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Best Cosy Books

Spelling Mistake Large Print (PAPERBACK)

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Title

Large Print Paperback. Book 4 in the bestselling The Kitchen Witch series of fun cozy mysteries with magical elements.

Amelia Spelled discovers an old spellbook, which to her delight contains a spell to improve one's baking. When a spelling mistake is thrown into the mix, she accidentally summons a sarcastic entity. Amelia does her best to reverse the spell but finds it's no piece of cake.

 

After a murderer strikes, Amelia finds herself in a batter of wits. Can she rise to the occasion and solve the murder? Or is this a recipe for disaster?

 

LARGE PRINT PAPERBACK.  

 Paperback 338 pages
 Dimensions 6 x 0.76 x 9 inches (152 x 19.4 x 229 mm)
 ISBN 9781922595133
 Publication date April 28, 2021
 Publisher Best Cosy Books

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CHAPTER 1

I was looking forward to my morning off work. It was the first one I’d had in ages. I threw my car keys down on the couch and sat next to them, and then placed my mail on my lap. If only I hadn’t had to drive to town to fetch it, but the pesky mail lady, Kayleen, had made a Post Office Box a necessity.
The first bill was an overdue electricity notice along with a sizeable late fee. What? I hadn’t even received the first bill yet. I scowled and looked at the second letter. I tore it open. Another bill, this time a gas bill. I didn’t even have the gas connected! I shook my head. As I reached for the third letter, the sound of a battle cry forced me to my feet. “Can you please turn that down?” I yelled at the house.
The house always decided what it wanted to watch on TV. I had inherited my magnificent Victorian house, along with a cupcake store, from my Aunt Angelica. No-one had told me the house was alive. I’d found out the hard way.
The house used to enjoy watching mixed martial arts or Jamie Oliver; now it was Game of Thrones. It was like sharing a house with a demanding housemate. The house turned down the volume just as I looked up at the screen to see a rather gory scene. I shuddered and turned my attention to the third letter. My spirits lifted when I saw it was from the Lotteries Office. Maybe I’d won something! The first words were not encouraging: Call Gambling Help. I read down the page. No, I hadn’t won a thing.
So much for my relaxing morning off. My eyes fell on the bare rooted rose in the corner of the room. My neighbour, Camino, had given it to me as a gift the previous day. I sighed and picked up the plant. I knew I would have to plant it sooner or later, so I might as well get it over with. I headed outside to the little garden shed behind the house to fetch a shovel.
I wasn’t one for gardening. Luckily for me, the garden was mature, with beautiful lilac trees and a native mango tree all well established, and the rest of the garden could take care of itself. All I did was water it regularly, but I wasn’t one to plant new flowers.
Once in the garden, my mood soon improved. How could it not, as the air was permeated with the scent of many fragrant old English roses. Now where to put it? I didn’t even know what type of rose it was, because it didn’t have a label. It only had the words, ‘Bare Rooted Rose,’ scrawled on the plastic wrapping. I was glad there had been unseasonal heavy rain lately. I didn’t much fancy digging in ground that was usually like concrete. After a quick appraisal of the area, my eyes fell on a patch of ground next to the daisies. That looked as good a place as any. I shrugged and headed for the spot.
As I suspected, the ground was soft, so the digging was easy. It was an awfully big bare rooted rose, and I figured I should make the hole deeper than the root ball. That was something I remembered from watching a gardening show the house had once made me watch.
Just one more shovelful, I thought, and made a special effort to dig. As I pushed the shovel in strongly, the soft ground suddenly made way to something hard, and the impact reverberated through my back. I dropped the shovel in shock as a sharp pain seared through me.
I assumed it was a hard rock, so I gingerly dug around it. After all, even I knew that a rose shouldn’t be planted over a big rock. To my surprise, it was not a rock, but a metal box. I kneeled down, ignoring the pain in my back, and managed to pull the box from the dirt. It was covered with particularly sticky, slushy mud. I quickly shoved the rose into the hole after backfilling some dirt, filled in the hole and then patted down the dirt, and all the while my back pain was increasing.
