Murder in the Bahamas: An Anna Winters Cozy Mystery (Murder in Parasise Book 2)

BOOK: Murder in the Bahamas: An Anna Winters Cozy Mystery (Murder in Parasise Book 2)
7.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Murder in the Bahamas

 

Penelope Sotheby

 

~~~

Kindle Edition

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Penelope Sotheby

 

First published in 2015 by Jonmac Limited. All rights reserved.

 

This book is a work of fiction. All names, characters and places, incidents are used entirely fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

No part of this publication may be reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher.

 

Kindle Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

Free Book

 

 

Sign up for this author's new release mailing list and receive a free copy of her very first novella
Murder At The Inn
.
This fantastic whodunit will keep you guessing to the very end and is not currently available anywhere else.

 

Click here
to have a look.

 

Other Books By The Author

 

 

Murder in Bermuda
(Book 1 in the "Murder in Paradise" series)

Murder in Jamaica
(Book 3 in the "Murder in Paradise" series)

Murder in Barbados
(Book 4 in the "Murder in Paradise" series)

Murder in Aruba
(Book 5 in the "Murder in Paradise" series)

Murder at the Inn

Chapter 1

 

 

“It was such a lovely wedding.” Anna Winters smiled and batted her eyes at her friend, Pauline Baker.

“Watch it, kiddo.” Pauline warned. “This is how it all started last time. Those words chill me every time I hear them.”

Anna looked at her friend as they stood on a beautiful Bahama beach owned by the Grand Palatial Hotel Group, where the wedding reception was being set up. Even in this breathtaking retreat, her friend still had that eternal scowl on her face. Still, Pauline had the potential to look beautiful if she’d let the short cropped hair grow out and would accentuate her perfect cheek bones and highlight her smoky green eyes.

“I guess so.” Anna agreed. “One of these days, I’ll be saying that about your own wedding.”

“Remind me to pass on the cake.” Pauline quipped and they both laughed.

Feeling a chill behind her, Anna turned to see Cassandra Wilson with a smile on her face. The young woman had her black hair pulled back in a frizzed ponytail just as she had a million times before but since the murder that took place recently, Cassandra’s eyes seemed even colder, emptier, and darker.

“What’s so funny?” Cassandra asked with a large grin on her face.

“We were discussing marriage.” Anna replied. “I told Pauline she’d make a lovely bride one day. Don’t you agree?”

“No.” Cassandra replied coldly. “Do you know if the bacon wrapped tequila shrimp is ready yet?”

“No?” Anna glared at the woman. “There is no need to be rude.”

“I don’t value her or her opinion.” Pauline replied and shook her hands. “We are here to cater this wedding, so let’s just focus on that. Why don’t you stay away from the cake this time, Cassandra?”

A scowl crossed Cassandra’s face. Before she could respond, Anna walked between the women and put her hands up.

“You two better not ruin this reception for the newlyweds.” Anna then placed her hands on her hips. “Now, let’s try to make this event one the guests won’t forget.”

With that, the three set things in motion. The waiters and waitresses, dressed in their black and whites, moved like clockwork among the tables decked out along the beach. Plates with sterling silver cloche covers were set in front of the guests to reveal generous helpings of lamb with apple chutney, beef wellington, chicken cordon bleu, blackened tilapia, or eggplant rolls.

Anna watched as the guests cheerily dined and chatted with smiles on their faces. She couldn’t help but smile to herself when a guest took a bite, and their eyes lit up and they talked excitedly about the food her team prepared. This was what she lived for.

Looking around, it was obvious the wedding was a high priced event. Charles Weathersby had made hundreds of millions in successful business deals over the years. When Anna had spoken to him a few months ago, he had mentioned he wanted to go as big as he could. For years, he had put business before his family. Now, he wanted to make sure his daughter knew how much she was loved. Money was no object for him and he had everything paid in full with cash before the event even started.

Anna couldn’t help but be smitten with the older man. He looked sharp in his $3,000 suit. His hair was snow white and his beard matched it. Age had crept across his face but even in its weathered condition, he was still incredibly handsome. She knew she shouldn’t entertain the thought for long. There was another man she was interested in.

