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When she sees a blue Volkswagen stopped on lonely, foggy country road. Jennet Greenway doesn’t hesitate to go to the aid of the woman behind the wheel.
But her Good Samaritan act backfires, leaving her injured, without her beloved black collie, Halley, and ultimately in grave danger.
I drove into the storm, suddenly overcome with a longing to be in my own home. Torrential rain pounded the country roads, turning them into ribbons of quagmire, and I slowed my speed, hoping I wouldn’t get stuck in the mud.
Jonquil Lane was more navigable, its gravel shining in my headlights. Camille’s yellow house was bright with lamplight; my own green Victorian farmhouse was, of course, dark but still inviting.
But for my dalliance at Clovers and side trip on Malvern Court, I would have been home before the storm.
Let that be a lesson to you, I scolded myself. From now on, no more stops.
As I passed my mailbox, making a quick decision to pick up the day’s post when the rain stopped, a bolt of lightning illuminated my porch and the long silvery object resting against the door.
Not again, I thought.
I parked in front of the house. With only the hood of my raincoat as a shield against the downpour, I ran up the steps. More lightning flashed on a large box wrapped in white paper with wide silver ribbon.
Inside, I turned on lights as I made my way into the kitchen, the best room to be in when I coped with whatever waited for me inside the package. I felt as if it were some living, malignant thing. Although the previous presents had been innocuous enough, this one seemed to radiate evil. It fairly vibrated.
Your imagination is working overtime again, I told myself. Open I and you’ll know.
As I shook the box, the contents moved.
‘To Jennet’. Two words, neatly printed with a fine line black marker. A graceful scroll beneath my name. The writing on the tag seemed to scream danger at me. Impatiently I tore at the wrappings, ripped the beautiful silver ribbon away, and let it fall to the floor.
To Jennet... Again, not Jennet and Crane...
The gift was a set of knives with deadly sharp blades and glossy dark wood handles, set in a handsome block: A paring knife, steak knives, a bread knife, a carving knive, a cleaver that looked so lethal it chilled my blood.
They were obviously expensive, perhaps over a hundred dollars, and would be a welcome addition to any household. But not mine. I suspect that these common kitchen tools carried a message. I thought I knew what it was.
I had an enemy. I might have many enemies, all made since I’d moved to Foxglove Corners. Leaving the cutlery set on the table, I walked slowly back to the living room and sank into my favorite chair, trying to figure out the identity of the anonymous gift giver.
Addie Everett who blamed me for losing her cushy babysitting job and for every other misfortune in her life? Emil Schiller, the angel-faced accomplice of Al Grimes, the dognapper? Camille’s old nemesis who, by default, became mine? Assorted criminals I’d encountered during the last two years paraded through my mind.
But weren’t they all in prisons or mental institutions? Except for Emil who might be anywhere and Addie who, according to Crane, had left town?
I still didn’t have an answer for the question I’d often asked myself before. How was it possible that so many miscreants had crossed my path? And yet, from the beginning, mystery had been as much a part of my new life in Foxglove Corners as the giant perennials that grew in Camille’s gardens.
An unforgettable memory filtered through my thoughts, a revelation from Camille’s decades-old journal in which she had recorded details of the abuses inflicted by her late husband, Richard Vesper. In her fantasies of dispatching him, she had obsessed about knives while cutting vegetables for his stew.
I stared at the shiny new utensils, enclosed under pristine cellophane, wishing inanimate objects could talk.
Take us. Keep us. Someday you’ll know why.
Dorothy Bodoin lives in Royal Oak, Michigan, with her mahogany sable collie puppy, Kinder (Wolf Manor Kinder Brightstar). A graduate of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and a retired secondary English teacher, Dorothy is the author of the Foxglove Corners Cozy Mystery series featuring Jennet Greenway and her black collie, Halley. She has also written several novels of romantic suspense and one Gothic romance.
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 315
Paper Weight (lb): 13.2
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