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Best Cosy Books

The Halloween Truth Spell (PAPERBACK)

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Paperback. Book 15 in The Kitchen Witch paranormal cozy mystery series.

When the demanding Marina Mercer forces Amelia to do a truth spell, she expects to discover the location of a gold mine. But when her tenant is murdered in gold blood, Marina becomes the prime suspect.

Now Alder is furious at Amelia for once again finding herself an Australian Sherlock Holmes searching for nuggets of information—but she can’t worry about that now. The real murderer has gone underground, and with everyone in town telling the truth, Amelia is starting to suspect that the truth won’t set you free, but plunge you into trouble.

PAPERBACK (paranormal cozy mystery)

 Paperback 228 pages
 Dimensions  5 x 0.52 x 8 inches (127 x 13.2 x 203mm)
 ISBN  9781922420756
 Publication date  August 17, 2020
 Publisher  Best Cosy Books

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CHAPTER 1

“Do you like dates?” Alder asked me at breakfast. We were sharing a stack of fig and caramel French toast.
“No,” I replied quietly so the couple at the next table wouldn’t hear me. “I find they give me indigestion, and I spend too much time in the bathroom.”
Now, this is not the information I would have shared with Alder when we were dating, but we were not dating. We were married, and blissfully so. That very morning I’d found myself digging my wedding dress out of the hallway cupboard and spinning around the kitchen.
“No. Dates. Like, I take you to the movies, hold your hand when you are scared, give you my coat when you get cold. Dates.” Alder raised his eyebrow. “Did you think I meant the fruit?”
Alder was looking at me with such a smug expression on his face that I couldn’t possibly admit I had thought he meant the fruit, so I lied. “No, I knew you meant the movies, but like I said, dates give me indigestion. I think it’s all the excitement.”
“Is that why you always took so long to get ready when we were dating?”
“Yes,” I said, snagging the last piece of French toast.
“That’s a shame,” Alder replied, “because I thought we needed to make dating a thing. A lot of marriages get stale.”
I was horrified. “You think our marriage is stale?”
“Of course not, but I’m trying to solve problems before they truly become problems. Which is why I think we should date. A lot. Which might be bad for your digestion.”
The couple at the next table had clearly caught most of our conversation despite my best efforts, and now they looked a little bit pale and green. “Everyone goes to the bathroom,” I told them.
Two minutes later, the waiter came to our table and told me not to mention my digestion in a restaurant setting.
Alder stood and beckoned the waiter to a quiet corner, where they both spoke in an animated fashion.
“You should have stood up for me to that mean waiter,” I grumbled to Alder as we walked to his car. I was usually excited to eat at this restaurant because it meant Alder needed to reverse park, and there is nothing more attractive than a man reverse parking in a superb fashion. I don’t know why romantic comedies didn’t realise this and put it in their films.
“I did stand up for you to that mean waiter,” Alder replied as he opened the door for me, “which is why we’re banned from this restaurant for the next three months.”
“Well, I didn’t like their French toast, anyway.”
“You loved their French toast.”
“Hmpf,” I replied as I sat in the passenger seat.
Alder looked across at me. “About this date.”
“What did you have in mind?”
“Something autumn.”
“It’s spring.”
“It’s autumn in America, which is good enough for me. You know there are autumn markets and autumn festivals happening all around now, don’t you? It’s Halloween.”
“I know,” I said. Soon, Marina Mercer would come to demand her yearly Halloween spell.
“I want to do something romantic today.”
“I like the sound of that,” I said. “Are we going on a hot air balloon ride?”
“No.”
“Hmm. What about a last minute trip to Paris?”
“Ha!” Alder said. “No, I have something in mind. It’s even more romantic than Paris.”
“What would be more romantic than Paris?”
“I know how much you love Halloween. It’s a zombie apocalypse scavenger hunt.”
My jaw dropped open. “A what?”
“Isn’t that wonderful? We’re meeting with our fellow survivors now.”
Surely, I had not heard him correctly. “Our fellow survivors?”
“Camino, Thyme, and Ruprecht.”
“We’re doomed,” I said.
“A company is putting on a scavenger hunt where they give you a list of supplies you’d need to gather during a zombie apocalypse. Oh, and they pay actors to dress up as zombies, and if you get caught, you are out of the hunt. There are other teams competing, so we need to beat them.”
“And this is supposed to be romantic?”
Alder nodded enthusiastically. “Absolutely!”
We arrived at the office for the zombie apocalypse scavenger hunt fifteen minutes later. The surrounding area had been designed to look like the zombie apocalypse, with shells of buildings and barbed wire everywhere. I had no idea what Alder was thinking.
“Isn’t this glorious!” Camino said when I stepped out of the car. “I’ve been wanting to wear my HAZMAT onesie for ages.”
“We must be careful today,” Ruprecht said. He and Thyme had arrived with Camino. “As Nietzsche once said, ‘He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.’”
“I’m not competing if there’s an abyss,” I said. “That is one step too far.”
Alder chuckled. “There is no abyss. Is everybody ready?”
“No,” Thyme said. “Amelia and I should sit this one out.”
I wanted to agree with her, but Alder was excited about the zombie apocalypse. I sighed. “Usually, I would love to sit this one out, but today is going to take a team effort. Shall we begin?”
Everyone but Thyme cheered. There were three other groups competing in the scavenger hunt, and we had ten items we needed to collect before they got the chance, such as bandages, a tactical watch, a pair of binoculars. Each item was spread out on the playing field, which was also peopled with actors playing zombies. Luckily, we got to start in our zombie-free camp, which had coffee. It was instant, but I was in no position to complain. I supposed bad coffee was one of the consequences of an apocalypse.
“What’s our plan?” Thyme asked. “Should we split up?”
“Yes,” Alder replied, “and then we can all get bitten and turned into zombies.”
“Well, do you have a better idea?”
“We stick together, and we go for the bandages and the binoculars first. They’re in the same building.”
“Which building?” I asked.
Alder pointed at the map. “There are a lot of zombies in that area.”
“Which is why we’ll need to move quickly and quietly,” Alder replied. He blew me a kiss, and I grinned.
Still, I was uneasy, and it wasn’t due to the zombies. I was dreading the yearly Halloween spell. Every year, it hung over me like a cloud, and I knew this year would be no different.

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