Death at the Day Lily Cafe : New Excerpt

Death at the Day Lily Cafe by Wendy Sand Eckel
Death at the Day Lily Cafe by Wendy Sand Eckel
Death at the Day Lily Cafe by Wendy Sand Eckel is the 2nd book in the Rosalie Hart Series (Available July 26, 2016).

Rosalie Hart has finally opened  the café of her dreams. Decked out with ochre-tinted walls and stuffed with delicious organic fare, the Day Lily Café is everything Rosalie could have hoped for. But not five minutes into the grand opening, Doris Bird, a dear and trusted friend, cashes in on a favor—to help clear her little sister Lori of a first degree murder charge.

With the help of her best friend and head waiter Glenn, Rosalie is on the case. But it's not going to be easy. Unlikable and provocative, murder victim Carl James Fiddler seems to have insulted nearly everyone in town, and the suspect list grows daily. And when Rosalie's daughter Annie gets caught in the crossfire, the search for the killer becomes personal in this charming cozy perfect for fans of Diane Mott Davidson and Joanne Fluke.

ONE


The Day Lily Café

Join us Thursday for our Grand Opening. Enjoy a complimentary cinnamon muffin with any coffee purchase. Open for breakfast and lunch, 7:00–3:00.

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Annie Hart

Yay Mom!!!!!! I’m so proud.:)


Tony Ricci

Good job, princess, but for crying out loud, stop giving away free stuff


Janice Tilghman

Way to go, Rose Red. Way cool.

Mr. Miele’s high-pitched beep signaled the first batch of French roast had finished brewing. I cinched my robe and trotted down the narrow stairs of the two-hundred-year-old farm house that had been bequeathed to me by my beloved Aunt Charlotte. The breaking dawn lightened the sky to navy blue, bringing the shapes of the various objects in my kitchen into focus. The glowing green clock of my treasured coffee bistro read 5:00. Boot stomps on the front steps announced Tyler’s arrival. After removing two mugs from hooks under the cabinet, I rolled my shoulders back and smiled. I’d done it. I opened a café, and Tyler and I had the organic produce to provision it. I was looking forward to seeing him. He had been swamped with the farm lately, and I spent all day, every day planning menus, prepping, and shopping for the best ingredients I could find—ideally local and organic. As a result, Tyler and I only saw each other for a brief shared coffee in the morning and an exhausted hi/good-bye in the evening.

We first met the day he appeared in the lane leading to my new residence, visibly annoyed at my neglect of the property for the previous two years and anxious to get the fields working again. But over the past year and a half, he had become a dear and trusted companion.

“Just in time.” I spun around, a wide grin on my face. “I’ve been so nervous I couldn’t sleep.”

“That’s understandable,” he said, and accepted the mug. Early morning sunlight streamed in the window, irradiating his emerald eyes. His hair was freshly washed, the sandy blond contrasting with his tanned skin.

“We did this together. You and me.”

He walked over to the sugar canister. “That’s not really true.” He pulled open the silverware drawer.

“Sure it is,” I said. “You grow most of the produce. You help me with the flowers and herbs. And what about the eggs? All of them come from our own free-range, fat, happy chickens.”

“Speaking of chickens.” He turned to face me but avoided my eyes. “A hawk got one yesterday. I tried to stop it.”

“And?”

“I was too late.”

“Oh no. How awful.” I gripped my mug tighter. “Which one? It wasn’t Scheherazade, I hope.”

Tyler shook his head. “I told you not to name them.”

“I can’t help it. They have such distinct personalities.” I searched his face. “It was her, wasn’t it?”

“Nope. It was one of the bantams. Mick Jagger set off the alarm by squawking his heart out. He was trying to protect his hens.”

“I didn’t know roosters did that.” I set my coffee cup on the counter. “See? Chickens are amazing. Thus they deserve names.”

Tyler peered into the bread basket. “You don’t happen to have any extra muffins, do you?”

“Those are my trials from yesterday, so please, help yourself. I think they came out pretty good. Did you ever eat cinnamon toast as a kid?”

“The best.”

“That was my inspiration.” I removed a plate from the cabinet and arranged the muffins in a circle. “Will the hawk come back?”

“For certain.” He sipped his coffee. “It’s probably out there right now.”

I suppressed a shiver. “Oh, I almost forgot. I have something for you.” I tugged my robe tighter around my waist, and walked over to the table. I unfolded a T-shirt and held it up for him to see. “Ta-da!” The tee was a deep forest green with small white letters in the upper left-hand corner that read:

BARCLAY MEADOW

AN ORGANIC SUSTAINABLE FARM

I flipped it over. The same words, only in a larger font, spread across the back. “Do you like it? I ordered a couple. And I got a few for me, too.”

Tyler smiled. “I do, actually. Good color.”

“It will go nicely with your eyes.”

“I would have been better off not knowing that.” Tyler took the shirt from my hands, finished his coffee, and set the mug in the sink. He turned around, his face animated in a rare smile. “Good luck today. You’ve worked hard. You deserve to have this success.”

“Thank you.” My heart skipped around in my chest. “You know that means the world to me, coming from you.”

He lingered a moment and then headed toward the front door. There was no chocolate Lab following him today. Dickens, getting on in years, now waited for Tyler under the shade of a sycamore tree.

I hurried up the narrow, creaky stairwell. I hung my robe on a hook and slipped into a white blouse, short black skirt, and my favorite pair of wedge heels. Once I had fluffed my hair and added a little makeup, I clasped my mother’s pearls around my neck. I raised my eyes to the ceiling and, as I always did when I put on the pearls, said, “Miss you, Mom. Every day, all day.” I gave my watchful cat a little pat and was on my way at last.

 

Copyright © 2016 Wendy Sand Eckel.

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Wendy Sand Eckel is the author of Murder at Barclay Meadow. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland, where she enjoys her family, multiple pets, and life on the water.

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