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Authors: Cassie Page

A Corpse in a Teacup

BOOK: A Corpse in a Teacup
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A Corpse in A Teacup:

Tuesday’s Tea Leaves


Cassie Page

Teacup Photo courtesy of
Alby Headrick

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Table of Contents

The Check List

Chapter One: Casting Call

Chapter Two: The House Call

Chapter Three: Hit Search and Ye Shall Find

The Phone Call

Chapter Four: M for Mystery

Chapter Five: A Corpse In A Teacup

Chapter Six: The Cavalry Arrives

Chapter Seven: Beyoncé With A Badge

Chapter Eight: Hello Kitty

Chapter Nine: Did The Earth Move For You, Too?

Chapter Ten: Rocking and Rolling

Chapter Eleven: The Princess and the Pea

Chapter Twelve: Bye Kitty

Chapter Thirteen: Missing Persons

Chapter Fourteen: Crazy Kitchen

Chapter Fifteen: Designer Considers

Chapter Sixteen: Motherless Children

Double the Fun

Chapter Seventeen: Party Time

Chapter Eighteen: Mr. Perfect

Pretty Flowers

Chapter Nineteen: Missed Chances

Chapter Twenty: Whither Thou Goest

Chapter Twenty-One: Where’s Roger

Check’s In The Mail

Chapter Twenty-Two: Surprise!

Chapter Twenty-Three: Here Kitty

Chapter Twenty-Four: New BFFs

Chapter Twenty-Five: An Ax And A Girl

Chapter Twenty-Six: The Freak Show

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Show Me The Money

Alphabetical Order

Chapter Twenty-Eight: Stop That Car

Payday, Payday

Chapter Twenty-Nine: M For Misery

Chapter Thirty: Vera The Voluminous

Chapter Thirty-One: Stargazing

Chapter Thirty-Two: Busted

Chapter Thirty-Three: Mr. Who?

Chapter Thirty-Four: Give
'Em The Boot

Chapter Thirty-Five: Oops!

Chapter Thirty-Six: Coming Clean

Chapter Thirty-Seven:

Just One Bite

Chapter Thirty-Eight: Follow The Money

Chapter Thirty-Nine: The Shortcut

Chapter Forty: Cut To The Chase

Chapter Forty-One: The Breakfast Club

Chapter Forty-Two: Welcome Home


Copyright and Disclaimer

About Cassie Page

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Free Gift and Updates About Future Books

Preview of Armoires and Arsenic

A Corpse In A Teacup


The Checklist

Gloves and shoe covers on. Check

ipe the foam from her mouth. Check

Place her on the tarp and drag her into the living room. Check

Prop her up on the edge of the sofa. Check.

She fell forward. No going back now. That’s how they will have to find her. Whoever “they” might be.

Step back for a wide screen
shot. Does it look like a heart attack? Check
lean up the kitchen. Check

Leave d
ishes in the sink. Check

up the tarp and equipment. Check

Send text to the pizza joint.
A thin crust medium Margherita and a house salad. Blue cheese dressing. Paid for. Check
Turn on the TV. Check

Script on the coffee table. Check

et out. Fast. Check

No one on the street. Wait.
In the rear view mirror. Someone’s pulling up in front of the house The pizza delivery guy. Yes! Check again
One down.
Nothing personal, sweetheart.

Chapter One: Casting Call

Tuesday settled in for the
runway approach, watching the lights of Southern California come alive as her six-thirty a.m. flight descended over Burbank. It was an ungodly hour to do anything but sleep or, well, these days it was just sleep. All those gorgeous men she had just left behind in Darling Valley, the small town outside of San Francisco, made her realize she needed to do something about that.

A calm came over her. Goodbye
, Darling Valley. Goodbye murder and mayhem. Now she could get back to her normal life, reading tea leaves for an exorbitant fee at The Mulberry Cat Café and get her body back on track with a good cleanse. The only trouble with visiting Olivia was the absence of healthy food. She never stocked her kitchen with anything except sugary and salty treats. It will take her days to get that stuff out of her system. Though she did enjoy the Salted Caramel’s ice cream. She actually squirreled away a jar of their hot fudge sauce in her suitcase that none of her nutritional clients need know about.

