E.C. (Eileen) Bell's debut paranormal mystery, Seeing the Light (2014) won the BPAA award for Best Speculative Fiction Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Award for Light Mystery. The rest of the books in the series have all been shortlisted for awards (look at her go!), with the fourth in the series, Dying on Second (2017) winning the Bony Blithe Award for Light Mystery.

When she's not writing, she's living a fine life in her round house with her husband and dog.

Want to know more? Check out her website: www.eileenbell.com

Winner of the 2018 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award

​Nominated for the 2018 Alberta Publisher's Award in Speculative Fiction

Dying on Second by E.C. Bell

Marie Jenner needs some sunshine.

Marie's past year has been tough. She lost her apartment, and her mother, and she's been beaten up more times than she cares to count. She decides—on the advice of her shrink—that exercise will help. So, she joins a softball team.

But there's a problem, of course. A dead girl is hanging around second base at Marie's first game, and she won't leave. She won't even tell Marie her name. So Marie decides to do a little sleuthing, and what she finds out puts her in more danger than she's ever been in her life.

It isn't just from the girl's killer—it's also from the dead girl's softball team. Twenty ghosts who all say they want to be left alone to play ball, and who will do anything to make sure it happens. And then, they start talking about revenge.

All Marie wants is fresh air and exercise. Is that too much to ask?

CURATOR'S NOTE

Softball, sunshine, and murder: the perfect way to kick off spring. I have worked with E.C. Bell for nearly a decade, and the misadventures of ghost-seeing PI, Marie Jenner, are always good for a laugh… and a scare. Dying on Second is one my favourite books that E.C. Bell has written. – Margaret Curelas

 

REVIEWS

  • "E.C. Bell combines the wit and charm of Maureen Jennings with the magical touch of Charles de Lint; Dying on Second is a home run, a joy from first page to last."

    – Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of┬áThe Oppenheimer Alternative
  • "This book is fantastic! …Danger, excitement, and a long dead girl who won't tell her story makes life more than complicated for Marie and her boss James."

    – Barb Galler-Smith, Amazon Review, 5 stars
  • "…chapters just fly by - could not stop reading!"

    – Alejandra, Goodreads Review, 5 stars
 

BOOK PREVIEW

Excerpt

Prologue

IN 1974, THE City of Edmonton built five diamonds at the Southside Industrial Park, which backed onto Palm Dairy on the southern edge of town. They were built so the Ladies Fastball League could be moved, quickly and quietly, out of the McCauley neighbourhood and the city could build a stadium for the Commonwealth Games in 1978. The Commonwealth Stadium was going to be one of the city's crowning achievements, and after the Games, the Edmonton Eskimos, the local football team, was going to use it. But before that could happen, the city had to move the women and their softball out of the way.

All the diamonds at the Southside Industrial Park were originally supposed to be for women's softball. The park was also supposed to have a concession and bathrooms. It was supposed to be fantastic, so the women wouldn't feel so angry about having to move.

Of course, none of that panned out, exactly. Goldstick Park and men's baseball got the concession and washrooms, and two of the diamonds at Southside were designated for men. Diamond One was for baseball and Diamond Three was for men's softball. Diamonds Two, Four, and Five were built for the Ladies League. A league that fielded one hundred teams a year, and they got three diamonds.

I was dead, but even I knew a rip-off when I heard one.

MY BODY WAS buried just behind second base on Diamond Two in the spring of 1974, before the diamonds were finished. Before the city of Edmonton named the ball park John Fry, after a local politician and do-gooder. Before the lights and the shale were put in. Before everything.

The park was a cold, quiet place that year. All I could do was watch the workmen as they finished the diamonds and added the bleachers. Then, I sat in those newly built bleachers and wished that somebody would find me and get me the hell out of there.

I even had dreams, in those early days, about finding my family and somehow letting them know what happened to me. My parents must have been going out of their minds, wondering. It would have seemed to them that I'd fallen off the face of the earth. Like I hadn't cared how much I'd hurt them. Like I'd just walked away, without a backward glance.

But I couldn't find the gumption to leave that spot, and the dreams about my family faded. The living women showed up in the summer of 1975 and started to play softball, and my nightmares about how I died slowly faded, too.

Then the dead came, and all I thought about was softball . . .

I hadn't played softball growing up. Lots of girls did, but my parents didn't see what use a game like that would give me later in life.

"You need to learn how to type, and how to keep a clean house," they'd say to me. "So you can get a man."

That bit of advice is kind of what got me stuck at Diamond Two, if you want to know the truth. But that was ancient history. Better left buried. Just like me.

I learned to play from the other dead who came to the diamond after me. They'd known the game, loved the game, and wanted it to keep going. The diamonds were only used by the living twice a night for most of the spring and summer. We had the rest of the year to play our own games, whenever we wanted.

Until Marie Jenner wandered onto Diamond Two.

Then, it all blew up.