Read Nina Wright - Whiskey Mattimoe 07 - Whiskey, Large Online
Authors: Nina Wright
Tags: #Mystery: Cozy - Real Estate Broker - Michigan
|Nina Wright - Whiskey Mattimoe 07 - Whiskey, Large|
|Whiskey Mattimoe |
|Martin Brown Publishers (2014)|
|Tags:||Mystery: Cozy - Real Estate Broker - Michigan|
Mystery: Cozy - Real Estate Broker - Michiganttt
© Nina Wright 2014
All rights reserved. Except for brief passages quoted in newspapers, magazines, radio, or television reviews, no part of this book in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying and recording or by any information retrieval system, may be copied without written permission from the publisher.
This novel in its entirety is a work of fiction. Though it may contain references to places, products or people living or dead, these references are merely to add realism to the product of the author’s imagination. Any references within this work to people living or dead is entirely coincidental.
Cover Art © 2014 Sharene Martin-Brown
Published in the United States of America by
Martin Brown Publishers, LLC
1138 South Webster Street
Kokomo, Indiana 46902
ISBN 13: 978-1-937070-54-0
Despite the solitary work required of a writer, nobody truly toils alone. I owe deep, heartfelt thanks to the following folks who helped me in vital ways.
Richard Pahl and Nancy Potter once again served as my alpha readers. By now Richard has critiqued dozens of my writings—scripts as well as novels; he has also advocated for my work and directed several of my plays. Nancy is not only a savvy reader, but also my real-estate guru.
Linda Jo Bugbee led me to the Afghan hound community and lifted me into their glorious, generous light. Happy retirement, Ljo.
B.P. Winzeler gives me sunshine and good times in my favorite state. We speak canine.
Diana Rhodes took excellent care of my four-leggers when I couldn’t.
Holly Gardner offered indispensable assistance, including emergency humor. Our phrase of the year is “Veggie drama.”
And now for my long list of beloved creatures: Holly Gardner’s Watson, Jack, and Blue; Diana Rhodes’ Beau; Bernie Paul’s Dolly and Teddie; Kate Argow’s Sir; Bonnie Brandburg’s Sophia; Diana West’s Brody and Brady; Danita Hiley’s Mackenzie and Sweeney; and my own Redford and Clooney.
I fondly recall the four-leggers who inspired me and left too soon: Scruffy, Cleo, Oreo, Endo, Talley, Lola, Flannery, Schoodic, Scotta, Spike, Lucy, Guthrie, Molly, and Harrison Ford (Hungarian Vizsla). Cheers, also, to memories of Emma and Mini-Sparky, both recently gone. I couldn’t have written this book without loving you all.
Finally, I write in honor of my late great father, Kenneth Wright. He taught me everything I ever really needed to know. Rest easy, Dad.
For Bernie Paul, who opened her home, shared her hounds, and helped me heal.
in Nina Wright’s Whiskey Mattimoe and Homefree series can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo bookstores world-wide:
Whiskey on the Rocks
Whiskey Straight Up
Whiskey and Tonic
Whiskey and Water
Whiskey with a Twist
Whiskey and Soda
LOVE these characters. I am not sure that I would want to have a dog like Abra, but on paper, she is the best.
Being an animal lover, I like the mix of a mystery along with the antics of the dogs. I look forward to the next one.
Barbara C. Mccain “mcmolly”
Unlike so many of the other female lead novels, this one doesn’t have the police boyfriend to bail her out of trouble. She is a great character and bright without all the bumbling.
birthday, dear Chester! Happy belated birthday to you…”
Voices soared in song around my dining room table as my diminutive neighbor grinned broadly, the nine-and-a-half glowing candles on his oversized cake reflected in his round glasses.
“And many more!” crooned my mother, sustaining a tremulous off-key high note at the end.
Chester took a huge gulp of air and blew out the candles to raucous applause from his audience of seven. Seven humans, that is. There were also four dogs in attendance, and two of them whined loudly. I figured that was because my mother’s singing hurt their ears.
“Did you make a wish?” Mom asked Chester.
Nodding vigorously, Chester said, “Yes, I did, but tradition prevents me from telling you what it is or it might not come true.”
“That’s right, buddy. Keep your cards close to your chest,” my husband advised.
My husband. Three-and-a-half months after our surprise Christmas wedding, I still thrilled to think of Jeb Halloran that way. For almost ten years, he’d been my ex-husband and then, for about six months, he’d qualified as my boyfriend. When we remarried in December, we’d promised each other that this time we would get it right. Forever. We had a compelling reason, and my arms rested on that reason right now.
My big belly was temporary home to our baby, due to be born in five days if my doc’s calculations were correct. Aware that first babies often arrive late, I understood that our little gal or guy might not show up on schedule. And, no, I didn’t know Baby’s gender. By choice.
I was more than ready to deliver. I wanted to see my feet again and feel like a woman again, as opposed to a hippopotamus with a perpetual backache and an endless need to pee.
