Contrary to popular belief, the last thoughts I have before going to sleep at night and the first ones I have in the morning are not about Jack. Not any more, at least. At one point in my life (admittedly, not all that long ago), I believed that Jack and I had a chance to move beyond friendship into a real “relationship,” but life doesn’t always work out the way you plan, does it? To be fair, Jack has been through a lot—both thirteen years ago and again just recently—he needs time to heal. My author, Julie, brought his background to light in Grace Interrupted and neither Jack nor I have been the same since.

But I digress. My last thought/first thought these days is about Bootsie, the sweet little tuxedo kitten I adopted (right about the same time Jack went into isolation… coincidence?). Every morning I wake up with Bootsie snugged in behind my curled-up knees, most times with her cute black and white chin resting on my leg. She’s the best thing that’s happened to me and my roommates in recent months, what with all the murders at Marshfield Manor. I have to tell you, facing killers is terrifying. I hope I never have to do anything like that again!

Every morning, after feeding Bootsie and getting myself together, I head out to Marshfield where I absolutely adore my job as curator and manager of the manor. My favorite part of working there is spending time with the owner, Bennett Marshfield. Except for my roommates and my acerbic assistant, Frances, no one knows that there may be more to our relationship than meets the eye. Oh… I don’t mean like that! Bennett has taken an avuncular interest in me. Fitting, because he may actually be my blood uncle. We don’t know for certain and I don’t know that we’ll ever find out.

But more about my day…
Can I share a secret? I’m concerned. Treasures have been disappearing from the mansion over the past week or so. We’ve had a group here filming a DVD documentary about Marshfield over that same timeframe, but our security staff has been watching them very closely. I can’t imagine them stealing without being noticed. Nor can I imagine any of our tourist-guests getting away with it. And yet, every time we check, another priceless item vanishes. It’s a mystery.

Bennett believes that his stepdaughter, Hillary, is behind the thefts. I hope not. She’s been here for a little more than a week as well, so the timing fits. Hillary may be desperate for financial support (and desperate for a man, if her flirting is any indication) and she does have access to the entire estate, but stealing Bennett’s treasures would hurt him deeply. I don’t want to believe she would do that, although—from past experience—I know it’s entirely possible.

I’m deeply troubled by the fact that we’re being robbed so methodically and I’m determined to get to the bottom of this. I’ve vowed to bring the thief to justice, whether it’s one of the DVD crew, or Hillary, or someone else I haven’t even considered yet.

The title of this new adventure is GRACE AMONG THIEVES. I’m just relieved that this time we aren’t dealing with a murder at Marshfield!

Whoops, hope I haven’t spoken too soon…

** Thanks to the Julie, I have two (2) copies of GRACE UNDER PRESSURE to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends June 22. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **

Meet the author
Julie Hyzy, a New York Times bestselling author, pens the Manor House Mystery series for Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime, including Grace Under Pressure, Grace Interrupted, and the newest, GRACE AMONG THIEVES. Julie also writes the White House Chef Mysteries. Read more about Julie on her blog (updated regularly) or on her website (updated every six months or so).

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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