When I pictured what my grown up life would be, owning an old-fashioned dime store in my hometown—Shadow Bend, Missouri—was not one of my top ten fantasies. Heck, it wasn’t even in the top hundred, but circumstances change, and people have to adapt or die.
After my father went to prison and my mom dumped me on my grandmother, I was determined to go to college, then grad school, and get a high paying job in the city. And I did all that, but then one day, Gran’s doctor called me and I had to make a decision. Keep my career as an investment counselor and put Gran in assisted living, or find a way to spend more time with her so she could stay in her own home.
There really was no choice, Gran had saved me, and now it was my turn to help her. So, I quit my job at Stramp Investments and bought the local dime store. Except for enlarging the space by buying the building next door and adding high-speed Wi-Fi and a gift basket business, I kept the store exactly as it always had been—tin ceilings, hardwood floors, brass cash register and all. Who wouldn’t love a job buying and selling vintage collectables, running a homemade candy counter, old-fashioned soda fountain, and creating fun baskets—erotic and otherwise?
Holidays are big in the basket biz, and one of my favorites is Easter. I mean come on, the Easter Bunny rocks. Think about it. Everyone needs a friend who is all ears. To him, there’s no such thing as too much candy. And the best things in life are still sweet and gooey.
Too bad my fondness for the Big Bun recently got me into a little trouble. This woman came into my store late one day and offered me a really good deal on antique chocolate Easter Bunny molds. Yeah. I know anything that seems too good to be true usually is, but the molds were awesome and cheap and I had just the baskets for them. Okay, maybe they did turn out to be hot, and get me involved in another murder investigation, but did I mention they were cheap?
And since Boone St. Onge, one of my BFFs, was accused of the crime, I would have gotten involved anyway. It’s not as if, I could have turned my back on Boone in his time of need. Thank goodness, my other BFF, Poppy Kincaid, was around to help. Since she’s the owner of the hottest night spot in the county, Gossip Central, she hears all the good rumors.
It’s a shame that sexy U.S. Marshal Jake Del Vecchio was out of town because I sure could have used his help figuring out the killer’s identity. On the other hand, my ex-boyfriend Noah Underwood really came through for me. And I have to admit, there are still enough sparks between us to burn down Rome. Maybe I should learn to play the violin.
Anyway, as my friend the Easter Bunny would say, in order to show your true colors, you have to come out of your shell.
Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of NICKELED AND DIMED TO DEATH to give away. Contest open to US residents only and ends March 16. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher.
You can read more about Devereaux in Nickeled and Dimed to Death, the second book in the “Devereaux Dime Store” mystery series. The first book in the series is Little Shop of Homicide.
Meet the author
New York Times Bestselling author Denise Swanson writes both the Scumble River and Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series. Denise’s second novel in the Devereaux’s Dime Store mystery series, Nickeled-and-Dimed to Death was released March 5. Visit her website at www.DeniseSwanson.com or visit her on Facebook.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.