A Match Made in Mystery

BOOK: A Match Made in Mystery
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Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

A Match Made in Mystery

 

 

 

JB LYNN

 

 

 

 

 

Praise for JB Lynn’s Novels

 

 

"If you love series such as Evanovich's Plum and Bond's Body Movers, you'll love Confessions of A Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman."

-A Chick Who Reads

 

“…
laugh out loud hilarious and totally engaging novel.”

-Night Owl Reviews

 

“JB Lynn knows how to entertain readers. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for Maggie next!”

-Romance Novel News

 

“Ms. Lynn writes stories that flow well, make you care about her characters, and make you want to read more. It’s a winning combination for a book.”

-Long and Short Reviews

 

“…Lynn similarly and masterfully joins the genres of suspense and romance with a tale that is sure to please fans of both. Readers will be anxiously awaiting the next book in this series.”

-LIBRARY JOURNAL

 

 

 

 

OTHER TITLES BY JB LYNN

 

Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman

Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman

The Hitwoman Gets Lucky

The Hitwoman and the Family Jewels

The Hitwoman and the Neurotic Witness

The Hitwoman Hunts a Ghost

The Hitwoman and the 7 Cops

 

The Mutt and the Matchmaker

 

The First Victim

 

 

 

 

 

Special thanks to

 

Brenda Rumsey

Diane Wallace

Angelica Jackson

 

 

If you haven’t read THE MUTT AND THE MATCHMAKER be sure to check it out!

 

 

Prologue

 

“I need to talk to you.”

Brady barely heard the woman over the music being spun by the wedding DJ. He bent closer to the vivacious Latina. “Sorry, didn’t quite catch that.”

“I said I need to talk to you. It’s important.”

Although they’d never spoken, Brady knew who the woman was. Everyone attending the wedding knew she was Armani Vasquez, the matchmaker who’d put his friend Tom together with his new bride, Jane.

As a rule, Brady scoffed at the idea of a matchmaker, but even he had to admit that Tom and Jane
were
a perfect match. He’d never seen his friend so happy.

“It’s important,” Armani told him. “Life-changing important.”

“Okay, just let me get this drink and then we’ll find a place to talk.” Glancing down at her near-empty glass, he asked, “Can I get you a refill?”

She flashed him a beguiling smile. “Margarita on the rocks,
por favor
.”

“My drink of choice, too.”

“What can I get ya, buddy?” the bartender asked as Brady stepped up to the bar.

“Two margaritas on the rocks and one pink lady. Can you make that?”

Brady was pretty sure the guy smirked, but he nodded.

“Are you a believer?” Armani asked Brady as the bartender busied himself with creating their libations.

“A believer?”

“In my gift.” There was a challenge gleaming in the eye of the dark-haired beauty.

Brady waved a hand to encompass the entire room before focusing on the bride and groom, who were posing for pictures with their dog, Calamity. “Hard to say you don’t believe with all this happening.”

Armani eyed him shrewdly.  “A good argument, counselor.”

He nodded his agreement.

“The lady’s drink,” the bartender announced.

“What makes you think I’m a lady?” Armani asked him with a saucy wink.

The bartender’s mouth dropped open.

Brady moved to pass Armani her beverage, forgetting the beautiful woman only had the use of one of her hands; the other, according to what Tom had told him, had been injured, along with one of her legs, in a Zamboni accident.

She held up her empty glass, indicating she couldn’t take the full one.

“May I?” Mauricio, another friend of Tom’s, sidled up to them, smoothly plucking the glass from Armani’s grip.

“Thank you.” Armani batted her eyelashes at him gratefully while taking the margarita from Brady.

“Always my pleasure to assist a beautiful woman.” Mauricio made a slight bow toward her.

She grinned her pleasure.

Brady picked up his margarita and a frothy pink concoction in a tall glass from the bar.

“Don’t let the pink one go to your head, buddy,” Mauricio teased, nodding at the umbrella-laden, frothy pink drink Brady held before strolling off.

Brady rolled his eyes. “Ha ha.”

“Is he single?” Armani asked as soon as Mauricio was out of earshot.

Brady watched his friend get swallowed up by the undulating crowd on the dance floor. “Widowed. But trust me, he’s not looking for love.”

Armani stared at the spot where Mauricio had disappeared. “Looking and finding aren’t always the same thing.” She eyed the pink lady distastefully before raising her glass to toast. “To a purple people eater.”

Brady stared at her. He’d heard she was eccentric.

