To Fudge or not to fudgeHi, Allie McMurphy here. I’ve visited before with a typical day in my life, but things change so quickly. One minute you’re on your way to place a classified advertisement in the paper for a part-time maid and the next minute you’re pressing yourself against a closed door dialing 9-1-1 worried there might be a ferocious animal outside.

Let me elaborate. I was walking with my bichonpoo puppy, Mal, to the Town Crier when Mal went digging in the fresh mulch under the lilac brush outside of the newspaper office. Mal popped out with a bone-a rather large bone. Let’s say lower leg size bone and attached to the bone was a sock remnant. Now I was thinking maybe the bone belonged to a dog that liked socks and hiding its bones. That’s reasonable, right?

But then Mal dug back into the mulch and came out with a piece of shoe. She shook the shoe and little bones flew out–bones with neon orange painted toenails.

That’s when I grabbed my doggie and raced inside the newspaper office ensuring there was a door between me and whatever mauled that poor person’s leg off.

It’s also the first time I met Angus MacElroy. That old man didn’t help. As soon as he found out who I was, he pulled a rabbit’s foot out of his desk and placed it carefully between him and me. Why you might ask? I mean, I asked.

“Because I don’t know how to make an evil eye,” he said.

“An evil eye? I don’t get it.”

“It wards off bad omens and such.”


“The way I see it,” he said. “You’re the bad luck.”


“You’re the one who finds old men dead and since I’m an old man…” He let the rest of the sentence fall off and pointed at the rabbit’s foot.

But then I wasn’t the problem. The possibility of a vicious animal mauling people outside his door was the problem. That’s how I saw it anyway. I dialed Officer Manning who was not only a friend, but who also didn’t jump to conclusions about me and old men.

It only took a few minutes for Officer Manning to show up and ensure that Mal did, indeed, discover a partial body under the lilacs. None of this boded well for the upcoming Lilac festival.

On Mackinac Island the Lilac festival is one of the first festivals of the summer season. The lilacs bloom in time for the festival and we have the only motor prohibited parade in the USA. That’s right. Mackinac Island is the island time forgot where all transportation on the island is strictly horse drawn carriage, bicycles and walking. The only exception is the thoroughly modern ambulance and fire truck. Sometimes there needs to be exceptions to the rules.

As for me and Mal, we are safe for now, but it would be some time before I actually got back to placing that classified advertisement. Before we can do that there is fudge to be made and a killer to be found.

Angus MacElroy has his rabbit’s foot. What’s your lucky talisman?

You can read more about Allie in To Fudge or Not To Fudge, the second book in the “Candy-Coated” mystery series, published by Kensington. The first book in the series is All Fudged Up. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on September 12 for the chance to win a copy of TO FUDGE OR NOT TO FUDGE. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Meet the author
Nancy J Parra AKA Nancy Coco is the author of 19 published novels which include three mystery series: The Gluten-free Baker’s Treat Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), The Candy Coated Mysteries (Kensington), and The Perfect Proposal Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime). Her writing has been called witty and her protagonists plucky by reviewers around the world. All Fudged Up, the first in the Candy Coated Mystery series was a National Best Seller when it debuted in November 2013. Nancy is a member of the Killer Character Blog and loves to hear from readers. Find her, on Twitter or on Facebook.

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