The Eleventh Hour
Poppy McGuire Mysteries Book 1
by Anina Collins
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Poppy McGuire has always been a curious soul, but it's her life that'susually the topic of conversation in the small town of Sunset Ridge.
But now one of the town's most important citizens has been found
murdered, and everyone's life is suspect.
What begins as a friendly wager with her old friend Officer DerekHampton soon becomes far more for Poppy, and she turns to Alex Monterofor help, but the enigmatic former Baltimore cop's quiet way hides asmany secrets as each suspect they encounter.Everyone in Sunset Ridge has something to hide, but Poppy and Alex aredetermined to uncover the identity of the murderer. They just have towatch that they don't become the next victims.
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"Okay, let's go," he said eagerly as he stood to leave, but I grabbed his arm to stop him.
"Not yet. I think since you seem to know so much about me that I should get to know more about you."
"There's nothing more to know about me, Poppy. I'm that guy who showed up at your door with a coffee this morning."
Shaking my head, I said, "Yeah, well I think there's more, so turnabout is fair play. If we're to be partners, I think I should know more about you other than you're good at getting coffee shop waitresses to divulge my favorite blend."
He slowly sat down again, and I saw by the hesitant look on his face that he didn't want to let me know more about him. But I wasn't going to be the only one in this who had been laid bare.
"I don't want to pry, Alex. That's not what this is about. But you can't deny that you know an awful lot about me, and I know next to nothing about you."
He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled before nodding just once. "Okay. What would you like to know?"
I'd wanted to know the answer to one question since meeting him, so I asked. "Why did you retire from the Baltimore police so young and then move here to Sunset Ridge, of all places?"
"That's a lot for one question," he said, avoiding answering.
"I have more," I said with a smile. "I just thought I'd start with the obvious one. You're very young to be retired from anything."
A frown settled into his features that made me momentarily regret saying anything, and when he spoke I knew that he'd been the Alexander I'd read about in that woman's obituary.
"I left the force after my wife died, and for a while I stayed in the house we'd found together. I thought I could live there, but that wasn't the case. So I moved away from everything that reminded me of that life and bought a house here."
The way he said it told me he was trying to be matter of fact about how much it hurt to lose his wife and leave the life they'd made together in Baltimore, but the sadness in his eyes showed me how much he still remained outside the land of the living.
"Well, I guess we better go then."
"No more questions about the kind of man your new partner is?" he asked as a look of relief washed over him.
I stood from the table and tossed both of our coffee cups away in the trash. "Nope. Thank you for being willing to answer any. I appreciate that, Alex."
"I have one for you, actually. That picture in your kitchen, the one of Ireland, if I'm not mistaken. Did you take that yourself?"
"No. I wish, but as much as I say I'm going to take a trip there, I've never gone."
He smiled as I set our plates on the counter for Jennie. "So you've got the wanderlust, huh? See? You're nothing like the people here."
"I guess it seems pretty pathetic spending all my time dreaming about places I'll probably never get to, right?"
Alex shook his head. "Dreaming of something more is never pathetic, in my opinion. Take it from me. When you stop dreaming, you stop living."
I didn't know a whole lot about my new partner, but I knew enough to believe that no matter how dark things had been for him, he never stopped dreaming, no matter what he thought.
Poppy McGuire Mysteries Book 2
Top of the Hour
Poppy McGuire Mysteries Book 3
The Darkest Hour
Poppy McGuire Mysteries Book 4
Poppy McGuire Mysteries Book 5
The Witching Hour
Poppy McGuire Mysteries Book 6
The Finest Hour
Poppy McGuire Mysteries Book 7
Join Poppy and Alex for the final Poppy McGuire mystery!For three years, Poppy and Alex have worked together solving cases intheir small town of Sunset Ridge, first as just co-workers but lateras partners in nearly every sense of the word. Now they're about totake the final step and become husband and wife, but in the midst ofgetting ready for what folks around town are calling the wedding ofthe year, the murder of someone involved in the preparations makestheir plans go awry.Samuel Morrow, the kind man who has run Morrow's Jewelers for over twentyyears, is found murdered in an apparent break-in, and there's noshortage of suspects who may have had a reason to kill him. Oddlyenough, something very valuable to Poppy and Alex is missing from hisstore too. Is the theft connected to the murder?As they hunt for Samuel's killer, carefully eliminating suspect aftersuspect, they must juggle cake tastings and reception planning, asall the while someone's watching their favorite amateur sleuth. WillPoppy and Alex solve the case and reach the altar, or will the killermake their ever after far less than happy?
Anina Collins has always loved a good mystery. As a child, her favoritebooks were Nancy Drew books passed down from her grandmother, and asshe grew up, she moved on to Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle and their famous detectives. She currently lives in North
Carolina and writes her Poppy McGuire Mystery series.
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