“I found the body on December 1st. It was a horrible way to end an already terrible day.”
When Leah Norwood finds the body of Isabel Meeks in the dumpster behind her store, she never imagined the police would consider her a suspect. Sure, she didn’t liked Isabel, but then again, neither did anyone else. Isabel had a condescending attitude and a bad reputation. As manager of the antique store, Patina, she had made a lot of enemies.
There is Patina’s assistant manager, the handsome and charming Trent. Isabel was blackmailing him. There is Patina’s owner, the aloof and influential Anthony Thorpe. Isabel was smuggling drugs through his store. And there is the entire drug dealing Cantono family. Isabel had lost a box containing heroin from one of their shipments. That is just to name a few and didn’t even include the stranger who was seen arguing with Isabel just hours before her death.
The police have too many suspects and too many soft alibis. Leah needs to prove to the sexy new chief of police that she had nothing to do with Isabel’s death.
Leah loves a good mystery. Can she find the killer before the police charge her with murder?
I turned around and saw Griggs standing near one of the displays toward the back of the store. He gave me a lazy smile. My heartbeat sped up a little. Olivia was right as usual. I was attracted to him. I didn’t really know what, if anything, I would do about that. Alexander Griggs was very different from the men I usually dated, and I seriously doubted he was interested in me. Griggs seemed like the type of man who dated blonde, willowy, sophisticated women. In other words, not me.
“Are you ready to leave?” he asked me.
I nodded, rose from the chair, and headed toward him. I moved the attraction issue to the back of my mind. Once the police solved Isabel’s murder, I would seldom see Griggs anymore so there was no point in trying to decide a course of action. He was staring at one of the displays with a slight smile on his face. I followed his gaze trying to determine what had captured his attention. Was there something wrong? Had I missed something?
“What is it?” I asked when I reached him.
He turned and looked at me. He nodded toward the display. The look on his face made me light-headed. His mouth curled into a sensual smile, the indentation growing deeper. “At least now I know why you smell like strawberries.”
I tore my gaze from him and looked at the display. It was the fragrance that Olivia had created for me, Leah’s Strawberry Essence. I tried not to blush but felt my face heat up. He laughed softly.
“Come on. I’ll drive you home. There is nothing more we can do here. Ross and Bottoms have finished dusting for prints. We have to wait to see if there is a match before we can proceed.”
The other officers were waiting outside, and once we left the building, Bottoms started boarding up the door. Griggs led me back to his SUV. We waited in the car until they had finished securing the store. The officer with Bottoms, whom I assumed was Ross, came over to the car.
Griggs headed back to my apartment. We didn’t talk on the way. I was suddenly exhausted. I hadn’t slept well the last two nights, and it was now close to midnight. I really wasn’t much of a night owl and found it difficult to keep my eyes open. I was now very glad that Griggs was driving.
He pulled up in front of the complex. I opened my door and step out onto the sidewalk. I was surprised when Griggs turned off the car and opened his door as well. “You don’t have to get out.”
“I need to check your place,” he told me.
“What? Why?” I asked.
“Because someone broke into your store looking for something in those boxes. We both know it was the heroin. They didn’t find it. Or at least not all of it. If it was someone who is familiar with your habits, then they may come looking here.”
“Oh,” I said in a small voice. Of course, the drug dealers would want their drugs back. I suddenly wished I had my gun.
“I have asked Reddish to tell the press that we have found the heroin. But it may take a few hours for that to get out. So I am going to check your apartment to make sure that no one is in there, and Cisneros and Albright are on guard duty.”
He pointed to the police car parked near my stairwell. I hadn’t noticed it when we pulled up. I looked at Griggs. His face was serious and determined. If he thought I was going to argue, he was crazy. Besides, I was too tired to argue anyway.
“Thanks,” I said and led him up the stairs. Griggs had me wait outside while he checked the apartment. When he said it was all clear, I went in. I stood in the doorway. It looked just like I had left it.
“Make sure you lock the door, and if you hear anything out of the ordinary, call 911,” Griggs said as he walked over to me. “By tomorrow, everyone should know that we have the drugs, and no one should be after you. Call me if you have any questions.”
“I will,” I told him. “Thanks again.”
When he didn’t say anything, I looked up. He was watching me. His bright green eyes held me in place as they swept across my face.
“I like strawberries,” he said softly. He leaned forward just a touch, and I thought for a moment that he was going to kiss me. My heart started to pound, and my palms began to sweat. My breath caught in my throat, and I swayed toward him, just a little, but he quickly moved past me out the door.
“Don’t leave town,” he ordered as he headed down the stairs.
This is the start to a new mystery series featuring Leah Norwood. After reading this book I can totally see how Leah can get into some adventures. Leah discovers a body in the alley behind her store one night after work. It is Isabel, the manager of the store next door, that Leah had words with earlier in the day. Leah decides she must solve the murder since she is a suspect and she does’t want Griggs, the new police chief, to think she is guilty. Leah goes around questioning and following people trying to solve the murder. Then there is another murder and guess who finds the body? Can Leah solve the case before she becomes the next target? And who will be her new boyfriend?Griggs, the police chief, or Marcus, the drug smugglers son? I really enjoyed the mystery and light romance in the story.
B. L. Blair writes simple and sweet romance and mystery/romance stories. Like most authors, she has been writing most of her life and has dozens of books started. She just needs the time to finish them.
She is the author of the Holton Romance Series and the Leah Norwood Mysteries. She enjoys reading books, writing books, and traveling wherever and as often as time and money allows. She is currently working on her latest book set in Texas, where she lives with her family.
Any Others: http://www.goodreads.com/blblair