Sneak Peek! Raining Cats and Killers – Addison Moore

Sneak Peek! Raining Cats and Killers

It's almost here! Raining Cats and Killers releases 6/9/21! Here's a chapter one. We hope you enjoy it!

Amazon-> https://amzn.to/39t8Wcm

A haunted wedding and a little murder kicks off a sun soaked summer in Cider Cove. *Each book in the series can be read individually, so dive on in! Humor with a side of homicide! #Cozymystery #Kindleunlimited #mystery

Two years earlier…

The rain is coming down in sheets, it’s dark as pitch out, and I’m ready to jump out of my skin with rage. Someone is going to pay for the hell they’ve just put me through.

“How dare you sleep with that tramp under my nose and embarrass me like that.” I strike my louse of a husband over the face and he takes it because he knows he deserves it. “You made a terrible mistake, John. You’ll rue the day you toyed with that little mouse. I’m going to make you both suffer for a very long time.”

A knock rattles the door and I head to the window. 

“It’s her.” A laugh pumps through me as I throw open the door. “You have a lot of nerve coming over here,” I say as I give her a shove off the porch and follow her onto the driveway as the rain pummels us from every side. 

“Come with me, John,” she beckons and John runs out after us.

“Don’t you dare.” I point a finger his way. “And you”—I glare right at her—“you’re nothing but a joke—trailer trash. Nobody wants you around here. You’ll never have John again. He’s mine. He started this race with me, and he’s going to finish with me. Leave town, disappear. It’s your only hope for a normal life. I hate you. Everybody here hates you.”

I head back for the house just as an explosion goes off, rattling the windows. A dull ache ignites in my belly, and I double over as a warm gush pulses through my fingers. I pull my hand back, only to find my fingers covered in crimson. 

“No,” I groan as I turn around and see them there—the gun still waving at me as they laugh. “You did this. You’ve brought me to an end.” I drop to my knees before the world goes black forever.  

Present day…

“You know what they say, marry in haste, repent in leisure.” The tall blonde laughs as she says it and both Emmie and I chuckle along with her. 

I just finished introducing the woman to Emmie, and shared the fact she’s getting married right here at the inn later this month. 

“Emmie, this is Cynthia Liberty,” I tell my lifelong best friend as we stand behind the reception counter of the Country Cottage Inn. “Cynthia is running a sleep study here.”

“That’s right. Cider Cove is so quaint, I was thrilled to find a gorgeous inn right by the water. I couldn’t think of a more idyllic place to conduct business.” The chipper blonde is quick to nod. She looks to be about my age, edging in on thirty, and has a creamy complexion set off with a swath of red lipstick. She’s wearing a navy silk dress that looks expensive, and I’m guessing those gold chandelier earrings and thick gold bracelets dotted with diamonds didn’t come cheap either. “Thank you again for the bulk discount, Bizzy. That was very generous of you.”

“Well, it’s not every day that we get a booking for ten rooms for a month solid. Besides, I’m a big fan of getting some serious shut-eye, so consider it my little contribution to your study.”

Emmie leans in. “How do you recruit for the study?” she asks, scooting a plate of her butterscotch cookies toward the women, and yet Cynthia kindly declines with a shake of her hand. 

“Actually, we’re always recruiting, but I’m afraid all of our participants are carefully vetted,” she says. “Most of them are sent to me by way of doctors and specialists.” 

“Makes sense,” I say. “Well, if your staff or participants get hungry, we have a full service café to the left that overlooks the sandy cove. And right behind me there’s a grand room with a fireplace and a lending library. Also, in the event any of your participants have pets that need to be housed, we have a full service pet center around the back of the inn called Critter Corner. The Country Cottage Inn is a pet friendly resort, as you’ve probably seen, so you’re welcome to keep them in the room as well.” 

I nod to my sweet black and white long-haired tabby named Fish, who’s fast asleep on the marble counter, and then to Sherlock Bones, a red and white freckled mutt that I gained when I happened to gain a husband as well last summer.  

The woman twitches her lips at Fish, then glances down to where Sherlock is sitting at her feet. Little does Bizzy know I’m dealing with my fair share of dogs and lazy felines all day. I’m not a fan of fleabags myself.

I bite down on my lower lip. I learned a long time ago not to pass judgment on people for their errant or not so errant thoughts. I get it. They think they’re alone in their minds. Little do they know I’ve got the know-how to tap right into their private musings. Not that I could stop the mental takeover if I wanted to.

Fish opens a lazy eye my way. I’m not getting a good feeling about her, Bizzy. Are you sure you want her around for an entire solid month? We have things to do, you know. Emmie is hardly participating in her own wedding. It’s all on you and me to get things done.

