USA Today Bestselling Author
An elixir party gone sour. An expired entrepreneur. Can a cursed shifter discover what’s in love potion number crime?
After confessing her dark secret, Jolene is left devastated when her cop-crush, Peter, ghosts her. But when a popular potion maker drinks her last draught, Jolene and Peter are forced to team up to find the butcher behind the brew.
As the list of suspects pours in, Jolene’s only hope is to get the victim’s pet swine to squeal. But when Jolene piggybacks onto a promising lead, she learns some shocking truths about the cursed tonic that took away her own magic.
Can Jolene put a cork in the killer before she’s drained of her last drop?
Will and Jolene are a bit late joining Heidi at a Summit she was invited to. She was gifted a couple extra tickets and wants to share her good fortune with her two best friends. As they approach the hotel, there are protesters. Jolene takes a good look and see it for what it is a scam a pyramid scheme. She and Will both are leaving but Heidi gets them to give it a chance when she mentions the ton of food awaiting them.
The Summit begins with the power couple Pearl and Ralph Litt and their pet pig Buttercup on stage, and at a chosen point of the opening speech, Pearl asks her husband for a vial to toast the crowd. After drinking it down she collapses dead on the stage.
Jolene is hoping to sneak out with Will and Heidi but she’s stopped by Peter’s police dog Daisy. At first Daisy is all friendly because she thinks Jolene snuck in to see Peter but isn’t happy when she finds out Jolene was in the crowd.
This is a favorite scene.
I peeled my eyes open and glared at the dog.
Really, Daisy? You want to spite me this much, huh?
She let out one more woof, her dark eyes locked on mine, whole body tense. Spiting you is just a bonus. Her brow furrowed. Not talking to you doesn’t seem to be helping Peter, so maybe this will make him better.
I frowned. What did she mean by that? Was Peter unwell?
I didn’t get a chance to ask her. The women around us had already edged away as soon as Daisy started barking her head off, but they parted even more to allow Inspector Bon through, followed by the new Chief McCray and of course—my stomach twisted—Peter. My face grew hot, and I froze. Will grabbed me by the collar of my jacket and hauled me out of my crouch to my feet.
“Keep it together.” He flashed his eyes at me.
I flashed mine back, then adjusted my jacket. Of course I’d keep it together. What did he think I’d do?
“Miss Hartgrave!” Chief McCray brushed past Bon and clapped me on the shoulder—hard.
I inclined my head. “Chief McCray.”
“Ha!” She hooked one thumb through the belt loop of her navy trousers and turned toward Bon and Peter. “Well, isn’t this a pleasant surprise. Running into our resident pet psychic—what are the chances?” The blond narrowed her eyes at me from behind her huge wire-rimmed glasses. “Hey, now. You didn’t get a hint you needed to be here, did you?” She held her middle fingers to her temple.
I gave a dry chuckle. “Heh. No… just here supporting my friend.” I gestured to Heidi and snuck a quick glance at Peter. Our eyes locked for a brief moment, and I frowned. His were bloodshot, and dark bags hung beneath them.
He immediately dropped his gaze and shifted on his feet. My confusion deepened as I took in the five o’clock shadow that darkened his face and his wrinkled uniform. This was not the neat and professional Boy Scout of a cop I knew.
I glanced down at Daisy, who now sat beside Peter, hugging close against his leg. I needed to ask her what was going on as soon as I could. Was Peter sick? The dog whined and looked up at her partner, shifting from one front paw to the other, uneasy. I bit the inside of my lip, suddenly worried about him.
McCray clapped her hands, and it startled me out of my thoughts. “Well, what do you say, Miss Hartgrave, you joining us on this one?”
I gulped, throat dry, and glanced at Peter. He kept his eyes down, not giving me any direction. “Uh….” I shrugged. “You know, I actually was hoping to just head home. Didn’t see much that all these other ladies couldn’t tell you about, and I’m pretty beat, so….”
McCray thumbed at me. “What a jokester, this one. Ha!”