She went over her
calendar. Meet with Holley, do her shift at the Café, then maybe squeeze in a trip to the consignment shop after work to touch up her wardrobe. Easy peasy day.

The attendant walked by.
“Are you buckled up, ma’am?”

bristled. Ma’am? She looked down at her outfit. Many lively colors and prints capped by her pink Afro. What about this happening look deserved a ma’am? Had
gone out of style for twenty-somethings? Okay, early thirty-somethings. Tuesday indicated her fastened seatbelt and smiled yes.

The attendant leaned
over Tuesday’s shoulder to look out the window. “Weather looks good, but you never know. This time of year it could be a bumpy landing.”


Tuesday checked her cellphone as they taxied up to the gate. A text from Holley Wood. Her nine a.m. starlet client with a name she was born to live up to. Holley was the reason Tuesday had dragged herself out of bed for the dreadful early flight instead of a comfortable noon plane with cocktail service. Even she didn’t drink Champs for breakfast. Well, not as a habit.

Holley had a standing Monday morning reading. Tuesday opened the
Mulberry Cat Café early just for her, so she better not say she’s canceling. She hadn’t been her best practical self when she made the reservation to Darling Valley. Not that practicality was her middle name, but she’d had murder on her mind. Specifically, why one showed up on her friend’s doorstep. In her haste to get to Olivia, she booked an expensive one-way instead of a cheap return ticket. She had to pay a premium price for the return commuter flight she found last night at the last minute. Don’t make me regret it, Holley, she thought as the plane bounced onto the runway.

The passengers
started leaping out of their seats and bashing each other with their carry-ons from the overhead compartments despite the attendants’ instruction to stay seated until the plane came to a full stop. Tuesday settled back to wait for the crowd to thin out. No point being trampled to death waiting for the crew to open the doors. She flicked on Holley’s message.

We’re on for this morning, right? I need to see you. Someone is trying to kill me!”

Oh, Holley,” Tuesday said to the baggage truck pulling up underneath her window, “You‘re so melodramatic.”


Tuesday collected her six matching suitcases at the baggage carousel outside the terminal and spotted a free luggage cart a few feet away. The blond next to her saw it at the same time, but as she was having trouble walking upright on her nine-inch platforms while keeping her low cut tank top up and over her silicon enhanced breasts, Tuesday nabbed it. With a huge heave and a promise to start packing light, she pushed the trolley out into the rising Burbank sun.

airport shuttle van pulled up and Tuesday made a beeline for it. When the driver saw her overloaded cart tottering his way, he signaled
A crack in the sidewalk caught a wheel and threatened to topple her cart. Passengers piled into the van ahead of her as she struggled to keep her tower of suitcases from spilling into the roadway. She frantically signaled the driver to wait for her. He came over and said, “Too much bags, lady. Take next vehicle.”

The blond on the towering h
eels had found her own cart. The driver gave her a leering smile full of gold-rimmed teeth and helped her push it past Tuesday. The blond’s cart boasted as many bags as Tuesday’s, but when she arched her back to show off her implants to advantage, the driver tripped over his feet to help her get them on board.

The driver finally closed up the van and took off in a cloud of exhaust, leaving Tuesday coughing into her arm.
She positioned her overflowing cart as a roadblock to prevent the next crush of passengers from getting in front of her. Then she fanned the perspiration filming on her forehead.

The climate change jolted her. At seven a.m. Southern California was still twenty degrees warmer than Darling Valley
. She slipped off her purple faux monkey fur shrug and stuffed it in her tote bag. Her traveling costume was making her sweat: striped yellow and black corduroy genie pants and a Rolling Stones World Tour tee shirt with a chartreuse leopard scarf. Understated she knew, but anything more fun would have been lost on the business class. Corduroy was great on the plane; she always froze when she flew. But not so good in SoCal’s sweltering heat. She unwound the scarf from her neck and tied it on the handle of her signature oversized and overstuffed tote. Olivia always said Tuesday was the only person she knew who packed to go to the supermarket.

