Read Trash To Treasure Crafting 1 - Murder at Honeysuckle Hotel Online

Authors: Rose Pressey

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Trash To Treasure Crafting 1 - Murder at Honeysuckle Hotel

BOOK: Trash To Treasure Crafting 1 - Murder at Honeysuckle Hotel
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Praise for Me and My Ghoulfriends by Rose
Pressey

“Rose Pressey spins a delightful tale with
misfits and romance that makes me cheer loudly.”

Coffee Time Romance

“Her characters are alive and full of quick
witted charm and will make you laugh. The plot twists keep you
turning the pages non-stop.”

ParaNormalRomance

“I absolutely loved this book! It had me
chuckling from the beginning.”

Fallen Angel Reviews

More books from Rose Pressey:

How to Date a Werewolf (Rylie Cruz, Book
1)

How to Date a Vampire (Rylie Cruz, Book
2)

How to Date a Demon (Rylie Cruz, Book 3)

Me and My Ghoulfriends (Larue Donavan, Book
1)

Ghouls Night Out (Larue Donavan, Book 2)

The Ghoul next door (Larue Donavan, book
3)

Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Undead (Veronica Mason, Book
1)

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Spells (Mystic Café,
Book 1)

Pies and Potions (Mystic Café, book 2)

Flip That haunted House (Haunted renovation
mystery, book 1)

Murder at Honeysuckle Hotel

Copyright © 2012, Rose Pressey

Smashwords Edition

This book is a work of fiction. The names,
characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s
imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be
construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead,
actual events, locale or organizations is entirely
coincidental.

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book
may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written
permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in
critical articles and reviews.

Published in the United States of America by
Rose Pressey

Dedication

To my mother who loves to go thrift store
shopping and to yard sales with me. I don’t know how we fit all
that stuff into the back seat.

Murder at Honeysuckle Hotel

by Rose Pressey

Chapter One

“Have you seen my eye?” Mitchell Green
sighed, one hand clapped to his face.

“Excuse me?” I asked.

He gestured toward his face with his free
hand. “My eyeball. I’ve lost it. Have you seen it?”

My mouth dropped open slightly as I stared.
“What do you mean, you lost your eyeball?”

“I mean, I lost it. Somewhere between here
and home.” He let out another heavy sigh and stepped to his right,
moving closer to the checkout counter.

“You mean to tell me there might be a glass
eye somewhere in here? I’m pretty sure I could lose customers that
way.”

“Oh, Raelynn Pendleton, you know good and
well ain’t no other store to shop in within twenty miles. Nobody
goin’ anywhere else to shop. You gonna help me find my eye or
what?” His frown lines deepened.

Or what. I’d rather look for a bucket full of
spiders or go on a date with Melvin Tinnell. Melvin had a sweat
gland condition. Plus, he had a doll collection, although he
claimed they were “action figures.” Needless to say, he was creepy
with a capital C. That should tell you how much I wouldn’t want to
stumble upon Mitchell’s eyeball. Working at the only grocery store
in town meant I had the wonderful opportunity to meet every strange
character in town. Lucky me.

A couple old men stood next to the little
coffee machine in the corner. We didn’t have a fancy Starbucks in
town. We didn’t have a fancy anything in Honeysuckle. The men
looked up when Mitchell’s voice rose.

“I found it,” Claire Ann yelled from across
the cereal aisle.

She ran over to Mitchell. He eased the eye
from her outstretched palm, wiped it with the edge of his shirt,
and then in one fluid motion he popped the little glass globe back
into the socket. I expected a plob noise, but instead there was
silence. I’d never seen anyone replace their eye before. Once his
eye was in place, he looked up at me, then smiled, exposing the
space that had been reserved for his front teeth.

He turned to Claire Ann. “Thanks, hon. I
didn’t wanna have to wear my patch again.” Mitchell smoothed down
his frazzled hair, then stuck the comb back in the front pocket of
his overalls. “I’ll be back directly. I forgot my money at home.”
He pointed at the beer refrigerator behind him.

