That Saturday began like many of them did: breakfast with Danny at Annabelle’s, a trip down to the dock to check on a shipment of new lobster traps, a couple of afternoon hours spent in the Halloran Lobster Co. office catching up on paperwork. Boring but predictable.
But it was in the office that things started going south. The commercial washing machine in the warehouse broke down, leaving a pile of vile smelling nets and towels and sweatshirts, things I couldn’t let sit there until the cleaning crew came in Monday.
So I locked up and headed to the Harbor Road Laundromat, dumped my load and ran a boatload of Saturday errands, including a drink with Danny on the Artists’ Palette deck where he was working on a book. Later—after the wet ocean winds had turned unusually cold for September—I went back to pick up my laundry. The place was empty, the florescent lights stark and creating ominous shadows in odd places. Outside the wind howled and branches slapped against the windows. Spooky.
And that’s when things took a turn, one that would keep me awake that night. And maybe two or three or four other nights.
Mixed in with my smelly load were some kids’ things: a fuzzy pink sweater, a pair of boy’s jeans, a uniform skirt, and other pieces of clothing that made the fishermen sweats look like clothes for giants. At first it didn’t set off any alarms. A busy mom short on change had snuck some of her load in while I was out getting coffee. Not a big deal. I’d done it myself. Certainly not spooky.
The clothes were still damp so I shoved them back in, added a coin, and sat across the room. Waiting.
It was when the door opened awhile later, bringing in gusts of cold wind that my antennae went up. There was no busy mom in sight.
I spotted the dog first. He headed straight for my dryer. He was joined by a young boy—9 or 10 maybe—who opened the dryer door and was soon elbow deep, rummaging through the clothes with the help of his buddy.
I glanced toward the entrance, waiting for an adult to follow, but the door had already slammed shut. Outside, the dark street was empty. No mom or dad waiting in a car at the curb, and only an old bike balanced haphazardly against the window.
The boy’s head jerked up when he saw me, but before I could tell him it was all okay— that I was cool with him using my dryer—he’d stuffed some of the clothes in an old back pack and raced toward the door. By the time I reached it, he’d jumped on the bike, headed down the street and in minutes was swallowed up by the rainy black night, the dog just a wheel-length behind him.
Back inside, on the floor, were the abandoned pieces he’d first pulled from the dryer.
And inside me was a fear that something was horribly wrong. Maybe it was instinct— the strong, troubling kind that stays with you, even when you’re having a good time. But even I couldn’t have predicted what would follow that night. There was no way I could have imagined that that mixture of fear and worry for a skinny kid and his dog would tear Nell, Izzy, Birdie, and me away from our lazy Sea Harbor life and toss us into a dizzying world of murder.
But it did.
You can read more about Cass in Murder Wears Mittens, the first book in the newly named “Seaside Knitters Society” mystery series, coming August 29, 2017.
As autumn washes over coastal Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, the Seaside Knitters anticipate a relaxing off-season. But when murder shatters the peace, the craftiest bunch in town must unravel a killer’s deadly scheme . . .
After retrieving fresh lobster nets from a local Laundromat, Cass Halloran rushes to attend a last-minute gathering with her knitting circle. But Cass can’t stop worrying about the lonely boy seen hanging around the dryers, and the school uniform he left behind in a hurry. When the ladies return the lost clothing the next day, they find the child and his younger sister alone, seemingly abandoned by their mother . . .
The knitters intend to facilitate a family reunion, not investigate a crime. But the death of Dolores Cardozo, a recluse from the edge of town, throws the group for a loop. Especially when the missing mother and one of their own become tied to the victim’s hidden fortune—and her murder . . .
Before scandalous secrets break bonds and rumors tear Sea Harbor apart, the Seaside Knitters need to string together the truth about Dolores—while preventing a greedy murderer from making another move!
* Includes a knitting pattern *
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About the author
Sally Goldenbaum is the author of over thirty published novels. Murder Wears Mittens is the newest in the best selling Seaside Knitters Society Mysteries. She divides her time between land-locked Kansas and a small condo on a Cape Ann harbor (Gloucester MA), home of her Sea Harbor fictional friends.
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