Sale!

AND THEN There Were Bodies

Original price was: $11.99.Current price is: $5.99.

The key arrived in a coffin-shaped box with no return address; the body came later.

Not another dead body 🤦🏾‍♀️

New to the AND THEN book series? This is Book 2 but they can be read in any order. 

About this Series

POSSES GRIPPING MOMENTS, A SMART-@SS BIRD, & SOME DEAD PEOPLE. 

“I feel that the twists and turns in the story itself were the strength in this story. ”

“Remarkable characters with a lovable parrot that keeps you amused. ”

🦜 ‘Not right,‘ Simon stated…apparently the parrot knows more than he’s letting on. 

The key arrived in a coffin-shaped box with no return address; the body came later.

When Luci receives an old key and a ticket to the past, she gets more than she bargained for by way of a corpse, a mysterious family connection, and a nursing home patient with early-stage dementia.

As the detective helps her piece together each cryptic clue from tools to gold to peculiar photos, Luci realizes trouble comes to those who dig too deep when death, danger and buried treasure don’t make for polite bedfellows.

If she’s going to stay alive to find out why her parrot, Simon hates going into the basement because of what secret the key unlocks, Luci must rely on an unlikely team – her wits and a woman who called her by her dead grandmother’s name.

READ A SAMPLE BELOW!

AND THEN: There Were Bodies is the second book in the small town cozy mystery series.  Each book is a captivating standalone mystery where you can indulge in solving the book murders. Dive deep into the intriguing plots while gradually unraveling the complexities of the characters with every body that drops.

👇🏽  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“An entertaining and intriguing mystery with interesting characters. I like Simon, the parrot and his antics.”

“Wow I loved the book there was mystery, murder and a touch of romance.”

“If you like a good mystery with lots of twists and turns then give this a go, you won’t be disappointed.”

“The ensuing story kept me reading; I finished it in one go.”

“To say I did not see many things coming in the story would be true.”

“Attention grabbed and immersed from the beginning!”

This product is an EBOOK compatible with any modern digital app and device:

  • Kindle or Kindle App for phones/tablets
  • Apple Books
  • Google Play Books
  • Nook
  • Kobo
  • Native e-readers on Apple and Android products
  • Microsoft Surface and Tablets of all kinds
  • iPads, iPods, iPhones
  • Android phones and devices

If you would prefer a paperback, coming soon!

How does it work?

  1. Buy through AUTHOR-DIRECT and $ave!
  2. Download links are provided on the order confirmation page (emails contain links as well)
  3. Start solving!

Chapter 1

Sneak – Peek

Scroll through this sneak peek preview into Luci’s library and the murderous schemes that await!

Scroll to read

Chapter 1

The interview wasn’t going well.

Still, Luci stuck it out, hoping that maybe it was just a bad first impression. Maybe the guy was nervous and that was why he sounded so infuriating. He might loosen up after a couple of minutes. There was always the possibility he might turn out great.

However, as the interview continued, that probability began to dwindle to about one in a million.

“I’m just pretty much good at everything,” the interviewee, Darren Jackson, drawled. He smoothed back his blond hair as if the gesture made him suave as he flashed a cocky and flirtatious smile at Luci. “You name it, I can do it.”

They were sitting in Luci’s cramped and cluttered office. Dark stained and rough hewn walls encircled the little space, like the sides of a wooden box, sealing the room with no windows. Despite the windowless room, it still had a comforting cozy feel, even if there was only enough room for one desk, two chairs, a couple of filing cabinets, and a tall birdcage in the cramped corner. Lining the walls were several wooden perches that resembled branches along with dangling toys. One of those perches was currently occupied.

“All right,” Luci sighed. “Do you know the DDC?”

Darren Jackson’s smile faltered. “Huh?” he asked.

That answers that question, Luci thought. Still, she persevered. “The Dewey Decimal Classification?” she prompted.

“Oh. Yeah.” The smile was back. “Like the back of my hand.”

“All right.” She tried not to sound too skeptical. “What’s the number for American fiction?” It was 813. Most librarians who had worked any time in the field whatsoever would have known that purely because it was so common.

