A Call for Kelp by Bree Baker

A Call for Kelp

A Call for Kelp by Bree Baker (Seaside Café Mystery #4)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 3.5 MB

Bree Baker is a Midwestern writer, obsessed with small town high jinks, sweet tea and the sea. She’s been telling stories to her family, friends and strangers for as long as she can remember, and more often than not, those stories feature a warm ocean breeze and recipe she’s sure to ruin. Now, she’s working on those fancy cooking skills and dreaming up adventures for the Seaside Cafe mysteries. Her debut title, Live & Let Chai releases from Sourcebooks in July 2018. Bree is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers and the Romance Writers of America. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

It’s sink or swim for Everly with her most bizarre case yet!

Everly Swan is busy as a bee running her beachside iced tea shop, and the small island of Charm, North Carolina is abuzz-Mitzi Calgon, an iconic Hollywood actress, is in town! Everly’s great-aunts are making a documentary about beekeeping and Mira has agreed to help. But when the actress turns up dead, reporters and fans swarm the island, muddying the water and disrupting the peaceful lives of the townspeople.

Everly’s never been good at minding her own beeswax, so she starts following her own leads and combing through the evidence. Then there’s the mystery of Detective Hays-ever since their kiss under the mistletoe, he’s been acting distant. And he’s annoyingly determined to keep Everly away from the case. But when she receives a cryptic warning to “Bee Careful”, Everly realizes that she’s gotten herself into a really sticky situation…

My heart hammered as I broke free from the crowd and ducked under the velvet rope holding everyone at bay. “Hey,” I said, wiggling my fingers at the straight-faced, black-suited men guarding the room. “May I?” I flashed my official pass for good measure, though I’d already spoken to both men the night before. While I’d been helping to transform the large nature center display room into a beautiful honeybee-themed luncheon area, they’d kept an eye on Mitzi and the production team.

The men parted, stoically, prying the double doors open for me to pass.

Inside, the fruits of my labor were shown abundantly. Nature center flora and fauna displays had been replaced with round tables covered in alternating white or gold tablecloths. Jars of honey from my aunts’ hives had been clustered together as centerpieces, tied with thick, black satin ribbon and seated upon octagonal mirrored trays. Enormous paper pom-poms in coordinating colors hung at various heights from the ceiling, and classical music drifted softly from hidden speakers throughout the room. I liberated my phone once more and took a few still shots of the enchanting results.

A stage had been erected at the front, complete with podium and floor-to-ceiling velvet curtains. Signs along the stage and affixed to the podium carried the name of the company, Bee Loved, and the name of the film to be made, Bee the Change, as well as the name of the woman everyone had come to see, Mitzi Calgon.

I stood dumbstruck for a moment, second-guessing my yellow and white sundress. I was more of a cutoff shorts and T-shirt kind of gal, and I always chose flip-flops over heels, but this was a special occasion so I’d dressed up. I reached nervously to tug the tip of my ponytail and found a neatly pinned chignon instead—one more indication that I was as much in costume as any of the folks wearing pirate gear and honeybee wings. My heart raced as I considered turning tail and running.

Then the women I’d come to see took notice of me and smiled. My great-aunts Clara and Fran waved from Mitzi’s side. “Everly!”

I put my phone away and reminded myself to breathe, then fussed with the hem of my suddenly-too-tight dress and paced my steps upon approach. My aunts had dressed up too. Aunt Clara wore a long golden gown and Aunt Fran a black pantsuit. Their unintentional yin and yang wardrobes paired perfectly with their contrasting skin, hair, and eye colors, not to mention personalities. I’d gotten a lot of Aunt Clara’s sweet-as-honey disposition, but I looked more like Aunt Fran with brown eyes and dark hair, though her hair was more salt than pepper these days. “Hi,” I said as normally as I could manage, given the bundle of nerves tightening inside me.

My aunts took turns kissing my cheeks and squeezing me before Mitzi took my hands in hers as if we’d known one another for years. Her face lit up as she took me in. She was stunning in a head-to-toe white gown that emphasized her slender figure and perfect porcelain skin. Her silver hair was bobbed and tucked behind her ears with diamond-studded bobby pins whose sparkle couldn’t compete with her smile.

A look of pride crinkled the skin at the corners of her striking blue eyes. “Your grandma was the most beautiful woman in Hollywood, and you look just like her, you know?”

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