When a gorgeous man dressed as Bridgette Bardot buys her a Scofflaw and asks her out on a date, Anna McGregor begins to suspect her murder investigation has taken a wrong turn. Her previous work as a medical anthropologist exposed her to a variety of unexpected situations, but none quite like this.
It all seemed so simple: fix up the Cape May Victorian mansion she’d inherited from Great Aunt Louise and re-open it as the exceptional B&B it used to be. Everything’s going great, until her very first guest turns up dead at the breakfast table, crumbs from Anna’s blueberry scones scattered on the lace tablecloth.
As the town’s gossip mill goes into overdrive, Anna leaps into the fray to save her reputation, her business and Great Aunt Louise’s legacy.
With help from a handsome handyman eager to solve all of Anna’s problems and a young police officer new to murder investigations, Anna does her best to convince the town — and her future guests — that while her scones may be killer, someone else was responsible for this murder.
Targeted Age Group:: General
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I love cozy mysteries, I love Cape May, and I love the creativity I get to use to get Anna out of some sticky situations – all while introducing readers to some of my favorite cocktails!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
My characters are inspired by people I know in real life, people who amaze me, people who impress me, people who have made an impact on my life. I hope that helps them jump off the page as three dimensional characters my readers would like to spend time with.
Anna McGregor put her hands on her hips, narrowed her eyes and stared down her nemesis. She felt her pulse racing, her muscles tightening.
To be fair, this wasn’t exactly the kind of life-or-death situation she’d imagined being in when she became an anthropologist. But she wasn’t an anthropologist anymore. To her, now, this met the criteria of life or death.
She could hear Luke in the attached bedroom and knew he could do this without her. But she was already asking too much of him as it was. She could at least take the first steps
to make it easier for him.
She had to find a way to shift this worn, dirty bathroom vanity. She’d helped out with the repairs in other rooms in the old house, making whatever improvements she could on her own. The rooms on the second floor were now perfect. She just needed to get these last few rooms on the third floor finished without disturbing the visitors who’d be moving in later that day.
This Bed & Breakfast was all she had going for her right now, and if this failed… well, it didn’t bear thinking about.
She’d already removed all the screws she could find that had been holding the wretched cabinet in place, but it must have been glued as well. She put down the box of light bulbs she held, went back into the bedroom and grabbed the crowbar Luke had been using to pry the old molding off the wall. With the crowbar tucked behind the cabinet, she pushed. The wooden unit shifted, but still clung tightly to the wall. She wasn’t giving up that easily.
She readjusted the crowbar to get better leverage and pushed again, harder this time, letting out an unladylike grunt. She paused, blew out a breath, and pushed again, her normally unlined face screwed up in a scowl of determination. This house was not going to get the better of her, she told herself. No. Way. Now push!
She put all her weight behind one last push and felt the unit shift, then lean forward. She stepped back in relief. Right into the ladder she’d left leaning against the other wall. The ladder on which she’d balanced the box of lightbulbs that needed to go into the new unit. The box of lightbulbs that was now toppling over and falling toward the floor.
She leapt forward, snaking her hand out, and caught the box just before it hit.
“Luke, I didn’t see you there.” She steadied herself and grinned. “Looks like all those years of high school field hockey paid off — I still have those goalie reflexes!”
She tossed the box of bulbs to Luke. He caught them easily and flipped the box into the air with a wicked grin. Seeing her face, he held them up as if in surrender and placed them gently on the toilet.
“Sorry, you have your goalie reflexes, I still have my running back skills. I’ll take over from here, if you’d like.”
“Thanks.” Anna looked around the room. “How much noise is all this going to make? My first guests are checking in at three.”
Luke shrugged as he eyed the scene. “You know as well as I do, there’s going to be noise. But I can work on it during the day, when folks are out.”
Anna wiped her hands down her jeans, realizing just how dirty she’d become. Gray and white dust from the splintered wood molding she’d pulled from the bedroom covered her clothes and long ponytail, while splatters of beige paint still stuck in places to her skin, making her look like she actually had the freckles she was so happy to have avoided inheriting from her father.
“I guess I should go get cleaned up. I’m a mess.”
“You look good to me,” Luke said, then quickly turned his gaze away from her.
She patted him on the back as she squeezed past him, trying not to notice his broad shoulders and heavily muscled arms, and trotted down the hall to the narrow back stairs. Her own room was on the fourth floor, along with another for family and friends. She’d made sure to finish the second room in a cheery, playful style, as the first family member who’d be using it was a young cousin from Ireland scheduled to visit that summer. A boy named Eoin. Or Oien. Or something like that.
She wasn’t sure about taking care of an eight-year-old — that would certainly require some effort — but she was looking forward to meeting him for the first time. And at least his visit wasn’t until June. She needed to focus all her attention now on the paying guests.
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