Sam Cheever has a Fun New Cozy!

Come to Silver Hills. Where fowl plans can either mean dinner out, or the deadly designs of a chicken-livered killer.

When Vlad’s opponent for the Silver City mayoral race succumbs to fowl deeds, he seriously changes the pecking order in Vlad’s favor. But the victim’s death has made Vlad king of the roost, so the Silver Hills night manager quickly becomes the obvious suspect.

Plucky investigators Flo and Co. are certainly no strangers to Vlad’s evil ways. But they’re also not egg-xactly convinced he did it. So, when Flo learns that the victim, a wealthy local chicken farmer, had been trying to reach her when he was killed, she’s more than a little curious why.

Will their investigation shine a light on a killer’s fowl deeds before he flies the coop? Or will Flo chicken out when the villain threatens to go all cock-a-doodle-do on her bad self? There’s only one way to find out. And you already know what it is… Yep, Flo and Co. are goin’ in, tail feathers high!


Fowl Campaign is Book 8 in my fun Silver Hills Cozy Mysteries. For many of you, your first experience with a Sam Cheever book was Flo Charts, the series prequel.  Lots of things have changed since those first days when Flo and Agnes met and jumped into their first mystery together. New characters have appeared, old characters have grown and changed, and relationships have taken interesting turns. But one thing has never changed throughout this series. Flo’s and Agnes’s friendship. When all is said and done, I believe that’s what makes these books so much fun. Sure, it’s entertaining to see the new and different ways Agnes finds to get into trouble. And yeah, it’s educational to watch Flo navigate through all the challenges and personalities, using a strong intellect, pure old-fashioned stubbornness, and a dose of substitute teacher pluck to solve every problem. But I believe the real gold of the books is in the way the two women get along. Their affectionate ribbing. The respect they have for each other. And the way they have each other’s backs through even the murkiest problems. That’s what makes you feel good as you read the last sentence in every book. Because you know you might be leaving them behind for a minute. But they won’t be alone. And neither will you! All you need to do is turn the page of another Silver Hills book to be right there among friends again. I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Fowl Campaign and join the fun. And if you’re so inclined, drop a brief review on Amazon so that others will know it’s a good book to read. As always, I appreciate you! xx Sam
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Mucky Bumpkin – A Fun New Cozy Mystery from Sam Cheever

 

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“…characters you can’t help but fall in love with … an intriguing, many layered mystery with many twists and turns, and at least one surprising revelation…
I recommend this series and author to anyone who enjoys a good, cozy and fun mystery.”

 

She might be a country girl who loves short shorts and flip-flops, but her life is less defined by her countrified attire, and more by the way she hunts down a deadly killer.

Murder is sinking its hooks into the quiet countryside and dredging up ugly secrets. Deer Hollow is still a quiet little town steeped in Americana and known for its delicious country fare. But being named a top ten place to live just might have inspired an assassin to make the quaint country spot home.
As Joey searches for a killer, her past is dragged from the murky darkness where she’s hidden it. And secrets she never wanted to discover are rising like the stink of manure on a freshly fertilized field.

Excerpt

I’ve always been perfectly aware of my shortcomings as a person.

Mostly.

I consider myself generally a good person. With good instincts about people and a desire to be kind to others unless they’re unkind to me.

But I do have an aversion to pushy people. Which has put me on the wrong side of salesmen of all kinds more than once.

My second least favorite of these is Realtors. Not that being a Realtor is innately bad. It’s just that the act of buying or selling a house is way too much like dealing with used car salesmen for my taste.

Which brings me to my first least favorite type of salesmen.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a car salesman standing on my porch that sunny, cool-ish fall day in the rural area just outside of Deer Hollow, Indiana.

But it might as well have been.

The woman standing in front of Caphy and me had lipstick on her teeth and hair that looked as if squirrels might have built it on her head for nesting. Lucky for her my dog was much more tolerant than I was. Even when she was being none-too-subtly dissed by said lipstick-teethed intruder.

“Oh my! You should chain that beast up.”