Pierre was on the other side of the room, watching the staff serving people. She could tell his brown eyes were focused on each individual to make sure they were precise with their delivery. He’d pull aside those who needed to improve and give them pointers. He was very committed to his job and Anna became lost in his ruggedly handsome looks. His brown hair had tints of red and he had a perpetual five o’clock shadow no matter how recently he had shaved.

The two had attempted to go out after Anna had solved the murder of Tony Giovanni. However, when the time came, Anna had just come down off the adrenaline high of coming face to face with Nancy Henderson and her gun. So, they mutually agreed on a rain check and business took them to the Grand Palatial Hotel in the Bahamas. Although Anna wanted to spend some time in the sun and get to know more about Pierre, the reception planning hit a snag when Charles and the groom, Branko Lukic, engaged in one of their fairly regular fights.

Charles had found out that Branko had former ties to the Serbian mafia and suspected that the mafia ties were far from over. According to Charles, Branko was using his successful car business as a front for illegal activity and he was close to proving it. Anna could agree that the man looked shady. Branko had his jet-black hair slicked back, and his chocolate-brown eyes had an icy chill to them. Even his bushy moustache suggested it was more of a front for hiding his face than being a planned facial accessory.

“Anna?” a mousy voice called from behind her.

Turning, Anna saw Wendy Lukic, the new bride of Branko. She wasn’t an inch over 5’ 2”, had a tiny frame, long blonde hair and blue eyes that had a few specks of brown in them.

“Hello, Mrs. Lukic.” Anna smiled. “I hope everything is going well for you.”

“It’s lovely, Anna.” Wendy nodded. “But we want to do the cake soon. I don’t see it anywhere. Did your staff remember to bring it?”

Anna nodded. “It is in the kitchen just behind you. We had an experience with the cake recently and we like to keep the food closely guarded in the kitchen now.”

“Oh!” Wendy smiled brightly. “You mean the murder you solved. It was all over the news about how you went face to face with a killer. I don’t think I could have done that. Weren’t you scared?”

“It was a terrifying experience.” Anna agreed. “Let’s just hope I’m not a regular Jessica Fletcher, where murder follows me everywhere I go. You’d think, at some point, her friends would have changed their names and avoided inviting her anywhere.”

Wendy laughed heartily. “You have such a great sense of humor. I am glad you are handling my reception. Now, let’s get the cake out of the way so I can enjoy the Bahama evening with my new hubby.”

“You’ve got it.” Anna replied cheerily.

Taking off toward the kitchen, she heard loud voices coming from the beach. With a slow hand, she pushed open the kitchen door gently and looked out onto the beach to see what was going on.

“I’ll kill you if you do anything to hurt my daughter.” Charles hissed at the man he was hovering over.

“I'll break your spine if you threaten me again.” the other man snarled back. “You may think you are wanted here, but no one wanted you to come. Your daughter didn’t want you here. She still remembers the nightmare you put her through.”

“If she didn’t want me here, she wouldn’t have let me pay for this wedding.” Charles shouted, hitting his hand against a table. “So, try your lies with someone else. I don’t have time for them.”

“No, she wanted your money.” the voice growled. “It has always been about your money with her. She will tell you whatever you want to hear to get every penny she can. She wants to destroy your life like you destroyed hers when she was younger.”

Closing the door again, Anna could feel her heart pounding. The memories of her own father cornering her in a similar manner had her anxiety rising. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a tiny bottle of anxiety medicine and took a pill, then closed her eyes as she waited for the medicine to take effect.

“The cake?” She heard Wendy call out to her.

Anna turned her head and nodded, then went back to the kitchen and ignored the rows of cooks hovering over pots and pans. In the back, she heard pans hit the floor and the dishwasher curse. But despite the noise and the commotion, she was already feeling better as she let out a sigh of relief.

Just as Anna was ready to place the cake on a cart, a scream carried into the kitchen. Anna could feel her chest tense and her skin grew cold.

“Please, not again.” she whispered.

People were talking frantically out on the beach and Anna could feel a chill cross over her. “Look!” shouted a man’s voice. “Charles has fallen over by the sea!”

“Someone go check on him!” screamed another voice.

“Daddy!” Wendy howled.

