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

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Book: The Feed Store Floozy (The Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series) by Judy Nickles Read Free Book Online
Authors: Judy Nickles
are you going to be here this time? I’m booked solid from Thursday through next Sunday. Somebody’s family reunion.”
    “Couple of days. That all right with you?”
    “I guess it’ll have to be. Are you hungry?”
    “Only for you.”
    “Be serious.”
    “I’d dead serious.” He reached for her, but she sidestepped him and jumped into bed, pulling the sheet under her chin. Laughing, he sat down on the end of the bed and massaged her covered toes. “What’s the scuttlebutt?”
    “I thought you knew things.”
    “I know about Wally Powers. In fact, I knew him in passing before he ever turned up in Amaryllis. Tell me the rest of it.”
    By the time she finished filling in the details and bemoaning Shana’s decision not to see Peter for a while, it was midnight. “I just hope Bradley can turn up Brice Dolan, preferably alive.”
    “I’ve funneled some information about Powers his way.”
    “Why?”
    “Because I know these things.” He leered at her.
    “You sound like a broken record. Harry Hargrove didn’t kill him, I know that much.”
    “I’d agree that’s not his style, but sometimes a person can do something totally out of character if he’s pushed hard enough for long enough.”
    “Harry couldn’t. Everybody knows that.”
    “Powers was a talented writer, but he rubbed people the wrong way.”
    “Oh, I forgot to mention Miss Maude Pendleton.” Penelope told the story. “It would be funnier if you’d had her for a teacher.”
    “Everybody’s had a Miss Maude Pendleton at some time or another.”
    “I guess so. She’s the stereotypical maiden-lady schoolteacher, although the rumor is she was engaged once, but he died or got killed. Something like that.”
    “What about Brice Dolan? Could he have knocked off Powers?”
    “He has a thing about this town—and Harry Hargrove. He came back for some sort of twisted revenge, and I don’t understand it.”
    “And now he’s disappeared?”
    “Well, Bradley can’t find him.”
    “Oh, he’ll find him sooner or later. It’s the state he’ll find him in that makes a difference.”
    Penelope shuddered. “Don’t say that. We’ve had enough murders around here, don’t you think?”
    “Murder happens, Nell.”
    “But not in my hometown. Not in Amaryllis. At least, not before you showed up.”
    Sam shrugged. “I didn’t kill anybody. I’m going to bed unless, of course…” He wiggled his eyebrows at her.
    “Goodnight.” Penelope slid down and pulled the covers over her head. “And close the door on your way out.”
    ****
    I could get used to waking up to this, Penelope thought, hearing Sam’s laughter as she approached the kitchen the next morning. But I’d never get used to him coming and going. I want more than that. I want something permanent. She stepped into the kitchen. “Good morning, you two.”
    “Morning, Nellie.”
    “Sleep well, Nell?” Sam’s voice sent chills down Penelope’s spine.
    “Yes, no…” She stopped short of saying no thanks to you. “Yes, I did, thanks. What do you two want for breakfast?”
    “Scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and a side of hash browns,” Jake said, glancing at Sam who nodded agreement.
    “Fine.” Penelope went to the refrigerator. “How many eggs?”
    “Three,” Jake and Sam said in unison.
    “Peas in a pod,” Penelope said. “More’s the pity.”
    “Brad was by earlier,” Jake said.
    “It’s only seven-thirty.”
    “He said he hadn’t been home at all last night.”
    “But he found Brice Dolan,” Sam said.
    Penelope froze. “Alive, I hope,” she managed to say.
    “Dead drunk under the pool table at the Sit-n-Swill,” Jake said, guffawing again.
    “What was he blessed doing there?”
    “Not sure. Even Mike and Millie don’t know how he got there, or at least how he ended up under the pool table.”
    Penelope broke eight eggs into a bowl and beat them with more force than necessary. “Does Brice know how he got there?”
    “Well, he might when he sobers

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