By Maggie Toussaint
Talk about rotten luck. My approach shot to the sixth green ended up on a dead guy. I didn’t really expect to hole out because my golf game is for therapeutic purposes, but, dang it all, this was horrible. And because I was so upset with my ex-husband, I didn’t even notice the body until I stood right over it.
To make matters worse, the cops think my best friend Jonette killed this guy. Absolutely no way she killed him now. I mean, if she’d been going to kill him, she would’ve done it in high school, you know? What’s the benefit in waiting twenty years to shoot a guy who brags about his “time” with you?
And when I finally get home after this terrible, awful, no-good day, there’s my ex waiting in the driveway. Expecting to get sympathy from me, of all people. I told Charlie what I thought of that. No way, uh-uh, never-never-never.
But—and there’s always a “but” isn’t there? —against all my better judgement, against knowing this man committed adultery in our home, in our bed, not once but multiple times, I felt a twinge of sadness for him. His best friend had been murdered. Even though I waffled a smidge inside, I held fast to my principles and composure.
Except for the dead guy’s dog. Charlie couldn’t take the large canine home because his new wife, the marriage wrecker, was allergic. Madonna looked so sad and lost, my heart broke for her. Charlie said it would be short-term, just until his friend’s ex-wife came home for the funeral. Her sons loved this affable short-haired St. Bernard.
I wanted to deny the request on principle. Charlie had no right to ask me for anything. I looked at the dog again, and I recognized that panicked look of being all alone in hectic world. We were kindred spirits.
How much trouble could one supertanker of a dog be?
My girls came home from high school just then, and they fell in love with Madonna on the spot.
All right, I’ll come right out and admit it. I caved, big time.
We ended up with the dog, and that was the first of many changes in our lives.
What I hadn’t counted on was the real killer taking offense to me poking around in the case. Following the money is my day job (I own an accounting firm), so that’s how I thought I’d clear Jonette’s name. The more I dug, though, the more I realized how little we know about people we see every day. Jonette is like a sister to me. I’ll clear her name or die trying.
Cleopatra Jones, CPA and amateur sleuth
In For a Penny by Maggie Toussaint is in Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries
Read all the Cleo books:
In For a Penny
On The Nickel
Dime If I Know
Sleuthing Women: 10 First-in-Series Mysteries is a collection of 10 full-length mysteries featuring murder and assorted mayhem by ten critically acclaimed, award-winning, and bestselling authors. Each novel in this set is the first book in an established multi-book series—a total of over 3,000 pages of reading pleasure for lovers of amateur sleuth, caper, and cozy mysteries.
Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, an Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery by Lois Winston—Working mom Anastasia is clueless about her husband’s gambling addiction until he permanently cashes in his chips and her comfortable middle-class life craps out. He leaves her with staggering debt, his communist mother, and a loan shark demanding $50,000. Then she’s accused of murder…
Murder Among Neighbors, a Kate Austen Suburban Mystery by Jonnie Jacobs — When Kate Austen’s socialite neighbor, Pepper Livingston, is murdered, Kate becomes involved in a sea of steamy secrets that bring her face to face with shocking truths—and handsome detective Michael Stone.
Skeleton in a Dead Space, a Kelly O’Connell Mystery by Judy Alter—Real estate isn’t a dangerous profession until Kelly O’Connell stumbles over a skeleton and runs into serial killers and cold-blooded murderers in a home being renovated in Fort Worth. Kelly barges through life trying to keep from angering her policeman boyfriend Mike and protect her two young daughters.
In for a Penny, a Cleopatra Jones Mystery by Maggie Toussaint—Accountant Cleo faces an unwanted hazard when her golf ball lands on a dead banker. The cops think her BFF shot him, so Cleo sets out to prove them wrong. She ventures into the dating world, wrangles her teens, adopts the victim’s dog, and tries to rein in her mom…until the killer puts a target on Cleo’s back.
The Hydrogen Murder, a Periodic Table Mystery by Camille Minichino—A retired physicist returns to her hometown of Revere, Massachusetts and moves into an apartment above her friends' funeral home. When she signs on to help the Police Department with a science-related homicide, she doesn't realize she may have hundreds of cases ahead of her.
Retirement Can Be Murder—A Baby Boomer Mystery by Susan Santangelo—Carol Andrews dreads her husband Jim’s upcoming retirement more than a root canal without Novocain. She can’t imagine anything worse than having an at-home husband with time on his hands and nothing to fill it—until Jim is suspected of murdering his retirement coach.
Dead Air, A Talk Radio Mystery by Mary Kennedy—Psychologist Maggie Walsh moves from NY to Florida to become the host of WYME's On the Couch with Maggie Walsh. When her guest, New Age prophet Guru Sanjay Gingii, turns up dead, her new roommate Lark becomes the prime suspect. Maggie must prove Lark innocent while dealing with a killer who needs more than just therapy.
A Dead Red Cadillac, A Dead Red Mystery by RP Dahlke—When her vintage Cadillac is found tail-fins up in a nearby lake, the police ask aero-ag pilot Lalla Bains why an elderly widowed piano teacher is found strapped in the driver’s seat. Lalla confronts suspects, informants, cross-dressers, drug-running crop dusters, and a crazy Chihuahua on her quest to find the killer.
Murder is a Family Business, an Alvarez Family Murder Mystery by Heather Haven—Just because a man cheats on his wife and makes Danny DeVito look tall, dark and handsome, is that any reason to kill him? The reluctant and quirky PI, Lee Alvarez, has her work cut out for her when the man is murdered on her watch. Of all the nerve.
Murder, Honey, a Carol Sabala Mystery by Vinnie Hansen—When the head chef collapses into baker Carol Sabala’s cookie dough, she is thrust into her first murder investigation. Suspects abound at Archibald’s, the swanky Santa Cruz restaurant where Carol works. The head chef cut a swath of people who wanted him dead from ex-lovers to bitter rivals to greedy relatives.
Bio: Southern author Maggie Toussaint loves writing mysteries. She’s published twelve novels in mystery and romantic suspense. Under the pen name of Rigel Carson, she’s published three dystopian thrillers. Bubba Done It, book two in her dreamwalker series, is her latest mystery release. The next dreamwalker book, Doggone It, releases October 2016. She also writes and publishes short stories and novellas. She’s a board member for Southeast Mystery Writers of America and Low Country Sisters in Crime. Visit her at www.maggietoussaint.com and mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com/
This is not a teaser collection of short stories and fast beginnings.
You get more than your money's worth from this gathering of wonderful, talented authors. I dare anyone not to find at least several five star reads among this anthology. These are full length, meaty offerings that will keep you involved and intrigued.
You will get many, many days, even weeks worth of reading and I know that I will be searching out other works by these authors to enjoy.
I did get an advance copy to review but I am buying copies for friends.