Title: MAP SKILLS MURDER
Author: Leslie Langtry
Genre: Cozy Comedy
Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing
Summer is moving fast for ex-CIA Agent turned Girl Scout troop leader, Merry Wrath. Wedding plans are underway, with the groom's twin sisters on a mission to decorate the festivities with taxidermized animals and a full troop of flower girls with terrible taste in dresses.
If that wasn’t enough to deal with, the Girl Scouts dig up a treasure map in Merry’s yard. A century ago, the mysterious axe murder of Mad Mimi and the secret of her missing treasure were never solved. Merry thinks this map could be the key... but unfortunately, the investigation of this cold case—complete with a secret diary, gold bullion, and a llama named Tinkles—yields a modern day murder!
Are these crimes connected? And more importantly—who has an axe to grind with Merry Wrath?
The girl was sound asleep, tucked in her bed, surrounded by stuffed animals. She looked so peaceful. Like an angel. And still, I knew that when she woke up, it would be like poking an outraged wolverine with bedhead.
"Wake up!" Five little girls standing around me screamed in unison.
The child leaped out of bed, landing in a defensive stance, a hammer in her right hand. Where had that come from?
"Betty!" Carol Anne, the girl's mother, chastised.
She looked like she thought the girl would hit one of us. I wondered what waking her up for school must be like. Then again, Carol Anne believed she'd been kidnapped by aliens on seven different occasions (aliens who'd taught the woman how to play the bassoon), so who knew what passed for normal in this family?
"What's happening?" Betty shouted as she let the hammer fall to the floor.
"Kidnap Breakfast!" the five girls screamed.
"What's a kidnap breakfast?" Betty asked.
We'd only picked up the four Kaitlyns—who'd all spent the night at one house—and Ava, so far. We still had six more stops to make.
The five girls looked at each other curiously.
"I don't know," Ava said. "But it's fun!"
The girls cheered as we collected Betty in her jammies and made our way outside to the van. It was a warm, July night. Actually, it was three o'clock in the morning, and we had more girls to get before dawn.
"Love your pj's," Betty said as she passed me by.
Kelly laughed. Clad in a normal pair of plain blue pajamas, she labored under the impression that my Dora the Explorer jammies were…well, weird.
"I like Dora," I sniffed defensively for the fifth time this evening.
The girls rode with me to Lauren's house, as Kelly followed in her van. When we had all twelve girls, we'd need the other vehicle, since my co-leader didn't like my idea of stacking the girls like bricks in the back.
"Mrs. Wrath?" one of the Kaitlyns asked from the back seat.
No matter how many times I protested, the girls still called me "Mrs." They seemed to think that marriage status wasn't as much a justification for the prefix as just being "older than cancer," as Inez so politely informed me.
"What?" I asked as I maneuvered the car through a dead intersection.
"What are we gonna do when we get to your house?"
"What do you want to do?" I said absently. I wasn't totally sure I knew where Lauren lived. Her family had moved a week before, and I was distracted by the maps app on my cell.
The girls didn't answer because they started bickering about what that answer should be. I wasn't really paying attention, but words like handcuffs and hemlock floated toward me.
The only house on the block with its porch lights on turned out to be the right place. We unloaded the girls, reminding them to keep quiet. Lauren's mother met us on the front porch and led us inside.
A giant German shepherd approached us, and the girls squealed, gathering around the beast, who immediately dropped to the floor, exposing his belly.
"Girls!" Kelly whispered loudly.
With a collective groan, the kids got up and followed us down the hallway to the little girl's room.
The door opened with a soft creak, and once the first two girls entered, the lights went on and loud death metal music blared from speakers on both sides. I was vaguely aware of something hurtling toward my head, as a tennis ball on a string smacked my forehead.
Lauren sat up, aiming a ping pong ball gun at us. This girl had been prepared. A true Girl Scout. I liked it.
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CXGCQYW
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07CXGCQYW
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07CXGCQYW
Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Leslie_Langtry_Map_Skills_Murder?id=nDRjDwAAQBAJ&hl=en%EF%BF%BD
Leslie Langtry is the USA Today Bestselling Author of three comic mystery series, including the Greatest Hits Series featuring ‘SCUSE ME WHILE I KILL THIS GUY; Merry Wrath Mysteries featuring MERIT BADGE MURDER; and the Ukulele Mysteries featuring UKULELE MURDER. Leslie lives in Illinois with her family and a herd of unruly pets who may or may not be trying to kill her.
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