USA Today Bestselling Author
Riches to rags …
Chaos has never been so supreme …
Now a suspect herself …
No calm in sight …
Being a suspect in the murder of her ex-lawyer is not the fun Doreen thought it would be. And, of course, she’s been ordered to stay away from the case, … but she can’t help being interested. So she enlists Mack’s brother, Nick— her new lawyer— to help.
Mack’s first priority is to clear Doreen as a suspect. No one in their right mind would seriously believe she’d done the deed, of course. … But, the fact is, she had both motive and opportunity, so clearing her of suspicion isn’t the walk in the park that Mack would like it to be. Especially not when she insists on sticking her nose into his case, where it doesn’t belong.
And just when Doreen is certain things can’t get any worse, answering her doorbell shows her that this nightmare has just started. Who just walked into her life? None other than her soon-to-be-ex-husband, … Mathew …
As this book opens Doreen is still recovering from being shot. Her shoulder is still sore and she can’t lift it much, but it’s improving. She’s enjoying her morning coffee when Mac arrives bearing gifts, a patio table and chairs. He’s also acting weird.
When he starts asking her questions it only gets worse and the victim clarifies things a bit. Her former lawyer Robin. However it’s when she notices Arnold and Chester behind him that she starts to worry. While she is a suspect they are still waiting on forensics, and her shoulder injury could be her saving grace.
Mack had barely left when his brother, Nick her new attorney calls. It’s on his radar since he initialized accusations that put Robin in a position to be disbarred. All of this because of the treatment Doreen was put through with her divorce.
Nan is her rock, and supports her no matter what. A visit with her and the animals brightened her up a bit, but even that was short-lived. He ex wants to meet with her, something she has no real desire to do especially now that Robin is dead and they’re both suspects.
Of course Doreen is not going to stay out of the investigation and she starts by following Robin’s trail. Knowing Robin’s love of Chinese food, that’s where she starts and actually hits pay dirt. You know Mac isn’t going to be pleased.
This is a favorite scene.
When the bell rang, the waitress disappeared into the back again and returned with her bag of food.
Doreen smiled. “Thanks.” And left quickly. After she got in her car and drove toward home— the heady smell of Chinese food filling the interior of her car, making her even hungrier— she called Mack. Only she got a busy signal. She left a message, as she was almost at home.
He called her back immediately, even as she parked at her house. And before he had a chance to say anything, she said, “Okay, okay,” as they continued their conversation a bit later. “I just figured, if we could follow her tracks, we might have a better idea where she was that night. By the way, she absolutely adored Chinese food, and, everywhere she went, she would get some. I picked up a dish to try myself.”
He stopped and said, “What are you doing? I specifically told you to stay out of this!”
“I know, but I can’t,” she commented quietly. “You don’t understand. It’s driving me nuts.”
“I do understand,” he said, “but you’re making things worse.”
“By trying to find who did this? No,” she said, “I’m not making things worse at all. It’s what I do, Mack. I have no choice.”
“No choice, my foo—”
“And besides,” she interrupted, “I’ve got the bag.”
“Don’t you move,” he growled. “I’m already in the truck on my way.”
“Oh, good,” she said. “Are you trying to get here before I have a chance to open it up?”
“Don’t you dare,” he said, his voice soft.
She winced, as she recognized how serious he was. “Fine,” she said. “I won’t look inside.” She slammed her phone down, but then her gaze caught sight of the Chinese food in the take-out bag, and she grinned.
“Food,” she crowed. She grabbed a plate and served herself half of it. She was just hungry enough to eat the whole thing but didn’t want to scarf it all in one shot, only to feel bad afterward. But she was really hungry. Maybe that was a good sign because, as the day wore on, she was coming out of the dumps. As she sat outside with her food at the new table and chairs set, Mugs was parked right beside her, his gaze on every forkful, just in case. Goliath was on the footstool of the nearby rocker, not caring, and Thaddeus was intently studying a piece of celery on the side of her plate, as she heard Mack’s truck drive up. She groaned and looked down at her plate.
“Why is it that I didn’t connect the fact that he was coming now to the reality that I left him half of the food? He’s just going to eat it, and I won’t have leftovers.”
He came through the kitchen superfast, took one look at her, and nodded in approval. “You actually bought yourself some food?”
“I felt bad,” she said. “The woman gave me the blue bag and told me about the lawyer, so I felt like I should at least put in an order to give her something back for her trouble.”
“Well, that’s not a bad thing,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be nice if you’d give me that consideration, like maybe give me the information before you picked up the bag?”
“Well, I didn’t know about the bag until I spoke with her. And I couldn’t leave it with her,” she said. “That would be foolish.”
“That is true, but you could have pursued other avenues. However,” he said, “at least you’re here, and you have it now.”
“Yeah,” she said. “I do want to see what’s in there, you know?”
He groaned, realizing why she’d left it for him to pick up directly from her. “You know that I can’t do that. As evidence goes, it’s already tainted enough, thank you.”
“You can too,” she said, ignoring the scolding. “Just open it and pull it out the contents, and let’s take a look to see if anything of importance is in there.”
“If it’s of importance, it won’t be for here. It will be for my office.” But he was already back in the kitchen, rummaging through things.
She smiled, as she watched him. “See? It can’t be that bad,” she said.
“Sure, it is,” he muttered. “Right here, in the appointment book, it says that she was meeting you.”
“And she did. She came here, but then she was meeting somebody else at the Chinese restaurant, and I don’t know who that was.”
“Well, maybe it was you,” he said.
“After she barged in and blasted me so rudely? No way. Besides, it’s not like she invited me. So it was someone else.”
“Maybe,” he muttered. “Some initials are here.”
“See? There’s always something.” She watched, standing up with her plate and coming around into the kitchen, so she could take a look at what he found: a stack of loose papers, a notepad, and a laptop. But he still studied her little diary. “It doesn’t say anything else?”
He shook his head. “No. It doesn’t. Just that she had a meeting for dinner.”
“I wonder who?” She frowned at that. “I really wonder.”
“Who do you think it would be?” he asked curiously.
She shook her head. “I have no idea. It obviously wasn’t me. She never invited me, though I have no proof of that,” she muttered. “What are the initials?”
“It’s just an S.”
She threw up her hand. “That’s not helpful,” she said. “That could be anybody then.”
He laughed. “Or it could denote the place like the Starbucks close to where her car was. However, when people are murdered, rarely do the victims have a chance to set up the evidence, linking their murderer ahead of time, so that it’s obvious who did it.”
“Yeah, we should all have a little bit of warning,” she muttered. “But that stabbing …” She shook her head. “Was she killed in the vehicle?”
“We don’t think so,” he said. Then he stopped, glared at her, and said, “Stop asking me questions.”
“Well, I can hardly stop asking questions when it relates to me.” “Well, it doesn’t,” he said. “Remember that.”
Dale Mayer. Murder in the Marigolds (Kindle Locations 553-602). Valley Publishing.
Lots of twists and turns in this one. Doreen’s ex is a jerk and the folks that work for him are as well.
I love Goliath, Thaddeus and Mugs, they are so often her saviors as well as her much loved pets. While I know Doreen isn’t ready for a relationship, she still doesn’t get that Mack is just patiently waiting until she is.
I really can’t wait for the next book in this series, each one makes laugh and bite my nails a bit.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
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.