I am sure you must have received postcards from well-intentioned friends flaunting their vacation in Florida and rubbing it in that they are sun-tanning while you are freezing in arctic weather.

Imagine a nice neighborhood of fancy high-rises lined along the seashore, each looking like a picture perfect resort, with a private pristine beach and a pool sparkling in the blazing sunshine.

These buildings have reception desks where you have to register if you don't live there. Security officers won’t let you in before checking with the people you are visiting. In other words, high-rises benefit from a tight and reassuring security.

Nothing bad could ever happen in these places. Right?

If you write romantic suspense or paranormal, stay tune for inspiration, my friend.

Something happened. More than one thing, but let’s start with the first one since it happened in a friend’s building and she told me the story before we read it in the newspaper.

The couple in my story have been married for a year.

Picture her tall, artificially blond, fashionable with tight dresses and high heeled-sandals. It’d be difficult to guess her age, anywhere between 40 and 50.

Her husband, well-tanned, rugged, looking younger. He likes the beach and often swims. She protects her face with a wide-rim hat when walking to her car. The neighbors regularly see her taking a daily jog in the morning and the security officer at the front desk greets her with an appreciative smile. Mrs. X. is wealthy and gives generous Christmas bonuses to the building employees.

So when Mrs. X didn’t show up for her daily walk for three days in a row, security got worried. Her car was still in the parking lot but not her husband’s. Security called her apartment several times. No one answered. Having an extra key, the security officer knocked on her door several times and then opened. The apartment was empty. Maybe she was gone with her husband. It was none of their business to further interfere.
Mr. X returned from his trip in the night. Two days later he calls the police saying that his wife was missing.

The police find her purse and car keys at home. So where was she?
A day later, a woman's body dressed with her bra and bikini, and high-heeled sandals is rejected by the sea and lie on the sand of a far away beach at two hours distance. The woman is identified as Mrs. X.

Mr. X collapses, crying that his wife has committed suicide and produces a medical report that his wife suffers from depression.

What is your verdict? Who killed Mrs. X and why?

For the chance to win a copy of my ebook French Peril, a romantic suspense, play Sherlock Holmes and solve the crime. By the way, it's a true story and I will give you the verdict tomorrow.

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat.

BABIES IN THE BARGAIN winner of 2009 Best Romance Novel at Preditors & Editors and winner of 2009 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite.
Rx FOR TRUST, winner of 2010 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite and 2011 EPICON.


  1. Tamara LeBlanc // February 15, 2011 at 8:02 AM  

    Hmmm, it's a mystery.
    I say it's the younger husband with the rugged good looks. He decided he wanted the beach without the blonde.
    Fun post!
    have a great day!!

  2. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 8:11 AM  

    Hi Tamara, but do you have proof beyond doubt? If it's him how do you he did it?

  3. StephB // February 15, 2011 at 11:04 AM  

    Mona, I'm leaning toward the younger husband. I say he poisoned her, wrapped her up in a rug and brought her to his car in at 200 am when the security guard is sleepy and threw her in the sea.

    Then it again, it could have been the dirt poor security guard. No one is going to question him. The husband could have hired him to do it and spilt the profits.


  4. Barbara Edwards // February 15, 2011 at 11:27 AM  

    Wow! I need more facts. autopsy report? did she die from drowning? If so, did she swim? Argh. Money problems? did he inherit it all? A lover in the wings? I'll check back tomorrow.

  5. Barbara Edwards // February 15, 2011 at 11:29 AM  

    PS we're in florida right now and you forgot her gold jewelry, especially the chains around her neck. hah.

  6. Judy // February 15, 2011 at 12:06 PM  

    Ohhhh! Love a mystery like this. The truth is we need to know a whole lot more, of course, but my mind is spinning in several directions. It could be the hubby of course - or a chauffeur if she used one or maybe she's on drugs and a deal went bad or maybe she's got a lover or maybe she's decided she's gay and met a woman who turned her down and on and on. Too many possibilities to just make a guess. Such fun! thanks!

  7. Jannine Gallant // February 15, 2011 at 12:29 PM  

    I'd love to say, "The butler did it!" Too bad there isn't a butler. The husband seems too obvious. Hmmm... I think she was going out to meet a secret lover, hiding behind that big hat of hers, and saw something she shouldn't have.

  8. Nightingale // February 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM  

    I'd have to add my vote to the husband. Very interesting post. Made me want to find out more.