I give a secretive nod to my cute yet highly opinionated cat. She knows I need the business around here. I’m definitely not giving Cynthia the boot. As far as not getting a good feeling about the woman—what can I say, Fish is an exceptional judge of character. Cynthia did call animals fleabags. 

Cynthia winks my way. “I’ll pass on the word about the pets. Good luck with the wedding,” she says as she gives a wave of her fingers before heading up the stairs.

Sherlock gives a friendly bark. She didn’t even look my way or offer me a scratch behind the ears, Bizzy. I’m with Fish, we need to give her the boot.

I pull a doggie biscuit from the jar in front of me and toss it to my sweet, cute pooch.

“Don’t worry, Sherlock. There are plenty of other guests just waiting to give you a scratch from your nose to your tail.”

Emmie laughs. “I knew he was feeling neglected.”

“You know what else is feeling neglected?” I tip my ear her way. “Your wedding. But I have a solution.”

Emmie blows out a breath. Emmie and I share the same shoulder-length black hair and pale blue eyes. Same formal name, too—Elizabeth. But we decided long ago to go by our nicknames to avoid confusion.

“Bizzy”—Emmie gives me a look that suggests she means business—“you’ve already done enough. Everything is set for my wedding. I’m having it on the bluff under the gazebo, just the way you did. Leo is wearing a suit he owns, and I’m wearing a dress from my closet.”

“I know.” I shrug. “And you’re baking your own wedding cake. But believe me, I’ll continue to try to stop you.”

She laughs. “And the café is catering dinner. All of the details are buttoned up. So don’t even think of finding something to fuss about.”

I blow out a breath of exasperation as I steal a minute to give the lobby the once-over.

The inn is bustling this late afternoon. It’s the beginning of June, the temperatures have been in the eighties all week, and there’s a steady stream of guests making their way in and out of their rooms with beach towels and inner tubes in hand, some of them still wet from a swim in the Atlantic. And that explains the faint scent of coconut suntan lotion permeating the air. 

There are a few shower spigots out by the cove with signs encouraging guests to rinse off their feet, but there’s been a steady sprinkling of sand in the lobby that started late last spring and will predictably last until early September. Summers are short yet warm here along coastal Maine, and our little cozy town is no different.  

A handsome man in a suit strides up to the counter and gives Cynthia’s name, so I redirect him up the stairs and to the exact room she’s using as her headquarters. I have a feeling I’ll be giving those directions a lot for the next thirty days. 

My name is Bizzy Baker Wilder, and I can read minds—not every mind, not every time—but it happens, and believe me, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I can read the animal mind, too, and sometimes they have better things to say than most humans. And I’m not sure how, but the animals always seem to understand each other. I’m glad about it, too. 

A thought hits me. “Oh, I almost forgot,” I say, quickly scooping up my purse. “Em, you’re coming with me.”

“Coming with you? Where? I’m still on the clock.”

“As your boss, I say you’re officially clocked out. It’s Bea Crabtree’s birthday party, and the girl who runs her shop invited all of the local businesses.”

“Bea?” Emmie squints my way. “The old woman who owns Second Time’s a Charm on Main Street?”

“Yup, that’s her.” I nod to Grady and Nessa, two of my faithful employees who help run the front desk, and let them know I’ll be out for a while before grabbing Emmie. “Let’s box up some of those butterscotch cookies to take with us.”

Fish rouses to life and jumps to my feet, as does Sherlock Bones.

Emmie shrugs. “It looks as if we’ll be bringing a few more guests to the party.”

* * *

Since the Country Cottage Inn is also located on Main Street—albeit at the very end—Emmie and I decide to walk over a few blocks where the majority of shops and restaurants in Cider Cove are located. 

Boy, was that ever a mistake.

“I think my cookies have melted,” Emmie groans as she rattles the box of sweet treats in her hand. “Scratch that, I think I’ve melted.”

“Geez. I’m going to pass out,” I pant as I fan myself with my fingers as if there was a way to escape the molten heat. It might be in the eighties today, but with the humidity it feels well over a hundred. We don’t get many days like this on the coast, but when we do, it feels as if we’ve been flung into Maine’s armpit. “Maybe we should have driven? I think I might die without air conditioning.”

Sherlock barks. I love taking a drive in the car. It’s my favorite. By the way, you don’t drive nearly enough, Bizzy. We should move so you’ll be forced to drive to the inn each day.

Fish yowls over at him as she peeks out of the pet carrier I’m wearing like a backpack over my chest. Would you stop harassing her? She lives at the inn and she works there, too. Fish turns her cute little face toward mine and wiggles her whiskers. If you do pass out, try to fall onto Sherlock. Maybe you could knock some sense into him.

A tiny laugh strums through me. 

