Saturday, September 23, 2017

Peculiar with a Capital P

from Janet Marsh of the Highland Bookshop Mysteries by Molly MacRae

Last month, I told you about running into Daphne Wood, the author who’s come to Inversgail for an author-in-residence program – not literally running into her, thank goodness, because she had a sword. In fact, though, Christine, Maida and I had met Daphne the night before—we were making sure everything was ready for her in the house she’d be staying in, when she surprised us by arriving two days early.

“Janet,” Maida said when we were in the kitchen, “that’s a peculiar person out there. Are you sure it’s Daphne Wood? Maybe we should ask for identification.”

“I think peculiarity is her identification, but, yes, I’m sure that’s Daphne. She looks just like the picture on her books. Besides, she has a maple leaf shoulder patch on her jacket.”

“I didn’t notice,” Maida said.

“You were probably looking at the dog,” said Christine. “You were probably wondering what a back-to-nature, living-in-the-wilds woman who wears buffalo plaid is doing with a Pekingese.”

Rachel Carson
“The dog looks as though it should appear at that poncy show in Birmingham,” Maida said, as she looked for the teabags. “Crufts, isn’t that what the show’s called? What do you think the dog is called?”

“Rachel Carson,” a voice said behind us.

Maida, Christine, and I all flinched then turned to find Daphne Wood standing in the door. Rachel Carson stood beside her. Maida smiled and held up the box of tea she’d finally found. I flinched again. We hadn’t warned Maida about Earl Grey.

Daphne held her phone up. “Low bat. I need to make a call.”

Her shortage of verbiage proved contagious. “Use mine.” I pulled my phone from a pocket and handed it Daphne.

Daphne consulted a number written on the palm of her hand and keyed it in. While she waited for an answer, she and Rachel Carson stared at the wall. I realized that Maida, Christine, and I were staring at Daphne and Rachel Carson. I pulled Maida and Christine out of the room, but no farther than just around the corner.

“Peculiar with a capital P,” Maida whispered.

“Shh.” I put a finger to my lips. “I want to hear what she says.”

Maida gave me a scandalized look.

“Janet’s right, Maida,” Christine whispered. “This is a peculiar person come to stay in your house. Hearing what she has to say might give you peace of mind.”

There now. I think we're in for interesting times while Daphne's in Inversgail, don’t you? 

Coming in January 2018, Scones and Scoundrels, the new mystery in the Highland Bookshop series, bringing together a body outside  a pub, a visiting author determined to find the killer, and a murderously good batch of scones . . .

Molly MacRae is the author of the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest, connect with her on Twitter @mysteryMacRae, or find her the first Monday of each month at Amy Alessio’s Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts.

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