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Vaga Bond: Summerside Up

I’ve settled into my new next digs at the Summerside Inn, a Mom and Pop hotel on S. Fort Harrison Avenue (Alternate Route 19) in Belleair, FL near Clearwater. The motel is nothing fancy, but it’s super clean. Plus, there’s a pool, a putting green, and shuffleboard courts.

I’ve met the owners who recently relocated from Alabama. It’s not just me; I’m amazed by how much of our American population is on the move and they're not just visiting either. Folks are re-settling. I’m curious to see the end result of this big shift.

I didn’t plan it this way, but the smartest thing I’ve done lately was to explore Clearwater Beach on Thursday when I first arrived. Sooner or later I’m going to fully grasp the true meaning of “The Season.” The season means hordes of cranky sun-burned tourists, non-existent parking, and mile-long lines of beach traffic. All you can do when you run into that is to kick back, listen to some music, and hope the car doesn’t overheat. Fortunately, I avoided most of this by heading into St. Pete for shuffleboard practice and two great weekend events.

The Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime enjoyed a very well attended (via Zoom) monthly meeting on Saturday. On Sunday, I met up with writers Cheryl Hollon and Gayle Massey for Alafair Burke’s “Find Me” book launch hosted at Tombolo Books.

Alafair was interviewed by the amazing Lisa Unger, and it was obvious that they were good friend by their easy banter. Whipping out the VISA Card, I restocked my mobile library, also picking up Karin Slaughter’s “Pieces of Her,” which as a new Netflix thriller was highly recommended by a shuffleboard teammate who said she binge-watched all eight episodes in one sitting. I also recommend reading Lisa Unger’s “Last Girl Ghosted,” which I just finished. If you’re looking for fresh crime fiction, any one of these will do.


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