Annie Ryan was born and raised in the quaint town of Heavenly Corners. She owns the local bookstore and is an upstanding and civic-minded resident. A widow with a daughter away at college for the first time gives Annie time to relax and enjoy life on the lake she dearly loves. That is until her life is turned upside down by a death, a Yorkshire Terrier, an attempted murder, a handsome man who returns to Heavenly Corners after twenty some years, an eccentric aunt, a hard-boiled detective, and a young officer sweet on her daughter. Will Annie and her BFF and partner-in-crime-solving, Georgie, be able to keep Annie from prison or worse? This is the first in the Annie Ryan Cozy Mystery series.
I was busy dusting off bookshelves around ten when I heard the door chimes jingle. I expected more people to come to the store, chat, and discuss last night’s tragedy, but it was early. Maybe they were at the diner discussing Inga over coffee.
I walked up front in time to see Douglas Kelleher place a large paper bag on the counter next to a dog carrier.
“What’s all this?” I asked.
“Good morning, Annie,” Douglas said. “When Aunt Inga’s housekeeper arrived this morning we told her what happened last night. She told Mags and me that Aunt Inga left a letter in her desk drawer for us in case this ever happened suddenly. The housekeeper said it contained funeral plans.”
I studied his face for some explanation and said, “Many people do that. What does it have to do with the dog carrier and bag?”
“Well,” he said tapping his foot and bouncing his body. “Umm, she left her funeral plans, but her first concern was for Yummy. Aunt Inga said no one would care for Yummy properly. No one that is, except you. Aunt Inga wrote that Yummy likes you, and it would be less stressful on him if he lived with you.”
I stood and stared at him. My mouth must have been hanging open because Douglas began to speak again.
“Everything you need is in the bag. Bowls, food, treats, toys, his pedigree papers, a printout of his vet care. I added a check in the envelope to help you with his care. It does seem to be a bit of an imposition. Don’t worry about vet care. My sister called the vet and arranged for all his care to be charged to her.”
“That’s very generous, but I’m not sure I should be the one to care for Yummy.” I bent over and stared at the little Yorkie staring back at me through the metal door of the dog carrier.
“But Annie, it was Aunt Inga’s final wish for Yummy to be with you.” He leaned forward and stared into my eyes.
I nodded and said, “Okay, I’ll give it a try. Yummy and I do get along.”
“That’s great. Yummy should be with someone who cares if he begins to miss my aunt,” Douglas called over his shoulder as he headed out the door. The bell chime jingled again, and Yummy and I were alone.
I opened the carrier door, and the tiny dog ran into my arms. Yummy shivered but settled down as I petted him. I put food and water in his bowls and placed them under the counter out of sight of customers, but where I could see him. There was a blanket at the bottom of the bag, and he settled onto it in the corner.
“Maybe this won’t be too bad,” I mumbled.
Yummy didn’t seem to have any interest in his food or water. I had an idea and sent a text to Georgie:
“When you bring lunch, could you bring a plain
burger patty – no bun or cheese?”
She texted back:
I sent another text with a pic of Yummy:
“Inga left me Yummy. He won’t eat.”
She texted back:
“Sure, no problem.”
She followed with a row of yellow smiley faces.
I was born in Wisconsin and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love eerie places and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and as I grew I found H.P Lovecraft, Poe, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published two books of supernatural short stories and a book of children’s stories for my granddaughter, Brittney. Gypsy Spirits is my debut novel and the first in the series of three “spirit” books. I have self-published the second and third “spirit” books, “Annamarie and Magdalena” is the second and “Lena” the third. I also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER. The sequel to THE LETTER, OLD MAN MALONE RETURNS, was released in June 2013. Since then I have added three more Kellie Conley mysteries. I decided to try my hand at a cozy mystery and released “Heavenly Corners,” the first in the Annie Ryan series. I took a step outside the box with Kathryn’s Justice, a thriller. I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.