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Best Cosy Books

Dizzy Spells Dyslexia Friendly (PAPERBACK)

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Title

Paperback. Book 2 in the bestselling The Kitchen Witch series of fun cozy mysteries with magical elements.

Dyslexia Friendly edition with Dyslexia friendly font.

Amelia’s spells have improved, but her baking has not. She needs to make enough dough to save her crumbling cake store business. Yet that is soon the least of her worries, when a body is found on her porch and her new friend, Dianne, becomes the main suspect.
As Amelia tries to clear Dianne’s name, she finds that some people in her life are not what they seem. Craig finally whisks Amelia away on a date, but Amelia’s house has something to say about the matter, much to her distress.
The police say that solving the murder will be a piece of cake, but are they keeping her on a knead-to-know basis?
Will Amelia discover why Alder Vervain has been watching her?
Will she rise to the occasion and solve the murder, or will she become the next victim? 

PAPERBACK. Dyslexia Friendly edition. 

 Paperback 300 pages
 Dimensions 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches (152 x 15.4 x 229 mm)
 ISBN 9781922595942
 Publication date June 15, 2023
 Publisher Best Cosy Books

Read a Sample

CHAPTER 1

Thyme held two bags over her head. “You had better get in there, Amelia. Those sales won’t last forever.”
“I’m good, thanks.” I smiled at my friend, who also happened to be my employee, as we left the shop window and started down the busy footpath. The day was absolutely perfect for window-shopping, with a light breeze carrying along the scent of old English roses and gardenias from the local florist. All in all, it was a nice, pleasant shopping day.
“You need to get something to commemorate the occasion,” Thyme insisted. “Your carrot cake was almost edible today. You’ll be baking cakes before you know it.”
I shook my head. “What do you mean? It was as hard as a rock. Even the knife couldn’t go through it. When I dropped it on the floor, it made a crack in the concrete.”
Thyme beamed. “But you didn’t set anything on fire!”
The trouble was, she was genuinely pleased about that. I’m not a good cook. It’s a wonder that the government hadn’t hired me to produce bio-hazardous waste with my baking. After all, my nachos had sent my ex-boyfriend to the hospital, and I’d been evicted from my apartment for the constant fires caused by my attempts at baking.
Yet by some strange twist of fate, I had been left a home and a cake shop by an aunt I had never met. I was expected to take my toxic waste and somehow make it edible enough to sell to customers. Real customers.
It didn’t help that a man had died during a cake tasting just after I arrived. I did have the consolation of knowing it wasn’t the cakes that did him in, but I knew it would be a long day before cakes I myself had baked would be on display, unless it was in a museum of horrors. And ironically, being the owner of a cake shop was not the strangest thing that had happened to me since I arrived in Bayberry Creek.
“Hey, has that always been there?” I pointed to a sign I hadn’t noticed before. The swirling, smoky lettering, along with golden stars painted in the centre, displayed the words, ‘Madam Dianne’s Shop of Mystery.’
“Oh, come on!” Thyme wrinkled her nose at the sign. “They leave this spot vacant for almost a decade, and they fill it with one of these jokers? They could have put in a health food shop. At least the herbs and essential oils would have been useful.”
I gazed into the window. “Is it that bad?” I at once jumped back when I came eye to eye with a skull. It took me a minute to notice the stump of a wick sticking out of its creepy painted face. There were stuffed crows along with several black roses scattered all over the display. I could also see books, crystals, glass displays full of jewellery, and various tarot cards.
“Very bad.” Thyme sighed and shook her head. “These people are harmless, but some people take a touch of intuition and go way out there with it. They give our kind a bad reputation. As if Hollywood wasn’t already doing a good enough job at that!”
“So this person isn’t, well…?” My voice trailed away. I was still trying to come to grips with the fact that magic existed, and with the fact that I was supposed to be practically overflowing with ‘raw natural talent,’ as Thyme put it at least once a week.
“The real deal?” Thyme asked, as she glanced around to see if anyone was in hearing range. “If she is, she doesn’t know it. Take another look at her shop and tell me what you feel, compared to Ruprecht’s shop.”
I looked inside the shop again, bringing Glinda’s, Ruprecht’s book and antique shop, to mind. It was like night and day, come to think of it. Where his shop was cluttered in a pleasant, lived-in way, this one screamed over-the-top and commercial with an artificial edge to it. Bright plush furniture and heavy velvet tablecloths with tacky stars, moons, and tassels everywhere. It was nothing like Ruprecht’s homey, cozy shop at all.
“A mess,” I said, earning a nod of acknowledgment.
“Excuse any clutter you see,” a throaty, raspy voice crooned.
I jumped and turned from the window. A woman was trying to lounge alluringly on the garbage can right by the doorway. Her jet black curls screamed Halloween prop wig, and she was wearing layers upon layers of skirts to mimic a gypsy look, complete with a corset straining in its bindings around her ample belly. Her giant hoop earrings constantly bounced on her shoulders as she moved. I stared at the fire-engine-red lipstick and bright blue eye makeup. There seemed to be more eye makeup than actual eyes.
“We have traversed a great distance from our ancestral home to offer the guidance your spirit seeks,” the woman pronounced dramatically, waving her hand before her.
“Thanks, but our spirits have GPS. No directions necessary,” Thyme said with a giggle.
The woman narrowed her eyes. “Perhaps you might be able to fool yourself. But the great Madam Dianne, she knows. The spirits whisper to me of your troubles.”
