“Divorce Is Murder” says author Elka Ray

Toby Wong visits her quiet hometown in British Columbia, where nothing ever happens–until her old high school rival is found murdered.

Shortly after returning to her sleepy hometown on Vancouver Island, Chinese-Canadian divorce lawyer Toby Wong runs into Josh Barton, who broke her heart as a teen at summer camp. Now a wealthy entrepreneur, Josh wants to divorce Tonya, the mean girl who made Toby’s life hell all those years ago. Not long after Toby takes Josh’s case, Tonya is found murdered. Josh is the prime suspect.

Together with her fortune-teller mom and her pregnant best friend, Toby sets out to clear Josh, whom she still has a guilty crush on. While he seems equally smitten, can Toby trust him? The handsome cop charged with finding Tonya’s killer doesn’t think so.

Since Tonya stayed in touch with everyone from that lousy summer camp, Toby keeps running into ex-campers she’d rather forget. Could one of Tonya’s catty friends be her killer?

Are Toby’s old insecurities making her paranoid? Only too late does she realize that she really is in danger.


Check out an excerpt: “Divorce Is Murder”

After some minutes of sitting still I could make out shapes and shadows in the dark: the pale glimmer of old animal bones and skulls, the grinning teeth of the taxidermied wolf and the equally mangy lynx, displays made by campers who were now middle-aged, monuments of chipped paint and moldering papier-mâché, everything dusty and decrepit. Even by day the Nature Hut was a creepy place. At night, it would have made a great setting for a horror movie. Just the smell freaked me out, mildew and dusty fur and rot, mixed with wood chips, roach spray, and mothballs. It made my nose itch and my throat dry. It made me long for my bunk and my warm sleeping bag, with my best friend sleeping down below.

My ears strained but heard nothing but my own scraping breaths. How long had I been waiting? I had no watch. I shifted and tried to wiggle my cold toes, stuffed, in the dark, into freezing wet shoes. Where was he?

People think black is black, but it’s not. There are endless shades of black. Charcoal. Raven. Dog’s nose. Shiny and matte. Deep and shallow blacks. I stared around the small room, killing time, but my eyes always went back to the door, willing it to crack open. It remained shut.

A noise, somewhere outside, the sharp snap of a twig, then another. I held my breath and hugged my knees tighter, torn between elation and fear. Finally! He was coming! Except what if it wasn’t him?


Elka Ray  is the Canadian author of Divorce Is Murder. Born in the UK and raised in Canada, Elka divides her time between Central Vietnam and Canada’s Vancouver Island and sets her fiction in both locales, to include Saigon Dark, Hanoi Jane, a short-story collection, What You Don’t Know: Ten Tales of Obsession, Mystery & Murder in Southeast Asia and a series of children’s picture books published in Vietnam.

Elka is also a freelance editor for Heritage, Vietnam Airlines’ inflight magazine, based in Hanoi, Vietnam; a designer and editor for MaiGuppy, a producer of picture books, greeting cards, and souvenirs in Hanoi; and a freelance writer and copywriter, whose clients include Vietnam Tourism Administration and the Four Seasons Resort.

When she’s not writing, drawing or reading, Elka is in the ocean.

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