Icing on the Casket by Catherine Bruns

 Icing on the Casket

Icing on the Casket by Catherine Bruns (Cookies & Chance Mystery #9)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 3.5 MB

Catherine is the USA Today best selling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York and the Aloha Lagoon (Carrie Jorgenson) mysteries.

Full-time baker and sometime sleuth Sally Muccio finally has everything she’s always wanted—a beautiful baby, loving husband, and a thriving business. Now that she’s a mother, Sal has vowed she’ll stay out of future murder investigations. But when her eccentric father’s friend, mortician Eddie Phibbins, is found dead in one of his own caskets, Sal’s father begs her to help find the killer.With their famous coffins cookies in hand, Sal and her best friend Josie “undertake” the process of questioning mourners and employees at the funeral home, hoping for a lead to Eddie’s killer. Between a recently fired hearse driver, resentful family members and a wacky, love-struck makeup artist there’s no shortage of suspects. Once again, Sal’s snooping has attracted the attention of a killer, and her good intentions may have only succeeded in digging herself an early grave…

Mike gave me a triumphant smile. ‘See? She just wanted her daddy.’ He gave me a light kiss on the forehead, rolled back over onto his side, and immediately began snoring again.

I suppose I should have been grateful, but in truth, I was annoyed. Yes, my feelings had been hurt. Since when had Mike become the baby whisperer? With jealousy, I noted how Cookie always seemed to prefer him to me as of late. I loved the fact that she adored her father, but jeez!

I was the one who nursed Cookie, bathed her, and spent the most time with her. Three days a week she came to my bakery, Sally’s Samples, where I raced between the store and the upstairs apartment all day to take care of her. One day a week she went to my sister Gianna’s, where her husband, Johnny Gavelli, watched her and Alex. Johnny worked nights, so it was a great arrangement, except for the fact that he and my sister rarely saw each other.

Two days a week Cookie went to my parents’ house, where my mother and grandmother both showered her with love and attention. I tried to tell myself that Cookie missed her daddy because she saw him the least amount of time. In my heart, though, I kept asking myself why Cookie was playing favorites. What was I doing wrong?

I was too tired to dissect this any further and wearily closed my eyes. I must have dozed off, because the alarm on Mike’s cell went off and all three of us jerked awake in response. Mike groaned, Cookie cried, and I prayed for strength to get through this day.

‘Damn it,’ Mike growled. ‘I meant to shut that off. I knew it would wake her.’

I checked the clock, hoping it was wrong, but it said five thirty. Ugh. I sat up and pulled Cookie against my chest. ‘I feel like death warmed over.’

Mike got out of bed and stretched. He still looked sexy, even half asleep, but romance was the last thing on my mind. These days, a cup of fully caffeinated coffee and sleep were my deepest desires.

Mike came around to my side of the bed and leaned down to kiss both Cookie and me. ‘I need the shower first. I’ve got to be on the road in half an hour. I’m working in Rochester today.’

Rochester was over an hour away from our hometown of Colwestern, located in the Buffalo region of western New York.

Startled, I glanced up at him. ‘But she’ll scream bloody murder while I’m in the shower.’

‘Sal,’ he protested. ‘If she has to cry for a few minutes, it won’t hurt her. What do you want me to do? I’ve got to go to work.’ Without another word, he walked toward the bathroom, not noticing the door was shut and stumbled into it. ‘Damn thing,’ he muttered then slammed it behind him.

Cookie was wide awake now, and the chance she’d go back to sleep before I left for work was hopeless. Thank goodness Josie was opening today. I raised myself to a sitting position and placed Cookie on my stomach facing me, her back against my raised legs. I lifted her over my head, which I knew she loved. ‘Is my little angel ready to spend a fun day with her Grammy and Grandpa?’

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