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Phillip Winberry For most of his life Phillip Winberry has been an avid reader of mystery and suspense novels. When he was casting about for what the next phase of his life should look like as his nearly four decade long legal career was coming to a close it made sense that he would turn to writing what he loved to read. The initial effort in his new endeavor, Reno Splits: Mystery on a Nevada Divorce Ranch, was e-published in August 2012 and recently was awarded the indieBRAG Medallion™ by the Book Reader’s Appreciation Group.
He lives with his wife, Constance, and their beloved Weimaraner on Whidbey Island Washington in a home overlooking the Puget Sound shipping lanes and the majestic Olympic Mountains. Currently he is editing and considering finishing touches on a novel of genealogical suspense set in 1943 wartime and 1947 post World War II England. Falling from the Sky will be e-published in summer 2013.
Phillip’s third novel, a mystery set on a small Puget Sound island and tentatively titled Foxglove, is in the initial stages of development for publication in 2014. You can view his blog at www.phillipwinberry.com and follow him on Twitter @phillipwinberry.
Blurb for Reno Splits
Reno, the “Biggest Little City in the World,” was a mecca for divorce seeking women in 1949, particularly eastern socialites and Hollywood starlets wanting a quick and easy way to end an unhappy marriage. While establishing the six weeks residency required by the state of Nevada before being granted their freedom, most of the split-seekers lived a luxurious and pampered lifestyle sampling the city’s dazzling nightlife, high-stakes gambling, and majestic scenery. When New York lawyer Sam Carr’s twin sister, Sally, disappears on the day she’s scheduled to receive her divorce, and then is found dead in the desert, he travels west to track down her killer, in the process confronting his own troubled past and jeopardizing lives as he moves closer to uncovering a shocking secret.
During the forty-two days of their Nevada hiatus many of the women lived on dude ranches, exclusive enclaves the locals call “divorce ranches.” Those rustic establishments catered to their guests’ every need, something Sam quickly realizes when his search begins peeling back the seamy layers of Reno’s unique Wild West culture. To his astonishment he learns Sally was an enthusiastic consumer of that way of life; or at least had been until she fell in love with a man whose identity no one seems to know—or is willing to reveal.
Sam’s hunt for Sally’s murderer becomes more complicated when he discovers that his fiancée before the war, a woman he’s searched for since returning home from Europe, fled to Reno after he broke off their engagement. She now helps run the divorce ranch where Sally stayed.
Struggling to come to grips with his feelings about rediscovering the woman he loves, Sam plunges ahead with his pursuit. Frustrated by the peculiarities of the Reno lifestyle, he soon stumbles into the sights of a madman, leaving himself with a choice—succeed in his quest or die.
Available for Kindle
Friday, August 26, 1949
Sally Carr shifted position to face away from the searing sun, causing pain to explode through her body. She bit her tongue hard enough to make it bleed then spit, blood mixing with the saliva and sweat trickling down her chin. With her hands tied behind her back there was no way to stop the flow. This wasn’t the way she’d ever envisioned dying, but it appeared that choice no longer belonged to her. Her luck had run out—like it did for most anyone who chose to come to
and bet against the
She’d been slipping in and out of consciousness and wasn’t sure how much time had passed since being left sitting propped against the rough basalt rock. Judging from how far the sun had moved across the cobalt blue high-desert sky it had to be three or four hours. Unless someone came along before sunset, she probably wouldn’t survive the night. Even though it was only late August, at this altitude the temperature almost certainly would drop down into the low forties. Plus, there was the matter of her two shattered shins. There was no way she could walk. Crawl, maybe. But walk? She might never do that again.
She sobbed and tried to rub her chin on her shoulder. At least he was gone. The only evidence of his having brought her to this godforsaken place in the Nevada sagebrush country was a trail of dried blood left in the sand marking where he had dragged her from his car.
She ran her damaged tongue around her parched lips. The taste reminded her of the salt on the rim of the margaritas she’d drunk at her divorce-day eve celebration. Had that been just last night? What a party—a nonstop western shindig to celebrate the fact that, in less than eighteen hours, she would be Sally Elizabeth Carr again, not Mrs. Benjamin Winston Renfield, III. A lot of toasts had been drunk to her future. Some she remembered.
Settling back against the rock, she squinted toward the shadowed mountain peaks to the southwest. Somewhere in the foothills down there was Trinity Springs Divorce Ranch, her home for the past six weeks, the length of time required to establish
residency for a quickie divorce. What
was going on at the ranch right now? Her
fellow six-weekers probably still were lolling around the swimming pool,
enjoying the late afternoon sun, and swapping outrageous stories about their
Another jolt of pain coursed through her body. How much more could she take? She gritted her teeth and stared at her legs. Both were bloody messes between the knee and ankle. Why hadn’t she paid more attention? She should have seen through him from the start.
A lot of people had warned her. She hadn’t listened. All she’d been interested in was having fun during her time in
and he had been there to help her find it.
His pitch was smooth and sounded harmless. Now she realized she’d been wrong—dead wrong. Nevada
Amazon U.S. http://www.amazon.com/Reno-Splits-Mystery-Divorce-ebook/dp/B008VY2XSE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377209865&sr=8-1&keywords=Reno+Splits
Amazon U.K. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Reno-Splits-Mystery-Divorce-ebook/dp/B008VY2XSE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377209922&sr=8-1&keywords=Reno+Splits
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