High-Wire Heartbreak by Jo Schmidt

High-Wire Heartbreak

(Work in Progress)

Sarasota FL, Summer 2022

Chloe Whitfield has made her career writing cozy mysteries. Her latest story will be set on the grounds of the winter home of John Ringling—the impresario who brought his family’s famed circus to audiences across the country—and made a fortune in the bargain. But Chloe has another reason for her interest in setting her novel at Ca d’ Zan, Ringling’s spectacular estate on the Gulf coast of Florida. Her great grandmother was a star performer with the Ringling show—until she suddenly wasn’t. Chloe is determined to find out what happened, and she hopes Dr. Ian Flanner, director of the museum that includes the mansion, will help.

Sarasota FL, May 1936

Lucinda Conroy has been flying high as the headliner for John Ringling’s circus for some time. When she is asked to perform for him and his guests at a lavish party on the grands of his estate, she decides the time has come to perform the feat only one other woman has dared—the triple summersault while eighty feet above the ground. It will be her birthday gift to Mister John—and her final performance. For Lucy is secretly married to the circus manager and shortly after she achieves her goal, realizes she is pregnant. Ready to settle into a more normal life as wife and mother, her world comes crashing down around her when she learns her marriage was a sham and she is arrested for stealing items from the famous mansion.