The hand on Caphy’s collar tightened briefly as I fought to contain my instant rage. Cacophony, Caphy for short, was about the sweetest animal that ever lived. She was more than my best friend. I credited her with saving my life when I’d gone into the deepest depression imaginable after my parents were killed in a plane crash on our property.

She was also a Pitbull.

And that was all some people saw when they looked at her.

Caphy smiled at the woman, her muscular tail whipping painfully against my leg. She whined softly, quivering with friendly excitement.

“She’s fine,” I told the woman with the squirrel’s nest for hair. “She lives here. Whereas you…” I let my statement trail away, allowing my uninvited guest to gather my inference all by herself.

The woman frowned slightly, moving a purse the size of her extra-large backside in front of her like a shield. “Oh…um…okay. Well.” She extended her hand a few inches in front of her, a white rectangle stuck between two short fingers. “Here’s my card. My name is Penney Sellers. I was wondering if you’re interested in selling your house.”

I blinked several times. “Not in the least.”

As I responded I realized it was true. When I’d initially learned that I’d inherited the family home after my parents’ death, I’d thought I wanted to sell it. Too many painful memories lived within its familiar walls. I still thought I’d sell eventually. But I wasn’t quite ready to make that decision.

I glanced down at the card, grimacing at the obviousness of the woman’s name. “Is Penney Sellers really your name?”

In response she gave me a slightly snotty smile. “I can offer you a premium price. There aren’t many homes in this area of this quality.”

“Not interested. You do know there’s a huge subdivision going up on the south side of Deer Hollow, right?” Of course she knew that. But I was making a point.

“Those houses are fine. But they don’t have the…” She swung her arms toward the pond and the trees. “Ambiance. The setting here is truly spectacular.”

“Thank you. But I’m not interested in selling.” I backed into the house, tugging gently on Caphy’s collar. Her gaze locked onto the other woman who’d taken a step toward the door as if she was thinking about pushing her way inside. A low growl emerged from Caphy’s throat and the hair in front of her tail spiked.

Penney Sellers stopped dead in her tracks, her gaze shooting to the endlessly sweet creature who was giving her fair warning.

But Caphy’s warning didn’t stop the realtor’s mouth from moving. “Do you own all those woods over there?” The woman asked. Her expression was perfectly innocent. But there was a gleam in her eye that I didn’t like.

“Yes. All the way to the big stone marker on Goat’s Hollow Road. 100 acres.”

The gleam flared, making her look positively demonic. “A hundred acres! My goodness. I’d love to talk to you about subdividing the property. We could build a dozen homes and still have sizeable properties.”

“Not interested. Thanks for stopping by.”

“But…”

I slammed the door in her face and locked it. Pressing my ear against the warm wood, I listened for her to climb into her car and drive away before I took a full breath. A soft whine drew my gaze to Caphy. “It’s all right, girl. She’s gone.”

The pibl’s tail snapped sideways once and then she nuzzled me, snorting softly. She was sensitive to my moods, and the alarm I was feeling was no doubt putting her on edge. I couldn’t have explained the panic tightening my chest if someone offered me a thousand dollars to do it.

It was an unreasonable fear. But undeniable.

Nobody could force me to sell my house. Nobody could make me give up my private little wonderland. It was all I had left of my parents.

It was also the place where Caphy and I had grown up. Where we’d run and played, where I’d climbed trees and learned to swim. But the new subdivision was affecting my life in ways I hadn’t expected. When I’d first learned it was coming it had seemed harmless. After all, the three hundred acre plot on the south side of Deer Hollow was miles away from me. The homes were supposed to be decent ones, built on quarter acre lots and not all exactly the same. I reasoned it would be nice to have some new blood in town.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t counted on the other stuff that came with those homes. The constant traffic through town from looky-loos. The noise, mess, and invasion of people who thought the town had been conjured up for their enjoyment.

And the realtors, builders and construction people who clogged the streets and turned the few restaurants Deer Hollowboasted into hotbeds of noise and inaccessibility at meal times.

Still, I could deal with all that.

