Today sees the release of book #9 in the Flowers Can Be Fatal series.. I can't believe its time for this one already.
Blurb: On his third tour of duty in Afghanistan Lt. Col. Bev King signs up for the parcel service. He likes the contact from home, appreciates the generosity and thoughtfulness of his benefactor, and is intrigued by this woman who lives in the same town as his grandmother.
Jude Travis loves sending care packages to servicemen and is thrilled when "her squaddie" replies. A rapid letter exchange follows, and when he comes home on R&R they meet.
But Jude is being stalked, and Bev might just get snagged in the crossfire. Will this whirlwind romance cause repercussions? Could coming home be more dangerous for Bev than staying in a combat zone?
“Please. Talk to me, Jude. You’ll feel better for telling someone, I promise.”
“OK.” She paused, wondering how to say it without it making her sound like an idiot of the first degree. “I keep seeing the same car all over, but then it’s a small town, so you would. And I see the same people at the same time each day. But again, that’s only normal in a town like this one. It’s just me being stupid, that’s all.”
Bev pulled away from the lights. “That doesn’t sound stupid to me and someone breaking into the shop in a mask isn’t normal, no matter how you try to pass it off. What does this bloke look like?”
“Tonight the guy was in a mask but the man I’ve been seeing is tall, has a beard and dark hair,” she said automatically. “He’s just everywhere I am. Follows me when I go for a walk, or go shopping, stuff like that.”
He frowned. “Have you reported it?”
She shook her head. “No.”
“You should.” He stopped at a junction before turning right.
“And tell the police what?” Jude pushed a hand through her hair. “That I think I’m being followed by a bloke who probably lives in the same street I do? He’s undoubtedly a customer or something, and what if I’m just being paranoid?”
“Paranoia aside, there’s no harm in asking for advice,” he told her bluntly. “I would in your shoes. They won’t call you silly or ignore you. They’d rather give advice and chase up something that turns out to be nothing, than have to inform a family of a death or something. Call 101 when we get back. Better still, do it from Gran’s while I check out your place. I don’t want you getting in to find someone hiding in the lounge with a crowbar.”
“OK, thank you. I don’t have my phone. It’s at home in the kitchen charging up.”
“You can use ours.” He parked and opened the door for her. His hand rested against her back in a protective motion as he guided her inside. “Gran?”
“In the kitchen.”
Bev led Jude down the hallway. “Someone broke into the shop and Jude needs to call the police. I said she could use our phone while I check out her place.” He held a hand out. “I’ll need your keys.”
Jude reached into her bag for them and managed a grin. “Bossy.”
“No, just used to giving orders.” Bev winked at her. “And that’s Lt. Col. Bossy to you.”
“I’ll put the kettle on and make you some sweet tea,” Mrs. Bowen said. “The phone is in the lounge, dear. Bev will show you.”
Bev led her into the lounge to make the call. He handed her the phone. “You’re perfectly safe here. I’ll be right back.”
“OK.” Jude took the handset and debated calling 101 or Milly. 101 would connect her to the local nick, but Milly was a DI and a friend and would tell her not to be so stupid as to let her worries and idiocies get to her. She plumped for Milly.
The phone rang twice. Milly answered as the doorbell rang. “DI Jenson.”
“Milly, it’s me. Something happened at work and I was told to report—” She broke off as a familiar voice came from the hallway. She peeped around the door. A man stood there, peaked cap hiding his face, clipboard in his hand.
“I’m really not interested,” Mrs. Bowen said.
“I’ll just leave you some information—”
Jude backed away, pressing into the wall behind the door.
“Jude?” Milly’s voice echoed from the phone. “Jude, are you there?”
Jude cut off the call and dropped the phone. She buried her face in her hands. Bev said she’d be safe here, but she wasn’t. She wasn’t safe anywhere.
Pelican Book Group