Read Whiskey, You're The Devil: An Addison Holmes Mystery (Addison Holmes Mysteries Book 4) Online

Authors: Liliana Hart

Tags: #Mystery, #Suspense, #Thriller, #Crime Fiction

Whiskey, You're The Devil: An Addison Holmes Mystery (Addison Holmes Mysteries Book 4)

BOOK: Whiskey, You're The Devil: An Addison Holmes Mystery (Addison Holmes Mysteries Book 4)
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Whiskey You’re the Devil

An Addison Holmes Mystery

 

New York Times
Bestselling Author

Liliana Hart

Copyright © 2014 Liliana Hart

Kindle Edition

All Rights Reserved

To my children ~
Because you’re okay with living on pizza when I’m on deadline.
Thanks for being awesome. I love you more than you could possibly know.

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Acknowledgments

Epigraph

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Epilogue

About the Author

Join the Liliana Hart Newsletter

Links to My Other Books

Excerpt from Dirty Little Secrets

Acknowledgments

To Scott, for kicking my butt into gear and telling me to keep writing every day, even when I didn’t feel like it. And also for giving me a space where I could write without distraction. You always push me to want to do and be better. Thank you for that.

To the ladies of the Sassenach Bitches—Nicole Peeler, Jaye Wells, Molly Harper, Heather Osborn, and Judy Harper—for the amazing support during this book. It was a hard year, but your friendship, humor and love made it bearable.

To Jasinda Wilder, Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, and Hugh Howey for your wisdom and friendship. I learn from you every day, and I’m so grateful I know you. Let’s do London again.

To the ladies of The Indie Voice—Theresa Ragan, Jasinda Wilder, Dorien Kelly, Jana DeLeon, Jane Graves, Denise Grover Swank, Debra Holland, Colleen Gleason, and Tina Folsom—it’s been so fun to take this journey with you.

To my Kentucky girls (and Bruce) for adopting me and being all around awesome.

To my friends in Thibodaux, Louisiana for giving me a home away from home. Your community is like no other I’ve ever experienced, and you have no idea how lucky you are. I’m proud to know you. Thanks for making me feel welcome.

A tremendous thanks to everyone who worked on this book—My assistant: Whitney Michel (You have no idea how much easier you’ve made my life)—Cover: Damon Freeman—Editing: Heather Osborn—Formatting: Paul Salvette—the teams at iBooks, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo, who all showed amazing support and assistance during this difficult year and for not giving up on me. I am very blessed to get to work with such amazing people. I’m grateful.

And last, but certainly not least, to all my readers. You make this job the most rewarding of any I can think of, and I’m blessed and honored that you love my stories. Thank you.

 

I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.
~ Mae West

Prologue

Thursday

I
’D ONCE HEARD
a woman describe Nick Dempsey as being sexy enough to make her lady parts regenerate even though she’d had a full hysterectomy. I could sympathize. I had all my lady parts intact and every time Nick walked by I felt my ovaries clench with anticipation. My ovaries had gotten me into a lot of trouble lately.

My name is Addison Holmes and I’m a sexaholic. Not really, but I’d recently made the life altering decision to move in with Nick, and I quickly found out that years of yoga and romance novels couldn’t have prepared me for a man with that kind of stamina and dedication to the craft. I was an amateur in comparison.

Despite his spectacular skills, I was starting to seriously rethink my decision of moving my clothes into the space he’d cleared for me in his closet. At the moment, I was leaning toward stabbing him in the forehead with a fork.

“I asked you a question,” he said. “What the hell is this?” He held up the white plastic stick with a delicate grasp as if it were a grenade instead of a pregnancy test.

Sweat beaded on his brow despite the fact it was December and the weather in Savannah had finally turned from hot and humid to slightly cool and humid. His white, button down shirt sat askew on his broad shoulders and his hair was mussed where he’d run his fingers through it. I was only slightly concerned about the bilious pallor of his skin.

My eyes narrowed and I wouldn’t have been surprised if steam escaped my ears and the top of my head popped open like the whistle on a steam engine. So maybe he’d been taken a little off guard by finding the test hidden in a paper bag and shoved in the corner of the closet. What the hell was he doing snooping through my stuff anyway?

“Were you going to show me this or were you going to keep it a secret for the next nine months?”

“If I was going to show you I wouldn’t have hidden it in the closet,” I yelled. I refrained from rolling my eyes. But just barely.

The green tinge of his face disappeared and red flushed his cheeks. The little vein in his forehead bulged out and I took a step backward. I recognized the look. I was either about to get yelled at or have the best sex of my life. But because of my excellent proficiency in context clues, I was betting it wasn’t the latter.

I bit my bottom lip and felt tears well in my eyes. This was not good. No woman wanted to see a reaction like the one Nick currently had when faced with the possibility of bringing children into the world together. My anger was quickly elevating from steam engine mad to nuclear levels, and if I didn’t get out of the house no judge could possibly hold me responsible for what might happen.

“Answer the fucking question,” he said, each word slow and separated. “Are you pregnant?”

I sucked in a deep breath and felt it burn in my lungs. I don’t even remember my hand reaching out to grab the little crystal dish on the sofa table that held potpourri. But before I knew it the dish was sailing through the air, red tinged pieces of wood and cinnamon sticks flying in all directions. It hit Nick right in the middle of the forehead with a thunk that made me cringe. His eyes glazed and then rolled into the back of his head before he toppled to the floor.

