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When Harry Killed Sally by @Beth__Henderson is a Cozy Mystery Event pick #cozymystery #paranormal
Title: WHEN HARRY KILLED SALLY
Author: Beth Henderson
Genre: Paranormal cozy mystery, Comedy romance
Whichur-Wolfe Detection series Book One
If you counted the dogs, the town might have 100 citizens. Murder wasn't something that visited Killaman Falls until the day...WHEN HARRY KILLED SALLY ...or did he?
I’d never seen the blonde who entered the bar before, but even though Francie Kolobash had me pinned to the tavern wall, I knew the newcomer belonged to Sally. I knew the scent well.
Francie didn’t appear to notice my distraction. She was wrapped around me like she was a hungry member of Cthulhu’s tribe, except Francie had only one set of red lacquered claws, no wings, and rather than rubbery she was extremely flexible and enjoyed demonstrating the knack.
My eyes followed the blonde while Francie attempted to map the interior of my mouth with her tongue. The joint was crowded since it was Friday night, but as this was the first day of the Full Moon Protection festivities, I had a busy night of bussing the females of Killaman Falls and shaking a lot of male hands on my schedule. Somewhere along the way I’d fit the blonde in before the night was over.
“Connor,” the brunette in my arms chided. “Where’s the gusto I’ve come to expect from your performance during the FMP cycle?”
“It’s been a long day already,” I insisted, and managed to reach the list tucked in the inside pocket of my suit jacket. “Look, I’ve still got another five kisses and seven handshakes to bestow before I have a chance to eat dinner.” Oddly enough, the story Harry spun years ago to kick off the FMP hoopla was that the smooches and hand gripping would indicate to any werewolves appearing at the full moon from attacking the citizens because they’d been marked by two hunters as living in protected territory. Weird only if you knew the guys delivering kisses and handshakes were werewolves. Well, probably weird even if you didn’t know that!
She ran her fingers through my trimmed, but still mountain man growth of beard, and up toward my ear, which she circled with one pointed tip. “You could come to my place when all the names are ticked off on that list, lover.”
“And irritate all the other females in the Falls? I’m not that foolhardy, darlin’.” I grinned to downplay the rejected offer of further physical hijinks, but considering she played this card every thirty days, and quite a few other days as well, you’d think by now she’d have given up the game. Especially since I’d never taken her up on any offer.
I straightened my shoulders, loosing up, and stepped away from the wall. “Move aside, sweet. It’s time for our next contestant.” Glanced down at the tally in my hand, though it was all an act. I knew who’d be in my arms next. Cleared my throat to get everyone’s attention – like it wasn’t on me already. “Shirley Ann Higson, come on down,” I called.
There was a squeal of pleasure, then a six-year-old charmer with freckles and carroty pigtails threw herself at me. I swept her up and planted the required kiss on her soft little cheek. Shirley delivered a happy choke hold and found a non-whiskered spot on my face to plant a kiss of her own. “I’m so glad you called my name before you did Haley’s,” she gushed. Haley’s her older sister – all of eleven. “I bet her a quarter you would so now I’ll be rich when she pays up!”
I gave her an overly dramatic gasp. “Gambling! That, Ms. Higson is against the law and as the duly charged officer of seeing that the law is not broken –”
“Because you forgot to buy the large size bottle of glue again, Sheriff Wolfe?”
Ah, the last excuse I’d given her in regard to keeping the peace, back to haunt me.
“Exactly. In any case the fine folks of the Falls expect me to keep everyone on the straight and narrow, and that includes illegal gamblers like yourself, missy.”
Rather than be contrite, she giggled and wiggled to be set down.
Keeping her in place, I growled, “I mean it, Shirl.” Like she’d really believe that whopper.
She sighed dramatically. “I’ll buy Haley some candy with my winnings. Okay, sheriff?”
I set her back on her feet. “Deal. Now, go tell your sister it’s her turn for the FMP buss.”
Shirley giggled. “Why do you always call a kiss a buss?”
“Probably because that’s what we called it in my family and neighborhood when I was your age, pumpkin,” I said. Which had been back in 1857, though only one person – and I mean just one – knew that in Killaman Falls or any of the other hundred or so places I’ve lived in the ensuing years. But Harry wasn’t about to spill the barley about it. Not ever.
Once Shirley’s sister Haley’s cheek had been kissed, her mother’s puckered lips avoided for another peck on the cheek, her younger brother and her father’s hands shaken, I pulled an empty chair over from an adjacent table, and straddling it, settled in.
“Either of you ever met Sally’s niece?” I asked. “She’s expected but as any visits she made to the Falls were before I arrived, I haven’t had the pleasure.”
“Emmalyst, you mean? She hasn’t been for a visit since getting the job in St. Louis, and that was…” Gene Higson glanced over at his wife to fill in the blank he’d drawn.
“Five years ago, now,” Lana supplied. “And it was a flying visit. We’d barely got to meet her before she was off again. I wonder if she’ll stay longer this time. There’s Sally’s property to see to and I suppose her business to close, too.”
“So, what’s she look like?” I asked, although I already knew. Sally had a host of pictures of her goddaughter scattered around the cabin.
“Pale blonde, maybe five-six or -seven, slim, she’d be around thirty-two now,” Lana said while wiping ketchup from her pre-school son’s chin.
Gene shifted in his seat. “I can make it easier than that on you, Connor. She came in the door while you were otherwise engaged—”
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Personally, I’d call any of the Whichur-Wolfe Detection books a must-read because the main characters, Emmalyst Whichur and Connor Wolfe, are a great comedy team as well as leaning toward being a romantic one as well. And if you’re a dog lover, how could you not love a story where dogs get interviewed in relation to the murders of the homo sapiens they live amongst?
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BETH HENDERSON spent a dozen years writing and rewriting the same three books during the 1980s but all those rewrites paid off via a romance spinning career now over 30 years long. Romantic-comedy and historical romantic adventure are her forte, but lately she dipped her pen into a different genre pool: that of comedic paranormal mystery. Since she loves reading cozy mystery, her characters drifted to a very out of the way spot on the side of a mountain in New Hampshire to solve local homicides in a town known as Killaman Falls. She really loves being the snarky Emmalyst Whichur and spending time with the flirty werewolf, Connor Wolfe. Find her at www.4TaleTellers.com.
Social Media Links:
Facebook.com/BethHendersonAuthor, or @Beth__Henderson on Twitter