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       Cutie Pies and Deadly Lies: A Cozy Mystery, p.1

           Addison Moore
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Cutie Pies and Deadly Lies: A Cozy Mystery


  Cutie Pies and Deadly Lies

  Murder in the Mix 1

  Addison Moore

  Contents

  Books by Addison Moore

  Book Description

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  A Note from the Author

  Bobbing for Bodies

  Chapter 1

  Books by Addison Moore

  Acknowledgments

  About the Author

  Edited by Paige Maroney Smith

  Cover Design: Gaffey Media

  Copyright © 2018 by Addison Moore

  This novel is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to peoples either living or deceased is purely coincidental. Names, places, and characters are figments of the author’s imagination. The author holds all rights to this work. It is illegal to reproduce this novel without written expressed consent from the author herself.

  All Rights Reserved.

  This eBook is for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this eBook with another person, please purchase any additional copies for each reader. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  Copyright © 2018 by Addison Moore

  Table of Contents

  Created with Vellum

  Books by Addison Moore

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  *Be sure to subscribe to Addison’s mailing list for sneak peeks and updates on all upcoming releases!

  WEBSITE http://addisonmoore.com

  Mystery

  Little Girl Lost

  Cutie Pies and Deadly Lies (Murder in the Mix 1)

  Bobbing for Bodies (Murder in the Mix 2)

  Pumpkin Spice Sacrifice (Murder in the Mix 3)

  Gingerbread & Deadly Dread (Murder in the Mix 4)

  Romance

  3:AM Kisses (3:AM Kisses 1)

  Winter Kisses (3:AM Kisses 2)

  Sugar Kisses (3:AM Kisses 3)

  Whiskey Kisses (3:AM Kisses 4)

  Rock Candy Kisses (3:AM Kisses 5)

  Velvet Kisses (3:AM Kisses 6)

  Wild Kisses (3:AM Kisses 7)

  Country Kisses (3:AM Kisses 8)

  Forbidden Kisses (3:AM Kisses 9)

  Dirty Kisses (3:AM Kisses 10)

  Stolen Kisses (3:AM Kisses 11)

  Lucky Kisses (3:AM Kisses 12)

  Tender Kisses (3:AM Kisses 13)

  Revenge Kisses (3:AM Kisses 14)

  Red Hot Kisses (3:AM Kisses 15)

  Reckless Kisses (3:AM Kisses 16)

  Hot Honey Kisses (3:AM Kisses 17)

  Shameless Kisses (3:AM Kisses 18)

  Value 3:AM Kisses Boxed Sets

  3:AM Kisses Boxed Set 1-3

  3:AM Kisses Boxed Set 4-6

  3:AM Kisses Boxed Set 7-9

  3:AM Kisses Boxed Set 10-12

  The Social Experiment (The Social Experiment 1)

  Bitter Exes (The Social Experiment 2)

  Chemical Attraction (The Social Experiment 3)

  FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

  Low Down & Dirty (3:AM Kisses, Hollow Brook1)

  Dirty Disaster (3:AM Kisses, Hollow Brook 2)

  Dirty Deeds (3:AM Kisses, Hollow Brook 3)

  FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

  Naughty By Nature

  FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

  Burning Through Gravity (Burning Through Gravity 1)

  A Thousand Starry Nights (Burning Through Gravity 2)

  Fire in an Amber Sky (Burning Through Gravity 3)

  FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

  Beautiful Oblivion (Lake Loveless 1)

  Beautiful Illusions (Lake Loveless 2)

  Beautiful Elixir (Lake Loveless 3)

  Beautiful Deception (Lake Loveless 4)

  FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

  The Solitude of Passion

  FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

  Someone to Love (Someone to Love 1)

  Someone Like You (Someone to Love 2)

  Someone For Me (Someone to Love 3)

  BOXED SETS

  FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

  Spitfire Kisses Boxed Set

  Breakers Canyon Boxed Set (Books 1-3)

  Lake Loveless Boxed Set (Books 1-3)

  A Totally ‘80s Romance (Books 1-3)

  3:AM Kisses, Hollow Brook (Books 1-3)

  3:AM KISSES (Books 1-3)

  Young Adult Romance

  FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

  Melt With You (A Totally ’80s Romance 1)

  Tainted Love (A Totally ’80s Romance 2)

  Hold Me Now (A Totally ’80s Romance 3)

  Paranormal Romance

  (Celestra Book World in Order)

  Ethereal (Celestra Series Book 1)

  Tremble (Celestra Series Book 2)

  Burn (Celestra Series Book 3)

  Wicked (Celestra Series Book 4)

  Vex (Celestra Series Book 5)

  Expel (Celestra Series Book 6)

  Toxic Part One (Celestra Series Book 7)

  Toxic Part Two (Celestra Series Book 8)

  Elysian (Celestra Series Book 9)

  Perfect Love (A Celestra Novella)

  FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

  Ephemeral (The Countenance Trilogy 1)

