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“People have babies every day.”
That was my husband Ben’s comment when I came down the back stairs that Saturday morning. He didn’t even turn around—he was standing over the coffee pot in our kitchen, willing it to stop wheezing and turn into a strong dark roast. And he felt my worry on his back.
Ben is wise and often right. But sometimes there are things that well up inside of a woman that a man can’t touch. Like the emotions surrounding my niece Izzy’s pregnancy that had a vice-like grip on me. With her parents almost 1500 miles away, I took my aunt role very seriously. Besides, Izzy was the daughter of my soul.
“Of course they do,” I had answered. “But … this is different.”
I took my coffee and walked out onto the deck. Some things are best not discussed. I knew that while Ben was right on a rational level. I was right on a completely different plane.
Izzy had been anxious that week, even when doing what she loved—Being with friends and working with her customers and the luxurious yarns that arrived weekly in her shop, the Sea Harbor Yarn Studio (which Ben often referred to as Izzy’s true firstborn).
Her husband Sam had noticed her unrest. I had noticed it. I think her doctor, Lily Virgilio had, too, because she had Izzy coming in for checkups more frequently than Rachel Wooten’s daughter, who was also due in a few weeks.
If the doctor could require frequent visits to assure her of Izzy’s progress, surely I could too. Izzy was as close to me as any daughter could ever be. So I pulled out my phone and called her, suggesting we go for a slow (very slow) jog before she headed to work. Izzy’s manager Mae had extra help on Saturday mornings and the exercise would be good for both of us, I told her. The day was perfect for it—cool enough to keep us moving but with a warming sun above and a calm sea beside us.
Izzy said “sure,” as I knew she would, because Izzy was an excellent judge of character—and she knew I needed it. Not the jog, but being with her and assuring myself that all was well.
But all wasn’t well.
Looking back, I should have seen the signs that day, the things that weren’t right. The things that spoke to Izzy’s emotions.
I should have noticed the tension in the clinic when we stopped to pick up Izzy’s vitamins on our way to the beach and heard Janie Levin, the wonderful obstetrics nurse we all loved, arguing with her cousin Justin and suggesting he shape up or drop off the edge of the world, words foreign to the usually mild-mannered nurse.
Most of all, maybe I should have noticed the infant car seat, sitting like a monument in the sand on Paley’s Cove when we jogged by. The car seat that Izzy had noticed, and that she’d been jogging by every day for nearly a week.
The infant carrier that never moved from the same spot and was there in the sand early in the morning before there was ever a mother or baby in sight. It was a lonely car seat that didn’t speak of babies at all.
All these things caused havoc with a young mother-to-be’s emotions.
They’re the things I should have noticed that day.
I didn’t. But I would soon enough because that day was simply a harbinger of things to come.
And though Izzy and I had a lovely slow jog that day, and I came home relieved and feeling somewhat better about Izzy’s state of mind, it was a day that would be turned on its head soon after when a young man we all knew was murdered during a scuba dive on that very beach, leaving behind him a circuitous trail that wound its way all around Sea Harbor, circling people we all loved.
In Angora Alibi, the seaside knitters follow that trail, uncovering town secrets until the murderer is finally found and peaceful days are restored to Sea Harbor— days suitable to joyously welcome the birth of a very special baby.
Sally is giving away one (1) copy of A FATAL FLEECE. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Book will be shipped directly from the author. Contest ends May 23; US entries only.
Meet the author
Sally Goldenbaum, a former editor and philosophy instructor, is the author of more than thirty novels. Although she lives in land-locked Prairie Village, KS, she spends many days on Cape Ann (with its twenty-five miles of shoreline) where her Seaside Knitters mystery series is set. Angora Alibi is the seventh mystery in the series; the eighth will be published in May, 2014.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.