Tomes and Terriers by Hillary Avis (A Magic Library Mystery Book 1)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 2.8 MB
A forgotten life. A mysterious murder. A secret library with all the answers…
Remembrance, Oregon, has a secret. Actually, it has everybody’s secrets. In a hidden library on Rosemary Street, the memories of all the town’s citizens are recorded on the pages of magical books.
Every happiness. Every lie. Every crime.
Allison Rye’s husband lost his memory overnight. They went to bed married and woke up strangers—twenty-five years of marriage gone, poof. He can’t remember her name, let alone the home they’ve shared for decades.
Forced to sell the family bakery to pay for his care, Allison is left broke, unemployed, with no hope of recovering her old life. What choice does she have but to move in with her daughter in Portland?
But when a resident at her husband’s care facility is murdered—and a sweet old lady is blamed—Allison finds herself drawn into the investigation. She knows something that police don’t…something she can’t reveal without becoming a murder suspect herself.
With her intrepid foster dog, a Yorkshire terrier named Pogo, Allison sets out to prove that more than one person in Remembrance had it out for the victim. Too bad she only has a few days to dig up the evidence before she has to leave town.
Hope comes in the form of a friend who offers Allison a place to live for free, with just one little catch. Allison must become the sworn guardian of library of memories.
Reading the memory books is the perfect way for Allison to learn who committed murder at Golden Gardens Memory Care. But as she uncovers the true story of what happened that night, she learns other truths that make her question everything she knows about her own life.
Everyone knows the magic of Oregon is in the trees. It was no coincidence that Remembrance, the town where Allison had lived her whole life, was founded around a tree nearly a hundred and seventy years ago. The pioneers who settled here had built the town with a grand oak at its center, the shade of its spreading branches treasured as a place to gather and remember the hardships of the migration westward.
Of course, the Founders’ Tree was long gone—and so was the timber industry that had helped the town thrive for generations—but Allison still looked to the trees for company and guidance on a daily basis. Today, the row of willows along Claypool Creek seemed to be rooting her on, tossing their pompoms of new spring leaves with the enthusiasm of cheerleaders on the sidelines of a high school football game.
They seemed to say that this time, she was on the right track.
Pogo, her foster Yorkie, was less inclined to consider the opinion of trees. He paused in front of Golden Gardens Memory Care and lifted his stubby leg to water the bottom three inches of a Doug fir. When he was finished, Allison led him around the building to the service entrance. This was her usual habit, sneaking in the back.
“You’re here so much, you might as well be staff,” Myra had joked when she handed her the key, after months of buzzing her in the front door at least once and often twice daily. Myra was the head nurse at Golden Gardens, but over the last two years, she’d become one of Allison’s dearest friends. “Save me the trouble and let yourself in.”
So this was just a day like any other day. Don’t make too much of it. Allison paused in the narrow back hallway to take a deep breath and soothe her knotted stomach. Then she breezed past the empty mailboxes, through the yellow industrial kitchen, where the scent of oatmeal cookies baking in the oven was so pervasive that she could almost taste them, and out the other side into the central activity area. Right away, she spotted Paul seated at one of the long oak tables, staring blankly down at the surface and tracing the woodgrain with his finger.
Allison pulled out the chair beside him. “May I?”
He jerked his head once without looking at her, a polite acquiescence, so she sat down and patted her lap. Pogo bounded up onto her knees and circled a few times before settling into a little loaf shape. He gave a contented sigh and nestled his chin between his paws.
“I had a dog like that once,” Paul said, his words slow and measured.
Allison swallowed the lump that rose in her throat and turned toward him, her pulse pounding. “Did you, now?”
He nodded. “He liked to walk with me by the creek. He didn’t fetch, though—he wasn’t that kind of dog. His name was—” he broke off, his forehead creasing with the effort of recall. His face reddened. “Oh, something.”