Just Smashing (paperback)












ISBN Digital: 9781509201723
ISBN Print: 9781509201716
Page Count: 340
Word Count: 79270
Rating: Sweet
MSRP: 16.99

Smith & Westen Mysteries



Snake-lover Phoebe Smith and Susie-homemaker Westen Hughes, the Northeast’s most mismatched investigative team, is at it again. During the preliminary unveiling of a local college’s Egyptian exhibit, a vase worth $1.75 million disappears in front of seven people. Well, six people and the thief, because sure as shortcake has strawberries, the vase is there one minute; the next, it's gone.

Usually clues clog a case but this time secrets are causing more trouble than fifty Dennis the Menaces. Smith disappears for hours on end. Is she tired of Westen 24/7? Or is there a man in her life? Westen can't ask; she has a secret of her own: she's taking shooting lessons. Sergeant "Charlie" Bartowski’s secret: without that vase, her promotion will be squashed—again.
Somehow, nemesis Kendra Jean Valentine convinces them to take the case. KJ's secret: find the vase, collect the 10%. Nothing new there.

Will anyone find the vase? Will any secrets cause irreparable trouble?
 

Excerpt:

Sam held the limo door. Smith ducked inside. As Westen passed Sam to climb in also, he said, “Enjoy your new partnership, ladies.”

As if she’d morphed into Old Faithful Geyser, Smith burst back onto the sidewalk nearly plowing over Westen. “What did he say? Did he say what I thought he said?” Her words were aimed at Westen but her focus was on KJ’s boss. “What did you say?”

“Kendra Jean didn’t tell you?” He speared her with a scowl. “That’s why she’s going along. You three will be partners.”

“No!” Smith and Westen said at the same time. “No way,” Westen added for emphasis the same time as Smith’s, “No f-ing way. I can’t work with her, she’s—”

“That’s the deal,” KJ said. “Take it or leave it.”

Smith snatched the hybrid’s keys from Sam’s fingers. Elbow-to-elbow, she and Westen marched down the sidewalk. As they passed the policeman, he raised both palms, confused.

“We didn’t like the color of the interior,” Westen told him.

“Wait!” KJ clip-clopped up to them. She took hold of two sleeves and spun Smith and Westen around.

Smith jerked herself free. “Stop touching me! KJ, We can’t work with you. All you think about is yourself and you know it. You’ll make us do all the legwork. And then take the credit.”

KJ planted her heels and heaved all the air from her lungs. “I know what kind of person I am, and I’m working on that. Really. But you cannot turn down this job. Remember, this is personal for Sam. His good friend is in trouble.”

“And this matters to us how? Sam is your boss, not ours. If we were so important to the case, he would’ve brought us in at the beginning. We—”

“You have to help him,” KJ said. “If money’s the problem, I won’t take any of the recovery fee. It can all be yours.”

“Then what makes you our so-called partner?” Westen asked.

“I want to learn the ropes. I want to see how you two work. I want to be an investigator.”

“Yeah, so you can take our future work,” Smith said.

Westen touched Smith’s arm. “Come on, let’s get in the limo.”

“You can’t be serious.”

Westen pulled Smith aside. “I don’t believe the shortcake she’s feeding us either. It’s just—”

“I don’t believe this,” Smith groused, her curly hair bobbing with her anger. “You know she’s using us to learn how we work, then take our jobs.”

“I know.” Westen lowered her voice. “But remember this—her personality will keep her from ever being a success.”

 




Copyright © 2017 The Wild Rose Press, Inc.