USA Today Bestselling Author
Riches to rags …
Chaos is still present …
Memories are fading …
But not for everyone!
The problem with notoriety is unfair expectations. When Mack’s mother, Millicent Moreau, requests Doreen’s help with a small problem she’s kept hidden for decades, Doreen feels obligated to help. And what harm could it do, after all? Worst-case scenario? It’ll annoy Mack, but that’s something she does on a regular basis anyway.
But when Millicent’s “small problem” turns out to involve a failed marriage, a bag of jewels from a jewelry store that mysteriously burned down decades ago, possible insurance fraud, and maybe even a case of murder, … Doreen will admit that she’s in way over her head.
With her trusty trio of furry and feathered cohorts, she brings an old case into the present—and finds it’s more current than ever …
If you’ve been following this series you know that Doreen takes care of Mack’s mother Millicent’s garden. It’s Millicent who remembers the jewels she found years ago but no one could find the owner. So instead of Doreen finding the jewels in the juniper, it was Millicent and not recently at all.
Doreen does some research on the bag the jewels were in and visits her Nan for more information. During this process she finds herself thinking about her own jewels. Ones that were gifts from her ex over the course of their marriage. She wasn’t able to take them with her because he kept them locked up. She texts Mack to ask about her rights with them and he adds that to the questions for his brother the lawyer.
A trip to the Chinese restaurant with Thaddeus, Goliath, and Mugs solves her dinner for the night but she wasn’t expecting an angry Mack. He’s obviously spoken with his mother, and some important points were left out.
This is a favorite scene.
Just when she wondered if the Chinese food had to be grown before it was cooked for her, she heard a call from behind them. She turned to see Mr. Wu waving at her. She walked back inside and said, “Is it ready?”
He nodded and smiled, handing her a plastic bag. The smell was especially good. She grinned at him and said, “Thanks.”
“You come again,” he said.
“What if I only have ten dollars?” she asked wryly.
“You come with no money,” he said, “we still feed you.”
Surprised at that and touched, she said, “Thank you. That is very generous.”
He shook his head. “You good people,” he said. “We feed you.” Then he disappeared into the back.
She could see all the slips of orders lined up by a kitchen pass-through window and realized he was in for a very busy Friday night. With the animals in tow again, she headed to the riverside this time and walked down Mission Creek. Then she had to cross over and come up around the corner. She headed up the back path to her property. She sighed happily as she reached home. She put the food on the little table outside on her deck, went into her kitchen to grab a knife and fork and a dinner plate, and poured herself a glass of water. Just as she sat down, she heard a voice call out.
“In the back,” she yelled. Good thing she’d disarmed the security; otherwise no way Mack could come in. She scooped almost half of the Chinese food onto her plate, realizing it really was a huge portion, and she would have enough for tomorrow too. Except, with Mack here now, there was a good chance she wouldn’t get any leftovers. He came storming through, but the fury on his face had her freezing in place.
“What on earth is the matter?” she cried out.
He stopped, took several deep breaths, and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m trying to calm down, but—”
“With you, it’s never an easy process,” Doreen said with a smile. “I’d offer you some of my Chinese food, but it’s all I’ve got.”
“And I’ll say, Thank you, and take it,” he said, marching back inside, grabbing a plate and fork.
She watched almost sadly as he scooped the rest of the Chinese food onto his plate. “If I’d known you were coming, I could have ordered twice as much.”
“I’m kind of surprised you had time to pick up Chinese food, since you’ve been so busy getting into my family’s affairs,” he said.
She stared at him in surprise, and then she knew. “Ah,” she said. “I guess you talked to your mother, didn’t you?”
He put down his fork very precisely, then glared at her. “What on earth did you say to her?”
“Well, she has suddenly decided you’re the answer to everything, and you’ll find out exactly who those jewels belong to.” And then he stopped, leaning forward. “But what the hell are the jewels? Where did they come from, and what’s this got to do with my mother?”
“Didn’t she tell you?” Doreen couldn’t imagine her only telling Mack a little of the story.
Mack shook his head. “Only that she had put you on to your next mystery and that you would solve something that had worried her for a long time.”
“Wow,” Doreen said, sitting back in surprise. “I think she just threw me to the wolves.”
At that, Mack sat back and laughed. “You know what? She just may have done exactly that.”
Dale Mayer. Jewels in the Juniper (Kindle Location 446-473). Valley Publishing.
I love Doreen and Mack’s relationship, the flirting is there but it’s more of a valued friendship. That is until she gives him and his men more work to do. Many of his friends on the force are donating supplies for her deck and the case she’s working on has her gaining plants for her own garden.
Plenty of suspense, a lot of fun with Nan and the animals and another unforgettable ending!
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.