  Evanescent (The Countenance Trilogy 2)

  Entropy (The Countenance Trilogy 3)

  Ethereal Knights (Celestra Knights)

  Season of the Witch (A Celestra Companion)

  Celestra Forever After (Celestra Forever After 1)

  The Dragon and the Rose (Celestra Forever After 2)

  The Serpentine Butterfly (Celestra Forever After 3)

  Crown of Ashes (Celestra Forever After 4)

  Throne of Fire (Celestra Forever After 5)

  Book Description

  My name is Lottie Lemon and I see dead people. Okay, so I rarely see dead people, mostly I see creatures of the dearly departed variety, aka dead pets. And for some reason those sweet, fluffy albeit paranormal cuties always seem to act as a not-so-great harbinger of deadly things to come for their previous owner. So when I saw that sweet orange tabby twirling around my landlord’s ankles, I figured Merilee was in for trouble. Personally, I was hoping for a skinned knee—what I got was a top spot in an open homicide investigation. Throw in a hot judge and an ornery detective that oozes testosterone and that pretty much sums up my life right about now. Have I mentioned how cute that detective is?

  Lottie Lemon has a bakery to tend to, a budding romance with perhaps one too many suitors and she has the supernatural ability to see dead pets—which are always harbingers for ominous things to come. Throw in the occasional ghost of the human variety, a string of murders and her insatiable thirst for justice and you’ll have more chaos than you know what to do with.

  Living in the small town of Honey Hollow can be murder.

  Chapter 1

  I see dead people.

  Okay, so I don’t see dead people
at least not on the regular—I see dead pets. Yes, pets. At first, I had no idea what these hologram-like beasts were up to until after an unfortunate run of something akin to trial and error that I concluded each dead pet was some sort of a harbinger for its previous owner, a very, very bad omen if you will. Sometimes I see them floating around willy-nilly in a crowd and it’s hard to decipher exactly who the bad luck is coming for. But on occasion, I see them attached firmly to the side of whoever the incoming disaster is set to strike. I’m not sure why this is my lot in life. In fact, my lot in life hasn’t been so stellar in general. My birth mother thought it was a brilliant idea to leave me on the floor of a firehouse, and that’s where a brave and thankfully curious firefighter spotted me, waddled up and squirming. It just so happens that I was adopted by that sweet man, Joseph Lemon, and his wife, Miranda, and gifted a book-loving big sister, Lainey, currently Honey Hollow’s lead librarian, as well as a feisty and shenanigan-prone younger sister, Meg, who is also known as Madge the Badge on the Las Vegas female wrestling circuit. And being that Las Vegas and all of its glittery wrestling venues are a good distance from Honey Hollow, Vermont, we don’t see her very often.

  But back to that strange gift of mine, or curse as it more often than not feels like—I have zero clue where it came from or why, or even the major significance of it. A part of me has always believed that something alarmingly supernatural occurred around the time of my birth, and that’s exactly why my birth mama decided she so desperately needed to offload a seven-pound chunk of bad luck.

  The very first time I put the furry-dearly-departed and outright chaos together was when I was seven and I saw the flicker of a barely-there turtle swimming next to Otis Fisher’s ear. Later that day, Otis fell from a tree and broke his arm. At the time, I wasn’t too sorry about it either. That boy had a mad hankering for pulling on my pigtails. And as fate would have it, the boy who lived to tease me, one day admitted to having a mad crush on yours truly. And post that amorous admission we dated on and off for about three years. If I thought that boy was annoying in elementary school, he outdid himself in high school. In fact, Otis—or Bear as he’s affectionately known around these parts for having once chased off a black bear before it could invade and devour an entire herd of innocent tourists who were on a leaf peeping tour—is one of the reasons I left Honey Hollow to begin. No sooner did my high school diploma cool off than I hightailed it to New York—Columbia University to be exact—where I’ve had the displeasure to ogle other people’s dead pets.

  I’m quick to push what I’ve affectionately dubbed the New York Disaster out of my mind as I take a step outside of my apartment. It’s a duplex, actually, and my landlords, the Simonson sisters, live upstairs. They’re the primary reason I’m headed out on this unforgivably crisp September morning wearing my Sunday best, even though it’s smack in the middle of the week, Wednesday. Usually, I’d be happily snug in my favorite jeans, sporting my comfiest sweatshirt with my hair in a ponytail, and on my way to the Honey Pot Diner where I’m currently employed as the chief baker, not that there’s anyone baking underneath me but, hey, I like the title. Instead, I’m stuffed in a pencil skirt, two sizes too small, and a blouse that looks as if I swiped it off a mannequin at Goodwill, partially because I did. Okay, so I don’t own many Sunday clothes per se, but only because the local church is all about casual attire. They’re far more concerned with keeping your soul free from the flames than they are about your accruements, but I digress. I’m not headed to work or any holy house in the great state of Vermont. I’m headed to court—small claims court to be exact—all the way over in Ashford County.