I kind of liked his eye patch better, but I
didn’t tell him. It was hard not to stare at that one unmoving eye.
Kind of like it was a gigantic pimple on his forehead, or a huge
mole. I stared at the door for a good thirty seconds after he left
until a customer approached and snapped me back to attention.

After ringing up the purchases and waiting
for the woman to exit, I continued the conversation with Claire
Ann. “How in the heck did he lose his eye in here in the first
place? Does it just fall out?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “Beats me, I
guess he can’t feel the thing. And he’s had a little too much…” She
mimicked drinking with her right hand.

“Ah, gotcha.” I dropped the change into the
appropriate slots.

“He’s done it before. Once he left it on the
picnic table over by Honeysuckle Baptist. Little Willie McDaniel
thought it was a marble. You should have seen the look on his
mama’s face. Priceless.” Claire Ann let out a little snort.

“Why do I miss all the excitement? Who’d have
thought a church picnic could be so much fun. Why does he take it
out to begin with?” I asked while placing the dollars into my
register.

“All good questions, but I’ll never figure
out the mystery that is Melvin Green. He’s a wee bit eccentric.”
She laughed.

I shook my head. “I don’t know if I’ll ever
get used to living in this small town.”

“It’s only been a year, it’ll grow on
you.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” I said with a
chuckle.

“You hear from Ross?” Claire Ann asked while
twisting her ponytail with one hand. She always had to be moving.
Whether she was talking with her hands or shifting from one foot to
the other, she was always in motion like a hummingbird.

“Not since he threatened to come back for the
furniture. I told him, over my dead body. I’d rather burn it all in
a big pile out in the backyard. Oh, I also told him I sold the
fifty-inch TV. I thought he might cry.”

“Serves him right. Let Jo Beth deal with him
now. Good riddance to him. You’re better off without the jerk.
He’ll soon realize she’s tried to take money from every man in
town. When she discovers he doesn’t have a penny to his name,
she’ll dump him.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t care what they do.” I
grabbed the big pink tote bag I called a purse and headed for the
door. “I’m out of here. I’m walking home.”

“Didn’t you drive?” Claire Ann readjusted her
ponytail. Golden streaks highlighted her chocolate-colored hair.
She tapped her foot absentmindedly, her red-polished toes peeking
out from her espadrille wedges.

“I left the car at home to save on gas. I
need all the extra cash I can get.”

The phone rang and she held up her finger to
shush me. “Honeysuckle Supermarket, can I help you?”

Why they called it a supermarket, I had no
idea. It was more like a convenience store with a few tables in the
front for old-timers to sip coffee and gossip. Supermarkets were
super-sized. This store consisted of six aisles—not so super.

Claire Ann hung up the phone and rolled her
eyes. “That was Becky. She’ll be late again. Can you stay until she
gets here?”

I let out a sigh, made my way back around the
counter, and dumped my purse down. “Sure, I don’t have a life
anyway.” The stool let out a swoosh when I plopped down.

Movement drew my attention to the glass entry
door. A man in a suit stumbled up the old front steps. The concrete
had cracked many years ago and the store’s owner, Charlie Smothers,
didn’t see the need to repair it. “No need to impress the
customers,” he’d said. “They aren’t gonna shop anywhere else
anyway.” Everyone kept saying that, but if they weren’t careful,
next thing they knew, a Wal-Mart would sprout up beside them.

The bell on the handle jangled as the man
entered. His blue, wrinkled suit looked as if it had never met an
iron. Someone should introduce the two. His gray hair fell downward
against his forehead. Beads of perspiration covered his face.

“May I help you?” I asked and gave the widest
smile my face would allow. The store might not look like much, but
the least I could do was give everyone a pleasant shopping
experience. I’d want the same done for me, although lots of folks
in this town weren’t the hospitable type, to say the least.

The man’s wide brown eyes gave me the
once-over. “I’m lookin’ for Raelynn Pendleton.”