While she waited for the next shuttle, she pondered Holley’s text.
What could she have meant by her message? The girl had a vivid imagination. She insisted it was her instrument that helped her create her characters. Tuesday thought Holley was a little off the grid, which was saying something considering some of the characters she called friends. Tuesday assumed someone had bumped into the actress at the craft table, outrun her for the port-a-potty on the set or committed some other innocuous insult that offended her client’s sensitive feelings.

There was an upside and a downside to being Holley. She was every director’s
first choice for cult and genre moneymakers. Currently, she had the starring role in a movie about time traveling aliens. The downside of Holley was that she called them
. Tuesday didn’t completely trust her interpretation of reality. She pondered the text and decided Holley probably thought the
were after her.

Her cell phone rang
mid speculation. “Hi, Holley. I’m in airport shuttle hell in Burbank. What’s up?”

’s voice quivered on the edge of tears. “I need to see you, Miss Tuesday.”

“Honey, I keep telling you, it’s just Tuesday
. What’s going on? You were joking about someone trying to kill you, right? I thought everything was going great on the set and you were seeing this new guy?”

She fished
her oversized sunglasses out of her tote with her free hand. Trying out the Jackie O look.

“Miss Tuesday, it’s not
about the alient movie. I went to a casting call for a new project that’s just been green lighted. But everybody has to audition. I thought I didn’t have to do that anymore. You know with starring in the Vampire movie and all, but my agent said to swallow my pride and read for the part. I’m a pilot on the last plane out of an earth destroyed by zombies. You know, a strong female role like you’ve been telling me to go after.”

“I thought zombies were so 2012?”
Tuesday had to pee. Where was that shuttle?

“This has a twist
. They’re vegetarian zombies.”

“That’s a twist all right.

Tuesday gave the evil eye to a coupl
e trying to get in line ahead of her. She covered the phone with her hand.

“The line starts behind me, not in front of me.”

The couple grumbled to each other, but circled in back of Tuesday as she resumed her call.

So what happened?” Tuesday saw the next van approaching and inched her cart closer to the curb.

She heard Holley suck in a deep breath.
“Well! I did some of my best work. The director said I was a shoo-in for a call back. So I’m driving home, on cloud five, you know?”

“It’s cloud nine, but go ahead.
Honey, I gotta wrap this up. My van is coming. Can we talk at the Café? Let’s meet there.”

“Miss Tuesday,
wait. On the way home I got a call. I don’t know who it was, but he said if I didn’t drop out of the zombie casting call he would kill me. I’m afraid to leave my house.”


The van pulled up and the driver hustled Tuesday to get on the van. She yelled, “Aren’t you going to help me with my luggage,” but he turned his back and took out his cell phone, deep in conversation in a language she didn’t recognize. Passengers tried to skirt around her to board first.

“Holley, I gotta go.
Hey, watch it, sir. I was here before you. Holley, you there? Hang tight and I’ll call you in just a few.”

barricaded the entrance to the van with her luggage cart until she had her bags jammed onto the racks behind the driver, ignoring the slurs of the boarding passengers.

“Hey, Pinkie,
” someone said, referring to the pink Afro that she believed had wowed them in Darling Valley, “other people have baggage too, you know.”

Playing deaf
, she took a seat and speed-dialed Holley’s number.

? Listen, if you received a death threat, you have to call the police. . . He told you not to or you’d regret it? I’ll pick you up and we’ll go to the Café together if you want and sort this out. I’ll be there in an hour. Don’t leave the house without me. No, I can’t come right now. I have to get my luggage home. I’m on a shuttle in Burbank, remember, and I have to go all the way to LA first . . . No, don’t take a Xanax. I need you clearheaded, okay? . . . Okay, yes. Meditate and make yourself a green smoothie with some lemon balm for your nerves. Bye, now . . . Wait. I don’t have your address. Text it to me.”

Next, Tuesday checked her email. Only one
message got her attention. It was from Tessa, a one word shot across the bow. “Surprise.”

That was all
it said. Surprise. She turned the phone over as if the surprise was on the underside. Which was worse? A threatening call such as Holley had received? Or a surprise from Tessa? Hands down it was any message from Tessa. Any time, any message. Tessa was her mother.

BOOK: A Corpse in a Teacup
2.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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