GLOSSY LIPS – COLD CREAM MURDERS
Olive Peroni put out her family therapy shingle six years ago, never thinking her top client would be Myron Meyers, head of a New York crime family. When Olive’s grandmother dies and leaves her a condo in Florida and a secret recipe for miracle cold cream, she grabs the chance at a new life in Starfish Cove, Florida, making designer creams for ladies who spend far too much time at the beach.
Business is brisk and life is good! Olive even makes a wild new best friend in Lizzy, the real estate agent who handles the transfer of Nonna’s condo. When a dead body is found in the trunk of Lizzy’s car, Olive despairs that life in Starfish Cove won’t be any different than the one she thought she’d escaped. But this time, instead of listening to confessions of murder, Olive’s going to have to solve one. Maybe two…
Contains a recipe for Olive & Lizzy’s super-creamy homemade lip gloss!
“It reeks. Check the trunk,” I stepped to the back of her car. “You said you heard a thumping sound. Maybe youarecarrying a rotten watermelon.”
Lizzy popped the trunk. I felt faint. Reality slipped away as I gazed at the body of a man lying on its side, wrapped in a curve around a flattened spare tire. I sucked in a quick breath and instantly regretted it. My hand flew to my mouth.
It all happened so quickly. Lizzy screamed and stumbled backward holding her hand as if to ward off what she was seeing. “Peanut! Oh, Peanut!” With a slow, disbelieving shake of her head, she turned to me. “It’s Peanut.”
“So I gather.” I tried to keep my voice even, but I knew my eyes had grown twice their size. Trouble did trail my new partner, but I wasn’t about to give up on her. I pulled my cell phone from my purse and dialed 911.
With my arm around my trembling friend, we stood a distance from the trunk turning our backs to the car. An elderly couple wearing matching pink T-shirts toddled passed. They glanced at our faces and then at bent Peanut. I expected them to scream in panic, but instead the old gent pointed to the body and asked if we needed help with it.
“We’re good.” I managed a tone that conveyed the normalcy of having a dead man folded over the spare tire.
They both smiled. “If you’re sure you’re okay, then have a good day,” the old guy said. They continued on to the entrance of Sandy Shores Towers. I shook off the thought that bodies in trunks were a regular occurrence in Starfish Cove. Nonna never let on.
As the sound of wailing sirens drew closer, I looked at Lizzy. She had tears in her eyes as she groped in her purse, pulling out a package of cigarettes. Holding the blue and white mash-up of cellophane and paper, she studied the pack for a long minute and then handed it to me. I was proud she would tough it out; besides I was certain she was carrying another pack.
An ambulance arrived accompanied by two police cars. The first bore the lettering of the Starfish Cove Police and the second carried the medallion of the Sheriff’s Department. I thought I had left all this body-in-the-trunk stuff behind in Myron’s world, but the hammering in my gut told me nothing had changed except the players.
It was the first car that sent my heart cramming into my throat, and not in a good way. Kal, the officer with one name, stepped from the police vehicle before the driver had even come to a full stop. Our life of crime had just escalated from car theft to murder.
Kal gave us a sideways glance, barked the word “stay” as if we were two dogs, and then proceeded to the trunk. He peered at the folded corpse in the sports shirt and tan slacks, and then slipped on a pair of vinyl gloves. He pressed his fingers to Peanut’s neck just like they do on television. Stepping back, Kal shook his head.
With his left hand, he flagged a camera-toting officer. “Robbie, get photos of the tires, the edges of the trunk, too. Heck! Take shots of the entire setting.”
A deputy sheriff stepped from his car, hoisting his gun belt over his belly. “I’ve got this one,” Kal said. “Someone found the body within Starfish Cove limits. It’s ours unless we find out differently.”
The sheriff took on the demeanor of a dog losing a battle over bone. He harrumphed, repeated his belt-lifting and waddled back to his vehicle. The red and blue light spun, the engine raced and the sheriff’s car squealed out of the parking lot.
A black van arrived. It was marked Medical Examiner in small lettering. The sight gave me the chills. But I closed my lips and held myself in a professional stance.
“You two just can’t seem to stay out of trouble, can you?” Kal advanced on us, while an audience of residents and passersby gathered like napkin lint on a little black dress. “Isn’t the victim the same guy who picked up your car last night? Sterling Kelly’s assistant…” He hesitated over the name.
“Peanut,” Lizzy said. “I mean, Newton Nott.” She put her fist to her mouth and bit like she was trying to muffle a scream.
SMOKEY EYES – COLD CREAM MURDERS – BOOK 2
Olive and Lizzy’s Cold Cream shop on the beach is jumping—business couldn’t be better. But when land shark mogul Brent Toast is found floating in the Starfish Cove marina, with his sneer-side up and a knife in his chest, the prime suspect—among his many enemies—is his brassy daughter-in-law. Can Olive & Lizzy save their friend or will this be the end of the Loud Mouth of the South?
Contains a recipe for Olive & Lizzy’s Smokey Eye Shadow
With love & laughter!