What can I say? Hormones are a bitch.

Chapter One

Monday…Three days earlier

I
’D DENY IT
if anyone ever asked me, but I hated spending Christmas in Savannah. It’s not like it was someplace exotic like Aspen or Utah where snow was pristine and white and made everything look like a Christmas card or one of those Budweiser commercials with the horses that made me cry.

Christmas in Savannah wasn’t pretty, but I guess it had its own charm. It had gotten cold enough over the weekend for gray amoebas of ice to fall lazily from the sky and melt in a pile of slush once it hit the streets. Window displays in the historic part of town featured brightly packaged gifts and an overabundance of garland, but the displays were somewhat diminished in effect since the cars whizzing past kicked up the street slush so it splattered like plops of gravy on windows and people alike.

Christmas lights dangled in neat rows from awnings and I guess the tourists that flocked to the city during the holidays found it quaint and picturesque. But I found it to be a pain in the ass. Especially since I had to park six blocks from the McClean Detective Agency and slog through the slush and shoppers just to get to work.
Bah Humbug.

I didn’t have a good reason for my holiday humbuggery. It might’ve had something to do with the fact that for the first time in my life I felt like a boring grownup. I was a day away from taking the P.I. exams and securing a full time position at The McClean Detective Agency. The agency was owned and operated by me best friend, Kate McClean, and I chose to ignore the fact that my employment had started out in the vicinity of a pity fuck. It turns out I’m not terrible at the job, so I figured it’d be best if I kept at it. Maybe in fifty years I’ll even be considered passable.

It’s not like I could go back to teaching. Once upon a time I’d taught ninth grade world history at James Madison High School in Whiskey Bayou, Georgia—which just happened to be the same town I’d been born and raised in. But I’d been let go a few months ago because I’d stumbled over the dead body of my principal in the parking lot of a seedy gentleman’s club. It wasn’t the stumbling over the body that actually got me fired. It was the fact that I’d been dancing
inside
the seedy gentleman’s club to begin with. And I use the term dancing very lightly.

It wasn’t just my gainful employment that was giving me a case of the Christmas blues. I was in a serious, committed relationship. I lived in a nice house—though granted it wasn’t mine—but I did pick out the little hand soaps and towels in the guest bath, so I figured it was at least almost half mine. I was driving a very tasteful BMW X5 with leather seats that I’d only dripped ice cream on once. It wasn’t the sweet little cherry red Z I’d once owned with a gigantic car payment, but it had wheels and got me to where I was going. But it was another thing that had been paid for and provided by Nick. Or at least Nick’s trust fund.

He didn’t like to flaunt it but Nick came from very
old
Savannah money. His dad was an alcoholic who couldn’t keep his pants zipped, his mother could give Queen Elsa from
Frozen
a few lessons, and his older brother was following in daddy’s footsteps. Needless to say, it wasn’t a close-knit family.

I was proud Nick had managed to break from the mold and forge a life of independence for himself without the help of his parents. But lately, it felt a lot like I was forging a life of
dependence
on Nick and no independence of my own.

Back when I lost my teaching job I’d decided to take life by the horns. Between the bouts of panic, hysteria, and crying over having lost my only source of income and being forced to move back home with my mother, I’d told myself that this was my chance to become the new and improved Addison Holmes. I’d find a job and a new place to live. I’d have adventure and fun. And most of all I’d throw caution to the wind and just be awesome at whatever I decided to do. Because in my head I was always awesome. It was reality that kept intruding on the awesomeness in my head.

I kicked at a pile of gray slush that had accumulated on the side of the street and didn’t even care that it mucked up my bright pink galoshes and dampened the hem of down-lined black coat with a matching pink liner. I’d put the boots and the coat on that morning in hopes the cheerful color would perk my mood up a bit, but so far it hadn’t worked.

I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I had everything a girl could ask for. My mother hadn’t called in three whole days, I had spending money from a job I loved in my wallet, and I had a pink Glock to match my boots tucked in my Kate Spade shoulder bag.

I stopped to grab a coffee and blueberry scone to go, thinking that was exactly what I needed to perk myself up. I’d just turned left on West State Street and was heading toward Telfair Square and the agency when I heard the squeal of tires at my back. I turned in time to see a bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle take the turn on two wheels, scare the hell out of a group of tourists, and barrel straight toward me.

A piece of scone fell out of my mouth and bounced off the top of my galoshes, but I managed to step back on the sidewalk and avoid the spray of slush as she slammed on her breaks directly in front of me. She threw open the door and Rosemarie Valentine stared at me with crazed eyes.

“Get in, Addison. I’m gonna need back up.” Her fleshy breasts were heaving out of the top vee of her orange and turquoise argyle sweater, and her face was flushed red with anger. Blonde cherubic curls that normally framed her face like Farrah Fawcett on steroids frizzed and crackled like she’d rubbed dryer sheets in her hair. Or fornicated with Zeus. You can never be sure with Rosemarie.

I must’ve hesitated too long because her blue eyes lasered into my soul and the voice of a demon came from somewhere deep inside her. “I said GET IN!” she growled.

BOOK: Whiskey, You're The Devil: An Addison Holmes Mystery (Addison Holmes Mysteries Book 4)
10.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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