Jack-O-Lantern Magic – Familiar Kitten Mysteries Book 7 by Sara Bourgeois

Jack-O-Lantern Magic
Familiar Kitten Mysteries Book 7
Sara Bourgeois


Halloween hijinks abound! The Halloween Festival in Coventry is one of the biggest celebrations of the year, but when a prop in the haunted house attraction turns out to be a real dead body, Kinsley has to solve the crime one spell at a time.

Kinsley is helping build the haunted house for Halloween and Dorian shows up, he’s doing a piece on the festival and the process for his paper. He lends her a hand for a minute before suggesting they both finish up and go for dinner. She invites Viv and Ursula but Viv has a date with a doctor. She neglects to ask Thorn so she texts him her plans instead.

At dinner they see the other folks who are working on the house and Ursula wonders why they didn’t ask Kinsley to go with them. They actually had but Dorian had asked first. There’s an altercation at the table between James Governor and Simon Barlow, she knows James but not Simon, he’s new in town. Thomas wouldn’t let things escalate and says one or both has to go. James looked embarrassed but throws money on the table and leaves. Simon however stays. Before Thomas leaves he asks Kinsley to meet with the electrician in the morning as he has an early meeting. Kinsley agrees although she’s not pleased about getting up so much earlier.

The day starts off weird as the ghost in the courthouse does something it never has; it leaves the building and is coming after Kinsley. For the first time Meri is no help and they run to the haunted house, someone left the gate unlocked so they got in quickly, as Kinsley goes for a light, she trips over what she thinks is a pile of props. It wasn’t, it’s a body, Simon Barlow’s body. As she’s calling it in, the electrician shows, and he acts weird about seeing the body wanting pictures of it. He tries to run off when Jeremy arrives, but he doesn’t get far.

Of course, Kinsley isn’t going to stay out of the investigation, without being able to work on the house she’s got plenty of time and Dorian is a willing sidekick.

I was vaguely aware that I was diving back into another murder investigation, and that Thorn would be, at the very least, displeased. I was also very aware that Dorian was excited to have something to investigate, and his enthusiasm was contagious.

After all, who better to chase the story down than the woman who found the body? That’s what I told myself anyway.

Meri was back in his bag flung over my shoulder, and Dorian and I made our way past the haunted house and then down the block to where the electrician’s truck remained parked.

He’d stayed there right up until he saw us approaching. His truck came to life, and he attempted to pull away from the curb quickly. The only problem was that someone had pulled into the spot behind him, and it was a tight squeeze.

The electrician was struggling to get the truck out of the spot without hitting either the car in front of him or behind him while Dorian furiously wrote down information. I watched as he finally rolled down his window and leaned out.

“What are you doing?” he shouted at us.

“We just want to talk to you,” Dorian said calmly as he slid his notebook back into his bag.

“Talk to me about what?” The guy was still leaning out the window talking to us as he tried again to get his truck out of the parking space.

“I just want to know why you were so intent on getting pictures of the man that died,” I said.

“Did you know him?”

“Get bent!” the guy called out before rolling up his window.

He finally managed to get his truck out of the parking space and peeled off down the street. “Well, let’s go back to the apartment and finish that pot of coffee,” Dorian said.

“Okay, but what next? Is that it? Are we dropping it?” I asked.

“Not hardly. I just want to get some more coffee and we’re going to find that guy’s address.”

“His address?” I asked. “Yeah, a guy like that must have some interesting things at his house. Unless you just want to go home, watch some daytime television, and knit booties?” Dorian cocked one eyebrow up.

We went back to Dorian’s apartment, and while he did whatever he was doing on his computer, I made us some sandwiches. He hadn’t had any breakfast yet, and mine hadn’t stuck with me. Meri was more than happy to eat a few pieces of sliced ham that I’d chopped up.

“Are these eggs any good?” I called to Dorian. “Should be. I’ve only had them for a couple of weeks,” he called back before the clicking resumed.

“Thanks. I’m going to fry a couple up, okay?”

“Sounds good,” Dorian responded without stopping his typing.

I found some butter and a couple of slices of sharp cheddar in the fridge. After heating the butter in the pan, I cracked the eggs in and let them sizzle.

While I stood there at Dorian’s stove, my mind wandered. I thought about the argument the night before in the restaurant. Sure, it had been heated, but I couldn’t imagine it was bad enough that James would kill Simon.

Could I really know that for sure, though? Perhaps the argument had started because there had been bad blood for a while. I didn’t know either man very well, and I’d have to find out more before I could make a decision. The whole thing could have been nothing more than a testosterone and beer-fueled spat. Or perhaps it was just tension because neither men had a permanent job.

The bread I’d put in the toaster popped up, and I put two more slices in. While the eggs finished frying, I slathered a layer of mayonnaise on the toast and put on the cheese. There was a little room left in the pan since I was only cooking two eggs, so I put the ham in the pan to let it get warm.

When the sandwiches were done, I took them into the living room area and set them down on Dorian’s coffee table. His cup was empty, so I made us two more coffees. By the time I got back into the room, he was smiling.

“You look like the cat that got the canary,” I said and set his coffee down in front of him.

“I got his name and address,” Dorian said. “Maurice Larkin at 1336 Laurel Avenue in Waverly.”

“Waverly is a small town,” I said before taking a bite of my sandwich.

“Coventry is a small town,” Dorian countered.

“Yeah, but Waverly is really small. Shouldn’t be too hard to find his house, but I’m sure his neighbors will notice us,” I said.

“Isn’t there anything you can, like, do about that?” Dorian asked. “With magic or something?”

“She shouldn’t, but I can,” Meri said. “I could be convinced.”

“Bacon,” Dorian offered. “We could get you bacon.”

“And?” Meri asked.

“Salmon or tuna?” I asked.

“Yes,” Meri said. “I’ll take those too. We can stop at the store when we get back to Coventry.”

“What does this buy us?” Dorian asked.

“I can make sure that anyone who notices us looks the other way as long as neither of you do anything obvious or stupid,” he said and climbed into his bag. “We going?”

“Hey, you had your ham. Let us eat our sandwiches,” I said.

“We should get going. Who knows how long we have,” Dorian said.

“Eat your sandwich. I made it. The least you can do is scarf it down, and you don’t want to waste your coffee,” I demanded.

He obliged and we ate our sandwiches quickly. In order to further bribe Meri, I tore off pieces of ham that stuck out of the edges of the sandwich and fed them to him.

I finished the last of my sandwich with the final drink of my coffee and went to collect the dishes. “Leave it, Kinsley. I’ll clean up when I get back.”

“You sure?”

He laughed at me. “You cooked me food, and now you’re trying to clean up my apartment. No need, dear. I’ll do the dishes later. Come on, let’s go find out what this Maurice guy has in his house.”
Bourgeois, Sara. Jack-O-Lantern Magic (Familiar Kitten Mysteries Book 7). Kindle Locations (493-546). Kindle Edition.

While Kinsley is expecting Thorn to get upset over her getting involved in another investigation, she didn’t expect him to leave town with only a text. A family matter that he doesn’t want her to help with, and then he doesn’t update her at all. With the wedding coming up this just adds to Kinsley’s growing doubts.

There are plenty of suspects in this one, and interesting clues. I have to say I didn’t see that one coming and I certainly didn’t expect the ending. Wow!

5 Contented Purrs for Sara!

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Sara Bourgeois

Sara Bourgeois is a Midwesterner through and through. She spends her time writing, reading, herding cats, and standing in her driveway during tornado warnings. (You can’t see them from the basement.)

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