Darren Jackson paled, evidently surprised to be called out on a lie he hadn’t anticipated.

“Um…” he finally said. “Four?”

It took all of her willpower not to sigh in exasperation.

A flutter of wings sounded as a grey blur flew in front of her head to land on the edge of the desk. Simon, Luci’s African grey parrot, cocked his head as he regarded the man in front of him then waddled 180 degrees to look at Luci, his yellow eyes surveying her with marked intelligence.

‘Not right,’ Simon squawked at Luci. Then he tottered back to face the interviewee. ‘No further questions. Bye bye.’

Darren blinked in bemusement, then glanced over at her. This time, instead of a sigh, Luci was fighting back a snort of laughter. Whether he was saying the answer was wrong or he didn’t like the employee or—most likely, both, Luci had to agree with him.

“Thank you, Mr. Jackson,” she concluded. “That will be all.”

Darren laughed as if he thought it was a joke, except when Luci picked up her coffee mug and walked over to the door, holding it open for him, he stared, unmoving.

“You’re not hiring me because of a parrot?” he demanded, not moving from his chair.

“No,” Luci corrected him. “I’m not hiring you because you aren’t what we need right now. Thank you for coming down, though.”

Darren opened and closed his mouth in sheer disbelief. Then finally, when Luci remained where she was, door held open in her hand staring back at him, he stood up. He muttered something under his breath about being able to get a better job elsewhere without parrots as he brushed past her.

Luci’s office opened onto the break room, so the two walked out in uncomfortable silence until they came to the other door. When Luci stepped through this one, she was right behind the circulation desk of the Mitchell Library.

The Mitchell Library had been built by Luci’s grandmother sometime in the ’70s, and Luci had inherited it when her grandmother passed away a handful of years ago. It had taken a bit of time adjusting, still though, she loved every inch of the place.

She loved the smell of old books that filled your nostrils as you walked through the narrow aisles. She loved the soft sunlight streaming through the tall arched windows, dust motes dancing lazily in the raking beams. The gentle illumination seemed to make the expansive room glow with warmth, highlighting the honey-hued wood of the endless bookcases. Shadows shifted tranquility over the worn leather chairs as the daylight shifted. The library felt airier and larger than ever under this peaceful glow.

She loved the Bookists, the book club who came in once a month to discuss their latest novel. And, naturally, she loved Simon, who soared overhead as she moved out of the breakroom, flying up to the second story to one of his many roosts. He really was a beautiful bird: slate-grey feathers (except for the red tail feathers), yellow, intelligent eyes in circles of white feathers, and a coal-grey beak. He’d lived at the library since her grandmother had gotten him over a decade ago, and had never been happy anywhere else. It always felt like Simon knew what he was saying. Luci faintly recalled a note left from Grandmother Annabelle tucked into the pocket of Simon’s birdcage cover. It had read: Simon is special, he understands.

The only thing she didn’t love about owning a library was trying to find good employees.

For months now, Luci had barely kept the library afloat through sheer extra hours alone. With only Patrick assisting since her last staffer’s dismissal, tasks bordered on insurmountable. The beloved library embodied Juniper’s close-knit charm, welcoming loyal locals and tourists alike through its doors daily and she wasn’t about to cut down the normal library hours.

Lately though, Luci felt the flames of fatigue licking higher. The passion that first sparked a calling now seemed to be sputtering, desperate for kindling. Before she succumbed to joining the Team-No-Sleep-Overworked-Business-Owner club, she had begun the arduous journey of finding a new hire. So far, none of them had met her standard.

Luci watched Darren Jackson stalk out of the building. Patrick, who was standing behind the circulation desk, putting books on the trolley to reshelve them, watched along with her.

“No go, I take it?” he asked, brushing the mop of light brown hair out of his face.

“No go,” confirmed Luci, more than a little bitterly. She had really hoped this one would be a winner. His résumé had looked good, but clearly, he’d been lying on it. Even if he hadn’t been, she wasn’t sure if she would have been able to stand his personality for more than a few minutes.

“Shame,” Patrick tsked. “Would be nice to have someone else to help carry the load.”

