Revenge in the Roses – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 18 by Dale Mayer

Revenge in the Roses
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 18
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer


Riches to rags. …
Bullets start flying. …
Rage is rising, …
especially for some!

When the journey to Rosemoor for a celebratory evening turns deadly, Doreen’s life is flipped on her head. She can only watch in horror as Mack is shot right in front of her. Horrified, she vows to solve this case and fast, before the shooter realizes he failed and comes back for a second attempt.

Corporal Mack Moreau has been shot before, but this time it’s way worse because Doreen watched it all happen. Now she’s planning to catch the shooter before Mack even starts to heal. That’s not a good idea. She’s yet to consider that maybe the shooter wasn’t after Mack but really wanted to shoot her. After all, the cases she’s been involved in have created a whole new level of acquaintances in her life. How many of them are gunning for her?

But Doreen is not deterred, and, with her trusty team at her side, she’s determined to keep Mack safe by finding his shooter before he tries again.

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There was supposed to be a celebration but as Mac, Doreen and her pets Goliath, Mugs and Thaddeus approach Rosemoor, Mack is shot.

Confusion reigns for a bit and Doreen drops the animals off at home and heads to the hospital. Some of Mack’s co-workers and even the captain is already there. Of course, it’s not long before Nan and many of the Rosemoor residents add to the group waiting for word.

Then there’s the problem of getting Nan and the other Rosemoor folks back where they belong and also get Doreen home so she can rest. The captain takes Doreen home first and then heads to Rosemoor to make sure everyone made it back and also issue a warning.

Doreen realizes she accepted the ride home and now her car is at the hospital. She makes the decision to go to Nan’s hopefully to catch a ride to get her car with Darren or the captain. What she walks in on is hysterical.

This is a favorite scene.

Doreen hugged her grandmother back, then stepped over to the captain and whispered, “What’s going on?”

He gave her a wry look. “Did I look a little too relieved to see you?”

“Yeah, you did.” She shot him a suspicious look. “So I repeat. What’s going on?”

“Your grandmother is trying to rally the troops to solve Mack’s murder.”

“And I’m sure you’ve given her the official line?”

“I have.” Yet he looked haunted.

“And I presume they’re ignoring you, as usual.”

He nodded at that. “I don’t understand. Almost all the citizens in this town are completely law-abiding, So, if I say stop, they stop.”

The corner of her mouth kicked up. “But every one of these people is old enough to know what you looked like when you were running around in the buff and sucking on a binky. That does undermine your authority a little bit.”

His lips twitched and then twitched again, until he burst into loud guffaws. By the time he finally calmed down, he wrapped an arm around her shoulders, gave her a hug. “No wonder Mack likes you so much,” he said, with a grin. “I had not considered my reputation in that light.”

“No, but, once you hang around with these people long enough, you realize they respect very few things, and all of it has to do with what you’ve done in life. And their memories go waaay back.”

Still chuckling, he nodded. “So then maybe you tell them.”

“Meaning, they don’t see me still in diapers? You’re wrong. They do.” She sighed. “But, at the same time, they’ve also seen that I’ve done a few things to benefit them all, so that has held me in good stead. Plus Nan would not have them treat me otherwise.”

“You’re not kidding. They have more respect for you and Nan than they have for me.”

She smiled. “That’s because you still must be the bad guy sometimes. That’s not part of my job description.”

His lips twitched again. He nodded. “It’s up to you to get them all calmed down and to put them in their rightful place.”

“That’s the problem. They don’t go into the proper place,” she noted, with a sigh.

Overhearing that, Nan chuckled, turned to the crowd, and called out, “Let Doreen speak.”

Almost immediately the slamming of canes on the floor and the stamping of feet erupted, even if at an odd rhythm, as they moved and shuffled slowly to face Doreen. Then the chant rose. “Doreen, Doreen, Doreen.”

She looked around her, shook her head. “All right, guys, before you all have heart attacks, calm down.”

At that came muffled laughter. She looked around at Nan. “Do you have some folding chairs or a room with enough seats so that everyone can sit down?” And then came a collective sigh of relief.

Nan looked at the others and then slapped her hand over her mouth. “Oh, I didn’t even think of that. See? That’s why Doreen’s here,” Nan told the crowd.

“Good thing,” called out one old guy, “because I’m about to collapse.”

Doreen motioned to the adjoining communal sitting area, where plenty of couches and chairs were. “Come on. Let’s all go over there, so everybody can sit down. Maybe we can get some pots of tea or something going?” she asked, looking at Nan. “You want to go work your wiles on the kitchen staff?”

Nan chuckled and disappeared, as the crowd slowly relocated, and Doreen shook her head at how slowly most of them made their way into the comfortable seating area. She looked over at the captain. “Are you coming with me?”

“Oh, absolutely.” He chuckled. “You already got them doing more than I could.”

