There are a lot of ways to get into the Christmas spirit: Decorate, turn on your favourite songs, watch your favourite movie, take a walk in the snow…
Read a book.
There are plenty of Christmas-y books out there to choose from, too, but there’s one more to add to your list: The Christmas Walk Caper, by JB Michaels. It’s a bit different from the books that I normally associate with Christmas, but no less intriguing. Likely because of the whole murder plot.
If that doesn’t catch your attention, today’s excerpt certainly will. Ready to take a look?
Millie rubbed the back of her neck. Sitting at a desk, not fun. A far cry from her days as a college athlete. Her cell phone buzzed in the desk drawer. She pulled it open. The typical ‘call me when u get a chance’ message displayed on her home screen from none other than her mother, Becca.
Millie sighed. The last appointment took too long, and she just didn’t want to talk to anyone right now. Still, she picked up the phone and called Mom.
“Hello. I’m at the store. Do you think Mac likes vegetables? Yes. No. Maybe I shouldn’t get them. I mean, maybe just baked beans?” Becca said.
“Mom. Slow down. Mac isn’t into vegetables. Don’t even worry about it.”
“I will just get everything. Just make everything. I mean, it can’t hurt. One thing our family likes to do is eat.” Becca continued to talk without any acknowledgment that her daughter had responded.
Millie rubbed the side of her face. Why was everyone so hyped today?
“Mom! Why did you call?”
“Well, sorry. Just wanted to make sure we had what Mac likes.”
“Whatever you make, I am sure will be fine.”
“I’ll just get all of this. That’s fine.”
“All of what? Mom, I have to go. Have an appointment.”
“Oh, okay. Talk to you later. Byeeee.”
“See you later.” Millie ended the call, confused as to what had just happened.
Her phone buzzed again. Mac.
“Hello.” Mac’s welcome voice comforted.
“Hey. How are you?” Millie asked.
“I’m good. Great actually. You ready for this? I think Patricia may have been murdered.”
“Wait, what? Who is Patricia?” Millie looked around and decided to stand up, get out of the bank lobby, and up the stairs to an empty office space.
“Patricia Flaherty, the owner of the Tiny Wanderer. She was found dead in her kitchen this morning. My brother thinks it may have been a heart attack, but she was found on the floor and was trying to take her thyroid pills, not blood pressure pills. Vince said a patrolman named Jerry assigned to do security for her house on the Christmas Walk tonight found her. I don’t know, something just doesn’t feel right. She was usually in such good spirits and never once talked about a heart condition.”
“Oh no. That is terrible, Mac. She seemed like such a nice lady. Maybe your brother is right. We bank with—or banked with—her. She was in her eighties, right? I mean, these things happen. The thyroid pills instead of heart medication doesn’t mean she was murdered.” Millie paced the empty office space.
“I know. I know. But she was worth a lot of money, and Edith said she was in talks with Lacy’s to sell the Tiny Wanderer. When big money is involved, you just never know. I want to do my due diligence and do what my brother is not doing which is investigate. Which is why I am calling you…” Mac said.
“I mean, I really don’t think this is necessary. What do you want me to do?”
“You said Patricia Flaherty and the Tiny Wanderer have accounts with Salem Bank?” Mac asked.
“I was hoping you wouldn’t ask that. But yes. Yes, she does. And yes, a personal account and business. One of our bigger accounts. Not the biggest. But big enough. You want me to see if anything strange has been going on in her accounts.” Millie sighed and shook her head, worried that Mac’s behavior was indicative of his injury and retirement from the force.
“I mean, it can’t hurt to look. Maybe some insight as to why she was looking into selling. Thank you, Mills!” Mac’s voice abruptly stopped. He’d ended the call.
Millie walked back down the stairs, audibly blowing air from her mouth in apparent exhaustion of having to talk to two of the most hyper people she knew in a very short amount of time.
About The Christmas Walk Caper
Add ‘Catch a killer’ to your Christmas to-do list!
Meet Mac, a retired hero cop with writer’s block and a penchant for trouble. What holiday hijinks will he get himself into?
Probably a murder investigation.
Meet Millie, a local banker and former college athlete who may have a trick or two up her sleeve. What Christmas conundrum will she be brought in to solve?
Again, a murder mystery.
In this delightful cozy mystery set in downtown Geneva, Illinois, our sarcastic and savvy sleuths will seek justice for the untimely death of the owner of the beloved and charming retail mansion: The Tiny Wanderer.
It’s time to stroll on Third street. Immerse yourself in beautiful Christmas décor. Drink some hot chocolate and help solve the Christmas Walk Caper.
About JB Michaels
I am JB Michaels, award-winning and USA Today Bestselling Author of two series: Bud Hutchins Thrillers and the Tannenbaum Tailors.
I have spent my life in the study of story from riveting novels to the slam-bang action-packed world of comics to the examination of film history, I have spent a lifetime learning and examining the elements that make a story incredible. This steadfast dedication has led me to writing stories of my own.I am married and with a son, I have a great love of family. I hope that you enjoy my bestselling books that mash genres from thrillers to science fiction to fantasy!