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NOTHING IS EASY
Mysterious Ink Mystery Bookstore, Book 4
BY DONNA SCHLACHTER
After Ed asks Margie to marry him, they both settle in for a quiet Christmas season. But when a series of murders mimics the books featured in her store Mystery event, Margie wonders who is out to get her? And is any of this linked to her application to expand her bookstore?
Ed doesn’t want to believe Margie is involved in any of these murders, but if she’s completely innocent, how could one person be at every murder scene? His heart says she’s not involved, but the evidence shouts otherwise.
If only they could identify the connection between Margie and the murders, they might be able to be one step ahead of the killer.
Nothing is easy…especially love and faith…where murder—and Margie—are involved.
NOTHING IS EASY
Mysterious Ink Mystery Bookstore Book 4
BY DONNA SCHLACHTER
With Thanksgiving a memory in her rearview mirror, Margie Hanson looked ahead to Christmas in her bookstore in downtown Edgewater, Colorado. Her guide dog trainee, JoJo, lay at her feet behind the register on this quiet Monday.
She nibbled on the end of the candy cane she’d plucked from the cup on the counter. The treat intended for customers. Of which she had none. Not a surprise. The shop remained closed on Mondays. A respite after the previous busy week, full Sunday at church and dinner with Ed Logan, the special man in her life right now. Who asked her on Thanksgiving Day to marry him. Had she made the correct choice? He’d assured her he had no qualms about her continuing to operate her store.
“Think, Margie. You can come up with a good idea for Christmas.” Another nibble. Time to roll the plastic covering the treat down an inch or so. “Maybe I should put everything on sale.” She glanced down at the black Labrador, who raised her head and snorted. “You’re right. That would look tacky. And desperate.”
Still, generating additional cash flow sat number one on her goals. If she stood any chance of completing the addition to her store—without selling her soul to the devil or the banker—she needed a lot of cash.
Her first edition of The Adventure of the Grange, featuring Sherlock Holmes, stared up at her from the locked display case that also served as register stand and customer contact point. She could sell that—along with a couple of other books from the case—and cover her renovations. She shook her head. Simply considering that possibility gave her the creeps. Those books were not for sale—at any price. For any reason.
No way. No how.
She exhaled. Then again, she could likely find replacements—no. Some things—including her faith, her family, JoJo, and her vintage manuscripts—must be held apart from the world.
But maybe she could feature those books as examples of great mysteries. Sell modern-day copies. Have contests and drawings. A scavenger hunt, of sorts, throughout the store, where customers could discover other exceptional stories.
A Christmas Mystery Event. Something for everybody.
Just what she needed. An event and an engagement party to plan. Wait. Could she combine the two? After all, most of her friends were customers. And most of her customers were friends. Living in a small town tended to overlap and blur the lines of relationship.
Which almost got her into hot water when she first arrived here. Thank goodness Grandma Carly accompanied her on this new adventure.
A knock at the front door drew her attention. Ed Logan, detective with the Edgewater Police Department, smiled at her.
She slid off the stool, crossed the retail area, and unlocked the door. “Just in time.”
“That’s what I like to hear.” His rumpled overcoat, worn year-round, confirmed the chilly temperatures outside. “Always like to help a damsel in distress.”
She accepted a kiss on the cheek. “I wouldn’t go that far. Just need some brainstorming.”
He groaned. “The engagement party?”
“You know I already said we didn’t need that. Let’s just line up the best man and maid of honor and elope.”
She laughed and mock-punched his shoulder. “Not going to happen. My parents would kill us.”
He waggled his eyebrows. “We’d die happy.”
Another punch. “You look exactly like my grandpa when you do that?”
“Nah, he’s too old for that stuff.”
She chuckled. “I hope we’re never too old.”
Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick. As a hybrid author, she writes squeaky clean historical suspense and contemporary suspense. She previously published contemporary books under her alter ego of Leeann Betts, but now authors books in her name only. She has been published 50 times in novellas, full-length novels, devotional books, and books on the writing craft. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Writers on the Rock, Sisters In Crime, Pikes Peak Writers, Christian Women Writers, Faith Hope and Love Christian Writers, and Christian Authors Network; facilitates a critique group; and teaches writing classes online and in person. Donna also ghostwrites, edits, and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both.
Links to Donna’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
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Thanks, Donna, for sharing your story with us!
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