Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mystery, Murder, & Mayhem Collection: Seven Deadly Mysteries by Best-Selling Sleuths


Barnes and Noble

Seven incredible mysteries from seven best selling authors in this limited time collection! From sacred to sultry, you'll find a mystery to fit all tastes.

A Carol for Kent by Hallee Bridgeman: A ruthless serial killer seeks to end a love song eight years in the making.

Anything for a Mystery by Cynthia HIckey: For best-selling romance author, Stormi Nelson, switching genres could get her killed.

Between a Clutch and a Hard Place by Gayle Trent: When Myrtle Crumb finds a cryptic note in a consignment store purse, she simply has to investigate. Will she find more trouble than she bargained for?

Building Ties by New York Times Best Selling Author Teresa J. Reasor: Navy SEAL Brett 'Cutter' Weaver is on a mission to Nicaragua when he learns his bride-to-be, Tess Kelly, has been injured in a car bombing. He rushes home on the next available transport and arrives to find Tess embroiled in three controversial stories. There’s a killer stalking her, and one interview at a time, they mean to catch him.

Death By Chocolate by Abigail Keam: Josiah Reynolds is tracking down the disappearance of an old friend’s son. But while she is chasing a missing person, O’nan is hot on Josiah’s trail chasing her. And he is threatening, conniving, and blackmailing others to help destroy the woman he thinks ruined his life. Will he finally succeed?

Dirty Little Murder by Traci Tyne Hilton: Everyone seemed to love Douglas Swanson—just ask his wife, his ex-wife, or the many girlfriends he left in his wake. So when Jane Adler found him dead at the bottom of his hot tub, the question wasn’t how he had died, but whose passion had taken a violent turn.

The Wiles of Watermelon by Lynette Sowell: In Greenburg, TN, someone has been keeping skeletons in the watermelon field that should have stayed stored away in the past. Murder stalks those who would solve the years old case.


Since she was on the lower level, she ought to clean the hot tub room next. It was just down the hall from the garage, in the daylight basement, and had sweeping views of their vast lawns, but the hot tub room gave Jane the creeps. She paused at the door of the room—her least favorite in all of the homes she had ever cleaned.
The walls were papered in shimmery black with gold flecks and topped with a mirrored ceiling. Jane would have guessed this house was less than fifteen years old, but the hot tub room was straight from the 1980s—years before she was born.
A huge wet bar flanked one wall. A light made from wine bottles strung in a row hung over it. The bar stools were topped with leopard print cushions and the rug was a brilliant zebra print—brilliant because the white stripes glowed in the black light that was positioned over it.
Then there was the hot tub itself. It was the maid’s job—therefore Jane’s until the proper maid returned from vacation—to do the pH test and add chemicals as necessary. The tub was a beast. It looked as though it could seat twenty, and she had to climb a set of black marble—could it be real marble?—steps to get to the lid.
Every time she climbed the steps she felt like a missionary being led into the cauldron by cannibals. Cannibals aside, this hot tub water really was people-broth.
The hot tub room was warm and steamy. It smelled like a locker room. From the small pile of towels at the bottom step to the tub, Jane could tell it had been used recently. All lights but the black light were out, so the towels, the stripes on the rug, and the striations in the steps glowed. Jane crinkled her nose. She flipped the light on before she entered. It was better when the lights were on. Not great, but better.
Jane had the water testing kit in her pocket, so she went straight to the tub. Best to get the grossest bit out of the way first.
At the first step, she grabbed the pile of towels—still damp—and tossed them to the laundry hamper by the door. She missed.
Jane knelt at the top step and leaned over to get her water sample.
Something stringy slid through her fingers.
Hair? Short, gray hair that waved around in the water like sickly seaweed.
Jane wrenched her hand back. Her stomach heaved.
Douglas Swanson sat in the tub his face submerged just below the surface of the water.
Jane squeezed her eyes shut, and grabbed his head, trying to lift it from the water so she could find a pulse. Her fingers probed his bloated neck, but she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t hold his head, find a pulse, and not puke.
She turned her head to the side, and wretched.
Her guts were in a vice that wouldn’t stop squeezing, but nothing came out. For the first time ever, she was glad she had skipped breakfast.
She tried again to lift him, so she could attempt CPR, but he was just too heavy. And, she was pretty sure he was dead.
She pulled her phone out of her apron pocket, but her hand was shaking so violently that she dropped it in the tub. She plunged her arm into the water up to her elbow, and the bobbing head butted against her arm as she fished for her phone. The phone lay on Douglas’s knee. She pulled her arm out of the water and stumbled down the steps. She lunged for the door, but tripped on the tangle of wet towels and pitched into the door frame.
Her skull felt like a bell with her brain sounding against its hard sides. She wiped her forehead with her wet hand.
Blood. She was bleeding.
The room swirled around her. She stopped everything and sat down, legs crossed. She leaned forward, her head in her lap, and tried to breathe. “Dear Lord, dear Lord, dear Lord,” she prayed over and over again, thankful that the Spirit would translate her panic into something useful.
When her body stilled she sat up. Her phone, resting on Douglas’s knee, was the only phone she knew of in the house. In the three weeks she had been cleaning here, she hadn’t seen a single land line. Should she run upstairs and search the rooms for one? Or was there a faster way to call the police?
She had seen a bright blue alarm system box in the garage.
With extreme caution, so as not to start the panic back up, Jane stood, and took the long walk back down the basement hall.
The alarm box was above the workbench.
Jane popped the cover and stared at the keys. Could she trip the alarm to make it call the police? Or was there an emergency button she could press?
She held her shaking finger in front of the keypad.
Maybe she should get a neighbor instead.
She turned her head toward the garage doors. The neighbors were so isolated on their acred lots. It would be faster to alert the police this way. If she could figure it out.
But wait.
Do you even call the police when a man drowns?
She pressed her fingertips to her forehead. She needed a phone to call 911.
But she didn’t really need an ambulance, because Douglas was dead.

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