It was the other thing that had my nerves thrumming like a banjo in the mountains of Kentucky.

The sense of impending doom.

 

BUY LINK:  books2read.com/mucky

 

Sam Cheever has a Brand New Mystery – Fatal Assignment

 

A temporary office assignment turns deadly. And Blaise quickly finds herself in a killer’s crosshairs.

Backstabbing, infidelity, greed and power. There’s nothing more dangerous than office intrigue. Blaise continues her search for the perfect career by taking a temporary assignment in an architectural firm. Though she quickly learns that wrangling a proposal team to get to end of project is nearly impossible, keeping everyone alive might just be the hardest thing she’ll ever do.

With the help of her sexy fiancé, Dolfe Honeybun, Blaise is determined to get to the bottom of the body in the elevator. Problem is, with a cast of suspects longer than her To Do list, Blaise is up to her perfectly plucked eyebrows in possible killers. And she might not know who the killer is, but he knows everything there is to know about Blaise.

###

Blaise Runa checked her make-up in the mirror for the last time and climbed out of her car. Her phone rang as she started across the nearly empty parking lot to the ugly brick and metal building squatting alongside the street. The sun was still a vague promise on the horizon and Blaise felt the usual mix of excitement and dread as she approached the smudged glass doors leading to the lobby of the Beck and Poole Architectural Firm.

She tugged her phone from her purse and looked down, smiling at the photo of her newest love, Miss Ivy, the big eared sweet tempered mutt she and Dolfe recently adopted. Blaise punched the Answer button. “Hey, Handsome.”

“Morning, future wife. I couldn’t believe you were already gone when I woke up. Third time this week.”

Blaise pulled a lanyard free of her sweater and lifted the key card on the end, swiping it across the reader to unlock the door. “I have two days to get this proposal together and I’m still missing several pieces. I’m going to have to hit the database hard and try to pull together something for the team to edit.”

Heavy breathing came through the phone and Blaise blinked in surprise. “Are you giving me stalker breath?”

Dolfe’s husky chuckle replaced the breathing, followed by a wet slurp and a tiny yip. “Oh, is that Ivy?”

Another yip. “High, baby! Mama’s got to work today. You be good for Daddy, okay?”

She could almost hear Dolfe rolling his eyes. “You know she’s a dog, right?”

“I’m aware. But she’s my little fur baby too.”

“If she’s your baby then that makes her my baby and I don’t want to claim a baby this ugly.”

Blaise hit the stairs, eschewing the elevator in an attempt to skim the few extra pounds she’d piled on since taking the temporary project management position a few weeks earlier. The building had a killer cafeteria, with the world’s best pastries.

It was going to be the death of her.

“I hope you covered her ears before you called her ugly. She’s very sensitive.”

He snorted. “Sensitive? This little monster thinks she rules the world. She doesn’t have a sensitive bone in her puny little body.”

Blaise grinned. He wasn’t wrong. Ivy might only weigh ten pounds, but she thought she was a lion. “Give her a kiss for me, will you? I’ll see you tonight?”

“That’ll be a hard No on the kiss and a gooey Yes on the seeing me later part.”

“Love ya, babe.”

“I love you too, honey. But I have one more thing to say…”

“What’s that?” Blaise tugged the door open to the office on the third floor where she had a desk and flipped on the light.

“If we’re this monster’s parents, you’re taking the blame for these ears.”

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com: http://samcheever.com/blog/fatalAM

Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07CVJ1Q7G

Amazon.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07CVJ1Q7G

Amazon.au: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07CVJ1Q7G

B&N: http://samcheever.com/blog/fatalBN

Kobo: http://samcheever.com/blog/fatalkobo

iBooks: http://samcheever.com/blog/fatalAP

GooglePlay: http://samcheever.com/blog/fatalGP

Sam Cheever has a Fun New Cozy Mystery!

