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Four Killing Birds (Greatest Hits #10) by USA Today Bestseller @LeslieLangtry #ChristmasinJulyFete #


Author: Leslie Langtry

Genre: Dark Comedy – Greatest Hits Series

Book Blurb:

From USA Today bestselling author Leslie Langtry comes a holiday short story that will leave you ho-ho-hoing with laughter! Shortly before the holidays, inventor and former assassin Missi Bombay gets orders to perform one last job. It’s the granddaddy of all hits—to be carried out on Christmas Eve, no less. Missi knows she has only one chance at success, so she enlists the help of her cousins Gin, Dakota, and Coney. Together the Bombay cousins come out of retirement to stamp out the world’s most evil cabal. Armed with four enormous, prehistoric-looking birds and Missi’s quirky inventions, will these Bombays succeed before their window of opportunity closes for good?



"And that's the story of the first Bombay!" I shut the book carefully to avoid startling my birds. The four cassowaries stared at me, blinking.

"Missi, are you reading to those weird emus?" Mom popped up behind me, causing me to drop the book and startling the birds. They started running around in circles like they were on fire.

"They're not emus, Mom. They're cassowaries." I bent to retrieve my cousin Gin's book. "Totally different thing."

Mom frowned and looked at the birds. She thought them weird with their prehistoric looking casques – the bone like structures on top of their heads, and lizard necks and feet. I didn't want her to hurt their feelings by calling them 'weird.' I loved these animals. Sure, they resemble an ostrich in height, and a turkey in color with their bright blue necks and scarlet, dangling wattles hanging from their throats, but they are completely unique otherwise. Kind of like me. Maybe that's why I liked them so much.

I waved my large feathered friends away and motioned for Mom to sit down on a rustic, wood chair. I took the chair opposite her – the one that looks like a giant, orange hand.

"What's up, Mom?"

Her eyes followed the cassowaries out. "You were reading them the Bombay Bedtime Stories book? Why?"

I shrugged. Mom should've, by now, known not to ask me that question. Who knows why I read them those stories? Perhaps they could learn inside those little pea brains of theirs. Maybe I just liked Gin Bombay's book. I never questioned my own motives, mostly because I did what I wanted anyway.

Maybe I should explain. My name is Mississippi Bombay, and I come from a family of assassins. Well, we used to be – for about four thousand years anyway. It was the family biz, but we all recently retired from assassination because it just got to be too much. My generation started having issues with the idea that our kids would grow up killing people for a living. Huh? I wonder why no one had that problem before? Anyway, after a year of my cousins squabbling with the Council, we all just decided to end the business.

I was the family's inventor, and I live on the family island of Santa Muerta – still blowing up things, but for fun this time. We'd kept our secret tropical island headquarters after the shutdown because it's been in the family for centuries. And it with it being off the coast of Western South America – it was still a popular vacation spot for the family. We'd kept the block of condos too so the Bombays would always have their own homes here. They didn't visit as often as I'd like, but it was there for them nonetheless.

"Where's Lex? And the boys? Aren't they home for the holidays?" Mom asked, forgetting that I'd already told her the answers twice already. I needed to work on a cure for Alzheimer's, soon. Or maybe she was hitting my future, potential glaucoma stash of marijuana plants again. Oh, I didn't have glaucoma – but it's always best to be prepared, right?

"Lex was doing stunts for a film shoot in Germany, and the boys are on a college-sponsored ski trip in Switzerland - with, I suspect, some dangerous elements involved that I'm refusing to think about. I'm spending Christmas with you this year, remember?" I cringed as I added the 'remember' part. I'm sure she didn't like to be reminded of her recent issues with memory loss.

As usual, Mom ignored me, instead handing me a strangely familiar manila envelope sealed with a blood-red wax stamp. The Bombay Crest. I haven't seen one of these since the Council disbanded the Bombay Family business of assassination.

"What's this?" I took the envelope from her and turned it over, afraid to break the seal. Once you broke the seal, you as much as accepted the assignment. Old fears die hard. Technically, we didn't do this type of work anymore. The island of Santa Muerta was no longer Bombay Central HQ. I no longer invented strange ways to kill people because we no longer killed people.

Well, I guess we could still kill people – —there just wasn't an organization that made us do it anymore.

"Mom," I repeated, "What the hell is this?"

She waved her arm in the air absently. "There's one more assignment."

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What I love most about the holiday season:

I’m probably going to regret this, but I really love a white Christmas. There’s something peaceful about a Christmas Eve snowfall that I can’t quite find the words for. That being said, I really don’t want to shovel snow on Christmas Day, so you have to kind of twist your brain around that one. Oh, and family and stuff.


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Open internationally

Runs July 1 – 31

Drawing will be held on August 1.

Author Biography:

Leslie Langtry writes comic mysteries and lives in Western Illinois with her husband, two children and a motley crew of various pets who may be plotting her demise (the mini Holland lop bunny, especially). This might be her last ever bio.

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