Bon stood, arms crossed, a bored glare on his face. Good times.
“The murder victim owns a pet pig she brings with her everywhere she goes, from what I understand. Who better to help us work this case, huh?” She flashed her blue eyes at me. “Don’t make me insist.”
I glanced back at Will, and he raised his brows. Didn’t look like I had much of a choice.
I turned around. “I, uh—I’m afraid there might be some personal reasons that would prevent me from working—”
“Ah.” McCray looked me up and down, a sympathetic smile on her face. “Did you fall for it? Buy in to the scheme already? Conflict of interest?”
I glanced at Peter, hoping he’d help me out already. I knew he didn’t want me working the case—why wasn’t he saying anything?
“Uh… not exactly….”
Finally, Peter shifted on his feet, seeming to drag himself from whatever depressed reverie he’d been lost in. “Sorry, Chief, I’m afraid I have to agree with Jo—Miss Hartgrave.”
I raised a brow. Oh. I was Miss Hartgrave now, huh? A hot burst of indignation flared in my chest.
I crossed my arms. All this distance between us just because I’d told him I was a shifter. Wow.
“I’m not sure it’d be appropriate for her to—”
McCray held up her palms and cut Peter off. She looked between the two of us. “Let me get this straight—Miss Hartgrave is not only a witness to this murder, but also our resident pet psychic—and neither of you wants her to be working this case?” She arched her thin brows and let out a chuckle, though her eyes were hard. “If I didn’t know better, I’d assume you two were letting personal quibbles get in the way of being two professionals concerned with getting justice for a murdered woman.”
Oh, snakes. I’d forgotten how off-kilter this woman always made me feel. Her good-natured, friendly demeanor put me at ease—until she revealed that no-nonsense, incisive layer underneath.
Peter’s throat bobbed. “I see your point, Chief.” He turned his pale face my way, eyes flat. “If Jo—Miss Hartgrave wants to work the case, then I will of course willingly work with her.”
Oh, willingly, huh? I rolled my eyes. How big of him. I spun to face the chief and plastered on an overly bright smile. “Of course I want to work the case.” I flashed my eyes at Peter. “I’m in! And I’ll also willingly work with Officer Flint here.”
He sniffed and slid his gaze past me.
Wow. This was super comfortable.
“Have so much fun.” Will squeezed my shoulders from behind.
“We’ll meet you back at the clinic later.” He lowered his voice. “And we expect a full report.”
Heidi flashed her eyes at me and mouthed, “Good luck.”
I looked from the hard-to-read McCray to Bon’s glowering face to Peter, who could barely look at me, and finally to Daisy, who’d ratted me out in the first place. I’d need all the luck I could get.
Johnson, Erin. Pig Little Lies: A fresh, funny magic mystery with a dash of romance! (Pet Psychic Magical Mysteries Book 5) (Kindle Locations 358-398). Kindle Edition.
The tension between these two is palpable. They haven’t spoken since Jolene revealed she’s a shifter, even though she hasn’t been able to shift since she was cursed.
Although she does understand why Daisy is so upset, Peter looks a lot worse for wear. As they continue to work the case, some of the tension bleeds away, but it’s still very much present. Peter eventually confesses it’s a matter of trust, not just the whole shifter thing.
I have to say with all the twists and turns in this one, I didn’t see the culprit coming. We also see more of Ludolf and his goons in this one although Jolene really wants nothing to do with his attempts to find a cure for her.
I’m already starting the next book.
5 Contented Purrs for Erin!
Click the Cover for Buy Links
A native of Arizona, Erin loves her new home in the Pacific Northwest! She writes paranormal cozy novels– stories that are mysterious, magical, and will hopefully make you laugh.
When not writing, she’s hiking, napping with her dogs, and losing at trivia night.
Erin’s had a ton of different jobs, from blackjack dealer to PA on a horror movie to Pilates instructor but has finally embraced her true calling as a writer. Thanks so much for your interest and for supporting her!