About the Book
Time After Tyme is a fun and thought-provoking mystery about secret codes, university intrigue, and two young girls who fancy themselves 21st-century Nancy Drews.
When strange, coded messages turn up in the chapel prayer box at Bellevue University, the minister suspects a recent campus death may have been murder, so he enlists the help of amateur sleuths Kathryn Frasier and Cece Goldman to decipher the codes and solve the mystery. But when a couple of young girls get wind of it, they decide to find the killer on their own. Almost everyone on campus has something to hide, and the story fluctuates between the rational search for the truth by the adults, and the occasionally misguided, but surprisingly perceptive, insight of the children.
Set on the campus of a modern university, Time After Tyme is both a joyful romp through a cozy mystery and a serious look at the search for truth. The book reminds us of the seasons of our lives, from the irrepressible curiosity of youth to the treasured experience of maturity.
“Sorry, Miss Culberson, but this is my assignment. If you won’t talk to me, I’ll find someone who will.” I looked down at my notebook and pretended to review my notes. “You know, it may not have been an accident.”
She gasped and got up and walked around the desk. Her pink shoes made little clicking noises on the wood floor. I’m surprised librarians are allowed to wear high heels. Shouldn’t they always wear Hush Puppies? And who wears pink shoes anyway? When she looked down at me, I knew this was going to be one of those don’t-go-there conversations. But she’s not much taller than I am, so she’s not very scary. Not like Mrs. Toussaint.
“Reen, I appreciate your curiosity, but this is a serious subject for a child. I’ll have to talk to your father before I give you any information about Mr. Tyme.”
The shock approach wasn’t working as well as I had hoped. I needed a better plan of attack.
MISSED ANY EXCERPTS, GO HERE:
Time After Tyme Excerpt 1
I figure librarians know the most about murder. After all, they’re locked up all day with a bunch of stale books and have to deal with people who don’t know how to use the computers.
Miss Culberson is the university librarian I like the most. She always helps me, even when I pester her with questions. Today, she was leaning down behind the information desk when Joanie and I got there.
“Hi, Miss Culberson.”
She looked up and peered at me over her half-size, pink-rimmed plastic glasses. She always wears the same ones, and they’re on a black bungee cord that holds them when she takes them off and drops them down. But she never takes them off. Maybe she thinks the cord makes her look cool. It doesn’t.
Miss Culberson’s face is pale, and she has short, wavy blonde hair with gray roots. She’s not much taller than I am, and I’m sure she doesn’t get enough exercise because her arms wiggle when she’s wearing short sleeves like she is today.
BOOK EXCERPT (#2)
“Thanks, Miss Culberson, but I don’t have time for pleasure reading anymore.”
“Oh? And what are you so busy with?”
There are two kinds of adults in the world. The kind that doesn’t pay you any attention and the kind that pretends they’re interested in what you have to say. You know, the ones that give you a little half smile that means You’re just a kid and don’t know anything, but I’m going to be nice to you so I don’t ruin your psyche. Miss Culberson is definitely the second kind, but I like her anyway.
“I’ve decided to become an investigative reporter,” I said with a sharp nod of the head to add emphasis.
“I’m interested in finding the truth, no matter where it takes me.” I had the feeling she was stifling a smile.
“I see,” she said. “That’s very commendable.” She uses that word a lot. I had to look it up when I was a little kid because she always told me everything I did was commendable. It means “good.”
“And what are you investigating today?”
“I can’t tell you the nature of my investigation, but I have some questions you might be able to help me with.” I took my notebook and pen out. They make me look official.
“Wonderful. I’ll give you all the help I can.” She moved some books to the side and sat down behind the desk. She adjusted the pink bow on her lacey white blouse and leaned her arms on the desk so she and I were on eye level. I like it when I can look an adult right in the face. Makes me feel like we’re equal.
Book Excerpt 4
“Now, what do you want to know?”
I decided to use the element of surprise. You know, throw something out unexpected-like
to see their reaction. I locked my eyes onto her face. “What do you know about Mr. Tyme’s
Her pale face went completely white, her eyes got big and round, and her spectacles fell
down onto their bungee cord. I guess there’s a first time for everything. She sat straight up in her
chair and moved a few more books around. I thought maybe she was buying time so she
wouldn’t have to answer me. Sometimes when I bother her, she’ll suddenly remember she has
some books to reshelve, but that didn’t happen. She put her glasses back on and looked at me
again. “Mr. Tyme?” Her voice shot up about an octave. “Why are you asking about him?”
“He died. And I’m going to find out what happened.” There. I said it out loud. I thought maybe
she’d scream and run out of the room.
Book Excerpt 5
Or maybe she’d admit she murdered him because he was going to hire a younger woman to replace her. Or maybe she’d just call my dad and tell him to come pick me up. Her face became stern, more than ever before, and her cheeks turned the same color pink as her glasses. “Reen, you shouldn’t be investigating a death.” Ah. The you’re-too-young-to-know-anything approach. “That was a gruesome thing and not one a young girl should be concerned with. If you want to be an investigative reporter, I suggest you look into something else.” She picked up a newspaper lying next to the stack of books. “Here. There’s a big story in yesterday’s paper about how the school system is funded. You could investigate that and find some positive ways to help the community. Looking into a terrible accident isn’t a good idea.”I leaned against the desk, trying to look older and nonchalant like reporters did in the old movies.
Book Excerpt 7
“We don’t have to talk about the fire,” I said, and I put the flummoxed expression on my face. That’s the one adults respond to best when they don’t want to hurt your feelings. But I didn’t whine. They don’t like it when you whine, and you’ll lose all the progress you made along the way. “I’d just like to know what he was like. You know, how he was to work for, what he liked to read about, his daily habits.”
“Clarence Tyme was a dear friend, and I don’t mind telling you about what a nice man he was and how well we worked together.” She held up her index finger and wagged it at me. “But nothing about the accident, understood?”
“Oh, yes, Miss Culberson. I understand.” I tried to look like a puppy dog eagerly waiting for a pat on the head. She went back to her chair, and I smiled on the inside. I might win the Pulitzer Prize.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kay DiBianca is an award-winning author who loves to create literary puzzles in the mystery genre for her readers to solve. Her characters come to life as they struggle to solve murders and create relationships amidst the ongoing themes of faith and family. Her first novel, The Watch on the Fencepost, won an Illumination Award for General Fiction and an Eric Hoffer Award for Mystery. The second book in the Watch series, Dead Man’s Watch, was a Silver Falchion Award finalist.
Kay is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the Collierville Christian Writers Group. An avid runner, she can often be found at a nearby track, on the treadmill, or at a large park near her home. Her background in software development fuels her fascination with puzzles and mysteries, and her dedication to running helps supply the endurance and energy she needs to write about them.
Kay and her husband, Frank, live, run, and write in Memphis, Tennessee. You can connect with Kay through her website at https://kaydibianca.com.