Fish and Sherlock banter a lot, but at the end of the day, they couldn’t love one another more. And it’s true. I live at the inn, but not inside the inn. When I inherited the place from a wealthy earl a few months back, I also received the land surrounding it, along with the more than thirty cottages I lease out. Jasper and I live in one of the cottages, and Emmie lives in another, not too far from mine. Emmie and I have never been too far from each other for the last three decades, and I’d like to keep it that way forever.

The shops along Main Street have a barren appeal to them, seeing that all of the doors are shut tight to keep the air conditioning inside. But the maples that line the street, the blue cobblestone sidewalks, and gazebo at the far end still give off that cozy appeal that Cider Cove is so well known for. The old-world blue cobblestones happen to thread all through town; in fact, they line the main arteries and walkways around the inn as well. With the cove as the backdrop, I don’t think Cider Cove could be more charming if it tried. 

Throngs of cars are parked on the street near the Second Time’s a Charm Thrift Shop, and we head in, finding a heavy crowd amassed inside.

Light rock music plays over the speakers and the din of voices and laughter permeates the cavernous space. The shop holds the scent of old paperbacks, mothballs, and bleach. The bleach makes sense since Bea is a stickler for sanitizing every piece of merchandise she acquires. 

Not only has this establishment been around for as long as I can remember, but it happens to have the largest square footage of all the shops on Main Street. The shop is fully stocked with everything from fine china, clothes, books, and furniture. There’s even a boutique in the back that houses some of the ritzier products the shop has procured.  

Fish lets out a yowl as she hops right out of my carrier. I’m heading off to find Snuggles and Bingo. I’ll see you later, Bizzy.

Snuggles and Bingo happen to be Bea’s cats, a brother-sister duo who share the same gray thick fur and gorgeous glowing yellow eyes. Every time I bring Fish by, the three of them take off and make use of every nook and cranny of this place. And it’s no secret that Bingo, the mischievous little cutie, has a hankering for Fish—and I’m starting to think vice versa.

Sherlock barks. She always leaves me once we set foot in this place. Don’t worry, Bizzy. I’m not going anywhere. Jasper asked me to protect you, and I take my duty seriously.

I make a face. My sweet husband, Jasper Wilder, does tend to worry about my safety. I’m starting to think he’s convinced I’m a bad luck charm. Of course, I’m not a bad luck charm, although my track record of stumbling upon dead bodies doesn’t do a lot to help my case. My knack for finding a murder victim is sort of ironic considering Jasper is the lead detective at the Seaview Homicide Division. Emmie’s fiancé, Leo, is a deputy with the same station.

Emmie leans in. “This place is pumping. Bea really knows how to throw herself a birthday party.”

A cute blonde with long flowing curls that nearly touch her bottom steps before us and laughs. It’s Arlene Scully, Bea’s faithful manager who’s been running the shop right alongside Bea for the last few years. 

“You know Bea.” She flicks a wrist our way before offering Sherlock a quick scratch between the ears just the way he likes it. “She would never throw herself a birthday party. But she’s ninety now and someone had to do it. Lord knows her family wasn’t up to the task,” she mutters that last bit under her breath. 

Arlene is sweet, but she can be spicy when she needs to. I’ve seen customers get ornery with her, and she’s gotten ornery right back. Arlene is in her mid-forties, has wide-set eyes, and wears a touch too much cosmetics—caking foundation, chalky pink lipstick, and her lashes are smothered with thick clumps of mascara. She’s donned jeans and a pink T-shirt and has paired the look with a red and white floral scarf. Her ruby button earrings catch the light, and I can’t help but think they look as if they’re winking at me. 

“Arlene, do you know Emmie?” I ask as I present my best friend like the prize she is.

Arlene squints over at her. “I think we’ve met a time or two.”

Emmie extends a hand her way. “It’s nice to meet you again just in case,” she teases as they shake. “I’ve brought cookies for the occasion.”

“Ooh, yummy.” Arlene rubs her hands together. “Let’s go put them by the counter and you can say hello to the birthday girl.”

“Emmie is getting married in a few weeks,” I volunteer the information, mostly because I’ve grown used to telling everyone and anyone who will listen. Sometimes I think I’m more excited about her big day than she is.

“A wedding?” Arlene presses a hand to her chest. “Do you have a dress?”

“Not yet,” I answer for her. I can’t stand that Emmie thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to pull something out of her closet for her big day. And to make things worse, when I asked her exactly which dress that might be, she said she probably wouldn’t decide until the morning of—as in morning of the wedding.

Emmie has lost her mind, only she doesn’t realize it yet. I’m secretly waiting for a full-blown panic attack to set in—most likely from me.