“I was snorting into my pillow so much I sounded like my grand dog Nova. People this is a keeper. I went out and bought the paperback this weekend! You need to read this NOVEL it will cheer you up, make you get over the blues and damn will make you walk around with a smirk and half smile for awhile. These characters become you friends and family. I have a lot of people read Flo and Company! They are a treat.” Karen Frost Reviews

~*~

 

Come to Silver Hills. Where an old nemesis can lead to new trouble and murder is a line item in a business plan.

Vlad Newsome isn’t exactly known as a people person. He’s really more contentious than convivial.

But something’s changed with him, and Flo and Agnes are suspicious.

Vlad’s suddenly “peopling”. He’s shaking hands and even curving his thin lips upward at times in a terrifying imitation of a smile.

Could it be he’s turning over a new leaf? Is he facing a life-changing event that’s made him grow as a person?

Nah…

He’s up to something. And Flo and Agnes are determined to find out what.

When a woman who had a beef with the reprehensible creature of the night known as Vlad Newsome turns up dead in her home…Vlad appears to be the culprit behind her murder.

Silver City PD certainly believe he’s guilty. But Vlad insists he’s innocent. It’s going to be up to Flo and Co. to solve the murder and find the “real” killer. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the ladies aren’t totally certain Vlad isn’t the murderer.

Will Flo and Co. walk away…leave Vlad to defend himself? If you believe that you haven’t been paying attention.

After all, this is Flo and Agnes!

 

~~*~~

“Maybe somebody died,” Agnes offered.

Flo rolled her eyes and pulled a spiky branch up to cover her face. “I hope not, since they’re all laughing.”
Agnes’s round face folded into a frown. “In some cultures, death is celebrated.”

“While I realize being a vampire could be considered another culture…I doubt any of Vlad’s victims or their families would celebrate death by fang.” Flo ducked, pulling the branch with her, as the goth version of a night manager skimmed a look her way. Regrettably, her movement totally exposed her fellow stalker.

Agnes gulped loudly as Vladwick Newsome fixed his black, deadly gaze on her, clearly miffed. “He saw me, Flo.”

Another man approached Vlad and, unbelievably, the usually unfriendly night manager offered the tall, tough-looking man his hand. They shook vigorously and Vlad actually leaned close, whispering something to the other man that made him smile.

“What the?” Agnes stood up, glaring across the street until Vlad turned her way. Then he said something to his new friend and started toward them, his dark eyes flashing with anger.

Flo grabbed her friend’s hand. “Come on. It’s still daylight. His powers are weaker when the sun’s up.”

Snorting, Agnes let herself be dragged toward the street. “I almost wish he really was a vampire so that would be true.”

Flo sighed. “Me too.” They hurried across the street and headed toward home. “I think we just witnessed Vlad’s attempt to foil our plans.”

Agnes shrugged. “To tell you the truth, I’m okay with that. I really don’t want to be a weekend manager.”

“Why not?” Flo asked. “I’ll admit the pay’s not great but it would be nice to have a little extra income, wouldn’t it?” Agnes didn’t actually have any income at the moment. She was able to live at Silver Hills because of an inheritance from her parents, which was just enough to pay for her apartment there and not much else.

Her friend shrugged. “It’s just…”

“Hey!” The snotty, strident voice assaulted them from across the street.

Flo grabbed Agnes’ hand, pulling her into a faster walk. “Don’t look back.”

“We can’t just ignore him,” Agnes said as she began to turn.

Flo jerked her around. “Don’t! He’s just going to threaten you and Tolstoy with eviction again.”

“Flo, you know he’s going to do that anyway. He’s going to be mad if I put my name in the hat for the manager’s position.”

“But if you get the job he won’t be able to threaten you with that ever again,” Flo reminded her.

She saw the moment the realization hit. Agnes’ round, expressive face brightened in a smile. “You’re right.” To Flo’s horror, Agnes stopped and turned as Vlad hurried closer. “What up, vamp?”

The cranky night manager curled his lip and oozed to a stop deep inside their comfort zone.

Flo took a step backward, glaring at him. “Vlad.”

He gave her a smug grimace. “Annoying woman from the second floor.”

