by Connie di Marco
The stars predict a wedding-day disaster, but San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never expected murder
Julia Bonatti is alarmed by the astrological signs looming over Geneva Leary’s wedding day, but nobody asked Julia’s opinion and being a bridesmaid means supporting the bride no matter what. Even with the foreboding Moon-Mars-Pluto lineup in the heavens, no one’s prepared for the catastrophes that strike: a no-show sister, a passed-out wedding planner, and a lethal shooting in the dead of night.
With anger and grief threatening to tear the Leary family part, Julia is determined to understand how such a terrible tragedy could occur. As she digs deeper into the family’s secrets, her astrological insights will lead her to the truth about a criminal enterprise that stretches far beyond the California coast.
The building on Guerrero was a once proud Victorian with bow front windows. It had since been broken up into six small units and fallen into disrepair. There was something about this chore that made my stomach go into knots. Rummaging through a dead woman’s possessions was bad enough, but what if I found something that implicated Moira in a crime? Should I remove it and risk the police finding out?
I approached the long stairway leading to the front door. The wind had died down and now fog danced around the streetlights. It was eerily quiet. No lights shone from any of the windows. I climbed the cracked granite stairs to the entrance where the weathered door stood ajar, listing slightly on its hinges. Inside, a bare overhead light bulb cast a meager glow down the long corridor, cannibalized from a once grand entryway. The hallway smelled of dirty cat litter, moldy vegetables and cigarette smoke. I followed the corridor to the end, and stopped at the last door on the right.
I slipped the key into the lock and reached around the door jamb where I felt the light switch. A rusting chandelier with two bulbs missing illuminated the one large room that was both Moira’s living room and bedroom. This room housed a collection of hand-me-downs and broken furniture, ripped curtains and piles of clothing in various spots around the floor.
I heaved up the mattress, first on one side and then the other, making sure nothing was hidden between it and the box spring. I pulled open each of the bureau drawers, checked their contents and pulled them all the way out to make sure nothing was behind them. I opened a small drawer in the bedside stand. Amid a loose pile of clutter was a dark blue velvet box embossed with the letter “R” in cursive gold script. Could this be from Rochecault? I was fairly certain it was. Rochecault is an infamously expensive jeweler on Maiden Lane downtown. How could Moira have shopped there?
I opened the box and gasped. An amazing bracelet heavy with blue stones in varying colors rested inside. The setting had the slightly matte industrial sheen of platinum. Moira couldn’t possibly have afforded this. Shoving the box into a side pocket of my purse, I decided I was definitely not leaving this for the police to find, and slid the drawer shut.
I scanned the room. Moira hadn’t been much of a housekeeper and it didn’t appear as if there were many hiding spots. My eye caught a small black notebook under a jumble of papers and unopened bills on a rickety desk. I dropped my purse on the floor and reached for the book. A searing pain shot through my skull. Blinded, I fell to the floor.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti, who never thought murder would be part of her practice. Book 2 in the Zodiac Mysteries is All Signs Point to Murder, to be released on August 8, 2017.
Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Penguin Random House (Berkley Prime Crime), set in the village of Snowflake, Vermont. Her recently released A Clue in the Stew is the fifth in this series. Some of her favorite recipes can also be found in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.
Connie is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.
Book 2: All Signs Point to Murder: http://amzn.to/2oiVbTs
Book 1: The Madness of Mercury: http://amzn.to/2oo0P5X
Connie di Marco will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway