Read Murder to Go (The Heights Bed and Breakfast Cozy Mystery Series Book 1) Online

Authors: Susan D. Baker

Tags: #woman sleuth, #cat, #detective, #cats, #mysteries, #Amateur Sleuth, #cozy mystery

Murder to Go (The Heights Bed and Breakfast Cozy Mystery Series Book 1)

Murder to Go

Susan D. Baker

©2015 Susan D. Baker

No
part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or
mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems,
without permission in writing from the author.

 

2015 Copyright Collins Collective All Rights Reserved
This
book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents
either are products of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events,
or locales is entirely coincidental.
Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Your Gifts

Other books

Chapter 1

Carolyn
Jacobson drew the curtains back and relished the view of Grey Fox Lake from the
Manager’s apartment of The Heights Bed and Breakfast. Carolyn reflected that
she had never had a view as beautiful as this in all her life living next to
the lake. Faced with all the struggles of the past year, she was thankful her
daughter had offered to let them stay with her. It gave her a chance to get to
know her son-in-law. She chuckled to herself, maybe getting to know him too
much.

Carolyn
turned away from the window and found the morning paper lying open on the
kitchen table. Relieved to have a moment to herself, She sat down with her
lunch and started reading when her daughter, Sarah Patterson, walked in from
the bedroom.

Sarah
flung herself down in the chair opposite Carolyn. “Oh, Mom. I don’t know what
I’m going to do.”

“What’s
the trouble?” Carolyn asked as she nibbled her turkey sandwich.

“Mrs.
Simms complained that the door to her room is sticking,” Sarah told her. “I
don’t know when David will have time to fix it.”

“You
and David do too much already, you need to hire some more staff,” Carolyn
remarked pointing a dill pickle slice towards her daughter before taking a bite
of it.

“That's
not all,” Sarah went on. “When Mr. Alexandin checked in this morning, he
decided he had to have the terrace suite instead of the regular downstairs
suite he booked originally. He threw a fit when I told him it was already
booked to another couple. He wanted me to kick them out, and when I refused, he
stormed off and said he was never coming back again.”

“Good
riddance,” Carolyn exclaimed.

“Come
on, Mom,” Sarah chided. “We can’t let a good customer like him get away. He
comes up to Grey Fox Lake every weekend and spends a fortune. I’ll have to call
him up and apologize again or he’ll find another B & B to stay in.”

 
“Since you were a child, you’ve always worried
about people liking you,” Carolyn commented. “But you can’t go sucking up to
every tyrant that throws a temper tantrum at your reception desk. If this Mr.
Alexandin wants to go to another B & B after the work you’ve done to make
him happy, you can let him go. Another guest will book that room, and they just
might treat you better.”

Sarah
groaned. “Oh, Mom. Haven’t you learned anything since you’ve been staying
here?”

“Have
you had time for lunch today?” Carolyn asked. “You should eat before telling me
about the other crises in the making
?

Sarah
brightened up grabbing a pickle slice from her mother’s plate. “Dad has
conquered the kitchen, I knew he would once he had a chance to get comfortable
with our setup. The guests can’t stop raving about his wonderful food. I should
have gotten you two to move in here years ago.”

Carolyn
nodded as she dabbed her mouth with a napkin after the delicious turkey
sandwich he made her for lunch. “He is a wonderful chef. That’s one of the
reasons I married him.”

Sarah
giggled. “Mr. Hoffman tripped over his poodle this morning and his toupee flew
across the room and landed on the potted palm tree in the lounge. You should
have seen it.”

Carolyn
laughed. “Be careful, darling. I’ve been a bad influence on you, poking fun at
everybody behind their backs.”

“You
really shouldn’t do that, you know, Mom,” Sarah reprimanded her. “You know
David doesn’t find it funny at all.”

“I
can’t help myself,” Carolyn replied as she raised her shoulders. Her face lit
up with a smile. “I would joke all the time about the customers who used to
come into your father’s restaurant. It’s harmless.”

“It’s
no way to treat customers,” Sarah pointed out.

“That
is why you are so successful,” Carolyn replied. “You two have built this B
& B from the ground up.”

“We’ve
always loved The Heights,” Sarah told her. “Our dream is coming true. We want
to make it the best it can be, and we’re both willing to put the time and
energy into it.”

“I’ll
say you are,” Carolyn replied. It’s a good thing for The Heights David is such
a competent handyman. I hate to think how much money you would have to spend to
get carpenters, plumbers and electricians from town to do all the repairs and
maintenance David does.”

At
that moment, Carolyn’s husband, Karl, came in from the other end of the
apartment.

Carolyn
crossed the room and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

He
kissed her back. “I missed you last night.”

“I
bet you enjoyed having the entire bed to yourself. You did miss out,” Carolyn
told him. “It was the presidential suite. Barry, the manager at the Golden Hind
Lodge, put me up in it for my overnight stay. I think he wanted to influence
the review I was going to write for him.”

“Did
it work?” Karl asked
as he grabbed the other
half of Carolyn’s turkey sandwich.

Carolyn
gasped out loud. “Of course it didn’t work. I never let any perks of the job
influence my reviews. My readers expect an honest opinion of the restaurants
and hotels I review. I wouldn't let them down just because a I stayed in a
fancy room.”

“Still,”
Karl remarked as he chewed, “it sounds pretty nice.”