Flo fought irritation. The man knew perfectly well who she was. He just liked to pretend she was so unimportant he couldn’t remember her name. She clamped her lips down on the desire to give it to him again. It wouldn’t make any difference and would allow him a win.

She was all about not giving Vlad Newsome a win.

He turned a piercing, nearly black gaze toward Agnes. Flo saw her friend twitch, her eyes widening as if she couldn’t look away.

“He can’t compel you with his gaze, Agnes.”

Agnes chewed on her bottom lip. “Are you sure? I’m feeling kind of woozy.”

“That’s because you stopped breathing.” Flo touched her friend’s thick wrist. “Drop your eyes and breathe, fool.”

Agnes didn’t blink. Her eyes were so big Flo was afraid they might be stuck. “Agnes, a bug’s going to fly into your eyes if you don’t blink.”

Agnes’ mouth opened into a horrified “O”. She hated when that happened. “I can’t Flo, he’s got me.”

Vlad chuckled darkly, clearly enjoying Agnes’ hysteria.

Flo reached out and punched him in the arm.

“Ow!” His smile died as he rubbed his skinny arm. “That hurt.”

Fortunately, when he looked away, Agnes broke the spell she’d put on herself. She glared at him. “You won’t stop me with your vampire ways,” she told him angrily.

He shook his head. “You people are idiots. There is no such thing as vampires.”

“That’s exactly what a vampire would say when it was about to be outed,” Agnes told him smugly.

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com: http://samcheever.com/blog/vladhanding

Barnes & Noble: http://samcheever.com/blog/vladBN

iBookstore: http://samcheever.com/blog/vladApple

Kobo Books: http://samcheever.com/blog/vladKB

Paperback: http://samcheever.com/blog/vladpaper

Paperback: http://samcheever.com/blog/vladpaper

Sam Cheever has a FUN New Cozy!

Come to Silver Hills. Where new friends are made and a grim reaper is born.

Agnes Willard is moving into Silver Hills. She’s worried about the change and concerned about fitting in. Luckily for her, Florence Bee has decided to take Agnes under her wing.

When Agnes’ cat Tolstoy escapes as they’re getting Agnes settled into her new apartment, they quickly find him across the hall, perched on a dying woman’s chest.

The new friends soon learn three things from the experience:

  1. The cat definitely has an instinct for and proclivity toward people who are on death’s doorstep.
  2. Finding and avoiding a killer is a really tough way to spend your first days in a new place.
  3. Agnes truly does have a unique talent for debauching a crime scene.

Grab your copy NOW! (Erm, sorry for yelling at you there. #:0)

 

EXCERPT

There was no sound of footsteps on the tile of the hallway. Nobody called out. There was no hint that they’d been joined by another person.

But suddenly Flo knew he was there.

Her head jerked up and she saw the lean, dark form in the bedroom doorway. She yelped softly with surprise and fear before she caught herself. “You did that on purpose.”

Vladwick, or Vlad as they called him, glided forward, the light from the parking lot beyond Betty’s window catching him just below the eyes and framing the black orbs of his gaze and the slicked back hair with the dramatic widow’s peak.

He looked like something from an old time Dracula movie. Flo half expected him to say, “Good eevvenning…”

But of course, he didn’t. Niceties were not Vlad Newsome’s thing. He glided over to the bed and glared down his long, pointed nose at the dead woman. His thin lips curled contemptuously. “How annoying.”

Flo and Celia shared a look and Celia shook her head, clearly disgusted.

“I know,” Flo said in her most rigid tones. “It’s such a shame when people die and disrupt your scheduled draining of unsuspecting villagers. Hopefully, it won’t affect your ability to stay ahead of the pitchforks and torches.”

He turned his glare on her. “Are you finished?”

Flo let contempt fill her gaze and focused it on him. “Maybe.”

“Good. Then tell me what you know about this.”

“I’ll tell the police when they arrive.”

His black eyes went wide. “Police? Why would we need them?”

“This woman was murdered,” Celia told him with a little too much relish.

Vlad blinked slowly, like a lizard. “And you know this how?”