The metal box looked old. The latch that fastened it had rusted away but was still working. I was intrigued. Perhaps my Aunt Angelica herself had buried this in my garden. Maybe it was full of expensive jewellery. My hands shook with excitement. I could keep the nicest pieces and sell one or two to pay the bills. I wondered if there were garnets in there, or perhaps rubies? I was partial to emeralds, too. Maybe there were huge pink diamonds. The tin was certainly heavy enough.
I picked up the box, leaving the shovel next to the rose, and hurried to the house. I left the box at the front door and went inside to find an old rag to clean it.
When I went back outside, the box wasn’t at the door. It took me a moment to see that it was on my front lawn. “Why don’t you want the box inside the house?” I asked the house, but as usual, there was no reply. Perhaps the house didn’t share Aunt Angelica’s taste in jewellery.
I hurried down the steps and wiped the box as best I could, and then washed my hands under the garden hose.
When the box was suitably clean, I took it inside and placed it on top of some newspaper on my coffee table. The pain in my back was much worse. In fact, my back was cramping up. It was all I could do to straighten up, and bending over drawers looking for a screwdriver didn’t help. By the time I found a screwdriver to bust open the latch, I was in considerable pain.
I carefully perched on the edge of my couch, and gingerly inserted the screw under the corroded latch. After all, if there was jewellery inside, or perhaps solid gold bars, I didn’t want to damage the contents. It could even be cash. What if Aunt Angelica hadn’t trusted banks and had put all her savings in the tin?
I was quivering with excitement and suspense. After moving the screwdriver backwards and forwards for a while, I managed to release the latch. Finally! I took a deep, calming breath and prepared myself to see my newfound treasure. I opened the box and gasped.
No jewellery. No diamonds. No gold bars. No cash. There, inside the box, was a beautifully bound volume of ebony leather, with a pentacle embossed in gold on the cover. Wonderment at once replaced my initial dismay at the lack of jewellery.
I opened the book, cautiously handling the frail, ancient pages that threatened to snap at my touch. On the first page in flowery script were the words, Book of Shadows. This spellbook must have belonged to one of my ancestors! I trembled with anticipation as I lifted the book onto my knees and opened it. The pages were tanned and the gold leaf so long ago applied to the edges of the pages was crumbling away.
As I gingerly turned the crinkled pages, I fancied I could smell the scent of ancient white sage. It was a fragrance I usually associated with the mysterious Alder Vervain. The book fairly pulsed with energy.
I made to stand up, but a searing pain hit me at the base of my spine. This pain wasn’t going to go away by itself. I carefully set the book aside and scrolled through my phone to google a physical therapist, and called the first one I saw.
“Harden Physical Therapy, please hold,” a disembodied voice said.
I hadn’t yet had a chance to speak, but the phone played some particularly unpleasant music. I opened the book to a random page near the beginning. “This looks like ancient writing,” I said to myself. I was in the habit of speaking to myself aloud. After all, I lived alone unless you counted my two cats, Willow and Hawthorn. The cats didn’t look alike, but had identical personalities. Willow, a large ginger, was three times the size of Hawthorn, a slender black cat. They were both staring at me now, and I could’ve sworn that there was concern in their eyes.
I was careful with the book’s pages, given that they were brittle, like old parchment. “This looks like Latin or something,” I said to the cats. “Oh look! Here’s a spell to improve one’s baking. How strange—that heading’s in English, but there’s a whole section below it that looks like Latin. Do you think it could improve my baking?”
Both cats looked doubtful. Undaunted, I proceeded to read the Latin aloud as best I could, while the music on the phone changed to another old song.
Both cats hissed, turned, and sprinted for the door. I tried to stand up, but my eyes watered from the pain. “Here’s something in English,” I said to their departing cat bottoms. “‘Beware the vox nihili,’ whatever that means. Someone else must’ve written that, as it’s in different handwriting right below that Latin section.”
The music stopped, and a woman’s voice spoke. “Hello, Helen Harden speaking. How may I help you?”
I did not answer, because a hideous entity manifested before my very eyes.