by Olivia Greyson from THE COOKIE CUTTER SHOP MYSTERIES, by Virginia Lowell
Let me tell you how hot it is here… Think about what it’s like when you open the oven to take out a cookie pan. Feel that sudden whoosh of 375℉ air as it hits your cheeks? Well, that’s what it’s like when I open the door of The Gingerbread House to take Spunky, my little Yorkie, outside for a “visit to the side yard.” Spunky does his business fast, and we hightail it back inside.
The Gingerbread House is my dream store. We sell anything and everything cookie, including new, vintage, and antique cookie cutters. The store occupies the whole ground floor of a sweet Queen Anne house for which I pay a hefty mortgage. My apartment is upstairs. Believe me, after my first summer back in my hometown—Chatterley Heights, Maryland—I had air conditioners installed throughout the house. My business partner and best friend since age ten, Maddie, and I do tons of cookie cutting, baking, and decorating in the store kitchen. Melting into a puddle is not part of our business plan.
Even so, we recently decided to close The Gingerbread House for what I suspect was the hottest week in human history. Most everyone in town had fled to cooler spots, so we did, too. When we returned, the weather had barely cooled, and tempers were boiling over.
Here’s the scoop—while we were chilling in the mountains, a former, less-than-beloved resident had returned to Chatterley Heights after decades of living abroad. Her name is Greta. She intends to settle down in our midst, whether she is welcome or not.
Now, normally I stay out of those nasty feuds that seem to pop up in small towns, but I’m feeling the undertow. Greta, so it seems, possesses an extensive, fabulous, and valuable antique cookie cutter collection. She wants to sell it to help fund her retirement. To be more precise, she wants me to broker the sale. Greta says she was a good friend of my dear (and late) friend, Clarisse. But Clarisse isn’t here to vouch for her, and several folks in town do seem to harbor serious grudges against her.
I live and breathe cookie cutters, and I eat cutout cookies to excess, but I’ve never brokered the sale of an antique cutter collection. I’d love to give it a try! It might be a lot of fun, and I could learn so much. Only there’s this inconvenient, irritating little voice in my head that’s asking me—what am I getting myself into?
What would you do if you were in my shoes?
KILLER CHARACTERS COZY DAYS OF SUMMER GIVEAWAY
Every day in June and July the Killer Characters are giving away books for your stack of summer reading! Leave a comment by midnight for a chance to win a copy of COOKIES AND SCREAM, the newest book in Virginia Lowell’s Cookie Cutter Shop. Since COOKIES AND SCREAM hits the shelves on July 1, Virginia is celebrating by giving away a second copy of Olivia and Maddie’s newest sleuthing adventure. Leave a comment for a chance to win!
Remember to check KillerCharacters.com soon to see if you have won one of the two giveaway copies of COOKIES AND SCREAM. If you are listed as a winner, contact Virginia at www.virginialowell.com (click the Contact link) and let her know where to send your free copy.