“Would you like to cut the cake, Whitney?”
My mother proffered a sterling silver cake knife. I recognized it as the one and only wedding present I had been absolutely sure Jeb and I would never use. A wedding present from my mother, who had baked the cake she now invited me to slice.
I said, “Would I have to stand up to do that?”
Mom proceeded to cut the cake.
“Even if Whiskey could stand up without help, she wouldn’t want to serve cake,” Chester explained to the assembled humans. “She hasn’t yet achieved a comfort level in the domestic arena.”
“I have no comfort level anywhere,” I pointed out.
Chester’s remark was a polite though unnecessary comment on my lack of homemaking skills. Everyone present knew and fully accepted my wide range of domestic failings, which included a complete inability to handle dogs. Never mind that two of the four canines gathered under the dining room table lived here, and the other two were former residents who visited often.
Peg Goh, mayor of our fair town and proprietor of the local café and tattoo parlor, chose that moment to clear her throat.
“While Irene cuts the cake, I’d like to read a birthday message.”
Peg unfolded a paper that looked like it might contain a campaign speech. That seemed unlikely since her sure-to-be-unopposed re-election was still six months away.
“Chester,” she read, “as you know, Jenx, Brady and Officer Roscoe are on duty today. Although they couldn’t join us, they send birthday felicitations to their best-ever volunteer deputy.”
I winced since I was their only other volunteer deputy, but I already knew they preferred Chester. He performed better at crime scenes, and he never failed to bring his own latex gloves.
Still reading from her paper, Peg added, “The Magnet Springs police have a birthday surprise waiting for you at the station, so stop by after school tomorrow.”
Chester beamed. “Maybe I’m getting a new volunteer deputy badge!”
That could only be an improvement. The cheap tin version we’d both been issued looked like a prize you’d find in a box of cereal.
Deely Smarr, a.k.a. Mrs. Dr. David Newquist, brand-new wife of our local veterinarian, raised her glass of lemonade.
“It’s time for a toast. To Chester, the boy who speaks canine and also a little feline: May all your dreams come true!”
We clinked glasses, and the four dogs barked as if on cue. No doubt they did bark on cue. In addition to her considerable talents as a former Coast Guard officer, a nanny and an animal-rights activist, Deely Smarr was an experienced dog trainer. She got exceptional results with most dogs and sometimes even with my dog, Abra, the Afghan hound. Abra’s main issue was retention. Whatever positive behavior she learned, she was likely to unlearn as soon as misbehavior suited her purposes. It wasn’t that Abra couldn’t learn. It was that she preferred not to learn long term.
As if to illustrate that point, Abra leapt up from under the dining room table and snagged the unsliced portion of Chester’s birthday cake off the platter. Mom shrieked but not as loudly as she might have last year. By now, she was more or less inured to Abra’s thievish antics.
“Release!” Chester and Deely commanded in unison.
I sighed. Even if Abra did comply, nobody would eat caramel-vanilla cake recovered from the slobbery jaws of a dog.
Abra didn’t comply. She probably knew that nobody wanted the cake now, so she might as well keep it. Her stately blonde head held high, her long silky ears swinging, she trotted toward the kitchen to savor her treat in peace. Unfortunately, her bastard son Prince Harry the Pee Master wanted a taste, and so did his tiny sidekick Velcro. The Golden-Af and the shitzapoo sprinted after Abra like the eager, ever-hungry teen-age boys they were. She responded with ominous snarls.
“I sense a surge of negative energy,” Noonan Starr, local massage therapist and New Age guru, observed. “Let’s take a moment to gather our positivity and repel the bad vibes.”
“Or we could just let the dogs out,” I suggested.
Too late. The fourth canine, a cream-colored French bulldog named Sandra Bullock, shot from under the dining room table as if fired from a canon. Her squarely compact body blasted into the kitchen, landing smack in the middle of the doggie huddle. Abra extricated herself from the madness by leaping onto my granite counter as gracefully as only an Afghan hound can, most of the stolen cake still in her chops. What crumbs she’d left behind for lesser dogs were now the object of a noisy scramble. Sandra snorted, Velcro whined and Prince Harry woofed. They all growled, too, but I figured that was pure bluster.
“I’ll handle it,” my husband said, rising from the table.
“I’ll help,” Dr. David volunteered. Although his speech impediment obscured his words, the good vet could be counted on to soothe savage beasts.
“I’ll talk them down,” Chester declared, dropping to all fours. He clearly intended to speak a little canine.
“Just talk Abra down off my counter,” I said. It annoyed me to see four paws, however gorgeous, where no paws belonged.
Let me say here and now that my mother deserves full credit for Chester’s belated-birthday party. If she hadn’t taken a break from enjoying retirement with her fiancé in Fort Myers, Florida, to come help me with the baby, I’d still believe that my next-door neighbor was no older than he used to be. I tend to live in denial.