By Olivia Greyson, purveyor of all things cookie and pursuer of killers.
From THE COOKIE CUTTER SHOP MYSTERIES, by Virginia Lowell.
Visit Maddie and me in Cookies and Scream, our latest sleuthing adventure.
In case we haven’t met before, I’m Olivia Greyson, though everyone calls me Livie. I live in a little town named Chatterley Heights, where the local bank and I own a sweet Queen Anne house. I share the top floor with my little rescue Yorkshire terrier, Spunky, who has earned his name many times over.
My beloved store, The Gingerbread House, occupies the ground floor. We specialize in anything remotely cookie, especially cookie cutters, both antique and brand new. Maddie Briggs, my best friend and business partner, is the baking genius, and Spunky holds court from his antique chair near the front window.
Today is Monday, so The Gingerbread House is closed, which means Maddie is baking in the store kitchen, singing off key along with her ear buds.
I love Mondays. They give Maddie and me a chance to take a breath… or pursue a killer.
Not that Chatterley Heights is Maryland’s murder vortex, but, well, we’ve had our share of untimely demises. Maddie and I seem to find ourselves involved one way or another. It isn’t our fault. Really, if someone parks a body on the Gingerbread House front porch, what are we supposed to do? Luckily, the town sheriff, Del Jenkins, is my “special friend,” as my mother so quaintly puts it, so I have his private number on speed dial.
But mostly we create decorated cookies and sell cookie cutters, both antique and brand new. Thanksgiving is coming up in a few days, and I can smell the spice cutout cookies Maddie is baking in the Gingerbread House kitchen. I’ll go downstairs to join her soon. We’ll spend the afternoon happily decorating those little critters in hitherto unimagined color combinations.
Life is good. And yet…
No, I’m not worrying about the years passing away, and I’m certainly not pining to get married and start a family. I was married once. It did not work out well. I’ve lived in the big city. I prefer little Chatterley Heights, where I’m surrounded by quirky characters, as well as loved ones. I have work I adore. And I have to admit that the occasional murder investigation provides plenty of excitement.
Between you and me, I want my life to stay the way it is right now. I want time to stand still. Forever.
Jason, my younger brother, says this means I’m turning into an old (his word, not mine) fuddy-duddy. But aren’t I simply saying I’m thankful? In a round-about, fuddy-duddy sort of way?
SUBMITTED BY VIRGINIA LOWELL
Virginia Lowell is the author of COOKIE DOUGH OR DIE, A COOKIE BEFORE DYING, WHEN THE COOKIE CRUMBLES, ONE DEAD COOKIE, and COOKIES AND SCREAM.
Visit Virginia at virginialowell.com