“You don’t have a dress?” Arlene gasps in horror as if all four walls just caught on fire. “Well, look no further. You wouldn’t believe how many wedding dresses we sell each year. And we have a spectacular selection.” She glances my way. “We even have a gorgeous beaded number that’s rumored to be cursed.” She wiggles her fingers when she says the C word. “It even comes with a warning from the previous owner, a woman by the name of Ophelia. She swears that dress ruined her life. She said she’s tried to burn the dress, bury it, and tear it to shreds, but it’s proved to be indestructible. So she penned a missive that she pinned to it with a word of warning to its next owner.”

“It’s a hard pass from me,” Emmie says. “The last thing I need is a cursed dress.”     

Arlene laughs. “Vintage dresses are all the rage, you know. And we have plenty of others. They’re all in the boutique in the back, so please take a look and try on as many as you like.”

“We will,” I answer for Emmie. If anything, this might just put her in the mood.

Emmie frowns my way. I know what you’re thinking. And this is not going to put me in a mood to go dress shopping.

I frown right back at her.

Emmie knows full well I can read her mind. And even though she doesn’t share my strange abilities, she sure hits my thoughts on the nose more often than not. 

We come upon the counter lined with cookies and different snacks. And just off to the right, there’s a table housing a pink three-tiered cake with a couple of svelte gold candles sitting over the top in the shape of a nine and a zero.

And standing next to that is the guest of honor herself. 

Bea Crabtree may be ninety today, but she looks just the way she did all those decades ago when I met her. She’s tall, slightly hunched over, with thick gray hair swooping over her brows, and she just so happens to be impeccably dressed in a navy floral blouse and tan slacks. 

“Bizzy Baker”—she waves me over—“glad you came to see the carnage.”

I laugh as I offer her a quick embrace. 

“Happy birthday, Bea,” I tell her. “You don’t look a day over perfect.” 

She makes a face. “Your mother raised you right.” She scowls at a trio of people gathered a few feet away stealing glances this way—and if I’m not mistaken, a couple of them look as if they’re snarling. “By the way, your mother and Georgie are here somewhere.” She cranes her neck toward the crowd. “They’re up to no good if you ask me. You’d better find them and set them straight about whatever trouble they’re about to step into next.”

Emmie laughs. “You know them well. Happy birthday, Bea. I think I’m going to check out that boutique your co-worker mentioned.” She whisks off in that direction without me, most likely so she can say she’s seen the inventory and isn’t interested. Not that I expect her to be, but what I do expect her to be is a good sport. Evidently, that’s asking too much. 

“I’m sure I’ll find my mother and Georgie soon enough,” I tell her. “Now that Emmie is in the other room, I might steal a second to find a little something for her wedding. I’m still on the hunt for something old and something blue.”

A laugh rattles her torso. “I’d volunteer myself, but you know I don’t do that lovey-dovey stuff. Never have, never will.”

“You mean you were never married?”

“Nope. No handler for this girl. No kids either. But I’ve got my nieces and my nephew to deplete me of my sanity.” Her expression sours as she looks in the direction of that trio of people who keeping swinging their eyes this way. “You know, sometimes I get the feeling they wish I hadn’t had another birthday at all. Follow me, Bizzy. I’ve got just the thing for your something blue.” She gives Sherlock a pat on his head. “And I might just have a treat for you, too, handsome.”

I follow her to the counter, and my heart breaks just knowing that she thinks her family wishes she were dead. It’s most likely not even true. Most people tend to perceive the words of others, and their intentions, in a much darker manner than intended.

I’m positive Bea Crabtree will live to see more than a handful of other birthdays, and everyone here will be glad because of it.

I glance back at that trio next to the cake, and I can’t help but think they look as if they’re glowering at Bea.

As much as I don’t want to think that way, Bea might just be right. Family can be just as cruel as strangers. 

Here’s hoping we’re both wrong, and that not a soul in this town is wishing death upon anybody.

She’s already dead to me, an internal voice sounds off from behind, and I quickly turn my head in that direction. When I’m not standing in front of the person whose mind I’ve inadvertently infiltrated, they tend to sound a bit androgynous so I have no idea if it was coming from a woman or a man. Nor do I see a single soul looking in this direction. 

Here’s hoping those horrible words were nothing more than a passing thought.

A chill rides up my spine. 

For once I’d like to go a year without death visiting Cider Cove. 

But deep down, I know I’m not that lucky.

***Raining Cats and Killers is almost here! Amazon-> https://amzn.to/39t8Wcm

A haunted wedding and a little murder kicks off a sun soaked summer in Cider Cove. *Each book in the series can be read individually, so dive on in! Humor with a side of homicide! #Cozymystery #Kindleunlimited #mystery

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2 comments
Anne Hansell says May 27, 2021

I love series about Bizzy and her loved ones. I’d like to see more novels about them. Thank you.

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iqLUYspKTIzlCQmn says June 23, 2021

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