Wendy Meadows Paranormal Cozy Mystery No Ladder What (EBOOK)

No Ladder What (EBOOK)

No Ladder What (EBOOK)

Witch of Wickrock Bay Book 4
Regular price $2.99 Sale price $1.99 Save 33%
/

Death comes knocking, and everyone’s a suspect…

When a grumpy and unpleasant bookstore owner is found murdered in his shop in the tranquil small town of Wickrock Bay, amateur witch Mimi Knotley once again finds herself caught up in a police investigation. It seems like everyone in the town has a motive for taking him out – including herself.

Forced to deal with the headstrong out-of-town state police officer Orlando London, Mimi struggles to unravel the truth behind the killing – all while dealing with her own supernatural abilities. Rival shop-owners, estranged ex-girlfriends, and angry customers all have their own stories to tell.

With sightings of a strange wizard lurking in the shadows and powerful magical covens waiting for her to agree to join them, Mimi Knotley knows that solving this murder will be the least of her troubles…


Death comes knocking, and everyone’s a suspect…

When a grumpy and unpleasant bookstore owner is found murdered in his shop in the tranquil small town of Wickrock Bay, amateur witch Mimi Knotley once again finds herself caught up in a police investigation. It seems like everyone in the town has a motive for taking him out – including herself.

Forced to deal with the headstrong out-of-town state police officer Orlando London, Mimi struggles to unravel the truth behind the killing – all while dealing with her own supernatural abilities. Rival shop-owners, estranged ex-girlfriends, and angry customers all have their own stories to tell.

With sightings of a strange wizard lurking in the shadows and powerful magical covens waiting for her to agree to join them, Mimi Knotley knows that solving this murder will be the least of her troubles…

Chapter One

Fueled with a large cup of aromatic coffee, Mimi Knotley held the door of the Wickrock Bay Café long enough for her pug, Baxter, to roll out.

Well, at least she thought it was long enough, but Baxter sat in the gap and enjoyed the spot of sunlight.

“Baxter, we’re going,” she said as patiently as she could. “It’s getting late.”

Her dog tilted his black-and-apricot-colored head and gave her the “Honestly?” look. 

“Honestly! Come on, buddy,” she murmured. But the pug sat there, his eyes half-closed, a ray of sunlight painting a shiny spot on his face. 

Mimi sighed and bent to pick up her pet. The tower clock had just chimed 9 a.m.—the time to open her Surprises: Rare and Wonderful Antiques shop. 

With her pug tugged under her arm, she hurried down the steps. The moment her foot touched the sidewalk, she knew something was wrong. 

In the fresh, misty air of a March morning, a crowd had gathered in front of the store next door to her shop. 

Mimi’s heart sped up. Her eyesight was still as sharp as her tongue and she knew it wasn’t her window people were staring at. 

But why would so many passersby stop in front of a bookstore whose owner was known for his introverted personality?

Introverted? Right! Mimi would call it positively antisocial, particularly since his bizarre graffiti attack on Mimi’s shop last month.

Mimi trotted forward.

Yeah, those people were definitely staring into the Bookstore window (what an unimaginative name!). 

About half a minute later, Mimi heard a handful of locals speaking.

“Someone needs to go in there,” a youthful male voice said.

“Don’t look at me,” a girl’s voice replied. “I can call the ambulance.”

“I don’t think he needs—” an older woman protested. “Oh, hello, Mimi,” the woman addressed her.

Mimi jumped. She glanced at the person greeting her—heavily made-up, pretty face aging well, framed by perfectly coiffed and dyed brown hair. 

“Barbara, hi, what’s going on?” Mimi asked. 

“Have a look yourself,” Barbara replied and tapped one of the college students blocking the view on her shoulder. “Could you move aside a little, please?”

The girl shrugged but stepped to the side, together with her bike. 

Mimi approached the front window of the bookshop. The dusty pane let in little light, but Mimi could see the tall shape of a book ladder in the middle of the store. She pressed her face against the frosty glass and shielded her eyes with her hand. It took a while for her eyes to adjust to the dimness inside. But the more she looked, the clearer she saw. There was something—or rather someone—hanging from the back of the ladder, immobile. The lanky limbs, clad in something dark and too short to cover the bright, stripy socks; this time, yellow and green. 

Drew Honeycomb! Her strange neighbor looking very much dead. 

Mimi pushed aside the other gaping student and marched to the entrance. She grabbed the door handle.

Locked.

Mimi whipped her phone from her pocket and dialed the number of the local police chief and her boyfriend, Rob Thompson.

“Morning, sunshine, how are you?” the smooth, warm voice greeted her. Under normal circumstances, Mimi would have replied with something adequately cozy, but not today, not in front of all those people watching her closely. And definitely not in the face of…well, death. 

“I think you need to come here. The bookshop next door. The owner looks…uh…dead.” 

Rob wheezed in a breath. 

“I’ll be there in five,” he said. His voice sounded wooden and formal. 

