Murder on the Eightfold Path

BOOK: Murder on the Eightfold Path
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Table of Contents
 
 
PRAISE FOR
Corpse Pose
“With more twists and turns than the most difficult yoga position, Diana Killian’s
Corpse Pose
is sure to leave readers breathless.”
—Madelyn Alt, author of the Bewitching Mysteries
 
“Diana Killian has outdone herself . . .
Corpse Pose
has it all . . . Fun, fun, fun.”
—Michele Scott, author of the Wine Lover’s Mysteries
 
“Killian’s light yoga twist enhances . . . a nicely executed cozy.”

Publishers Weekly
 
“[A] fresh, solid, and, most importantly, entertaining kickoff to her new yoga-themed series . . . The biggest star is Killian’s writing . . .
Corpse Pose
is the best a cozy can be.”
 
“This is the kind of story that began my interest in mysteries: great setting, engrossing story, plenty of suspects, and characters to care about.”

CA Reviews
 

Corpse Pose
has so much going for it . . . Cozy fans, Diana Killian’s new series is a keeper!”

Cozy Library
 
“A funny and fun cozy mystery.”

Affaire de Coeur
 
“A delightfully entertaining amateur-sleuth tale.”

The Best Reviews
 
“A tight, well-written story.”

Gumshoe Review
Berkley Prime Crime titles by Diana Killian
 
CORPSE POSE
DIAL OM FOR MURDER
MURDER ON THE EIGHTFOLD PATH
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
 
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.
 
MURDER ON THE EIGHTFOLD PATH
 
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / April 2010
 
Copyright © 2010 by Diane Browne.
 
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-18642-8
 
BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

To the loyal fans of the Browne Sisters and George Cavanaugh. Thank you for listening—and reading—along.
Acknowledgments
The author would like to thank the following yoga students who offered their own stories and experiences: Alyssa Zulueta, Annette Tanner, Becky Hutchison, Claudia Horner, Debra MacDonald, D. P. Donavin, Jane Squires, Kris Markham, Lesa Smith, Lynn Salisbury, Michele L., Shelia Connolly, and Tara Stoutenborough.
One
The
man in the mohair coat lay facedown on the cobble-stone path, one arm outstretched, fingers grazing the handle of the pink woven basket that had fallen on its side. Scattered on the grass, little foil-wrapped eggs glinted in the morning sun.
It was a very nice mohair coat. Camel-colored cashmere, probably Armani—but the bloody bullet hole in the center of it did nothing for the tailoring.
It did nothing for A.J. Alexander’s nerves either—as though family holidays weren’t trying enough. Nothing says
Happy Easter!
like murder. For a moment she stood perfectly still in her mother’s front garden with the scent of roses and death wafting gently on the spring breeze, and tried to convince herself that she was hallucinating. Too much cream cheese on her bagel, too much Irish in her coffee. There could
not
be a dead body in her mother’s garden on Easter morning. It just wasn’t . . .
Monster, A.J.’s golden Lab, waddled forward to sniff the utterly motionless form, nudging the still hand with his wet nose, and then—before a horrified A.J. could stop him—picking up a pastel-colored hard-boiled egg in his mouth and crunching it, shell and all.

Monster!
” A.J. shrieked.
Ears flattening, he gave her a guilty look—and continued crunching.
A.J. jumped forward. Her foot slid on wet grass and yet another hard-boiled egg, and she slipped, twisting her back as she hit the ground. The pain was shocking. For an instant she lay there stunned, blinking up at the azure sky. Birds were singing cheerfully, flowers bobbed overhead—and Monster loomed into view with little bits of colored eggshell on his muzzle.
As A.J. opened her mouth to yell for help, Monster slopped her face with his rough, wet tongue. She waved him away, biting back a cry at the bolt of fire blazing down her spine. It had been over a year since she’d had any back trouble thanks to her new fitness regime, which included yoga morning and night. But even before her aborted attempt to push up, she knew it was going to be a while before she was doing anything more strenuous than Corpse Pose. Speaking of which—A.J. shuddered and turned her gaze away from the thing lying a few feet away.
She groped for her bag, shoving Monster away as he anxiously snuffled her face and hair. Finding her cell phone in her fallen bag, she dialed, her gaze returning to the body on the path. She could see now that blood was pooled on the stones beneath the man’s body. She swallowed hard.
Inside the house the phone began to shrill. A.J. could hear it ringing and ringing. No one picked up. A.J.’s tautly strung nerves ratcheted up a notch. Her mother was occasionally oblivious to those around her, but no one could be oblivious to gunshots outside the front door.
So where was she? She had a house full of people coming and . . . going. This sudden absence made no sense.
Unless the killer had used a silencer? A.J. instinctively rejected this notion as too James Bondian, but . . . was it any harder to believe than the fact that a man had been killed in Elysia Alexander’s garden?
A.J. disconnected and dialed Jake. Detective Jake Oberlin of the Stillbrook Police Department was A.J.’s current beau—in fact they had just said good-bye forty-five minutes earlier. He was scheduled to work that day, although no one was anticipating holiday homicide—and certainly not homicide hitting this close to home.
Jake answered his phone on the second ring.
“Hey,” he said. And despite the terseness of it, A.J. could hear a certain warmth that, probably due to her current predicament, closed her throat with emotion.
“It’s me,” she got out. “Something terrible has happened. There’s a dead body in mother’s front yard.”
The silence was filled with a windy blankness that indicated Jake was on the road, driving. “You’re not kidding, are you?” he said finally.
“No. I’m not kidding. Mother’s not here. I slipped and fell—”
I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!
Suddenly those corny old commercials weren’t so funny.
Jake said grimly, “Are you sure your mother’s not there?”
She wasn’t—and the realization terrified her. “She didn’t answer her phone. Jake, it looks like this guy was shot.”
“Are you in a secure location?”
“I’m lying in the middle of the path to the front door. I can’t get up!”
“All right. Stay calm. I’m sending help.” She heard him speaking away from the phone, his faraway voice crisp as he gave orders over his radio. Then he was back on the phone with her. “This guy, this body—do you recognize him?”
A.J. painfully lifted her head. Monster had scooped up yet another colored egg and was chomping away with that guilty but determined expression. She groaned. “Monster,
no.
Bad dog!”
“What is it?” Jake’s tinny voice demanded from her cell.
“Monster is eating the evidence!”
“What?”
Perhaps that sounded a little more dire than she intended. “He—the victim—was carrying an Easter basket. Monster is eating the goodies.”
BOOK: Murder on the Eightfold Path
3.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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