A glittering carapace of snow covered Main Street’s cars and the old west buildings.
Movements jerky, I tugged on cotton gloves and stared at the malignant, leather-bound book open on my counter.
A weight pressed against my ankle, and I smiled down at Bailey. The beagle’s owner had been happy to leave him here while she shopped.
Heart hammering, I bent, studying the autograph through a magnifying glass. Since I’d become a rare book dealer, I’d learned to verify author signatures. But my eye kept getting drawn to my own name, in green pencil beneath it. Why me?
I shook myself. I had to focus and learn the truth. If the book was real, the danger was terrifying. I glanced at the glass front door. So why the hell hadn’t the sheriff brought more backup?
“Well?” she asked.
I examined the spiky H, the looping L, and frowned.
“Is it or isn’t it?”
I sighed and set down the magnifying glass. “Fake.” I scanned the pages, and dread roiled my stomach. Someone with magical knowledge had written the spells inside. “And real. These spells could work.”
She cocked a skeptical brow.
“This book is dangerous.” She had to take this seriously.
“Sure it is.” She slammed the book closed.
I jerked my fingers away, feeling the whisper of air on their tips. “Look, even if it’s fake, it could still be enough for a madwoman to kill for.”
“Woman? You mean Zoe Mason?”
“Is that the name of the victim’s wife? The blonde who came to my bookstore?”
She nodded. “But you’re wrong about the book. If the killer wanted it, they’d have taken it after they killed Mason. Unless you think you frightened them off?”
I laughed shortly. “I don’t scare these jokers.”
“Then that’s that.” She tugged her broad-brimmed hat down over her curls. “You’re seeing what you want. You need to be open to everything, even what you don’t like.”
My chest pinched. Was it that hard and that simple? I could no longer see because I feared what my shamanic sight would show me?
“No one really sees.”
I jerked upright.
Behind the sheriff, Zoe Mason aimed a gun at McCourt’s head.
Episode 14: Confrontation with a killer.
Photo (top) COO from Pixabay. Photo below by Daniil Kuzelev on Unsplash.
About the Author
Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.
If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.
Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com
Feel free to follow her on Twitter @KirstenWeiss, on Tumblr at kweiss01, on Pinterest at KirstenWeiss, or on Bookbub, get in touch on Facebook, post a picture of this book to Instagram and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email. She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.