Mimi swallowed. Her mouth was dry and tasted of baking paper rather than the delicious coffee. 

“The police are on their way, please move back.”

Baxter whimpered under her arm. Mimi patted his head.

“Want to go home, Baxie?” she asked quietly.

The dog whimpered again. Mimi craned her neck. A blue light flashed in the distance. 

“Just a minute, and we’ll go home,” she whispered. Baxter buried his head deeper in the gap between her elbow and her side. 

“Do you think he did it to himself, ma’am?” one student, the boy, asked. 

Mimi winced hearing the words.

He did it to himself? What an awful end to someone’s life. Even one as miserable as Drew’s. 

“I’m not sure,” she said. “Did you see or hear anything suspicious? How come you even noticed?”

“We were on our way to the campus and Tess had to stop because her chain fell off,” the student explained. 

“Yeah, so I got off my bike and leaned it against the wall, and just happened to glance in the window…” the female student, Tess, added. 

“What time was it?” Mimi asked. No doubt Rob would ask the same questions, but she felt too overwhelmed to just stand there waiting for him. Keeping busy seemed a better option.

Plus, she might just find out something. 

“About ten minutes ago,” Tess replied.

“Did you see or hear anything or anyone leaving the shop?”

Both students stared at her and shook their heads.

Why would she even think they would have seen anything suspicious? So far, it looked like her neighbor ended his life. People do things like that, sadly. 

“What about you, Barbara?” Mimi turned to her fellow Wine and Art Club attendee. 

“I was just passing by, on my way to the café down the street.” The woman pointed to the building on the other side of Mimi’s shop, the Wickrock Bay Cafe. “And if you don’t mind, I’m going to continue, as I need a good coffee.” Barbara performed a graceful half-turn.

A siren wailed nearby. Mimi’s head jerked.

Thank goodness Rob was here!

“Wait, you should probably stay and talk to the police,” Mimi replied, grabbing Barbara’s sleeve.

Rob’s car came to a stop, and he emerged from it. He looked his usual imposing self in his uniform. 

“Morning, Mimi and everyone,” he greeted them simply. “I’ll come to talk to you later, Mimi,” he said as he approached the window. 

Baxter wriggled out from her embrace and ran toward the front door to her upstairs flat. 

Even if she wanted to stay, her dog was of a different view.

“Okay, I’ll be in the shop,” she replied and rushed after her pug. 

But she felt too upset to go to work now. Besides, Baxter seemed upset, too. So she took the morning off and headed upstairs.

Once in her apartment, Mimi spent some time cuddling Baxter, who then settled into his favorite armchair by the window. She made herself another cup of coffee, even though she probably shouldn’t—she was wide awake, with her heart pumping faster than usual, anyway. But Drew’s sudden death upset her and muddled her mind. She couldn’t quite make sense of it, and it was bugging her. There was something not quite right there, and she couldn’t put her finger on it. So she sat with a steaming cup in one of her wingback chairs. 

After a few deep breaths, her pulse slowed down, but the mud in her head hadn’t cleared. She took a sip of the brew. 

Someone knocked at the door, and Mimi hurried to the landing.

“Who is it?” she called.

“It’s me, Rob.”

Mimi rushed to let him in. 

“And?” she asked him, not hiding the note of urgency in her voice. 

“Dead,” Rob replied. He closed the door behind him and kissed her lightly. Mimi let herself enjoy it for a couple of seconds, but the unsettling sensation in her gut interrupted the moment.

“He’s really dead?” 

“Very much so. Died in the middle of the night.”

“Did he leave a farewell letter or anything like that?”

“Haven’t found one yet.”

“So?” she asked, looking into his eyes.

Rob blinked and averted his gaze. 

“What do you mean, so?” he asked, looking up. “Hi, Baxie, how are you, boy?”

Baxter barked, and Mimi smiled when she turned to look. Her usually quite antisocial dog was indeed standing at the top of the staircase, wagging his tail at the visitor. These two certainly had a special bond going, and Mimi was happy to see it. 

“I’m not sure why, but I seem to suspect foul play being involved,” Mimi said, returning to the topic at hand. 

Rob gave her a curious look.

“Are you able to tell me why?”

“No, not really. And that’s the problem.”

“I thought he was a rather gloomy individual, with not much going on for him.”

Mimi nodded.

“Yes, but…he also seemed to enjoy his books. To where…” Mimi paused to suppress a grin that crept onto her lips. Even though she found it funny, death wasn’t. “I often thought he wanted to keep all those books to himself.”

“What?”

“I’ve popped in a few times, and every time I came, he was sitting in that back room behind the counter. He would lift his head at the sound of the little bell above the door, just to check who it was. And then he’d carry on doing whatever he was doing.”

“Which was what?”

Mimi shrugged. “Usually reading books.”

Rob pushed his hat off his forehead. “Didn’t you say once that he hated the other shop owners?” he asked. 

“I might have,” Mimi admitted. Her own relationship with her neighbor on the left was far from ideal.

