When the quiet little community of Starfish Cove on the Gulf of Mexico soon begins to compete with a certain notorious coastal village in Maine, Olive Peroni finds herself solving odd-ball murders as often as she soothes wrinkles.
Clean and wholesome!
With a touch of blood…
Footsteps sounded on the deck above my head. I rolled my eyes upward. Digging deep within me I pulled out one more feeble Help! The lifeline cut into my fingers. My cheeks were raw from scraping against the salty hull.
Smokey Eyes stared at me through the fog. It could have been anyone. The unseen mouth that came with the eyes didn’t say a word. I waited to feel the grip of strong hands on my arms. With a heave-ho I’d be lifted topside. The eyes locked with mine, blinked, and then vanished. The footsteps withdrew. The boat bounced. And then all was silent.
What the heck? Someone saw me sagging over the precipice of death and they walked away? If I ever got out of this predicament, I’d hunt them, coat them in honey, and plant them in an anthill.
I craned my neck toward the inky black water. A plastic bag floated at my feet in a rain-bowed oil slick. Think. Think. I pushed off from the hull with my forehead again. This time I grazed my brow. What an inglorious way to go. My body would be discovered buoyant in the marina just like the body that drifted toward me.
Someone screamed. It was me. The cork-like corpse sloshed closer. Aside from the smirk on his face and the knife stuck in his chest, Brent Toast looked much as he had when he tried to swamp us.
Jaimie’s father-in-law was skewered with what looked like a boating knife, not that I knew what one looked like—but it was bigger than a bread knife. I drew in a deepbreath and found a better scream, one loud enough to raise the dead.
Brent Toast’s corpse bobbed against the Very Crabbyhull. The gentle wake of a passing boat carried him out of my sight.
The fog was lifting. I was drooping.