  Just as I’m about to head to my beat-up old hatchback, I spot both the aforementioned Simonson sisters at the foot of the driveway squabbling amongst themselves about who knows what—most likely me. It is me they’re hauling to court after all, and over something completely ridiculous.

  It just so happens that last summer at the county fair my blueberry buckle pie won the coveted blue ribbon in its division, and it seemed as if all of Ashford County were thrilled for me, at least all of the townsfolk here in Honey Hollow. But the Simonson sisters were decidedly not enthused in the least. Sometime between the taste test and the judging, someone edited my entry to read Simple Simonson Pie and crossed out the all-important part about the blueberry buckle. Regretfully, a riot of laughter ensued, mostly from the fine, and, might I add, intuitive folk here in Honey Hollow, but I swear on all that is holy that good time only lasted about three thrilling minutes before I made the correction. Although, to hear Mora Anne and Merilee tell it, the aftermath not only bruised their egos and reputation but managed to cause a retail apocalypse down at the shop they own and run. It turns out, The Busy Bee Craft Shop was short on patrons and dollar bills alike and had a difficult time paying its rent last month, so the only logical solution they could come up with was to sue me for every last red cent.

  Both sisters are dressed head to toe in long velvet coats with ruffled shirts peeking out from underneath like a couple of throwbacks from some long-forgotten steampunk era. It’s eerie the way they choose to dress alike each and every day despite the fact they’ve been on the planet for twenty-six long years—and twenty-seven respectively. I know this because I happen to be the exact same age as Merilee. We’ve all grown up together, but the way they treat me you’d think they were my bitter and scorned elders.

  Merilee snarls as if she were rabid. “Well, look who’s here? If it isn’t Honey Hollow’s favorite jester who will soon be performing live in court.” Those narrow slits she calls eyes light up like cauldrons. The sisters have always held a witchy appeal to me, what with their long, dark, stringy hair and bony, long fingers. The fact they look as if they suck on lemons day and night doesn’t exactly help their plight. “Are you ready to have your bank account turned inside out?”

  I scoff at the thought. If they think this is the day they hit a financial jackpot, they’d better think again. Working shifts at the Honey Pot Diner doesn’t afford me much of a bank account. The only thing in my savings at the moment is enough to cover my rent and Pancake’s Fancy Beast cat food. I’ve had Pancake now for over a year, and he officially qualifies as the greatest love of my life.

  I glance over to the living room window where he’s currently monitoring the situation while licking his paw. Pancake is a butter yellow Himalayan with a rusty-tipped tail and dart of a line running between his eyes. He is a precious little angel now that he’s no longer using my leather ottoman as a scratching post and chewing down all the cables and cords he could get his hungry little paws on. The entire apartment has been cat-proofed, and Pancake hasn’t forgiven me yet.

  An icy breeze picks up and the row of liquid ambers and maples that lines the street shed the first smattering of red and gold fall leaves. I steal a moment to take in the glory of nature on full display around the two wicked witches determined to make my life a living hell. Our little corner of Vermont has a habit of turning into a golden and ruby wonderland this time of year, so much so that the leaf peeping keeps the tourists coming in strong right up until winter.

  Speaking of tourist traps, the Honey Hollow Apple Festival is coming up later this month, and I’ve been asked to supply the pies for the occasion. After my shift was over at the Honey Pot last night, I baked two dozen personal-sized caramel apple pies—cutie pies as I like to call them—and I need to deliver them straight to the orchard this afternoon because the owners requested a sample for their employees. My guess is they want to be sure my baking skills are up to snuff before they live to regret the decision come the day of the festival. But I guarantee they’ll far from regret it. In fact, the only thing they might regret is not ordering enough to keep up with demand. It took me weeks to perfect the right combination of caramel and spices, and I even threw in a handful of crushed walnuts into each tiny pie to give it a little crunch. But it’s that buttery caramel that steals the limelight from those golden delicious apples. It’s so smooth and cream
y, my best friend Keelie and I spent an hour last night licking the bowls clean ourselves.

  I can’t help but sigh over at the two beady-eyed siblings who relish my financial undoing. “I won’t be having my bank account turned in any direction this morning because there isn’t a judge on this planet who would side with—” I’m about to lay into the Simonson sisters with every colorful word in my lexicon when something akin to a flame flickers around Merilee’s ankle. For a brief and fleeting moment, I think it’s simply a stray leaf, but suddenly that flicker materializes into the clear outline of a long-lost, dearly departed orange tabby that I’m guessing once belonged to one of the shrews before me.

  “Ha!” Mora Anne scoffs as she takes a step in close. “She can’t finish the sentence because she knows she’s guilty. Just admit it and whip out your checkbook. Save us all the trouble of driving to Ashford. We’re meeting with Darlene Grand this afternoon to secure a booth for the festival. We don’t have a lot of time to dilly-dally with you over a handful of change. Hand it over right now and we can all get on with our day.”

 
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