A Vacation to Die For (A Tourist Trap Mystery #14) Read Online Lynn Cahoon

Categories Genre: Romance, Suspense, Thriller Tags Authors: Series: A Tourist Trap Mystery Series by Lynn Cahoon

Total pages in book: 84
Estimated words: 77985 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 390(@200wpm)___ 312(@250wpm)___ 260(@300wpm)

In the California coastal town of South Cove, Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books, and More, discovers that wedding planning can be murder . . .

Hustling her fiancé off to a neighboring tourist town might be the only way Jill Gardner can plan her nuptials to South Cove’s in-demand police detective. But when a mystery man turns up dead at South Cove’s PD, Greg is hightailing it back home to investigate, leaving Jill to finish the vacation solo.
Jill can barely get in a spa day before her own respite is spoiled by a greedy hotel guest and unexpected revelations about Max Winter, the developer conniving to buy her home out from under her. Then there’s the staffing issues at the store, the strange men seen lurking about town, and an aggressive and obnoxious family member harassing Jill’s beloved employee. It’s enough to make the bride-to-be full of jitters . . . especially when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer . . .


Chapter 1

Mayor Marvin Baylor’s excitement made the tone of his voice rise even higher than his normal, birdlike chirp. In fact, the words came out to the business-to-business meeting as more like a squeal. I glanced over at Amy Newman-Cross, my best friend and typically the mayor whisperer, but she just shrugged. Even Bill Sullivan, the City Council chairman and owner of South Cove Bed and Breakfast, frowned. The mayor paused, leaving room for the words to sink in, but no one in the room had heard what he’d actually said.

Bill leaned forward. “I’m sorry, Marvin, but exactly what kind of business is considering moving into South Cove next year?”

Mayor Baylor glared at Bill. Anger dropped the tenor of his voice just a little. This time, the words were clear. “Like I just said, we’ve had interest from Coastal Investment Properties to do a mini hotel here in South Cove. One with an upscale restaurant. They’re all the rage in tourist areas. And all Max has to do is find a suitable property to build on.”

This time I got the glare from the mayor. Apparently, Max Winter, the sales rep from Coastal Investments, had informed the mayor I had no interest in selling my home. Even for the eight-figure sum the nice man in the expensive suit had offered the last time he sat down at the table with Greg and me. The money would be life changing and we wouldn’t have to worry about anything ever again. Except I’d have to buy a new place to live. South Cove property was expensive and hard to come by. And I liked walking to work. And I loved my house.

Greg and I had decided, as our first official decision as an engaged couple, that if we wanted to sell later, like in twenty years, we’d make the decision then. But for now, we loved where we lived. And it was my home. I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for saying no, even if it meant the mayor wouldn’t have his mini hotel and upscale restaurant.

“Uh-oh.” Amy whispered. “It looks like you’re the fly in his cream pie.”

“Yep. His salesman came by the house again last week, thinking that if Greg heard the offer directly, he might make me accept the deal. But what they didn’t know is we’re both on the same page. We’re not selling.” I leaned toward her as I filled her in on my part of ruining the mayor’s latest expansion plans for South Cove. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the mayor. Well, I didn’t, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was he kept trying to use my property as he courted new businesses to move to South Cove. Well, mine and Esmeralda’s house, which sat across the street. But she’d told the mayor to stop sending developers her way or she might do a fortune for him that had bad outcomes.

The mayor’s wife, Tina, believed in Esmeralda’s psychic talent, so she had put the kibosh on anyone approaching Esmeralda to sell again. Maybe I could ask our local psychic to convince Tina that my property was protected by the spirits as well. I’d chat with her the next time I saw her at the police station. Esmerelda was the part-time police dispatcher for Greg. Oh yeah, and Greg was also South Cove’s police detective. In any other town he’d be police chief, but the mayor didn’t want to give the title to him because it would come with a raise.

Greg didn’t care. He loved his job. And he loved me. So that was all I needed to know.

I tuned back into the discussion that had become a little heated as I tuned out. Bill stood and pointed at the mayor.

“You and your big ideas are going to bring in big companies and ruin South Cove. I’ve talked to your guy on this mini hotel. He’s a snake oil salesman. We don’t need some big hotel here. We have the Castle and several bed-and-breakfasts already fighting over the tourist trade. Bringing in a new, fancy hotel would put a lot of us out of business.” Bill shook his finger to emphasize his point. “Besides, Diamond Lille’s is already having issues finding staffing. You’re going to take away all her best employees.”