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Return to Fender

Return to Fender

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"Find out who’s trying to kill one of the best-known drag queens in Memphis? No problem. Harley’s on the case. Until someone decides she’s getting a little too close to the truth . . .
Halloween’s just around the corner, and business is brisk at Memphis Tour Tyme. Harley doesn’t need an extra job, but when her pal Tootsie asks her to help Jordan Cleveland, his fellow drag queen, she can’t resist poking around in the mystery. How dangerous could it be for her? After all, Jordan’s the target of the threats, not her. He’s had his brake line cut, a concrete flower pot dropped over his head, a pickup truck nearly ran him down, and someone tried to push him off a sidewalk into heavy traffic. He and Harley think his ex-wife is the most likely culprit, but after Jordan is sideswiped by a car and ends up in the hospital, trouble starts to turn Harley’s way. The next thing she knows, she’s dangling off the side of the city’s famous Peabody Hotel while an anonymous thug tells her to mind her own business . . . or else.
Things can only get worse, and she ought to heed the demands of her hunky police boyfriend, Mike Morgan, who’s really worried. Even the guests at a local Halloween party start to look like suspects. Maybe the guy dressed up as Jay-Z is out to get her. Or one of the Kardashian sisters.
But how dangerous can it be to leave the party just long enough to retrieve her brother’s coveted Fender guitar from Tootsie’s empty house? Harley will return safe and sound, right?
Virginia Brown is the author of more than fifty novels in romance, mystery, and mainstream fiction. In addition to the Blue Suede Memphis mysteries, she writes the bestselling Dixie Divas mysteries.
"
"Find out who’s trying to kill one of the best-known drag queens in Memphis? No problem. Harley’s on the case. Until someone decides she’s getting a little too close to the truth . . .
Halloween’s just around the corner, and business is brisk at Memphis Tour Tyme. Harley doesn’t need an extra job, but when her pal Tootsie asks her to help Jordan Cleveland, his fellow drag queen, she can’t resist poking around in the mystery. How dangerous could it be for her? After all, Jordan’s the target of the threats, not her. He’s had his brake line cut, a concrete flower pot dropped over his head, a pickup truck nearly ran him down, and someone tried to push him off a sidewalk into heavy traffic. He and Harley think his ex-wife is the most likely culprit, but after Jordan is sideswiped by a car and ends up in the hospital, trouble starts to turn Harley’s way. The next thing she knows, she’s dangling off the side of the city’s famous Peabody Hotel while an anonymous thug tells her to mind her own business . . . or else.
Things can only get worse, and she ought to heed the demands of her hunky police boyfriend, Mike Morgan, who’s really worried. Even the guests at a local Halloween party start to look like suspects. Maybe the guy dressed up as Jay-Z is out to get her. Or one of the Kardashian sisters.
But how dangerous can it be to leave the party just long enough to retrieve her brother’s coveted Fender guitar from Tootsie’s empty house? Harley will return safe and sound, right?
Virginia Brown is the author of more than fifty novels in romance, mystery, and mainstream fiction. In addition to the Blue Suede Memphis mysteries, she writes the bestselling Dixie Divas mysteries.
"

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Published by: BelleBooks Publishing House on Jun 07, 2013
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09/29/2013

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Prologue
DISASTER . . .
 
It had to be a joke. Right? This wasn‟t real. It couldn‟t be real. It had to be a joke. A loop of 
gauzy spider web flapped at her, tendrils streaming like long fingers.Harley shivered. Fuzzy light from the full moon flirted
behind clouds. She didn‟t want to
believe her eyes, but the evidence lay right before her: a familiar hat and a corpse, feet sticking upout of the ground, the head still under a mound of dirt. A weathered-looking headstone poked upbehind it, leaning drunkenly; thick spider webs strung from the top of it to the bony hands of aplastic skeleton propped up against a nearby oak. It was only forgotten Halloween decorations. Thegrinning head tilted to one side, and a black rubber spider as big as a dinner plate dangled from atree limb. It swayed in the wind and cast eerie shadows over the cemetery. Fog hovered above thedamp ground.It was a scene straight out of a horror movie.
Cemetery Man. I Sell the Dead. Grave Encounters 2.
 And the classic,
Pet Sematary.
It was a joke, right? But what if it wasn‟t? What if— 
no, it had to be a joke. A prank. Someone
 was trying to punk her. Probably Eric to get even with her for the ferret thing. That‟s all it was. A
joke. And yet . . . it looked so real.Harley shook her head. This was ridiculous. Why be afraid when it was just a prank? She took 
two bold steps forward. Okay. She‟d play the game, and then she‟d get even. Still, her heartbeat
escalated, and her mouth went dry, and she had to force her knees to bend as she knelt on the dampearth. Her fingers skimmed the turned clods of black dirt. Clumps stuck to her fingertips, and shecarefully brushed them away. Slowly, the face emerged. Her stomach dropped.
It wasn’t a joke.
 