  9. Mary Marvella // February 15, 2011 at 1:30 PM  

    The hat. Hmmm she was killed before hubby left and another woman wore it to fool everyone and confuse the timing issue!

    What a clever blog idea!

  10. Maggie Toussaint // February 15, 2011 at 1:37 PM  

    Mr. X did it for the money!

  11. Barbara Monajem // February 15, 2011 at 2:01 PM  

    But she wasn't the swimming type, was she? He was the one who swam. Maybe it wasn't her body after all, but a substitute. Maybe she was about to be caught for a crime and was trying to disappear without a trace!

    No, I don't really believe that one, but anything is possible!

  12. Patrice // February 15, 2011 at 3:14 PM  

    Wow - that is interesting. It's usually the husband, but he should be able to prove that he was away on a business trip or whatever. Could be just some creep on the beach who followed her and did her in.

  13. liana laverentz // February 15, 2011 at 4:53 PM  

    Why did he wait two days to report her missing?

  14. Keena Kincaid // February 15, 2011 at 5:15 PM  

    I'm going to say Mrs. X murdered a stranger who looked enough like her to "pass" as her after a spending a week in the water, framing Mr. X for murder. She's now living near St. Jo's Bay on New Caledonia Island with her millner.

  15. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 10:59 PM  

    I waited till 11:00 pm to make sure I have all the responses I would get.

    Steph, the scenario of the husband killing her wrapping her in a rug and moving her to his car at two am is very plausible.

    Or maybe the security guard??

  16. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 11:01 PM  

    Barbara, good for you. Autopsy report showed she may have been strangled.

    Thanks for reminding me about jewelry. No she didn't have them on, but she had a small purse without her car keyes in.

  17. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 11:03 PM  

    Judy, you have a great imagination. I will consult you when I write my next romantic suspense. Yes, it could be the husband. They didn't have a chauffeur.

  18. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 11:04 PM  

    Jannine, I didn't think of a secret lover, although it's very possible as many women in these types of buildings may have one.

  19. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 11:05 PM  

    Linda, husband is number one suspect but he had a great alibi.

  20. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 11:07 PM  

    Mary, LOL I didn't think about the hat. That increases the plot!!!

  21. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 11:07 PM  

    Maggie, our expert on Romantic Suspense said. Mr. X did it for the money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 11:08 PM  

    Barbara, she was the one killed. Not a substitute.

  23. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 11:09 PM  

    Patrice, the police suspected a creep from the beach and later rejected the idea for TWO reasons.

  24. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 11:11 PM  

    AH Liana, said the $100 question. Why did he wait TWO days to report it to the police?

  25. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 11:11 PM  

    No, no, no Keena, the poor woman is really dead.

  26. Mona Risk // February 15, 2011 at 11:31 PM  

    Ok here it is. Police suspected everyone. Husband, security guard, creep from outside, Mrs. X committing suicide.

    The police looked at motives and alibis.

    1-Creep from outside could have killed while she was on the beach but would have thrown her in the ocean in front of her building. Why take extra chance in moving her elsewhere?

    2- Security guard had no serious motive to kill her. In the contrary he benefited from her gifts when she was alive.

    3-Suicide: how could she have gone to that far away beach without her car? The way she took care of herself was not characteristic of a depressed woman.

    4-husband had a great alibi. He was on a trip and proofed that he met with people, but the fact he took so long to report the crime incriminated him.(Liana, you had that right) Also the fact that her car keys were in the purse left at home.

    Police report said that the husband killed her by strangulation, (Tamara, and almost all of you are right),
    shoved her in his trunk (Steph you are close)
    he went to his trip, came back to dump her in the ocean, then went back to meet again with his partners there by consolidating his alibi.

    His motive: Money as Maggie deducted. Police discovered he had taken insurance on his wife, and claimed she was depressive because she often visited a friend who was a psychiatrist, but they were friendly visits, not professional. He is in jail, awaiting his sentence. The apartment was sold.
    Thank you everyone. You great detectives.
    And the winner of FRENCH PERIL is:

    Tamara, please send me your email at riskmona@bellsouth.net

  27. Autumn Jordon // February 16, 2011 at 3:43 PM  

    Darn, I missed this by going to get a procedure done. Fun post, Mona. i was going for the husband too.

  28. Mona Risk // February 16, 2011 at 7:58 PM  

    Never too late. Thanks for stopping by Autumn.

  29. Joanne // February 18, 2011 at 12:43 PM  

    I'm stopping by later than Autumn, Mona.
    I guessed the husband from the first, because he took so long to report the crime.
    Fun blog!