From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes a hilarious holiday whodunit!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Unless you’re Sally Muccio.
The full-time baker and sometime sleuth is ready to burst into song. She and her husband are expecting a bundle of joy, her sister’s wedding is just around the corner, and it’s Christmas, her favorite time of year. But when Sal’s the victim of a carjacking by Santa himself and a forgotten item links her to a murder, she doesn’t feel like ho-ho-hoing anymore.
Damian Ruger was a drug user, womanizer and first-class jerk. And unfortunately for Sal, she once had a connection to him in high school. The dough really hits the fan when her bakery's gingerbread cookies are found next to his dead body, and Sal's cake server is used as a murder weapon. Someone is trying to frame the expectant mother, but why? Sal has no choice but to try to clear her name...before she and the baby are singing Christmas carols in prison!
We'd had snow earlier today. It was only a couple of inches, but enough to turn the area into a winter postcard scene. I turned on the radio and smiled when I heard my favorite Christmas song playing, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Although my singing voice was horrible, I sang at the top of my lungs as I drove down a side street with Peacock's Dry Cleaners to my right. Life couldn't be any more perfect right now.
The traffic light changed to yellow as I approached. I probably could have made it but decided not to tempt fate. The dry cleaners closed at four, and the building was dark except for one dim light inside. There were no Christmas lights or decorations of any kind, and I shook my head in disgust. The entire building appeared forlorn and lonely. Lawrence Peacock was about my grandmother's age, and everyone knew that he would never retire. He'd owned the business for as long as I could remember and grumbled every year that Christmas did nothing but make the electric company richer.
The inside of the car was stuffy, so I rolled my window down partway for some air. As I waited for the light to change, the baby kicked. I smiled and sighed, reaching a hand down to my belly. I would never get tired of feeling that little person move inside me.
"Hey there. You are going to come out before Christmas, right? Your daddy and I can't wait to meet you."
"Get out of the car!"
Puzzled, I looked up to see a man standing next to my car door. A gun was pointed at my head, and the man at the other end of it was none other than Santa Claus. My entire body froze with shock as I stared into a pair of listless dark eyes that eerily resembled the night. I tried to speak, but words stuck in my throat.
"Are you freaking deaf, lady? I said to get out of the car!"
Okay, he didn't actually say freaking—it was a word ten times worse. But that was the least of my worries. My hands, stuck to the steering wheel at the ten and two o'clock positions, had started to shake. A shot rang out, and I screamed. The bullet had gone through my front passenger window, which shattered on impact. Another Santa was standing directly in front of my vehicle. Holy Christmas. I was being carjacked by the big red man himself.
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