More commotion and screams. Anna fell back against the wall and slid down, sobbing. She knew what was going on, it was happening again. Her cellphone began to ring and she looked down and saw that Cassandra was calling her.

“Hello?” Anna asked, fighting back tears.

“I’m over here with Charles.” Cassandra replied coldly. “He had taken a glass of black rum and took off to the water. He looked pretty pissed off. I think he downed it pretty fast. I figured he passed out from being drunk, but I’m with him now and I think he’s dead.”

“This is the last thing we need to have happen.” Anna whispered. “This is the second death at a reception we’ve handled. We’re going to get a reputation.”

“Well, I guess you better get down here and try to figure out what happened Sherlock.” Cassandra said. “You know Antonio Puccio will catch wind of this and it will be your neck on the line, again.”

“It’s Mr. Puccio.” Anna corrected her. “I do dread hearing his voice on my phone. Hopefully, he is at our Rome hotel and unreachable for a few days.”

“Doubtful.” Cassandra laughed. “I guess you better put your super sleuth skills on. Let’s try not to accuse innocent people of killing their loved ones this time. What do you say?  By the way the hotel doctor has just pronounced him dead.”

“You don’t think this is an inside job, do you?” Anna asked. “I mean, it seems strange that this is the second time something happened at a reception and there are a handful of us who were at the last incident, too. I got the feeling from Nancy she wasn’t working alone but holding something back, something she wanted to share.”

“I think you are being paranoid.” Cassandra replied. “We’ve all known each other for years. There is no reason for any of us to turn into psychotic killers now.”

“It just seems strange.” Anna replied. “I mean, if he has been poisoned like the first murder, then that would mean a pattern.”

“Poison is an easy way to kill someone.” Cassandra offered. “It isn’t messy and you can poison someone’s food or drink in a second and walk away. No one will ever know it was you.”

“Which means, all someone had to do was pass by the glass before or after booze was poured in it.” Anna sighed.

“Assuming it is poison.” Cassandra replied. “He could have had a medical condition we don’t know about. You are stressing out over this. You need to step back and wait for the police to determine what happened. Come on over here and look at the body. You’ll want to look for evidence if you can. After all, I sense a lockdown happening in the resort and you need to do all you can to find a clue.”

“I’m coming over right now.” Anna replied and hung up the phone.

Anna passed between the tables and pushed through the crowds of people. Walking to Cassandra, she knelt by the body and looked in the glass. Sure enough, there was a white residue in it and the dead man’s eyes were opened in horror and his lips had a bluish tint.

As she looked at Cassandra, she could feel the tears streaming down her face. “He was murdered.” Anna whispered.

In her pocket, her phone rang. Looking at the caller ID, she attempted to regain her composure. “Hello, Mr. Puccio.” Anna answered.

“Are you trying to ruin the name of the Grand Palatial Hotel?” The man’s voice was loud enough that Cassandra gave Anna a shocked look. “I am flying out there right now. You need to figure out who killed that man. NOW! If you haven’t solved the murder by the time I get there, you’re gone.”

“Being a detective isn't my job.” Anna pleaded. “Why do you keep putting this responsibility on me?”

“Because your last two receptions had murders.” Mr. Puccio snapped. “We are going to lose business if this gets out. You need to solve this and prove the hotel is innocent again, no matter what the cost might be.”

“The cost could very well be my life.” Anna replied.

“We’ll call it collateral damage then.” Mr. Puccio shouted as he hung up the phone. All Anna could do was look down at the body again and shake her head.

As she turned, she found Cassandra in the arms of Pierre, where she was crying. His hands wiped the hair away from her face and he kissed the top of her head gently as he patted her back, comforting her. It took him a moment to see her and his face grew flushed.

“I’m not going to ask.” Anna replied.

Taking off before any more tears could fall, she made her way back to the reception area to try to figure out who Charles had been fighting with just before his death.

BOOK: Murder in the Bahamas: An Anna Winters Cozy Mystery (Murder in Parasise Book 2)
7.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

What A Rogue Wants by Julie Johnstone
The Mage in the Iron Mask by Brian Thomsen
Bliss by Clem, Bill
Sold to the Wolf by Harmony Raines
Highlander in Her Dreams by Allie Mackay