 
“You would have loved it,” Carolyn exclaimed.
We could have soaked in the hot tub on the balcony overlooking the mountains, and
had some wine. The whole place to ourselves.”

Sarah
cried out in surprise. “Mom!”

Carolyn
looked around. “What’s wrong with that? Your father and I haven’t been out
alone since we moved in with you.”

 
“I could have used it,” Karl replied as he
rubbed his shoulder. “I knew I wouldn’t have made it back here in time to start
breakfast if I went with you. You’ll just have to enjoy these nights out on
your own.” He flung himself into a chair. “Oh, my feet.

“What’s
wrong?” Carolyn asked. “Are you hurt?”

 
“I’m okay,” Karl replied. “I’m just exhausted.
I was up at five in the morning to make breakfast and spent the rest of the
morning making lunchboxes for the guests.

Carolyn
patted his arm. “You’re a hero. I’m impressed as always.”

 
“Mom, your blog is really taking off,” Sarah
remarked.

Carolyn
gave her daughter a grateful smile. “Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Karl
snorted and turned away. “Blogging. Ha! We managed to run restaurants for
hundreds of years without bloggers. Now anyone with a keyboard and some free
time can take down your restaurant with their reviews.”

“You
didn’t have bloggers,” Carolyn pointed out, “but you had reporters writing
reviews in the newspapers. It’s the same thing, only now it’s on the Internet.”

“These
bloggers don’t know what it really takes to run a restaurant,” Karl countered. “Show
me one of them who could handle the pressure of cooking for a full house of
customers.”

“What
about me?” Carolyn asked. “I think I know what it really takes to run a restaurant.
That’s why I make a point of giving the establishments I review a fair chance.
That’s more than you can say for a lot of the bloggers out there.”

Karl
waved his hand. “You? You’re just dabbling in this writing business. It's a
hobby for you. It's not as though you're any kind of professional.”

Carolyn
and Sarah exchanged glances.

The
door opened, and Sarah’s husband, David, entered. He didn’t sit down at the
table with the rest of the family, though. He leaned against the kitchen
counter. Carolyn turned to her husband. “Where are the guests now?”

“Everyone
is down by the lake,” Karl replied. “I think I’ll take a nap until dinnertime.”

“Seriously,
Dad,” Sarah told him. “Don’t you think you’re working too hard? Maybe you need
to take some time off.”

“No,
no.” Karl waved his hand. “I owe it to you to keep the kitchen running. I have
to contribute in some way to pay you back for taking us in. I wish we didn’t
have to crowd you out of your own apartment. This manager’s apartment only has
two bedrooms, and you and David haven’t been married that long. You should have
the place to yourself.”

“I
wouldn’t have you staying anywhere else, Dad,” Sarah murmured.

Karl
shook his head. “You don’t have to try to make me feel better. You two need
your own space. If only I could have kept the restaurant going a little longer,
none of this would have happened.”

Carolyn
and Sarah looked at each other again. He went through the same cycle of guilt
and blame every morning. Carolyn patted her husband’s hand. “You do enough around
here. The guests love your food. You deserve to take a day off now and then. We
should go off together for a week’s vacation at that Mountain Veil Lodge on the
other side of the lake. What do you say to that?”

David
came out from behind the kitchen counter and propped his hands on his hips. “We
can’t spare Karl for a week. The guests have come to expect a much higher
caliber of food coming out of the kitchen. We can’t go back to the food we
offered before. We’d have to hire a chef to take Karl’s place. That would cost
us a lot more than we spend keeping you two here.”

Sarah
cringed. “David, don’t.”

David
rounded on her. His voice rose in anger. “Why not, we can’t just whisper these
things behind closed doors. If we don’t bring them out into the open now,
they’ll fester and blow up in our faces later.”

Karl
sat up straighter in his chair. “It sounds like they festered too long
already.”

Carolyn
cocked her head to one side. “What things are whispered behind closed doors?”

David
threw back his shoulders. “We all know you and Karl cost this B & B money. Last
week, I had to hire someone to fix the outlet you fried in the bathroom. Karl’s
work in the kitchen is the only payment we get for it.”

“David,”
Sarah whimpered, “Please don’t.”

“I
plugged in a hair dryer and roller,” Carolyn remarked. “How should I know that
your old wiring couldn’t handle my beauty care?”

David
turned on Carolyn. “While I’m at it, I might as well tell you I don’t
appreciate your sense of humor around the B & B.”

Carolyn
bit her lip to stop herself from smiling. “What do you mean?”

“You
know very well what I mean,” David shot back. “Everybody knows you pride
yourself on your quirky sense of humor. You’ve crafted your blog around your
famous comedic wit, but do us all a favor and keep it confined to your website.
Don’t bring it around the B & B.”

“I keep
it out of the B & B,” Carolyn told him.

“Who
do you think you’re fooling?” David snapped. “You come up with those ridiculous
joke names for all the guests. You’re always poking fun at something. You’re
bound to get us into trouble one of these days.”

“Please
don’t do this, David,” Sarah pleaded. “You know Mom makes sure to use those
names only in the privacy of this apartment, and we all get a good laugh out of
her jokes. It helps us all release the tension. You laugh at them, too. You
have to admit that.”

“Sure,
I laugh,” David replied. “I’ll be the first to admit the names are funny. But
what happens when one of the guests finds out about them? You’ve worried about
this yourself. You just never mentioned your concerns to your mother because
you didn’t want to offend her.”

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