Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti: A Magical Bakery Mystery

BOOK: Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti: A Magical Bakery Mystery


“Mimsey, what did you see in your shew stone?” I practically whispered. We didn’t
usually talk magic in the bakery unless there were no customers to overhear us.

“Well, my stars!” Mimsey kept her voice low, though it trilled with excitement. We
all leaned closer. “It appeared to be an emergency, though of what kind I simply can’t
pretend to know. My dear little pink stone only indicated that you needed help, darlin’.”
She looked around at the others.

I pressed my lips together. “Your crystal ball is nothing more than a gossip, then.”

Her face fell, and Bianca gave me a stern look. I backpedaled. “I mean, yes, Declan
and I discovered a body under a rhododendron bush in the square, but that doesn’t
have anything to do with us. Long term, I mean.”

“What!” Ben exclaimed.

Heads all over the bakery turned toward us, and I felt my face redden. I scooted closer
to Lucy and motioned Ben to the cushion next to me. “Shh.”

He ducked his head. “Sorry.” He sat down and whispered, “A body? What happened?”

Praise for
Brownies and Broomsticks

“Katie is a charming amateur sleuth, baking her way through murder and magic set against
the enchanting backdrop of Savannah, Georgia. With an intriguing plot and an amusing
cast of characters,
Brownies and Broomsticks
is an attention-grabbing read that I couldn’t put down.”

—Jenn McKinlay, national bestselling author of
Death by the Dozen

Also Available from Bailey Cates


Brownies and Broomsticks


A Magical Bakery Mystery

Bailey Cates



Published by New American Library, a division of

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,

New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,

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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:

80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

ISBN: 978-1-101-60738-1

Copyright © Penguin Group (USA), Inc., 2012

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed
in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in
or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.
Purchase only authorized editions.

OBSIDIAN and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Printed in the United States of America


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the
product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance
to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is
entirely coincidental.

    The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility
for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen
property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher and neither the
author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”


It takes so many people to create a book and get it into the hands of readers. I’m
grateful for the opportunity to work with Kim Lionetti, and so many thanks go to the
hardworking team at Penguin/NAL: Jessica Wade, Jesse Feldman, Kathleen Cook, Kayleigh
Clark, and all the others who contributed their talent and dedication to this project.
My writing buddies, Bob and Mark, provided tons of useful feedback. The inspiring
ladies of the Old Town Writing Group gave me unfailing encouragement. And Kevin Brookfield
was—and is—my anchor.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31


About the Author

Chapter 1

“Mmm, that was delicious.” Declan McCarthy leaned back on his elbows and looked up
through the branches of the live oak arching overhead. His eyes reflected the electric
blue of the clear October sky.

“Even if you do say so yourself,” I said.

He blinked slowly. “I could take a nap right now.”

Mungo, my Cairn terrier, sighed his agreement.

I slapped my human companion lightly on the knee. “It’s only nine a.m., lazybones.”

“Not my fault you insisted on a breakfast picnic, Katie.”

“Well, it’s your fault for bringing so much food.”

Declan did all of the cooking for the crew when he was on duty at the firehouse. Right
now he was on days off, and when he’d offered to put together a Saturday-morning nosh
for the two of us, I leaped at the chance. I spent so much time in the kitchen of
the Honeybee Bakery that a morning off was pure heaven. Not that I didn’t love my

Declan had packed up a culinary extravaganza of Low Country breakfast shrimp, Tasso
ham and cheese
grits, flaky buttermilk biscuits slathered with butter and peach jam, and a thermos
of freshly squeezed orange juice. Mungo had sampled all but the last with the verve
of the canine gourmet that he was. On my way to meet Declan in the parklike setting
of Johnson Square, I’d stopped by the Honeybee and grabbed a couple of dark-roast
coffees and some pumpkin spice cookies for, God help me, dessert.

Now, stuffed to the gills, I stretched out on the quilt. “It’s been hot for this time
of year, don’t you think?” Not that I’d lived in Savannah the previous October, but
it seemed like the sticky heat was going to go on forever.

The previous April I’d driven my Volkswagen Beetle from Akron, Ohio, to Savannah to
open the bakery with my aunt Lucy and uncle Ben. It was a fresh start after a broken
engagement and years at an unpleasant job. Six months later I was the proud owner
of a tiny carriage house in Midtown and part owner of the bakery, and I felt a sense
of belonging with my new friends that I’d never known before.

Declan—one of those new friends—looked down at me with a smile. “Ah. But not here.
There’s always a breeze in Johnson Square. Don’t you know the story?” He indicated
the marble obelisk towering nearby.

I shook my head.

His sweeping gesture took in the whole historic square. “Nathanael Greene, the Savior
of the South himself, absolutely despised fair Savannah. He hated the heat, and for
some reason he especially hated all the Spanish moss.”

“Because of the chiggers?” The elegantly draping
plant wasn’t really a moss at all, and it deceptively housed a teeming population
of tiny red biting insects.

“I daresay that didn’t help.” He pointed to the towering white monument. “Ol’ Nathan
is buried right there, and he keeps the air-conditioning on for everyone who comes

I snorted.

“It makes a certain amount of sense,” he said. “I believe he ultimately died of heatstroke.
Notice anything else?”

My gaze followed his upward. Then it dawned on me. “There isn’t any Spanish moss on
these trees!”

“That’s right. Nathan forbids it to grow.”

My eyes narrowed. Normally I would have pooh-poohed the notion, but since I had discovered
six months previously that I was a hereditary witch, my willingness to believe in
magic of all sorts had expanded exponentially.

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