Death Between the Pages (Kindle Vella) by @peggy_jaeger is a Mystery/Suspense pick #mystery #vella
Title: DEATH BETWEEN THE PAGES (A Kindle Vella Short Story Collection)
Author: Peggy Jaeger
Genre: Mystery, murder mystery, redemption
A cheating husband. A group of widows. A hospital bed. A priest. What do they all have in common? Death.
Excerpt from THE TUESDAY NIGHT MEETING:
“Cora. We’re so glad you could join us tonight.”
Entering the spacious living room, Cora Patterly’s gaze shifted from Rachel to the faces of the other women present.
From a cursory glance, all the ladies present were in their daily finest, and not the drab, dowdy way she was garbed for the evening. A once white, now gray, long sleeved blouse hung loosely from her stooped shoulders. It was tucked into an elastic waisted, calf length shirt that had been in fashion fifteen years prior. The left leg of her pantyhose had a visible run spiraling upward from the ankle, and she hadn’t had a spare moment to change into a fresh pair before leaving her house. Her brown bow tie shoes badly needed new laces and soles, too. Cora knew her cheeks were pale and her unadorned complexion was heightened by the unruly natural wave in her hair. She had a fairly good idea of what she looked like in her old Salvation Army store-bought clothes. At thirty-six, most people thought her a score older.
“I-I’m sorry I’m late,” she said, clasping her weathered handbag to her chest, her hands shaking with nerves. “Bob was late coming home and I didn’t want to leave the kids alone.”
Mavis Carruthers smiled. “Well, you’re here now and that’s what counts, Cora. Come in and have a taste of Rachel’s famous blueberry pecan pie.”
Rachel led Cora to a high-backed chair strategically placed between Mavis and the club’s vice president KathrynAnne Swazye. Cora was then given a tray with a large helping of pie and a coffee cup.
“Would you care for coffee, Cora, or tea?” Rachel asked.
“Coffee please, and thank you kindly for the pie. I didn’t get a chance to have much supper before I came here. The diner was neat to busting with customers this evening.”
Trays were passed around and coffee was abundantly poured. As she sipped the heavenly tasting brew, Cora’s attention was grabbed by Wisteria Plowright.
“Cora, my dear, we are all so pleased you could join us tonight.”
“Thank you, Miz Plowright. I was honored to be asked, although, I don’t rightly know why I was.”
A few members slid sideglances at one another. Their knowing looks added to Cora’s state of nerves.
“We’ll get to that, dear,” Suellen said. “First, we’d all like to sit and visit with you a while. Get to know you a little more and have you know us better, too.”
“Understand your eldest, Jemima’ s on the Honor roll this year at the junior high,” Meadly Carson said.
If it was possible for Cora Patterly to beam, she did right then, pride flowing through her.
“Yes, Ma-am, she is. I’m…we’re…so proud of her. Second in her class, too.”
“I’d be proud as well,” Kathryn Anne put in. “Your girl has a lot of potential. She’ll go far in the world if she’s given the right chances.”
“Now, you’re youngest, Paul,” Meadly continued. “I hear from my grandson, Jackson, your Paul’s got a real fine aptitude for those computers that are all the rage nowadays.”
“Yes, ma-am, he does,” Cora said, finally relaxing, content to show her pride in her children, the one bright spot in her otherwise bleak life. “The schools are real up now on computer learning. Paul tells me they even have their own language and all.”
“Imagine that,” Wisteria exclaimed, sipping her heavily laced tea.
“You certainly have done a fine job with those two, Cora,” Mavis said.
“Thank you, Miz Carruthers,” Cora replied, tears brimming. “It hasn’t been easy.”
“Don’t suppose it has, seeing as you’ve had to contend with the no-account they have for a father,” Molly Kane commented.
The room went silent. Mavis shot Molly daggers from across the room, the slice of which the older woman ignored.
“Bob tries his best, Miz Kane. Honest he does,” Cora said, her cheeks heating. “He means well, but…well…he…”
As she trailed off, Wisteria rose and hobbled over to Cora’s side. Kathryn Anne graciously gave up her chair for the oldest member and founder of the club. Wisteria settled in and took Cora’s work-weary hand in her own gnarled one. “My dear, sometimes we can be confronted by truths which are hard to acknowledge. I know Molly didn’t mean to upset you. We would never insult a guest, especially one we want to join our organization.”
Blinking back tears, Cora replied, “That’s all right, Miz Plowright. I know no harm was intended. My Bob, well, he’s just high strung’s all.”
“High strung,” Molly repeated and crossed her arms over her ample bosom. “Better strung up, I say.”
Cora’s trembling returned. “Now, Miz Kane, I can understand why you feel that way and all, with the problems you’ve had with Bob. I apologize for the trouble he’s caused you.”
“No need for you to apologize, Cora,” Molly said. She peered through her thick eyeglasses and continued. “The fault’s not yours. You’re a lot like your mother, God rest her soul. Forgiving and apologizing all the time for things beyond her.”
“Bob means well, honest he does,” Cora said, her eyes pleading at the women in the room. “It’s, well, he can’t seem to find his way.”
“Is that any reason for him to hit you and the children, Cora?” Mavis asked, her sonorous voice booming accusingly throughout the room.
Cora’s eyes widened, bulging against the sockets. Before she could deny the charge, Mavis silenced her with a wave of her hand.
“That bruise over your left cheek is mostly faded now. It’s been three weeks since you were seen in the emergency room over at County General. Kitty Hawkins was the night supervisor on duty the evening you were brought in. You told some cock-n-bull tale about falling down the basement steps. The story was as phony as the blood on your dress was real. You don’t have a basement. The Sherriff hauled Bob in for the night and charged him with disturbing the peace and public drunkenness. I can only imagine what small, insignificant thing you did that he thought you deserved a beating for.”
The little of Cora’s remaining will dissolved under the older woman’s gaze.
Amazon Kindle Vella: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09JWLQ4PT
What makes your featured book a must-read?
Short stories were a favorite thing to read when I was a kid and still are. Only instead of tales of horses and kids, they now involve murders and the people who commit them, lol! If you like quick, easy to read tales of murder, redemption, and strong women, DEATH BETWEEN THE PAGES is for you. In the Tuesday Night Meeting, I’ve given you a glimpse into a hidden subculture of American life – the Widow’s Club. You can guess what their claim to fame is.
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Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer.
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.
As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"
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Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0
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