I don’t know why the sheriff let me go.
And I never got to see that book. But I guess I couldn’t blame the sheriff for that.
New Year’s Day, bleary eyed, I sat behind my bookstore counter and read old emails. A query from a competitor pretending to be a client (nice try). A New Year’s e-card from my sister, Karin. An author asking to do a book signing (yes). But no requests to meet in the forest or examine a rare book. The man had been a stranger, not from Doyle.
Was the book rare? All the sheriff had said was it was occult. And my name was in it.
Connor might know. But I hadn’t heard from him since we’d met at the crime scene. The sheriff must have pulled him from the case when I became a suspect. My chest squeezed. So why the radio silence?
I glanced toward the glass door, its sign turned to CLOSED. The street outside was quiet, false fronts of old-west buildings frosted with snow. Doyle was a postcard-perfect Gold Rush town, until you looked beneath the surface, behind the doors. I shuddered and returned to my laptop.
Why would my name be in a book? I didn’t autograph the books I sold.
The bell at the door jingled faintly.
I looked up.
No one stood behind the glass.
My flesh prickled. I shook myself and checked the spam folder. Male enhancement products. Busty women. Nigerians with cash to share.
“Do you have it?”
I jumped in my seat, my arm jerking forward and sending a pencil holder flying. Pens rolled across the counter and thudded to the gray carpet.
A Rasputin of a man hunched before me. Long, lanky brown hair. Sunken, feverish eyes.
“How did you get in here?” I looked again to the door, sure I’d locked it.
He placed his hands on the counter, exposing a tattoo of a bomb falling into a laurel wreath. “Where’s the book?”
I swallowed. “Book?”
His gaze crawled past my skin. “I know Harry gave it to you.”
“Harry… is dead,” I guessed.
“Have you got it?”
I didn’t want to play this game. I wanted him gone. “The police have the book.”
“You’ll regret that,” he hissed.
Something struck the window behind me. I glanced over my shoulder. When I turned back to the intruder, he’d vanished.
Coming next in Episode 4: A fine romance, and Lenore learns more about the murder victim.
Photo (top) by Sergiu Valena on Unsplash. 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.