Fortunately, Celia didn’t go into the specifics of how she knew. Flo wasn’t sure she could hear it again without hurling.

“Just trust us. She was alive when we were here earlier.”

Vlad peaked a slender black eyebrow, his thin lips twisting with disdain. “You were here earlier, when she was alive?”

Flo turned to Celia. “Do you hear an echo?”

“I do…I do…I do…” Celia responded.

Grinding noises came from the creature standing beside the bed. Flo really hoped he didn’t fracture a fang.

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com: http://samcheever.com/blog/flochart

Amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07B29MPSJ

Amazon.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07B29MPSJ

Amazon.au: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07B29MPSJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/flo-charts

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/flo-charts-sam-cheever/1128031807?ean=2940159047724

GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=6sNNDwAAQBAJ

iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1352728918

Sam Cheever has a new Mystery!

Come to Silver Hills. Where age is relative and relatives can be deadly.

A skeleton under the floorboards…a long-hidden crime…and a nonagenarian WWII veteran who claims to have no knowledge of how the body got buried under her living room floor…

When their new friend, Scarlett, moves to Silver Hills, Flo and Agnes soon realize the crotchety veteran isn’t exactly a people person. Unfortunately, her acerbic personality isn’t helping her convince Detective Peters that she had nothing to do with murdering the dead guy beneath her floorboards. So the two sleuths, with a colorful array of the usual sidekicks, dive into the decades old murder and quickly learn it has a grip in the present. Can Flo and Agnes keep themselves above the fray? Or will they soon find themselves over their heads and swimming against the tide? If you’ve been to Silver Hills before you already know the answer to that. There’s really only one question left: backstroke or breaststroke?

 

Read a Never-Before-Seen Excerpt

The man standing next to the gravesite looked to be in his mid to late nineties. He stared at the coffin with a bit of a perplexed expression, as if he was surprised to find himself there and was wondering who was in the big, shiny box.

Flo didn’t think he even heard the words the minister was uttering. The single true mourner hadn’t looked up since he’d arrived and he stood, bent and frail, holding a daisy in one hand down by his side. He was dry eyed, seemingly beyond emotion, only the occasional pursing of his wrinkled lips betrayed the fact that he struggled at all.

Her heart broke as she looked around the site. If it weren’t for Maria Cooper and her merry band of mourners, no one else would have been there to say goodbye to the deceased, whose name was apparently Daisy, like the flower.

The minister’s words were vague, unexceptional, leading Flo to believe he either didn’t really know the deceased Daisy or he didn’t like her much. She wondered if it might be the latter, given the dearth of people around the poor woman’s gravesite.

In that moment, Flo adjusted her opinion of Ms. Cooper and her strange vocation. It would be horrible to be sent to Eternity without so much as a single wet-eyed goodbye from those still among the living.

Then again…

A long, wailing sob broke the stillness, its fulsome, alarming tenor enough to break through even the little old man’s stupor. He flinched once but, no doubt suffering under nine decades of emphasis on manners and how to behave in polite society, kept his gaze fixed on the casket in front of him.

However, the emitter of the wail was not to be ignored. Another hefty wail broke the silence and it seemed the sound broke something loose in the rest of the assembled mourners. Loud sobbing bubbled up to fill the previously mostly silent cemetery. The sound rose to match the wailing in loudness and, in one or two instances rose above it.

Not to be outdone, one mourner called out, “Help me Lord Ja-eee-sus!” Sounding like a good old fashioned television preacher working a crowd for money.

With that the stakes were raised. Never one to let someone beat her at her own game, Agnes let off wailing and, giving her competition a very un-Christian glare, threw back her head and screamed, flinging herself forward toward the unsuspecting deceased.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, Agnes caught her oversized sneaker on a blade of grass and toppled, arms akimbo, onto the surface of the casket.

Everything stopped. It was as if someone had been playing with a time machine and, seeing the pure entertainment value in that place and time, hit a giant ‘Pause’ button to savor the train wreck more completely.

