A Careless Brilliance

CJ Clark’s next book A Careless Brilliance will be released in 2021.

What if your entire adult life resembled a carefully constructed jigsaw puzzle until one day you decide to risk everything and throw it all upwards knowing the pieces will never land into place again? Meet Elsa Meadow. Middle-aged, oddly elegant and a tragically poor planner.

Kidnapping isn’t something Elsa ever imagined herself doing. At age forty-eight this is her reluctant new persona because of a vow she’d made to protect her dying best friend’s grandson from his derelict mother. On impulse, Elsa abducts the baby and flees seven hundred miles away to manage a college coffee shop in small town Kansas. But just as she settles into comfy, uneventful days of pouring coffee and baking muffins, the boy is suddenly kidnapped from her. Desperate and unable to meet the ransom demands, Elsa decides to reveal her life of lies to enlist the help of four coffee shop regulars—subculture night shift eclectics—who agree to participate in her haphazard plan to rescue the boy.