She clinked her glass against the pink one he held. “To a purple people eater.”  She sipped from her margarita. “Drink up.”

“It’s not my drink.”

She chuckled. “Well,
that

s
a relief.” She clinked against his margarita.

“It’s my date’s and I really should get it to her.”

She scowled. “Trust me, a woman who drinks whatever
that
is,” she wrinkled her nose in distaste, “is not the woman for you.” She leaned closer to whisper conspiratorially. “I
know
these things.”

Deciding it was best to play along with the slightly wacky woman, Brady agreed, “So I’ve heard.”

Armani flashed a self-satisfied grin. “My reputation precedes me.”

“So what’s this important thing you need to tell me?”

“I already did.”

Brady blinked. He considered himself to be a reasonably intelligent man, but he was struggling to follow this conversation despite that fact he’d only had one beer.

“Purple people eater.”

“What does that mean?”

“You have to find someone who can give you one.”

“What is it?”

Armani shrugged. “How should I know?’

Brady stared at her, totally confused.

“Keep asking and you shall receive,” Armani intoned. With that, she limp-shimmied into the crowd of dancers, leaving Brady holding a pink lady and wondering what the hell had just happened.

 

 

Chapter One

 

Squeezing her phone, Amy stared at the yellowed postcard taped to the corner of her dresser mirror.

Closing her eyes, she imagined herself standing amid the rolling green hills in the photograph as she told the man on the other end of the call, “Sure.”

“Thank you, sweetheart.” Adrian Bucker sounded pleased.  “I knew I could count on you. See you at four tomorrow.”

He disconnected the call. Amy opened her eyes, focused on the postcard again, and lowered the phone.

She hadn’t wanted to agree to Adrian’s request, but she knew it was what Aunt Bea would have expected. Besides, her Ireland Fund was lower than she’d like. She traced the letters on the postcard with the tip of her finger. I R E L A N D

She knew that the other side contained a short note. “
Miss you, my bonny lass
.”

A love note from her father to her mother. It was the only part of him Amy had ever known, since he’d died before she was born.

On her deathbed with her last pained breath, her mother had demanded that Amy go to Ireland when she turned twenty-eight.

Desperate to ease her mom’s suffering during her final moments, Amy had agreed to the promise.

Sighing heavily, she dropped her hand to her side. “It shouldn’t be so hard to take one great trip when you’re twenty-eight,” she told her reflection before turning away.

She looked down as something rubbed against her shins. Bending over, she scooped up an oversized tabby cat. “You, Pippin, are one of the reasons my fund is low. Do you have any idea how much your surgery cost?”

Instead of answering, the cat rubbed the top of her head against the bottom of Amy’s chin.

Holding the cat close, Amy sank down onto the bed. “Then again, you are good company.” She surveyed her efficiency apartment. It had seemed a whole lot homier before someone had broken in the month before and stolen her laptop, which had doubled as her TV. Now, stripped of some of its first world technology, the small, utilitarian space seemed even more depressing.

Feeling tears pressing against the backs of her eyes, Amy shook her head.  “No need to feel sorry for yourself.”

The cat kneaded her chest, trying to comfort her.

“I’m okay.” Amy dashed away her tears with the back of her hand. “I’m okay. Just tired.”

She carefully placed the cat on the comforter before scooting up to lay beside her. “A little rest will solve most of life’s problems,” she murmured, repeating the words her mother had used so many times.

It had been a long day, and now that she’d agreed to help out Adrian at the restaurant on her day off from her job at the hospital, it was going to be a longer week than she’d anticipated. Curling up, the cat pressed against her, and Amy closed her eyes, searching for the rest that so often eluded her.

She’d just drifted off to sleep when she was startled awake by heavy footsteps climbing the stairs toward her apartment.

Leaping off the bed, she grabbed the baseball bat leaning against the wall. Grasping it firmly, she held her breath, waiting to hear who was visiting her.

The rap against the door was sharp and quick. “Amy?” a familiar voice called. “It’s me. Let me in.”

Exhaling, she tossed the bat on the bed, crossed the room, and unlocked the three locks on her front door.  “Hey, Diego. What’s…?”

The question died on her lips as she got a good look at the man on the other side.

Normally tall, dark, and handsome, Diego was hunched, bleeding, and in pain.

Wordlessly, Amy stepped aside, ushering him in. He stumbled to one of the chairs in her kitchen and sank onto it with a groan.

BOOK: A Match Made in Mystery
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