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Authors: Lucy Lawrence

Sealed with a Kill

BOOK: Sealed with a Kill
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Table of Contents
Praise for the Decoupage Mysteries
Cut to the Corpse
“A ‘cut’ above the rest. . . Lucy Lawrence’s follow-up to
Stuck on Murder
will keep you glued to your seat until you’ve found out who-done-it.”
—Holly Jacobs, author of
A One-of-a-Kind Family
“Lawrence’s deft plotting and smooth writing style will sweep readers along on this crafty story featuring the art of decoupage. The dialogue is especially skillful, offering a light, humorous counterpart to the deepening mystery. This book is as warmly welcoming and relaxed as the cozy, small-town setting.”
—Lori Wilde, bestselling author of
The True Love Quilting Club
Stuck on Murder
“Likable, colorful characters, a picturesque New England town, and a murder as sticky as an intricate decoupage plaque will keep readers turning pages in Lucy Lawrence’s charming and entertaining new mystery.”
—Sally Goldenbaum, author of the Seaside Knitters Mysteries
“The mystery is well plotted. . . The relationship between Brenna and Nate is interesting and one with plenty of room for development . . . Decoupage tips at the top of each chapter, and hints woven throughout the text, make
Stuck on Murder
even more appealing for crafters.”

The Mystery Reader
“An interesting beginning to what could be a very solid mystery series . . . I’m looking forward to more from this author.”

CA Reviews
“Talented author Lucy Lawrence has crafted a fun tale . . . Recommended as a pleasant read for any mystery fan who enjoys settings of small towns and interesting characters. Enjoy. I did.”

New Mystery Reader
Berkley Prime Crime titles by Lucy Lawrence
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
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(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
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(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196,
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.
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / March 2011
Copyright © 2011 by Penguin Group (USA).
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 Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-101-47749-6
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.
BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

For the hooligans, Beckett and Wyatt.
You are my joy.
I just write the books—that’s the easy part. The hard work is saved for my agent, Jessica Faust; my editor, Kate Seaver; her assistant editor, Katherine Pelz; the art department for Berkley Prime Crime (best covers ever); and let’s not forget the wonderful folks who work at bookstores like the Poisoned Pen. These are the people who help us all find refuge from real life between the covers of a book. Thank you all. Without you, I’d be lost.
Chapter 1
“Well, what do we have here?” Ella Porter asked. “Is that Nate Williams, driving with a young woman I’ve never seen before?”
“It is,” Marie Porter, Ella’s twin, confirmed.
Brenna Miller reared up from her crouched position at the back of the Jeep and smacked her head on the open hatch door.
She clapped a hand on her head and turned to follow the directions of the sisters’ gazes. Sure enough, Nate’s vintage pickup truck was leaving a trail of dust behind it as he roared up the drive toward the communal lot where Brenna was parked.
The trees that lined the road behind him were ripe with the vibrant autumn colors of candy apple red and golden butterscotch. The late-September sun was warm, but the air held a bite of the rapidly approaching New England winter.
Autumn was Brenna’s favorite time of year. The sticky humid heat of summer left and took its mosquitoes with it. It was once again cool enough to turn her oven on and do some serious baking without transforming her kitchen into a blast furnace. It was finally cool enough to don her favorite clothes: jeans and sweaters. But the capper was that the World Series would be played, and since she and Nate shared a love of baseball, this meant a lot of TV time together even though they followed different teams—rivals, in fact. Yes, Brenna loved October.
The windows of the truck cab were down, and Brenna saw Nate flash a smile at her as he pulled up beside them. As always, she couldn’t help but return his grin. The man was a charmer, for sure.
He climbed out with a wave and circled around to open the door for his companion. The first thing Brenna noticed was that she was young. Her wavy brown hair was styled in a bob, reminiscent of a flapper from the twenties. Her jade green earrings dangled, and she smiled up at Nate as he helped her out of the truck. She carried a bright green shoulder bag and wore a cute yellow dress with a slightly poofy skirt that ended at her knees, very retro.
Brenna couldn’t help glancing down at her own holey jeans and baggy sweatshirt. Her shoulder-length auburn hair had escaped its clip and was hanging half in her face. She probably looked like she’d spent the day washing windshields for nickels at the interstate on-ramp on the outskirts of town. Fabulous.
Nate walked over to Brenna and the Porter sisters with the young woman beside him.
“Good afternoon, Brenna, ladies,” he said, and he inclined his head.
The twins, who were within bragging rights of reaching their seventieth birthday, twittered beneath his attention, while Brenna said, “Hi, Nate.”
“Let me introduce your new neighbor,” he said. He gestured behind him. “This is Siobhan Dwyer. She’ll be staying in the cabin next to yours for a while. Siobhan, this is Brenna Miller, one of our resident artists. I let Brenna stay here even though she likes the Red Sox, because she makes the best brownies in town.”
The Porter sisters glanced between Nate and Brenna with identical looks of speculation. She could only imagine what the two gossips were thinking: that she and Nate were shacking up. She decided she’d better defuse the situation before things became awkward.
A bark interrupted whatever she was about to say as Hank, Nate’s golden retriever, came bounding up the hill. He looked as if he hadn’t seen Nate in days instead of just hours. Jumping up on his hind legs, he licked Nate’s face and then turned to jump on Brenna as well. While she rubbed his ears, Nate retrieved his tennis ball from the grass and threw it back down the hill toward the lake. Hank did a giddy spasm of joy and set out after it with a happy bark.
“You also put up with me because I’m a great dog sitter,” Brenna said.
“Hank does adore you,” Nate agreed with a smile that crinkled the corners of his eyes and made Brenna hope he wasn’t just talking about Hank.
“Well, I guess I know who to see when I want a brownie,” Siobhan said, bringing the attention back to herself. “Although, I find too many sweets can ruin a girl’s figure. But then at your age, you probably don’t have to worry about that.”
Brenna blinked, uncertain of whether she’d just been insulted or not. She decided to write it off as a bad attempt at humor.
“Yeah, I’m definitely a grown-up,” she said with a forced chuckle. “Welcome to Morse Point, Siobhan.”
She held out her hand. The young woman hesitated and then brushed Brenna’s fingers with hers for just the briefest moment. Her fingers were icy cold, and Brenna resisted the urge to rub her hands together to warm them up.
She turned and gestured to the elderly twins. “These ladies are Ella and Marie Porter. We’ve just gotten back from a furniture salvaging expedition over in Auburn, and they’re helping me unload.”
Siobhan looked the women up and down but did not offer her hand. “A pleasure.”
“Likewise,” the sisters said together. They didn’t sound very sincere.
BOOK: Sealed with a Kill
13.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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