of day with a middle-aged woman and her ugly dog. This wary politeness changed to something warmer the day a group of lads discovered that Jeremy could play football.
It happened like this. The waves weren’t cooperating and a dozen boys were playing what Grace mentally described as mini Australian Rules when one of them kicked the ball too enthusiastically and it bulleted towards a newly-arrived, very shiny, very white caravan. None of the lads were close enough to stop the inevitable, but Jeremy was
“Catch boy.”
The ball was just passing over his head when the big dog jumped, catching it in his powerful jaws.
He brought the ball to Grace and dropped it at her feet.
“Who’s a clever boy,” she said, as she rubbed his rough head.
By this time the surfers had jogged over and were standing in a rough line about six feet from Grace.
“You can come and get your ball,” she said. “He doesn’t bite.”
The boys crowded forwards. They seemed to have elected the skinniest of them as spokesperson. Because he hitched up his colourful shorts and gave Grace a sort of a half salute.
“That was some catch. I reckon Buffon here saved our bacon.” He indicated the red-faced and bristling caravanner with a rueful thumb. “Thanks buddy.”
Jeremy looked to Grace for permission, and when she nodded he went over the the group of lads and indicated that they might make much of him. When he knocked two over in his enthusiasm, Grace whistled sharply.
“Gently Jeremy.”
He wagged his tail frantically, but moderated his behaviour enough to stop knocking people over. When even he had had enough attention he ambled back to the camper for a long drink of water.
“That’s some dog missis, what is he?”
“Nobody knows. I adopted him from a shelter because he and me seemed to suit.”
The boys thought that one over for a minute.
“Is he really called Jeremy? That’s kinda cool.”
“He was called it when I got him. The kennel-maid thought he looked like her uncle Jeremy.”
Grace threw them their ball.
“You lot have a game to play, but I don’t recommend playing near here.”
“No. We can’t expect Jeremy here to save us twice. We’ll get him a bone to say thanks next time we go into town.”
“He’d rather join in your game of football. He’s a mean goalie.”
“Yay. Keen. Coming boy?”
Jeremy looked to Grace for permission, and when she agreed he went gladly to the games field at the bottom of the valley.
Predictably enough, mister shiny caravan bustled over – only he didn’t come to thank Grace for saving his pride and joy from a football. Instead he chose to stand over her as she sat in her comfortable chair and loudly berate her for ‘encouraging rowdyism’. She put up with him and his bristling moustache for a couple of minutes before standing up so he was no longer looming over her.
“Go away,” she said quietly. “You are on my pitch, uninvited, and you are being rude. I have no desire to listen to you.”

A Cold Frame by Jane Jago is out today so you can snag your copy right now to keep reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Start a Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: