Some secrets should stay hidden. If they come to light, darkness could weaken even the strongest of families.
Real estate agent Charlotte O'Donohue never looks forward to Mondays. Usually, a couple cups of coffee will fix her mood, but today an unexpected voice directs her to a dead body. She's going to need a bigger cup, and it better be caffeinated!
When the dead body happens to be your client, the scandal could jeopardize her brother's business, but Charlotte is more worried about a mysterious stranger who decides she's the number one suspect. He seems familiar and dangerous. He knows she has a secret, and Charlotte will do anything to keep the truth from him. How could he possibly understand that she can hear the dead?
Ghostly whispers from a spirit who haunts the large Kansas City mansion warns of more danger to come for Charlotte, her family, and for the stranger. But as Charlotte discovers a key to one mystery, another one appears...one that could reveal more than a murderer but a long-forbidden love.
The haunted and the living seem to be conspiring against the spunky real estate agent, throwing her into a love of her own that shakes her to the core.
When long hidden secrets expose lost loves, two intertwined families are placed in jeopardy in Charlotte's Voices of Mystery.
As I made my plans for attack, the nagging thought of Max Shaw following me, or having someone follow me just wasn’t acceptable. I needed to get back into that house, but I didn’t have a key. Tom didn’t have a key. Gio did, but I had no way to contact him. Of course, the devil had a key. I would die before I’d ask him to borrow the duplicate to go back into that house. But, somehow, I knew the answers were in there. Maybe Rose could even tell me?
I paced back and forth from the living room to the kitchen. My mind raced with different thoughts including how Cynthia Martin had treated me at the funeral, as if she intentionally was trying to set me up. If she was being truthful, she did know her husband was having an affair. If both of the Martins were involved in some sort of criminal activity involving real estate, had they begun to turn on each other? Obviously, their trust of one another had begun to deteriorate. It was one thing when they cheated strangers out of their money and property, but when they began to cheat each other would and could they resort to murder?
There was no legal way to get my hands on their financial reports. Max had power to do that; I had nothing but speculation. It seemed that Max had all the power. He had a key. Max had a new grandfather, and I needed to borrow Gio for more details. There had to be more to this story, and more to this murder.
After a lost afternoon of pacing and nursing a headache, I noticed the sun was setting. I disliked how early it became dark in the winter, and today was no exception. That darkness fueled my foul mood. But I couldn’t feel sorry for myself. I’d brought this on my own head, but I refused to admit that to anyone. My phone rang and for a second I thought for some reason that it might be Max calling to apologize. No, it was Paddy.
“Charlie, get over here. We’re having pizza and beginning to assemble the float. I messaged you last week about it, but you never answered me.”
“I’ve been busy being a murder suspect.”
“Well, we could use one of those. Get your tush over here. Sean, Jane, Tom, and Meg are already here. Linda demands you come to protect her from the O'Donohue clan. You’re one of us, but she seems to think you are always on her side. I don’t get it.”
I got it. Linda and I had bonded from the moment she had walked through our front door. That, and she had me in her wedding as a flower girl. I always sided with her on everything, even those things I didn’t really agree with just to irritate the others. These days, Linda was the one person who reminded me the most of our own mother. She was calm in a storm and bitey when needed.
“Fine, but I’m not doing anything on the float tonight. I’ll eat pizza.
“Whatever, just get over here. We aren’t waiting on you to eat.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” I answered as he hung up. He was in the process of yelling at Sean about some pot of gold and where it should go. Only in my family would that make sense.
Some of my first memories were of the annual Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The O'Donohue family always participated, and Dad was one of the most public personalities. We even won a few awards over the years. I changed my sweatshirt, throwing on a warmer sweater. Paddy’s large garage wasn’t the warmest. I had no plans to be out there the entire time nailing chicken wire in place.
I parked my car behind Tom’s and headed into the house, but something caught my eye at the end of the driveway. It was a blue Jaguar. What the bloody--
Kansas City, Missouri native C.L. Bauer is the author of three series in mystery genres. Originally a reporter, Bauer worked through jobs in marketing and advertising, to eventually take over the reins of her family’s century old business, Clara’s Flowers. Many of the stories used in her books are based on true events from years in the wedding and event flower world.