Looking for a fun, new series with plenty of mystery, murder, and romance to go
around? Check out my Double Barrel Mysteries series. If you want to start at the beginning of the series, pick up a copy of book one, ROADKILL.
In book two, Much Ado About Murder, Blake and Shelby Gunner are setting up residence in Port Scuttlebutt and opening their own private investigations office. Hope you enjoy the excerpt below!
Shelby could hear the whine of the electric saw when she stepped out on the porch with her cup of coffee. Vanilla bean scented steam rose in the cold autumn air as she held her cup between the palms of her hands and sipped. She shivered in spite of wearing an angora sweater beneath a quilted jacket. It was hard to believe that days before Blake was working shirtless down at the boathouse. Today he’d need to wear long johns and flannel. It was already beginning to feel like Christmas. All they needed was snow.
The radio came on in the kitchen where Alice was busy mixing bread dough. It sounded like the weather report. Shelby gulped the rest of her lukewarm coffee and slipped back inside to catch the news. Maybe there would be something about the murder. The police had been tight-lipped about the case when Blake showed up asking questions. Even the brotherhood-of-blue mantra did little to open the way for him.
Blake was still upstairs sleeping, but he’d be down soon. He had an invitation to visit his grandmother at the big house for lunch. Apparently it was a single invitation, since he hadn’t invited her along, but that was okay. She had plans as well.
“Sounds like we might get snow by tonight,” Alice said, turning the radio down when the commercials came on. She slipped a clean towel over the lump of dough in the mixing bowl, and slid it closer to the stove to rise. “Good thing Mr. Dugan started early today. Maybe he’ll have the office windows and door in for you by this evening.”
“That would be wonderful.” Shelby refilled her cup from the carafe and leaned against the kitchen counter. “Especially if he turns out to be guilty.”
“Guilty? Did you find something incriminating out there at his place?” Alice peered over the refrigerator door as she pulled breakfast items from the shelves. “I mean… that would be terrible. For Tucker’s dad especially.”
Shelby shook her head. “Nothing like that. But we didn’t find anything to prove his innocence either, so…” she shrugged.
“Hey. Loose lips sink ships,” Blake said from the doorway. He pulled an imaginary zipper across his mouth. “Mrs. Private Eye, may I have a word with you?”
“Don’t worry,” Alice said, “I haven’t had time to get all the juicy details out of her yet.”
Shelby followed Blake into the sitting room and faced him, hands on her hips. “What was that all about? Paranoid much? If anyone in this town can be trusted, Alice can.”
“I know that. But sometimes things slip out inadvertently. I want to keep this ring business under wraps for the time being. I haven’t even questioned Pete Dugan about whether he knew his ex-wife was seeing someone else or not. First things first. Okay?”
“Fine. I won’t mention the ring to anyone.”
He stepped closer and tipped her chin up with one finger. “You know how beautiful you look when you’re peeved with me?”
“I’m not peeved. I just don’t like lying to my friends.” She’d done enough of that growing up. Lying to protect her alcoholic father from losing his job, lying to keep the social workers away, lying to bill collectors, the landlord, her friends.
“You don’t have to lie, babe. They’ll understand if you tell them you can’t talk about it. The same way you understood when I couldn’t share everything about the cases I worked on as a detective. Information is key. We have to keep it to ourselves until the exact right moment. Get it? Surprise attack. We want to get a natural, unguarded look at our suspect’s true feelings. Most people wear a façade, especially when they feel cornered.
“Now our client is a suspect?”
“Until I’ve proved otherwise.”
She leaned into him and he drew her close. She closed her eyes and breathed in his just-showered scent. “You smell like fresh strawberries.”
“I used your fruity shampoo. Mine was empty.”
“It smells good on you,” she said, nuzzling his neck.
“Hold on now.” He moved back out of reach, a silly grin on his face. “Are you trying to get an invitation to lunch, or…?”
“I can’t believe you’d think that. Only married four years and you’re already pouring sand on the flames.”
His brows came together. “Are you messing with me?”
“Of course. Who else would I mess with?” She reached out and tugged him back by the collar of his shirt. “Now kiss me before I leave. I’m going to the café for a chat with Luanne.”
“Heaven help us all,” he said, and then gave her a proper goodbye kiss.
Ps. Book Three: Midsummer Madness is available now!
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