|Julie B. Cosgrove, Author|
“Hi, I’m Mildred. That mean ol’ Edwin—the one they found diced in the
dumpster, you know?—lived next door to me. While they were preparing his garden home here at Sunset Acres for resale, the realtor found the most unusual thing…a baby!”
“In the bathtub, right Mildred? Oh, I’m Ethel. Mildred is staying with me until a condo on our side of the community comes available. Can you blame her after all the shenanigans going on next door to her?” She shakes her head.
“Well, I can’t.” Another biddy raises her hand as if she once again sat in the third grade. “I’m Betsy Ann. I power walk with Janie and Ethel, and sometimes Mildred, in the mornings. We all play Bunco together on Thursday evenings after a scrumptious pot luck meal.”
“Yes, everyone brings their latest recipes from the internet.” Mildred nods in agreement.
“Or sometimes we share an old family recipe. Anyway, we,” she points to the other ladies, “and my, um, friend George…”
“Friend? Phsaw.” Ethel swats the description away like a pesky may fly. “Friends don’t make your cheeks blush, my dear.”
“Ahem. As I was saying…” Betsy Ann crosses one leg over the other and tugs her skirt over her kneecap as her cheeks turn crimson. “We helped Janie help her son-in-law, Chief Detective Blake Johnson, solve Edwin’s murder. So naturally we will investigate why anyone would leave a newborn little girl abandoned in a bathtub of a vacant home in a retirement community.”
“As soon as she rallies us together tonight.” Ethel taps her forefinger to her temple.
“The newborn? I hardly think she has the mental capacity yet to…”
“No Mildred, Janie.” Ethel chuckles.
“To finish my sentence, you can guarantee, she is already plotting. Her late husband was a renown detective and she often helped him puzzle the mysteries out.”
Mildred leans in. “Speaking of guarantees. Mrs. Jacobs need to fulfill the one in our owner’s agreement and find me a condo pronto. I like you Ethel, and you are a dear to let me bunk in, but our dogs are just not compatible.”
“Because your Poopsy yips day and night. Oh, and you leave your toothbrush dripping on the bathroom vanity counter.”
“Of course I do, since you won’t let me use a glass from the kitchen.”
“It might shatter. One did a few years back. I still have the scar on my thumb, see?”
Betsy Ann whistles. “Ladies. Please. The baby?”
“Oh, yes. Well, I know Blake deserves a long vacation with his family, so you can…” she clears her throat and winks,”…guarantee the Bunco Biddies will help him find out who place the tot there and why.”
Betsy Ann’s auburn curls, which she insists are her natural color, bounce in agreement. “Yes, we will. I was a reporter for the local newspaper for over twenty years so I know how to investigate crime.”
“She wrote the house and garden section.” Mildred sighs. “But, what choice do we have? I sure hope we don’t get deeper in trouble than we did the last time.”
Ethel pats her shoulder. “If we do, never fear. I now have four Alamoville policeman’s cell phone numbers on speed dial.”
Betsy Ann leans in and whispers in Ethel’s ear. “If she lived today, Miss Marple would be proud of you.”
“Thanks, Betsy Ann. I have all thirty-two books and short stories, you know.” She raises her chin in pride. “In alphabetical order, and sub-categorized by murder method.”
Betsy Ann and Mildred exchange glances and respond in unison. “We know.”
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