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by Unbroken

Globe Trotting Assassins and a Love Story with SJ Varengo


Nicole Porter has a lot of explaining to do.

In SJ Varengo's Cleanup Crew series, Nicole Porter ostensibly runs a company that cleans up crime scenes. The catch is that usually she and her coworkers are the ones who have caused the bloody messes in the first place.

In this episode, Scott reads to us from The Beauty of Bucharest, book 1 in the series, which finds Nicole in the titular city with her new husband, Dan ...and her assassin colleagues who are on the job and ready for work.

Scott and I also talk about his most recent book, Jelly Jars, which is something of a departure for him. As a general rule, this podcast is focused on my guests' mystery novels (obvs) but when Scott mentioned Jelly Jars in the interview I was intrigued, so I followed that thread and really enjoyed hearing about how this story came about and what it means to Scott.

If you're looking for new books and authors I've got a treat for you. There are over 70 mystery novels available for you to try - for free! - when you go to:alexandraamor.com/march21

(This offer expires March 31, 2021 so head over there today to take advantage.)

Today's show is supported by my patrons at Patreon. Thank you! When you become a patron for as little as $1 a month you receive a short mystery story each and every month. And the rewards for those who love mystery stories go up from there! Learn more and become a part of my community of readers at www.Patreon.com/alexandraamor

This week's mystery author

S.J. Varengo is a married father of two adult children, living in Upstate New York. He is the author of The Cleanup Crew series, as well as his latest novel, Jelly Jars, a literary love story. In addition, he is the co-author of the SpyCo Thriller Series and is working with Crag A. Hart on the best-selling Shelby Alexander series. 

Hart and Varengo are also partners in Northern Lake Audio, producers of audiobooks, and they co-host the popular literary-themed podcast, Good Sentences. Most recently they’ve launched a new website, e2books.com, to showcase their new work as well as their back catalog.

To learn more about Scott and all his books visit e2books.com

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher, Android, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Spotify.

Excerpt from The Beauty of Bucharest

Taken from Chapter 4 – Arrival in Romania

Nicole left Dan sleeping, his post-coital go-to move, and dressed quietly. She slipped out of the room with a level of stealth that would have caught him by surprise, as she normally made a show of being a little clumsy and a lot noisy at home. She thought about the vast amount of things that Dan was going to find surprising in the days... in the years ahead.

Stopping at the desk, she asked directions to the bar, named simply The Pub, and calculated that at just a little over a half-mile away, she could make it to her meeting in time if she walked briskly, an activity she found invigorating anyway, not that she wasn’t already quite energized from the lovemaking. For her, sex was a stimulant. It sharpened her senses and made her eager, either for more sex or for some other equally exhilarating activity.

As she stepped quickly along Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta, she pulled out her phone and wrote a quick text to Viktor, the local Crew handler, who would fill her in on all the pertinent details before bringing her to a place where she could gather up some firepower.

When Nicole had first begun working for the Clean Up Crew, the protocol was to bring any weapons you’d be using with you, but the world’s social climate had changed considerably since then, and boarding airplanes with a gun (or more often than not, several guns), even in checked luggage, was no longer considered a worthwhile

operational risk. Besides, the organization had grown to a size that allowed for a ...



by Unbroken