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Authors: Tim Myers

A Mold For Murder

BOOK: A Mold For Murder
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Table of Contents
Praise for Tim Myers’s Candlemaking Mysteries
Death Waxed Over
“Excellent storytelling that makes for a good reading experience . . . [Myers] is a talented writer who deserves to hit the bestseller lists.”
—The Best Reviews
Snuffed Out
“A sure winner.”—Carolyn Hart, author of the Death on Demand Mysteries
“An interesting mystery, a large cast of characters, and an engaging amateur sleuth make this series a winner.”
—The Romance Reader’s Connection
(four daggers)
At Wick’s End
“A smashing, successful debut.”
—Midwest Book Review
“I greatly enjoyed this terrific mystery. The main character . . . will make you laugh. Don’t miss this thrilling read.”—
“A clever and well-done debut.”—
Praise for Tim Myers’s Lighthouse Mysteries
“A thoroughly delightful and original series. Book me at Hatteras West any day!”—Tamar Myers, author of
Thou Shalt Not Grill
“Myers cultivates the North Carolina scenery with aplomb and shows a flair for character.”

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“Entertaining . . . authentic . . . fun . . . a wonderful regional mystery that will have readers re-booking for future stays at the Hatteras West Inn and Lighthouse.”—
“Tim Myers proves that he is no one-book wonder . . . A shrewdly crafted puzzle.”—
Midwest Book Review
“Colorful . . . picturesque . . . light and entertaining.”

The Best Reviews
Lighthouse Inn Mysteries by Tim Myers
Candlemaking Mysteries by Tim Myers
Soapmaking Mysteries by Tim Myers
Published by the Penguin Group
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South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / April 2007
Copyright © 2007 by Tim Myers.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkeley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-0-425-21487-9
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
The name BERKLEY PRIME CRIME and the BERKLEY PRIME CRIME design are trademarks
belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To Patty and Emily, for all the reasons there are, and to every reader who has enjoyed visiting Elkton Falls, Micah’s Ridge, and Harper’s Landing.
IN a way, I suppose you could argue that the murder was my fault.
After all, I’m the one who came up with the idea of hosting the Soap Celebration at my family’s soap boutique and custom soap manufacturing production business.
Where There’s Soap is the adhesive that holds my family together. My three sisters work in the front boutique and teach most of our custom soapmaking classes, while my three brothers operate the production line in back. My mother oversees the entire business, and my grandfather takes a turn at advertising now and then, though he was in Europe at the moment of the homicide. I envied him the ability to come and go as he pleased, but with my responsibilities, there isn’t much time for travel.
I am the family and business troubleshooter.
My name’s Benjamin Perkins, and there are more times than not that I would have traded with any of my family members for a job with well-defined duties and responsibilities. Not that I don’t keep busy. I like to help out wherever I can—whether it is teaching a class of my own up front or helping my brothers in back—but usually there is something urgent that needs my attention.
I’d come up with the idea for the Soap Celebration as a way of adding some normalcy to my professional life.
And then it backfired on me, and I had a murder to deal with instead.
swept into the soap shop an hour before I’d been expecting her, wearing a regal shade of red, from her gloved hands to her dress to her shoes. At first, I didn’t recognize Contessa New Berne from the glamorous photograph her publisher used on the backs of her crafting books. The photos had to have been at least twenty years old, and even then, they had obviously been retouched by an expert. Also in my defense, some of her features were hidden by a floppy hat in the pictures, and I wondered if she thought it made her look fashionable, or mysterious, or maybe she was just inordinately fond of headwear. At least she wasn’t wearing one now, though the rest of her outfit was identical to the one in the photograph. It was like an odd portrait of Dorian Gray, the woman changing but the outfit staying the same over the years.
The contessa, as she liked to be called—so her personal assistant, Sharon Goldsmith, had informed me frostily—was the reigning queen of soapmaking how-to books, and it had been a real coup arranging for her visit to our festival. She’d even waived some of her usual speaking fees when I’d choked on the amount they’d asked for. For some reason, I had been under the mistaken impression she wanted to visit Harper’s Landing and our little shop, but that was before she actually arrived.
She strolled up to me, scowling as she passed the stacks of her books for sale and the worktable prepared for her talk and demonstration later.
“I was told you are Benjamin Perkins.”
“I am indeed,” I admitted. “Are you here for the talk?”
She looked quizzically at me. “How else on earth could you host it if I weren’t? I am Contessa New Berne.” She offered a gloved hand to me, and I took it after a moment’s hesitation. Upon closer examination, I could see that her glossy brown hair was a shade not found in nature, and not even an industrial-strength girdle could hide the extra pounds she was sporting. I wanted to ask for a photo ID, but after staring hard at her, I could finally make out the resemblance between the woman standing before me and the one on the publicity posters in the shop.
“It’s nice to meet you,” I said, trying to recover as graciously as I could. “I wasn’t expecting you this early.”
She withdrew her hand and waved it in the air like a conductor’s baton. “The bed-and-breakfast where I’m staying is absolutely dreadful. Surely you could have done better than that hovel for my visit.”
I knew for a fact that Jean Henshaw ran the second nicest place in Harper’s Landing, North Carolina, and the swankiest accommodations we could afford. I’d wanted to put the contessa up in one of the more moderately priced hotels on the outskirts of town, but her assistant, Sharon, had refused the request, demanding the ultimate elegance we had to offer for her employer. If the price was any indication, Jean’s place was indeed one of the best our area had to offer. I’d been coerced into providing two rooms for three nights, though the contessa would only be appearing at our store for one afternoon. Sharon had curtly informed me that the contessa never traveled without her, and that I needed to find proper accommodations for them both. As to the additional nights, since travel was so wearying for the writer, it was explained to me, she needed time to acclimate to her new surroundings, then to unwind after the event before jetting off to her next appearance.
BOOK: A Mold For Murder
3.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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