By Carolyn Hart

Murder is, unusually, no longer all that unusual on timy Broward's Rock, an idyllic sea island neighborhood off the South Carolina coast. Annie Darling's renowned secret book shop, demise on call for, is the place the locals come to debate the juicy information of every legal offense--under the watchful gaze of a pampered pussycat prima donna named Agatha. yet now Annie's pricey good friend (and most sensible consumer) Henny Brawley stands accused of murdering a Women's membership volunteer-cum-blackmailer. So Annie rouses her husband Max into motion, and jointly they dive into the shark pool of dotty eccentrics and imperious belles who represent the island's clever set. simply because simply there can the Darlings turn out hapless Henny innocent--by detemining who one of the well-heeled had the dirtiest little secret...and might kill to guard it.

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The golfing cart course skirted the west facet of the wall. Annie walked speedily. She was once becoming a relevant walkway of the vast terrace while she paused, frowned and again to the trail. on the a ways west finish of the wall, the place the trail curved right into a swath of bushes bordering the green, a vase leaned to at least one part. So, all used to be now not particularly ideal. That made the home unexpectedly appear extra approachable. Annie continuously felt intimidated through excellent housekeepers and excellent groundskeepers. They tended to be rigid and ask looking questions, reminiscent of, "What do you do approximately mould? " and "What is your time table for mulching? " (Annie pressured herself to not answer, in flip, "Pretend it's not there," and "By the sunshine of 1 / 4 moon with a newt in a single hand and a buckeye within the different. ") Annie's sneakers clicked at the tiles. She walked slowly, attempting to body an affordable query. "Were you searching of your home windows into the rain at a couple of minutes after six final evening? " appeared a bit abrupt, to not say extraordinary. yet absolutely the individual that lived the following should have heard sounds of the hunt, probably obvious swaths of lighting. notwithstanding that job happened a while after the murderer's get away. yet nonetheless . . . a few clever question, Annie guaranteed herself with Hastingslike self belief, could take place to her. She stepped onto the porch, lifted her hand to knock on the door best into the membership room, and appeared via one of many eight-foot home windows, admiring the intense chintz-covered chairs, a stark white textile with a great quantity of pink poppies, the sparkling center pine ground and— Annie's hand fell. She stood relatively nonetheless and leaned towards the window. The useless guy lay on his again no longer faraway from the door, afternoon solar spilling round him. He have been a natty cloth wardrobe, a cream polo of the very best, softest weave of cotton, crisp khaki trousers, Italian loafers of burgundy leather-based. A desk set for breakfast used to be a number of toes past him, a tumbler of orange juice, a bowl with cereal. techniques whirled in Annie's brain: He should have been able to have his breakfast whilst his assassin arrived. Edith could understand the beginning of "natty. " might be the note popped in her brain simply because he used to be outdated with a bristly iron-gray staff lower and sharp good points. He'd been useless for some time as the pool of blood had congealed and his blood-sodden blouse was once stiff. He hadn't shot himself as the gun lay close to his foot, however the police might do gunshot residue checks to be certain. The gun. Annie swallowed. She could not confirm from the following, however the grip appeared white and glossy. What was once it Ruth had stated? Her father's gun, the grip pearl-handled along with his initials. Annie stepped stiffly down the stairs, walked to a garden chair within the coloration of a yellow and white umbrella. She sat down, acquired out her cellular phone and made 3 calls. Max's Maserati squealed to a cease simply because the police siren died. Garrett and Pirelli jumped out of the police automobile and Max shouted, "The terrace. Annie acknowledged to return to the again of the house," and he used to be operating tough, realizing there might be no hazard to Annie now, it doesn't matter what she'd came across, yet pushed to make sure.

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