A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison (An Enchanted Bay Mystery #1)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 1.4 MB
Fans of Ellery Adams and Heather Blake will be charmed by Allison Osbourne’s new Enchanted Bay mystery series.
Alexandra Daniels hasn’t set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, Connecticut in over twenty years. Ever since her mother’s tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies.
Bellamy Bay doesn’t look like trouble, but this is a town that harbors dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of salacious town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why.
Alex’s investigation unearths stories that some have gone to desperate lengths to conceal: forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about Alex’s own ancestry. And when the case turns deadly, Alex learns that not only are these secrets worth hiding, but they may even be worth killing for.
The house at 136 Cypress Lane didn’t look like trouble—quite the opposite. The seafoam-green Queen Anne was well kept, with rows of purple tulips blooming beside the wraparound porch and daffodils leading up to the brick walk to the front door. Alex stepped out of the SUV and onto the sidewalk. Everything about this place was lovely. So why had her father insisted for years that she not set foot within miles of Bellamy Bay?
“Miss? Do you want me to get the dog?” The taxi driver gestured uncertainly at the large German shepherd grinning at Alex through the back window.
“Oh, sorry! I’ll get her.” Alex understood how fierce her dog appeared to others, even if Athena was a big baby, deep down. “Come on, girl. You need to stretch your legs.”
Once the dog was free from her harness, she leapt from the vehicle. Alex admired her black-and-brown fur as she sniffed the area, pausing at the base of the mailbox.
Dad. The feeling of guilt suddenly weighed her down. He would not have approved of this trip. “We’re not going,” he would tell her when the invitation came to visit for Christmas or Thanksgiving, his face darkening at the mere thought of seeing her aunt and cousins. Inevitably he’d produce an excuse for not heading down south and spending the holidays in Bellamy Bay. Still, the invitations came year after year, and so did his grumbling remarks. They don’t mean it. They’re just being polite. They’re not like us. Trust me, you don’t want to go there. Alex had the impression that, for some reason, he’d blamed her aunt for her mother’s death. But that tragedy was no one’s fault.
“Sorry, Dad,” she whispered. She was sure he’d meant well enough, but now that she was all alone in the world and unemployed to boot, Alex lacked the fortitude to decline an invitation to visit her only relatives, no matter how estranged. Besides, clean ocean air and a break from the mayhem of Manhattan were just what she needed.
She waited while the driver popped the trunk and hurried around to the back. “Do you need help with the bags?” he asked.
“I don’t want to trouble you.” She struggled to lift her largest suitcase, and it fell to the road with a thud.
“It’s no trouble,” he replied. They’d been riding together for about an hour east since he’d picked her up at the airport in the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina, and had become friendly. He quickly emptied the trunk, piling her small suitcase, duffel bag, and an old backpack neatly on the sidewalk. “I can help you to carry it—”