“He’s the one who painted your window.”

“Yeah. I don’t know why he was like that, just unpleasant to the fellow shop owners along the street.”

“Anything that resulted in an…argument of sorts?” Rob asked, looking at her carefully.

Mimi exhaled slowly, mentally going through the memories of recent events on Cormorants Walk. 

“I think we’ve learned to avoid him,” she said after a while. “I can’t recall anything recent.”

“What about that new guy down the road?”

“Who? Oh, Scott, the new café owner?”

Scott Thomas, who took over the Wickrock Bay Cafe after the previous owner was found dead, had been living in town for a few months now but was still considered “new.”

“Yes, did he have any disagreements with Drew?”

“Not yet, and when I tried to warn him, he told me he had already been warned.”

Rob nodded. “Interesting,” he said, but his voice didn’t convey interest. If anything, Mimi sensed a note of confusion. 

“Oh,” Mimi said as a memory popped up in her head. “I was a bit surprised Scott knew not to approach Drew, so I asked him about it, and Scott told me it was Leonard who warned him.”

Rob rubbed his chin with the back of his hand. Confusion flooded his broad, friendly face. 

“Leonard?”

“Leonard Falcon. He runs the stationery shop just behind the bookstore.”

“Okay, I’ll talk to him. Did Leonard have any problems with the deceased?”

Mimi winced. Rob suddenly using professional jargon hit a little too close. She knew the man even if she wasn’t his biggest fan. 

“I think he did. There was this rumor…I don’t believe it, mind…” Her voice trailed off as she remembered the context. “Apparently Drew called Leonard a pervert, which is not at all true.” She paused. “Do you suspect someone might have helped Drew to the other side?”

Rob drew his eyebrows. His square jaw worked back and forth, a clear sign Mimi had learned to decipher as Rob feeling too pressured to disclose his thoughts.

“Police secret?” she asked, adding a smile.

Sometimes it helped…

“No, it’s not that. It’s just that…”

“You need more evidence?”

“Yes.”

His face relaxed. But Mimi wasn’t done yet.

“But your gut feeling is telling you something, right? Just like mine.” 

“I’d rather wait for the results of the autopsy, Mimi. But going back to that argument between the vic—I mean, the deceased,” he corrected himself quickly. “And that Leonard guy. What was the problem?”

“I told you. Drew shouted abuse at Leonard, calling him a pervert.”

“But why, though? Was it because of something that happened?”

Mimi shrugged. “You’ll need to find out for sure, but I think it might have had something to do with some magazines that Drew had seen on sale in Leonard’s store.”

“Nothing illegal, I gather?” Rob glanced at her.

“If they were, Drew would have reported it, no doubt. Or someone else in this town.”

“Okay, so some name-calling?”

Mimi bit her lip.

“Yes and no,” she replied slowly. “Name-calling that apparently resulted in Leonard losing business. That’s what I’ve heard from Scott, and, to be honest, I’ve noticed that Leonard’s stationery store has not had that many customers, and he even closed it a few times, which was quite unusual. I wondered if he’d been sick or away on a family matter.”

“Interesting,” Rob said, pushing his hat back onto his forehead. This time his voice held a note of interest. 

“What are you thinking?” Mimi asked.

“People, relationships, gossip, rumors…” He grabbed the door handle. “I’ve got to go, Mimi, sorry. Need to make sure the case is attended to properly and request a postmortem, et cetera. But I’ll call you later. It’ll be great to catch up.” He smiled. 

“With pleasure. And I’d like an update on the case, please.”

His face tensed again. 

“It’s a police ma—”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. And you’re going to tell me not to meddle again.”

“Reading my mind, this woman,” he murmured and bent to kiss her on the cheek. 

Once the door closed shut behind him, Mimi turned on her heel. Baxter, who was still sitting at the top of the staircase, looked at her, tilting his little head. 

“Yep, you heard that right. He told me to stay out of it again. And again, I’m not going to do that. You know why, my sweet little Baxie?”

The pug tapped his tail on the wooden floor. 

“Because I have a hunch that this is not suicide. Mr. Drew Honeycomb was not particularly liked, and I think that someone might have had enough of his antisocial antics.”

FAQs

You can read your ebook on any ereader, such as Kobo, Nook, Kindle, or a smartphone, tablet, computer and/or in the free BookFunnel App.

An email is delivered to the email address you use when purchasing with the links to download your books/audiobooks.

You will also receive an email from our delivery partner, BookFunnel, as a backup.

- All digital sales are final.

There are no refunds given on digital products.

- Refunds for physical goods.

There is no return for change of mind. Returns are given for faulty items if you contact us within 7 days of receiving item (according to the tracking).

For refund queries, please email (wendy@wendymeadows.com) within 7 days of receiving your product (according to the tracking). Please use the subject "returns" and include your name, order number, and reason for return, and photographs of faulty item. If item is faulty, we refund or resend your goods - your choice. We want you to be happy!

What Readers are Saying