“Holy hell!” Harley yelped and tried to stand up and leap backward at the same time. She didn‟tmake it. Her feet slipped in the slick mud. Her arms pinwheeled, but it didn‟t save her. She landed
on the ground with a splat and sprawled on her back. Fear and disbelief clogged her throat andmade her heart beat so hard her ribs ached. The urge to run like hell was overpowering. She kickedat the ground to wriggle as far away from the corpse as she could get. Panic set in when she gottangled in clingy filaments of the fake spider web. It clung to her like Silly String. The more shebatted at it, the more entangled she became. Finally, with a mighty yank, she freed her hands of mostof the web.Maybe it was the yank that put her off balance. Maybe not. It felt like she was pushed. Her cellphone flew out of her hand and into the air, and she went backward, tried to catch herself, but herhands skidded in the slick mud, and she slid from the mound and down into a deep hole. She landed with her shoulders at the bottom, her head tilted to one side, and her legs wedged up against the wallover her head. A little dazed from the fall, she blinked a few times, squinted up at a fuzzy patch of light about five feet above her head. As she lay there looking up at the small, rough rectangle of dim light, it dawned on Harley that
she‟d fallen into an open grave.
 Nightmare 
. Why hadn‟t she paid attention to that little voice inside
that had told her to stay home tonight? Or to Diva? But no. Now here she was in a grave. And noone around. This was not good.She wriggled around and tried to move, but her body only wedged tighter into the soft dirt.Spider web threads still clung to her face and snagged on her hands as she sank deeper into the mud
and muck at the bottom. This wasn‟t doing it. She‟d end up here for the entire night if she didn‟t
figure a way out
 — 
and she had to get out. Whoever had left that body might come back. Now she
 was certain she‟d been pushed. A sense of urgency prodded her to desperation. She clawed
 
frantically at the dirt, succeeding only in freeing clods that fell on her head and tasted awful. Sheshuddered, then tried again. After several minutes of struggle, Harley managed to worm around enough to relieve thepressure on her twisted neck. It was cramped in the hole. Her feet still stuck up in the air, shoved upagainst raw earth, and her knees were practically under her chin. If she could just get her feet underher, she could stand and pull herself upright, then out of this dank, dark hole. Dammit, what werethe odds of falling into an open grave? About par with an actual Elvis sighting, she figured. Yet hereshe was on her back in an open grave the size of a postage stamp and unable to get out. A shadow above her head caught her attention, and she tilted back to squint up at the raggedopening. Nothing but hazy moonlight shimmered at first, but then she caught an unmistakableglimpse of movement.
Rescue! 
“Hey!” she shouted, “Hey! I‟m down here and can‟t get out!”
  There was no reply, no concerned face peering into the hole. After a moment the lightdisappeared behind a huge shadow, and then a load of dirt crashed down on her.Stunned, she scraped it off her face with her free hand and opened her mouth to loudly protest,but another load of dirt dumped into the hole. Harley spit dirt from her mouth, gagging a little.Damn them! What the hell? Suddenly she knew that whoever was up there knew she was downhere
 — 
and intended to keep her here.
Buried alive 
.
 Why hadn‟t she listened to the inner warnings? Why hadn‟t she listened to people who had tried
to tell her to
back off? But she hadn‟t. Oh, no. She had to do it her way. Now look. And it had all
started out so simply and safely . . .

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