Monday, August 12, 2013

The Feed Store Floozy by Judy Nickles Excerpt

The Feed Store Floozy (The Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series) by Judy Nickles

Penelope has known Mayor Harry Hargrove all her life and his wife Mary Lynn since high school. But maybe she doesn't know them as well as she thinks. Why are they so upset when former Amaryllis resident Brice Dolan returns to open an antique store in one of Main Street's many empty buildings, when it can only help the small town's struggling economy? That the building has had many lives—feed store, grocery store, and saloon—isn't unusual. Even what went on upstairs during its saloon days isn't that surprising, so why are Harry and Mary Lynn so on edge? Penelope has to wonder—but she isn't counting on the murder and mayhem Brice brings with him.


“You’ll never guess what happened!” Dispossessing Abijah, the large orange tabby who didn’t like anybody except Penelope, from a chair, she flopped down and returned the cat’s glare.
“Don’t tell me the blessed ghost of Jeremiah Bowden turned up again in the boiler room at the school.”
Mary Lynn tossed her zebra-print purse in a chair and sank down at the table. “Worse than that. You know that empty building on the square?”
“Too many of buildings on the square are still empty.”
“I’m talking about the one on the corner of Park and Main, across from the library.”
“That’s not on the square.”
“Close enough.”
“What about it?”
“It used to be a feed store, and Brice Dolan got it at the tax auction last month.”
“I knew that, but I didn’t know what he wanted it for.”
“Nobody did, but it seems he finally got around to checking out the inside this morning, and when he went upstairs—“ Mary Lynn sat up and took a deep breath. “When he went upstairs, he discovered that somebody used it as a—“ She slumped over again and put her forehead against the table.
“For blessed what, Mary Lynn? I swear, you’re such a drama queen.”
“A brothel,” came the mumbled reply. “A house of ill repute.”
“A bawdy house? Here in Amaryllis?”

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