Luci shot him a side-eyed really? look.

“I’m just saying…” he held up his hands in conciliation.

“Trust me, I know.” She glanced down at the pile of letters on the circulation desk and sighed. It had been months since she let Alva, the former staffer, go. Luci had discovered Alva was conspiring with a well-known land mogul to devalue the Mitchell Library in an attempt to force her to sell.

Even though they really needed that extra person, it seemed as though said person was never going to show up. There was too much to do. Patrick was reshelving the books, while she had to check finances, look at inventory, catalog the new books, find time to clean, help guests—

She forced herself to mentally stop before she spiraled too far. She couldn’t afford to spiral. There wasn’t enough time.

Glancing down, Luci noticed she was carrying around an empty coffee mug. It really shouldn’t have been a surprise, given her addiction. True as that may be, she hadn’t realized how quickly she had downed the last cup. She hurried back to the breakroom, refilled her mug from the hall-filled carafe, and, almost as an afterthought, grabbed one of the white chocolate cranberry scones she had baked yesterday and brought in. By the time she reemerged, Patrick had vanished into the aisles with the grey trolley.

Munching on the scone, and careful to make sure all—okay, most—of the crumbs landed on the napkin, she began opening the mail at the circulation desk.

Most of it was junk mail. One was a physical copy of a résumé, which she didn’t even realize people did anymore, considering she posted the job opening online. Another was a letter from a colleague in Denver about a library sale, asking if she wanted to take any of the books before opening the sale to the public. Another was a standard, bubble-lined manila envelope with no return address and a lump sealed inside.

Luci froze momentarily, her mind instantly going back to a few months ago when she’d received a similar letter that had set off a chain of events leading to her sister’s arrest and subsequent release when Kris was found innocent. Part of her wondered if the same type of thing was about to happen.

Sensing her dread, Simon’s rough, but clipped talons settled onto her shoulder as he landed – that familiar presence she’d felt a thousand times. He leaned closer to her face to nuzzle it affectionately.

‘Bad?’ Simon asked.

“No, Luci replied. “Just a letter.”

I’m being paranoid, she thought to herself. Without hesitating further, she tore open the envelope, her curiosity overpowering any second thoughts.

The lump, it turned out, was a small coffin-like wooden box, no longer than the palm of her hand. She gently shook it, a rattling noise letting her know something was inside. She unlatched the tiny brass clasp and the box’s secret tumbled out, hitting the counter with a musical chime. A key glittered in the morning light before her. As Luci lifted the brass key to examine it closer, she was surprised by the weighty metal as she pondered the antique’s origins.

Pondering what this key might open, Luci flicked her eyes back to the box, where an intricately folded piece of paper framed the coffin-shaped box. Gently setting the key on the counter, Luci extracted the single piece of paper. With an eyebrow raised curiously, Luci unraveled the tri-folded piece of paper to slowly reveal a short message:

This should have been your grandmother’s. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to give it to you. It’s time to right a grievous wrong. I only wish I’d had the courage to do it sooner.

Luci tilted her head, rereading the message, almost as if she anticipated a more detailed explanation to materialize. Despite her best efforts to decipher any further meaning, it stayed stubbornly vague. No hidden message revealed itself no matter how much she tried to interpret more from what was already written. Those four cryptic sentences only left her with more questions than answers.

My grandmother? Luci wondered. Her grandmother, Annabelle, had been dead for over five years now, having passed in her late ‘70s. Why would anyone be telling her that this key should’ve been her Grandmother’s? Why wait? And it was clear that whoever had sent the message knew Grandma Annabelle was dead. Why bother sending it to Luci?

“Right a grievous wrong?” she muttered, bewildered. She glanced at the key. The key was old, thicker than modern keys, and heavy. While not excessively aged, it bore the gentle hallmarks of time passed. Running her thumb along the cool metal, as she glanced back at the note, answers to her growing list of questions still eluded her.

        Something told Luci she didn’t want to know what the key opened.

Continue reading AND THEN THERE WERE BODIES.

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “AND THEN There Were Bodies”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like…

>