Azalea Berry from the "Cat in the Stacks" mysteries by Miranda James
Now, back when Miss Dottie was still living, this house ran just fine. I saw to that, and Miss Dottie lived a quiet life, 'specially after her husband died. The Lord only knows why He didn't see fit to bless Miss Dottie with a house full of children, because I never known a woman with a bigger, more loving heart. Probably the reason she had all them college boys boarding with her over the years. She just adored having young people around her, and them boys sure loved her back. When she died, ever' single one of 'em showed up at her funeral, 'cepting that one poor boy that went off to be a soldier and never came back.
Mister Charlie, now, he be a lot like his aunt. He also a lot like his daddy, Mister Robert Harris. Him and Miss Dottie was brother and sister. Anyway, Mister Charlie is a good man, even though he did take in that big ole cat into Miss Dottie's house. I ain't never had much use for cats, though I gotta say that Diesel is mighty smart. I swear he look at me sometimes like he be knowing just what I'm thinking.
Things was pretty quiet until Mister Charlie started finding dead bodies. Now, that just ain't natural, the way I see it. The Good Lord knows Mister Charlie didn't kill nary a one of 'em, but somehow he can't keep finding them. That don't make him too popular with my daughter, Kanesha. That girl made me and her daddy proud, working for the Sheriff like she does, though no woman never raised such a hard-headed girl. She all the time fussing at me for keeping house for somebody. I told her time and again, that's what I do, and ain't no shame in doing work like mine. The Lord done kept me healthy all these years, and that's a blessing. That girl ought to be thanking the Lord, too, that Mister Charlie done helped her so much finding out who killed those people. She probably would've got there by herself, but it don't hurt to have help, and she sure needs to be thankful for it.
I keep praying Mister Charlie won't find no more dead bodies, but the Lord don't seem to be listening, for some reason. I'm gonna have to think hard about that, let me tell you.
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