Here lie links to excerpts of unpublished/in-progress books and short stories. If you want to read more, please email me–cdulaney.willett [at]


In the Wake 

When Lena Abrahamim decides to create a perfume about Lynn Groot, the celebrated female fighter pilot whose death has recently rocked Manhattan, the former wunderkind perfumer’s main motivation is to salvage her flailing career.  Lena’s perfumes capture, in minute detail, a specific moment in the lives of their subjects. In pinning down Lynn’s final moment, Lena comes across an intriguing detail: when Lynn’s body was found, the pilot was holding a bouquet containing an unidentified blue flower. Lena’s search for this flower soon spirals into a full-blown obsession with solving Lynn’s murder – an obsession that takes her — and her florist best friend, Stace – to Riker’s Island and Rhode Island, Newfoundland and New Mexico. As she uncovers pieces of Lynn’s past, Lena’s suspicions jump from Lynn’s husband, Tim, a nebbishy defense contractor with a memory so slippery he stores all of it in a private database, to her mother, Georgia, a capricious, towering beauty with a knack for disguise. But could a mother ever take her own child’s life?

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The Second Law of Thermodynamics

Research and present an aspect of medieval Paris” is the assignment that brings Helen and Nolan together, but the ex-figure skater and the temporary architecture student haven’t gotten very far along before their research takes a disastrous turn. A notorious painter is discovered dead beside an underground well, and the only clue the two detectives assigned to the case have is in the audio recorder found clipped to the deceased’s jacket.

As the detectives close in, Helen must face other challenges, from the absence of the mother she needs to the predatory advances of an elderly man, while coming to terms with the childhood memories that have begun to thaw.

When a weekend trip to Barcelona leaves Nolan trapped inside a former bomb shelter, it’s up to Helen to find him. Then again, maybe she shouldn’t–after all, he is wanted for murder.

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Short Stories

These Dear, Shearing Moments

The germ of this story came from a writer I met at Sewanee this summer, who couldn’t see a pebble in the road without imagining the accident it might cause. Read it.

The Blunderbuss [WIP]

Inspired by “The Shitkickers of Madison Avenue,” by the inimitable Lilliane Ross. Read it.


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