Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Groundhog Day... Sort of...

By India Hayes from Amanda Flower’s Murder in a Basket

Bang! Bang! Bang! came from the direction of the front door of my duplex. I opened one eye and noted the time on the clock radio. 6:30a.m. I closed my eye.

Ring! Ring! Ring! I reached for my cell phone and silenced it. I covered my head with my pillow.

Two minutes later, my bedroom door opened. Templeton, my black cat, jumped of off my bed and streaked out of the room. I burrowed down into the bed, making myself as small as possible. Maybe she won’t see me?

“India, what are you doing? Get up! It’s Groundhog Day!” Her baby bird voice chirped.

I muttered into my mattress about throwing her key to my apartment into the Cuyahoga River.

She grabbed my foot and shook it. “Get up. You’re going to miss Punxsutawney Phil’s announcement! We need to know if it will be an early spring or six more weeks of winter.”

I peeked out from under the blanket. Ina Carroll, my seventy-something next door neighbor and landlady, stood in from me a lime green tracksuit and pink lipstick.

I groaned. “We live in northern Ohio. There’s always six more weeks of winter. I don’t need a rodent to tell me that.”

Ina gasped. “India, don’t talk about Phil that way!”

“Please go away. I’m working the night shift at the library today, and this is only day to sleep in.”

“Humph!” Then silence.

I peeked out from my blanket cocoon. She was gone. Huh, that was easy. Too easy?

Splash! Water fell onto my head. I sat bolt upright in the bed. “Ina!” The water tasted like fish. “Yuck, where did you get that water?”

She held up Templeton’s water bowl and waved it at me.

Double ick!

Twenty minutes later, Ina and I sat in front the television in my living room. While I toweled my fish-water hair dry, a man on the TV screen in a black top hat and tuxedo held up Punxsutawney Phil while another top-hatted man read Phil's proclamation, “My shadow I see beside me! Six more weeks of winter it will be!”

“Six more weeks of winter,” Ina said glumly. “Go figure.”

Yeah, go figure!

Learn more about India and Ina in MURDER IN A BASKET, release Feb. 8th!


Amanda Flower writes the India Hayes Mystery Series. The first novel in the series, MAID OF MURDER, was nominated for an Agatha Award. The sequel, MURDER IN A BASKET, releases February 2012. First in a new series, A PLAIN DEATH, coming July 2012. To learn more visit Amanda online at You can also follow Amanda at and


  1. 6 more weeks of winter....sigh :-(

    I am so ready for spring!

    Have fun on the night shift. Hope you get some sleep first :-)

  2. What a surprise! Trying to remember the last time he didn't see his shadow ...and if it worked.

  3. The daffodils around here don't agree with Phil. Did anyone else wonder how he could see anything with all those bright TV cameras on him? No wonder he had a shadow!

    ~ Krista

  4. Phil is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. At least for Charleston where it's going to be nearly 80 degrees today! We haven't had winter yet. :)

  5. “We live in northern Ohio. There’s always six more weeks of winter. I don’t need a rodent to tell me that.”

    Substitute 'norhtern Ohio' for 'southern Ontario' and you've got me! Love that line. So very, very true. :) Sorry, India, but we're both stuck with winter for a little longer...

  6. Yawn! It's evening now and I'm sitting at the reference desk trying to keep my eyes opened.

    We haven't had much winter here in Ohio either. A few snowy days, but nothing to close the college over. I hope you are all right and Phil is wrong. It would be a sad thing to wake up to winter in March.

    -India, who is plotting about how to get back at Ina for waking her up early