The Feed Store Floozy (The Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series)

Free The Feed Store Floozy (The Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series) by Judy Nickles

Book: The Feed Store Floozy (The Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series) by Judy Nickles Read Free Book Online
Authors: Judy Nickles
age, I’ll bet.”
    “A little older—early fifties.”
    “Then they’ll be around a long time.”
    “I don’t know, Penelope, but I’m crazy about Peter, and I adore Tabby, and the thought of anything hurting either one of them is more than I can stand.” Shana’s shoulders slumped. “The point is, I did what I did, and now I have to pay for it.”
    “We all pay for our mistakes one way or the other but not forever. Look, come on over to the house and eat supper. I’ve got a raw vegetable platter with that dip you like so much, and we’ll make some ham and cheese croissants.”
    “Thanks. I guess I don’t need to go home and mope, which is what I’ve been doing all week.”
    “Want to spend the night in one of the guest rooms?”
    “No, those are all ready for the next event. No point in me messing one up. I’ll just eat and hang out.”
    “Okay. I’ll go on, and you come when you’ve finished up here.”
                  “Thanks, Penelope. Give me twenty minutes.”
    ****
    Penelope had just dished up caramel fudge ice cream when Bradley came by. “There’s plenty of supper left,” Penelope said.
    “I’ve eaten, Mother. I just came by to ask you something. Hey, Pawpaw. Hi, Shana.”
    “What’s the question?”
    Bradley chewed the inside of his lip. “Can we go in the other room?”
    Penelope closed the door between the kitchen and the dining room. “What’s going on, Bradley?”
    “Did that photographer come to see you the other day?”
    “Yes, why?”
    “What did she want?”
    “I’d seen her in Brice’s store before he opened, and she wanted to make sure I didn’t think anything funny was going on between them. I told her it was none of my business anyway.”
    “Was she friendly?”
    “Do you mean did she get in my face? No, she didn’t, but I wouldn’t say she was exactly friendly either. She was on a mission, and once it was accomplished, she left.”
    “Okay.”
    “What’s all this about?”
    “You know I can’t—oh, hell, Mother--sorry, heck--I’m going to tell you, but don’t repeat it, not even to Pawpaw.”
    “You know I won’t.”
    Bradley took a deep breath. “It seems somebody stole her film—all the pictures she’d taken of the upstairs for Wally Powers’ article.”
    “If they took all of it, they got the pictures she took of the crowd outside the store while you were in there investigating his murder.”
    “Huh?”
    “It was the day after the murder, actually. Daddy was there and said she was outside snapping pictures left and right, asking people for their names, getting releases signed, all that stuff.”
    “She didn’t mention that.”
    “But she said all her film?”
    “That’s what she said. Said she had it in a special box to protect it.”
    “So she hadn’t had it developed.”
    “She said she was going home next week and do it.”
    “So what does she think happened to it?”
    Bradley squirmed. “She said the box was upstairs, and she saw you going up there.”
    “I blessed did not! I was out front the whole time. Ask Brice Dolan.”
    “Well, that’s the problem—I can’t find him.”
    “Can’t…”
    “I checked with his wife in Little Rock, and she hasn’t seen him since this morning when he left to come here for the store opening. Nobody else has seen him either.”
    “I’ll be Jill Jerome has seen more of him than…”
    “Mother.”              
    Bradley’s pained expression tickled Penelope, but she shoved her amusement aside. “So she came to the police department tonight to report her missing film?”
    “About two hours ago. I’ve been hunting for Brice ever since.”
    “Why would I want her film?”
    “She thinks you and the Hargroves are in cahoots.”
    “We are, but not to steal film. What about Hal Greene? Those pictures would fill a special Sunday edition. Of course, Hal isn’t in the habit of filching film either.” Penelope’s tongue almost tripped over the alliteration.

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