“Oh, that’s me.” I wondered if this had to do
with that snake, Ross Perkins. He wasn’t getting the TV (mainly
because I’d already pawned it), my bedroom furniture, or my
grandmother’s heirloom necklace. It was all I’d escaped with from
the stinking divorce.

“My name’s Albert Whiteman.” He shifted the
ratty leather briefcase to his other hand and stuck out his hand
for me. I reached over the counter and grasped it. His palm was as
sweaty as his face.

Claire Ann adjusted her pink tank top and
brushed invisible dirt from her white capri pants. She stood
straighter as she eyed the stranger up and down.

I looked him up and down. “What business do
you have with me?” As I wiped my hand on my pants, I asked, “You’ll
have to speak to my lawyer. Like I said, my divorce is final and I
have nothing left to say to that man.”

Claire Ann nodded in agreement, folding her
arms in front of her chest.

He scrunched his brow together and placed his
briefcase on the counter. I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”
He popped the lock on the old leather tote. “I’m the executor for
Mrs. Opal Mae Mathers.”

He pulled a stack of papers out. One flew
across the floor landing at Claire Ann’s feet. Of course she
reached down and grabbed it. She’d been straining her neck to hear
what he was saying from the moment he walked in the store. I should
have just told her to come on over before she did permanent nerve
damage.

“And?” I asked with my gaze focused intently
on his face.

After Claire Ann had taken several seconds to
study the paper, she handed to the man. He scowled, then took it
from her outstretched hand.

“I’m sorry to contact you at work. Is there
someplace else you’d like to speak?” He glanced over his shoulder
at Claire Ann, then whispered, “Someplace private?”

I looked from him to Claire Ann, then back at
him again. “Um, no, I can’t really leave. Can it wait until after
work?” I didn’t really want to wait, and I prayed he’d say that it
couldn’t wait.

“I suppose it can, but I’d really like to get
this settled soon.” He stepped closer to the counter, his cheap
shoes squeaking as they moved across the linoleum.

“Well, um, we can speak here, if that’s all
right with you?” No way was I waiting to hear what this man had to
say. What could he possibly want with me? Why was the attorney for
the widow from down the street here to see me? She’d recently
passed. When her husband died a year ago, I’d feared she wouldn’t
stick around long.

He cleared his throat and continued, “As you
know, Mrs. Mathers has passed away.”

“Yes, I’m aware. I went to the funeral.” I
met his gaze. “I didn’t see you there, Mr. Whiteman.” I tapped my
fingers against the counter.

He glanced down at my hand, then back at my
expectant stare. “Um, I was out of town, and unfortunately,
couldn’t make it. It was unavoidable.”

“Yeah, well, apparently, Mrs. Mathers didn’t
have relatives. The only people there were a few neighbors. So
sad.” I shook my head.

“Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Mathers never had
children.” He nodded.

I paused, waiting for him to continue, but he
didn’t say a word as he looked down at his shoes. After a few
seconds, he cleared his throat again. How long could he keep up the
silence?

“Right, well, the point of my appearance here
today…”

Awkward silence again. Was he praying while
looking at his shoes? Was it a moment of silence for Mrs. Mathers?
How long had he known her?

“I’ll get right to the point. Mrs. Mathers
left all of her belongings to you. You’re the sole heir to her
estate.”

Chapter Two

I clutched the edge of the counter. The air
had been sucked out of my lungs when I let out a gasp. Me? She’d
left everything to me? When I finally caught my breathe again, I
glanced at Claire Ann. Most of the color had drained from her face
and I prayed she wouldn’t pass out. Who would pick me up if she was
out for the count on the floor?

Mr. Whiteman wiped his forehead and
continued, “I’ll read the will to you.”

“Right here?” I choked out.

He shuffled papers. “Not much to read,
actually.”

A haze filled my head. I couldn’t believe my
ears. Why would she leave anything to me?

BOOK: Trash To Treasure Crafting 1 - Murder at Honeysuckle Hotel
13.31Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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