Swept Up
Randolph, isn’t threatening to arrest me.  He said to come to him if I found something, but I haven’t found anything.”
    “Quincy, I—”
    I didn’t want Mom offering to come out and help find a murderer, because I didn’t want her anywhere near whoever killed Mellie.  So I decided to sidetrack her in the most efficient way I possibly could.  “And, Mom, it’s official.  I’m engaged.”
    “What?” 
    Wow, Judith Quincy Mac was loud twice in one conversation.  That was some kind of record.
    So I told her what happened. 
    “Congratulations, honey.  Tell Cal for me, too.  When will you be coming home?”
    I was going to say I didn’t know, but then she finished her sentence.  “We’ve got a wedding to plan.”
    “I thought Cal and I would just do something small here and I—”
    “Quincy you eloped with Jerome and I didn’t say anything, but you and Cal?  I want a wedding.  I deserve a wedding.  I was mother of the groom when your brothers got married, and though the ceremonies were lovely, your sisters-in-law and their mothers did the heavy planning.  I want to plan.”
    “But Mom, I really don’t want—”
    “That’s fine.  You don’t worry about a thing.  I’ll call Tiny.  I’m sure she’ll agree to help me put this together.  And Peri.  She’ll help, too.”
    Peri was one thing, but Tiny?   “Oh, Mom, don’t call Tiny.  Please.  She’ll help you plan it all right.  I can’t do it again.  I’ve barely recovered from her planning her own wedding.  Please don’t let her fill her office with magazines, swatches, and samples.  I beg you.”  Really, that sounded pathetic, but I’d only just survived Tiny’s wedding.  And she was a good friend.  She’d go even more overboard on mine.
    “I’ve talked to your detective, but I need to hear from you.  And congratulations again.  I’ll give Tiny a call as well.”
    “Mom—”
    “As for the case, call Dick.  Between you, Dick and Cal, you’ll find the murderer before I come back to LA to meet with you, Tiny, and Peri about the wedding.” 
    I’m pretty sure she put more faith in Dick than in me and Cal.  Despite the wedding-threat, I smiled.  Then I had an image of Tiny’s pre-wedding office and tried again.  “Mom, you’re a doctor.  You can’t just leave your practice to plan a wedding.”
    “Watch me.”
    I hung up and groaned.
    “What’s wrong?” Cal asked.
    “I told my mom we’re officially engaged.”
    “And she wasn’t happy?”  He looked concerned.
    I shook my head.  “No.  Saying she was happy would be like saying the ocean’s kind of big.  She’s over the moon, Cal.  And she’s coming back to California soon to help plan the wedding.”  I hummed the theme of Jaws .
    Cal obviously realized this might not be a good thing because he said, “You did tell her we want to keep it small?”
    “Oh, I did,” I assured him.  “She’s cutting me out of the planning and going directly to Tiny and Peri.”
    “Oh, no,” Cal said.  He’d listened to my Tiny wedding woes more than once.
    “You can say that again.”
    I stared at the white-board, but visions of orange bridesmaid dresses and doves kept intruding.
    I walked over and started crossing off more images.
    I crossed off Dylan and Cilla.  I crossed off Shia and Jonas.  Though I knew I wanted to talk to them both, they’d been alibied.
    I’d already crossed of Peri and Jerome.  Not only did I know they didn’t do it, but they’d been playing hosts.
    Cal handed me a cup of coffee.
    “You okay?”
    “Sure.  I mean, a dead actress was found in my son’s bed.  My friends and family are all on the suspect list.  And my mom is going to enlist Tiny and Peri to plan my wedding.  And truth is, I’m a fraud. I’ve solved thr—” I cut myself off.   I hadn’t even told Cal about my Christmas mystery.  “Two mysteries by total luck.  I don’t have a clue who to look at and what to do.”
    “I don’t want

Similar Books

Beware the Pirate Ghost

Joan Lowery Nixon

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

Agatha Christie

The Robot King

H. Badger

Paradise Lost (Modern Library Classics)

John Milton, William Kerrigan, John Rumrich, Stephen M. Fallon

Black Bird

Michel Basilieres

The Judas Child

Carol O'Connell

Mirror Image

Dennis Palumbo

Possession

Violetta Rand

God of Tarot

Piers Anthony