Score to Kettle – Vampire Tea Room Magical Mystery Book 3 by Erin Johnson

A Score to Kettle
Vampire Tea Room Magical Mystery Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Erin Johnson


You’ve got to have your bestie’s back, right? Even if it involves stalking a vampire hunter?

Minnie Wells is getting back out there again after a messy divorce, when she attends a play at the gorgeous Theatre Royal in Bath with a hunky detective. But when Minnie finds the lead actress dead in her dressing room, her fun night out turns into a crime scene.

To heap on the trouble, Minnie also suspects her detective date’s mysterious friend is the rumored vampire hunter.

Now Minnie’s racing to solve the playhouse murder while protecting not only her best friend, but also her vampire boss (who she just might have a big crush on). All this, while working at the tea room, learning spells, celebrating the Spring Solstice, and dealing with her dastardly ex.

And it doesn’t help when another body turns up backstage.

Will Minnie upstage the killer and keep her vampire friends safe? Or will it be curtains for this new witch and her paranormal pals?

Much to Fitz’s dismay, Minnie has accepted a date with DI Clive Prescott. He’s taking her to dinner and then the theater.

While the date has gone okay, he clearly isn’t into the theater, he even nodded off a couple of times. He did agree to go with her to the meet the cast party in the lobby. Things get a bit crazy when the star Petra Cornflower doesn’t show.

On the suggestion of the director, some folks head toward the dressing rooms. Minnie is going to follow with Clive but he pales and heads toward a stranger. Minnie hangs back for a bit to eavesdrop and hears vampires in the conversation. This cements her suspicion that the man is the vampire hunter Gus and Fitz were referring to earlier.

She hurried to catch up with the group only to witness the discovery of Petra’s body and then things really get crazy. After the questioning, DI Prescott escorts her home and warns her the streets aren’t safe at night. While she doesn’t totally agree with that, she’s also sure there shouldn’t be a second date.

That’s just the beginning of the fun, as her ex Desmond shows up at the tearoom the next day.

This is a favorite scene.

Meow! Tilda leapt out of her basket of blankets by the fire and sprinted under tables to my side. I shot her a grateful smile, and she stared straight up at me with her bright yellow eyes. I instantly felt stronger and more centered—my familiar always seemed to loan me more power.

I balled my trembling hands into fists and stalked up to Desmond. He jumped when he turned and found me right behind him, his blue eyes growing wider. His surprise instantly morphed into disdain, and he glared down at me, his lips pressed tightly together. He arched a single blond brow. “Minnie.”

I darted a glance over my shoulder and found all five of the butlers—Calvin, Cho, Aldric, Leo, and Dominik—staring. My cheeks grew hot, and I turned back to Desmond. “Let’s step outside.”

He sniffed. “Why? So I don’t embarrass you at your place of work?” He sneered as he looked around. “So you’re a waitress now?”

No. I was a marketing manager, but it wasn’t any of his business and who cared if I was a waitress? A rush of hot anger flooded my chest and throat. When I’d met Desmond, I’d found him charming, almost princely. How had I missed how arrogant and selfish he was?

I frowned. It was probably the British accent—it always made people seem more refined.

I flashed my eyes at him. “What are you doing here?”

“You ignored my text, so I tracked you down.”

I made a disgusted noise in the back of my throat. “You’re stalking me now?”

He rolled his eyes. “Oh, grow up. You’re posting this place all over your social media. Not like it was hard to find you.”

I huffed. “Grow up?” That was rich from the man who’d run off with his hairdresser and was now bullying me at my place of work. “What do you want, Desmond?” I ground out between gritted teeth.

“You know what I want.”

I scoffed. “I really don’t.”

He leaned forward and bared his teeth. “Break the curse you put on me, or I’ll make your life miserable.”

Tilda hissed, and he jumped back. He curled his lip at my familiar. “On your way to being a crazy cat lady, I see.”

My hands trembled at my sides. “I’m going to say this once.” My chest heaved. “I didn’t hex you. You need to leave.”

He folded his arms and stepped his feet into a wider stance, as if planting them, and sneered. “I’m not going anywhere. We can play that game if you want to.”

He lifted his chin and glanced over my head, behind me, raising his voice so that it carried to the packed dining room. “You’re a witch and you hexed me, and I demand you undo it right now!”

A crash sounded behind me, and I spun as Dominik slammed a loaded tray onto the nearest table and stalked toward us, loosening the ascot at his throat. Dom was enormous, with shoulders so broad I was often surprised he could fit through doorways. I shot him a grateful look as he stood beside me and glowered at my ex.

“What did you call her?”

Desmond paled, and his throat bobbed. He staggered back a couple of steps toward the door.

Dominik sniffed and curled his thick lips. “That’s what I thought. Get out.”

Desmond edged back until he stood with one hand on the doorknob. “Don’t threaten me. I’ll call the police.”

Cho stomped up behind me. He placed his hands on my shoulders and squeezed. “Is this jerk your ex?”

I nodded, my throat too tight to speak.

Leo came up on my other side and cracked his knuckles. He was stocky and buff and had plenty of attitude. “Oh, look. A human punching bag.”

Calvin rushed up with Aldric a moment later. Calvin held his cell phone up. “I’ll call the police if you don’t leave.”

Aldric, whose calm, deep voice and unflappable demeanor always made me feel relaxed, now shot Desmond a menacing grin. “Sir. You’ve made things unpleasant.” Somehow Al’s politeness came off even more threatening than Leo and Dominik’s direct challenges.

Desmond gulped, then turned to me and glared. “You know, I knew you’d be bitter, but have a little dignity, Minnie.”

Dominik lunged forward, but Cho and Aldric caught his arms and held him back. I shook my head at him. Dominik had grown up in a rough household and turned to petty crime as a young kid to scrape by. Fitz had hired him on and gotten him a special visa to stay in the country, but he needed to keep his nose clean and out of trouble with the law. Otherwise, he risked being deported back to Romania.

I shot the ridiculously handsome Dom a wan smile. “Thank you. But trust me—he’s not worth it.”

I whirled to face Desmond. “What’s this all about anyway? What ‘hex’ do you think I put on you?”

He scowled. “I know you made her break up with me.”

“Ha!” I couldn’t help the cheerless laugh that burst out of me. Unbelievable. First he left me for another woman, then had the gall to accuse me of causing their breakup?

I shook my head. “You did that all on your own.” The petty part of me couldn’t help but be a little amused by the situation. I mean, I wasn’t about to call on supernatural forces to make misfortune befall my ex, but I could at least revel in it a little when he got his comeuppance.

Desmond pointed a trembling finger at me. “This isn’t over, Minnie. You’re going to make this right, or so help me, I’ll—”

The color drained from his face, and his mouth fell open in a round O of horror.
Johnson, Erin. A Score to Kettle: The Magical Tea Room Mysteries. Kindle Locations (580-621). Kindle Edition.

Having all the guys at her back does wonders for her confidence, but it’s Fitz who puts the fear in Desmond’s eyes.

Hopefully we won’t see more of him.

Now all Minnie has to do is figure out who killed Petra and identify the vampire hunter she suspects DI Prescott is working with.

There’s laughter, tears, suspense and intrigue as this investigation unfolds.

I love this series, the books can be read as standalones, but I think you’ll get more out of reading them in order.

5 Contented Purrs for Erin!

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Coming Soon!

Erin Johnson

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!

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