“Did you try to get them to sit down?”

“No, I was hoping to get them to disperse.”

She chuckled. “Nope. You know the rule about raising horses and unruly kids? Or seniors in this case?”

He looked at her and asked, “Do you have either?”

At that, she burst out laughing. “Nope, I sure don’t, but the rule always is, make the right thing easy and make the wrong thing difficult.”

An odd look took over his face as the captain contemplated that. “You know something? I think that goes for any situation.”

“Yep, now stay close, while we figure this out. We must take the wind out of their sails, otherwise they’ll be all on a big rampage.”

Following the crowd, Doreen spotted Darren. She waved at him. “Darren, did you get an update from the hospital?”

He nodded and joined her and the captain. “Mack’s awake and doing well. He’s been admitted into a private room in the hospital. You’re still not allowed to go visit though, even during regular visiting hours.”

She frowned at him, wondering if that was said on purpose.

He shook his head. “No, it’s not me. The doctor wants to keep Mack quiet for the next little bit. Maybe later tonight or tomorrow morning you can see him.”

She nodded slowly. “That’ll be all the quiet Mack gets. After that, I’m breaking him out of there,” she announced.

The captain sighed heavily. “I’m sure glad you didn’t say that in front of this crowd.”

She looked over at him, startled, and then nodded. “Right. Believe me. I’d have an awful lot of breaker-outers with me.”

Now with everybody seated in a big circle, she stepped into the center and sat down. All the animals immediately arranged themselves around her. “I don’t know how much of the scenario you all have heard, so I’ll give you what I know, and then anybody here who has information to offer, please speak up.”

She quickly gave an accounting of the walk down from her house with Mack and the animals. Mugs lay at her feet, and his ears lifted when she mentioned his name. Thaddeus did the same, poking his head out of Doreen’s hair, and cried out, “Thaddeus is here. Thaddeus is here.”

Immediately everybody laughed and clapped. Goliath just gave them all one of those long blasé looks, stretched out flat, and let his tail twitch.

Doreen continued. “We came around the corner of Rosemoor, saw a vehicle parked opposite the front door. A man hopped out when he saw us, lifted his hands, and called out “Copper,” then said something about revenge is better cold and shot Mack, who was already in motion. I’m not exactly sure whether Mack was trying to knock me out of the way or was moving toward the shooter, but Mack took the bullet high in his chest, actually more of a shoulder shot, and collapsed into the rosebush.”

She took a few minutes to compose herself, as everybody gave sage nods. “I’ll keep the questions simple. Did anybody see that vehicle parked out front? Hands up.”

Nobody raised their hands.

She frowned at that. “Did anybody see the actual shooting take place? Hands up.”

Again everybody shook their head. Nobody put up their hands.

“Did anybody know that there would be any kind of altercation earlier this evening?” she asked the crowd.

At that, one tiny little bird of a woman poked up her hand.

Doreen looked at her, with a sinking heart. “Yes. … What information do you have?”

“My knees have been acting up. That only happens when bad things are about to happen,” she explained. “I just didn’t know it would be Mack who would get hurt. If I’d known”— she slowly stood, her head barely cresting above all the other people seated—“ I would have said something to him, but I didn’t know it would be him.”

At that, several other people laughed, and one nodded.

Doreen looked over at the nodding man. “I’m sorry. I’m not sure what your name is,” Doreen began. “Have you seen this woman’s knees cause trouble before?”

“I don’t know that her knees cause trouble, but she has pointed out a few times when her knees have hurt, and bad things have happened.”

She stared at him for a moment. “Interesting. Okay. Besides that set of knees, does anybody else have anything to add about this?”

At that, several people put up their hands.

“Thank you for all being so mannerly.” She pointed to the one gentleman. “I think your name is Uriah?”

He nodded, seemingly pleased that she knew his name. “I want to know what we’ll do about it.” He then stood. “It’s one thing to get all the initial layout of the crime and then ask for answers, but do you have a plan yet?”

At the word yet, she realized just how much they were all counting on her. She looked over at the captain. “I’ll give you the official line,” the captain replied, his hands on his hips, as he turned and surveyed them all. “And you won’t like part of it.” At that, his words were met with jeers all around.

Doreen held up her hand. Instantly there was silence. At her side, the captain swore under his breath. She looked over at him, a question in her eyes.

He just shrugged. “They won’t do that for me,” he whispered.
Dale Mayer. Revenge in the Roses (Kindle Locations 278-357). Valley Publishing Ltd..

Not only does Doreen, get the Rosemoor folks to settle down, she assigns responsibilities much to the captain’s dismay.

Of course, Doreen isn’t staying out of it, and Mack’s brother Nick is now in town as well. Nick is quite amused by any and all interactions between Mack and Doreen.

This book is delightful, with plenty of twists and turns, laughter and more.

I really can’t wait for the next one!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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.

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