“Do you have information on the murder?” The sheriff’s voice was flat.
I leaned against my tile counter and stared at the lights dangling in the window, listened to the screaming wind. Normally I enjoyed a good storm. But I couldn’t tonight, my palm moist on the phone’s slick plastic. “That book you found – is it a Necronomicon?”
A long pause. “I thought you didn’t touch the body.”
“There’s a photo on Harry’s Instagram—”
She sighed. “What part of don’t-interfere-with-an-investigation don’t you Bonheims understand?”
“Did you test the book’s ink?”
Another long pause. “It’s blood. Human. Male. Old.”
My own blood seemed to freeze. “That’s… not good.”
“It’s damned creepy. Okay, consider yourself a consultant, bookseller. For now. What’s with the book?”
I told her everything. It didn’t matter if it was true. If people believed it, I couldn’t afford to hold back.
“So,” she finally said, “it’s a hoax.”
That hadn’t been my point. I rubbed the back of my neck. “It’s deadly.”
I closed my eyes. She’d never believe it might open a gate between worlds, a gate that had to stay shut. Remembered fear rippled through my body. “If these people believe it can open a magical barrier, give them power, they won’t quit.”
She snorted. “The book’s evidence. It’s not going anywhere.”
“You don’t understand.” I needed to make her. “People who collect these books can get obsessive.” And the actual, mythical Necronomicon… People had built entire magical systems around Lovecraft’s stories. If a dark magician got the book, if it was real, “deadly” was an understatement.
“It’s safe,” she said.
“If I could see it, I might be able to tell you more.”
“You’ve told me enough. You’re done.”
“Thank you, Ms. Bonheim.”
McCourt knew there were bigger things out there. Why wouldn’t she listen? Frustration rushed my speech. “Harry was likely killed for that book.”
“Harry was a lone, unarmed man.”
“More than one person wants this book. This may be bigger than you think.”
“Forget it, you’re—”
The line went dead.
Next in Episode 10: Is Deputy Connor Hernandez dead or alive?
Photo (top) by Kevin Fitzgerald 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.