My stomach clenched as I instinctively tucked my handbag under my arm. The woman looked nice enough. She was certainly eccentric, but nothing about her screamed she was any sort of threat. Yet there was something about her theatrics that felt like slime had dripped down over me and soaked into my clothes. It was nothing like when I had met Ruprecht, Thyme, and the others.
“So, how long have you been in town?” Thyme asked her. “I didn’t know anyone had moved in.”
“I’ve only been here a short time,” the woman said, seeming taken aback by the question. She did not seem prepared to give a dramatic answer this time. “Come in, come in. Madam Dianne shall tell you what the fates have in store for you!”
Thyme waved off the invitation. “Thanks, but I don’t like spoilers. I like to keep life interesting. My friend and I have somewhere else to be, anyway.”
“Come now,” Madam Dianne scolded in a gentle, encouraging tone, as if she were trying to reassure a young child. “There is no reason to fear the spirits. They are but messengers from worlds beyond. You need not fear the opinions of others over receiving a glimpse of your destiny. You have spirits right by your shoulder. Grandparents perhaps? They send you their love and blessings.”
I tried to keep a straight face. Thyme was the opposite of fearful. She didn’t concern herself with town opinion unless it had to do with the cakes.
I stiffened as the woman trained her eyes on me. “The spirits also tell Madam Dianne that you should make peace with your mother. You need not work so hard for her approval. She’ll come to understand that your life is your own, eventually. Your spouse, though, you should keep an eye on. He keeps a dark secret from you.”
“I’m not married,” I blurted out, furrowing my brow at the randomness of the prediction. “And my mother passed away years ago.”
The woman’s eyes widened slightly. She gave a strained smile as she collected herself. “Ah, yes, yes. This I see. You and your partner do spend so much time together. A ring must be very close in your future. Sometimes the flow of time can be difficult to interpret.”
“I’m sure,” I said sceptically, suddenly over my initial nervousness. I was beginning to understand why Thyme was so unhappy to see the shop. If I had met this woman before Thyme’s quiet little circle, I would have spent weeks trying to get past the idea that she was trying to scam me. Accepting magic had been difficult enough, what with my own house trapping unwelcome houseguests and spitting them out on the front yard.
The woman apparently mistook my thoughtful expression for curiosity, because she promptly trained her attention on me. “Come!” She waved her hand at the door with a flourish. “This street is far too loud and distracting. There are too many auras to get a clear reading. We’ll consult the cards to find out the nature of this secret you must find. Madam Dianne will do it free, just for today. I’m also offering a discount on amber necklaces. They drive away negative karma.”
“No, thanks.” I gave the woman a polite nod and turned to leave. I wanted to get some lunch and unwind from the morning rush. I didn’t feel like listening to a woman in clown paint and a costume fabricate my future with some imaginary lover. I let out a gasp as an icy cold hand clamped down on my wrist.
“You must hear what I have to say.” The woman stared at me with wide eyes.
Something in her tone made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
“Trouble comes your way!”
Thyme carefully removed the woman’s hand from my arm. She didn’t have a chance to speak, as Thyme was already pulling me down the street.
“She should be an actress,” Thyme said with irritation as we headed for a nearby café. “Are you all right?”
“I’m fine,” I assured her. I glanced over my shoulder. The woman was still watching us from the doorway like a spook from a bad horror movie. “That was an experience.”
“Dead grandparents, difficult mother-daughter relationships, and men who hide something from their partners—talk about pandering to clichés. If she was going to do a cold read, she should have read up on how to do it first.”
“A cold read?” I was new to magic and the paranormal.
“It’s a trick used by stage artists,” Thyme explained. “There are actually psychic people, as you know, but there are also fakes. Fakes use cold reads to make it look like they are reading you. The good ones make a general statement and watch your body language. In fact, it’s all about body language and calculated guesses.”
I looked at her blankly.
“Okay,” Thyme continued. “How are you today?”
“Fine.” My response was automatic. It had been a busy morning, and it was hard not to be affected by the weird encounter with the strange woman. I frowned and rubbed my temples.
Thyme laughed. “You say you’re fine, but there is great unease around you. You have met with an unusual occurrence today, have you not?”
“I get it now. Cold read?”
“Yep. That’s the part where you would’ve blurted out your day or given physical clues that you were stressed, like you just did. They get a feel for your personality based on how you talk, what you say, and how you move, and then give you prompts. They’re a cross between psychologists and body language interpreters. You never even realise that you’re the one filling in the blanks for them.”
“So it’s fake?” I was a little disappointed at the idea that the amazing reads I had seen on TV might be a game.
Thyme shook her head. “No. Intuition is real. The point is that not everyone who claims to have psychic ability actually does.”
“She sounded awfully convincing about trouble coming, though.” I was uneasy. As outlandish as the woman was, something about that moment really bothered me.
“Don’t worry about it. It was just a bunch of badly crafted drama.” Thyme waved a hand dismissively and gave me a wide smile. “And my grandparents don’t need to bother spirits to say they love me. They email me every week.”
I smiled at that, but something about the woman’s words kept nagging at me. Trouble comes your way.