Agnes lay on her belly, round boohind stuck up in the air, and arms splayed across the formerly pristine surface of the highly polished oak casket. The toes of her sneakers were dug in, as if by the very act of falling forward she’d hammered them into the dirt.

The minister cleared his throat.

The elderly mourner blinked a few times and began to tremble.

Agnes seemed to realize she sat…or lay as it were…on a perfect opportunity to bring her performance to standing ovation levels. To Flo’s unending horror, her friend began banging her head against the casket and sobbing hysterically. Her arms stayed out-flung on the shiny surface but her hands curved into fists no doubt meant to portray the heights of agony.

Wide-eyed and beginning to be frightened, the minister started to back away from the gravesite, his round face turning nearly the color of his starched clerical collar as he turned tail and started run-walking toward the Office building in the distance.

Flo realized he was probably going to fetch security to have Agnes hauled away. She quickly stepped forward and grabbed her friend’s arm, bending down to whisper into her ear. “Agnes Willard, you stop that right now. We need to go before security gets here.”

Agnes opened one eye and peered up at Flo. “Back off, Flo, you’re stepping on my lines.”

“I’m going to step on more than that if you don’t haul your wide backside off this casket right this minute and come with me. That minister just went to call security.

Agnes’s eyes popped wide and she jerked her glance toward the enrobed pastor, who’d given up acting like he was walking and had broken into a full out run, bible pumping like a marathon runner’s heart. She closed her eyes one last time and said, “Amen.” Then pushed off the casket and started toward the car, almost stepping on Flo’s heels.

In the distance, the minister had reached the building and was talking to a uniformed man who looked to be twice his size. His be-robed arms were cutting wide swaths of the air around him and every once in a while his head would drop back and a soft wailing sound wafted toward them.

“Good Lord, Agnes,” Flo complained as she hurried around to grab the driver’s side door. “You’re going to end up in jail for sure.”

“Missus?”

The voice was scratchy, so soft it barely pushed its way through the air to reach them, and Flo’s head snapped up as Agnes turned around. The little man was standing behind Agnes, a wide smile on his wrinkly face. He still clutched the Daisy but it was starting to look a bit wilted.

Very slowly, he lifted the hand with the flower and extended it toward Agnes. His eyes filled with tears even as his smile widened. “I want you to have this.”

Agnes took the flower but her expression was filled with confusion. “But why?”

The old man trembled so violently Flo started around the car to grab him in case he should fall. But she quickly realized he wasn’t having a seizure when he barked out a laugh, shaking his head. “I loved what you did back there. More importantly, my Daisy would have loved it too. She never was one for fine words and sentiment. But she’d have loved your bit on the coffin back there.” He dissolved into more laughter, holding his belly as he chortled.

Flo turned at the sound of a shout and saw the minister hurrying back, the security guard just ahead of him. “Agnes, we have to go.”

Her friend looked down at the daisy and then, with a big smile, walked over and gave the man a hug. “This flower is hers. But I won’t forget the sentiment.”

The man nodded. “Trust me, Missus. I won’t forget you either.”

“How could he?” Flo murmured as she yanked the car door open. “Agnes!”

“Go on now,” the old man told Agnes. “I’ll smooth things here.”

Agnes waved goodbye to the assembled mourners and received a cheer as a send off. She climbed into Flo’s sedan and, as Flo started the engine, Maria Cooper hobbled over, waving for Agnes to wait. “I want to get your name and number. I have two mourner deficient clients tomorrow. Can you come?”

Agnes opened her mouth to respond but Flo cut her off. “Agnes Willard, don’t you dare.”

“Why not?” Agnes asked, turning to Flo with a frown. “They loved me.”

Flo shook her head and put the car in gear. The back door of the car opened and Scarlett scooted inside, slamming the door. “Hit it, Flo. PoPo’s breathin’ down our necks.”

Flo didn’t waste any time. Because PoPo was indeed within neck breathing range. In fact, the guard slammed a palm on the roof of Flo’s car as she started to pull away, causing the inhabitants of the front seat to give off a startled yelp, before Flo hit the gas and put the enraged minister and guard in her rear view mirror.

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