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SILVER

SCREAM

A BED-AND-BREAKFAST MYSTERY

To Dave—

As they say in Hollywood,

I couldn’t have done this book

without him. Or done much else, either.

Contents

ONE

JUDITH MCMONIGLE FLYNN twitched in

the kitchen chair, jumped up…

1

TWO

JUDITH RECOILED FROM the obscenity

screamed into her ear by…

18

THREE

RENIE AND ARLENE seemed to have

everything under control. Arlene already…

34

FOUR

“RENIE!” JUDITH CRIED, pulling on the

handle of the door…

53

FIVE

“WIN?” 71

SIX

WHEN JUDITH GOT back downstairs,

five early young trick-or-treaters came…

89

SEVEN

JUDITH DIDN’T HEAR Joe come

running down the hallway. She…

109

EIGHT

“LET’S GET OUT of here,” Joe whispered

to Judith. “We’ll…

125

NINE

“THAT’S RIDICULOUS,” JUDITH declared.

“How is it our fault that…

142

TEN

RENIE ALL BUT fell into the pew. By now,

several…

153

ELEVEN

HAVING BEEN PRIVY to two, possibly

three, murders at her…

169

TWELVE

JOE HADN’T YET detached the garden

hoses or covered the…

186

THIRTEEN

JUDITH STOOD ROOTED TO the spot,

staring at the tape…

204

FOURTEEN

“GIVE ME A clean piece of freezer wrap,”

Judith said…

225

FIFTEEN

“WHAT IS THIS?” Renie demanded when

the maître d’ had left…

240

SIXTEEN

JUDITH WANTED VERY much to see

Heathcliffe and Amy Lee…

253

SEVENTEEN

SLOWLY, SHE OPENED the door and peered

into the hallway.…

269

EIGHTEEN

“I DON’T GET it,” Judith said, stopping

herself from gnawing…

284

NINETEEN

“THE AIRPORT’S STILL closed,” Joe

announced as he brought in…

303

TWENTY

THERE WAS NO time for Judith to explain.

The

battalion…

322

About the Author

Praise

Other Books by Mary Daheim

Cover

Copyright

About the Publisher

First Floor

Toolshed

Living

Kitchen

Room

Patio

Garage

BathBedroom

room

Walkway

Back Porch

Basement Stairs

Pantry

French Doors

Back

Stairs

Kitchen

Living Room

Bay Window

Fireplace

Window

Seat

Rankers’ Hedge

Dining Room

Driveway

Powder Landing

Entry

Room

Hall

alkway W

Main

Front Parlor

Stairs

Fireplace

Landing

Front Porch

Front

Door

N

W

E

Cul-de-sac

S

Second Floor

Back Stairs

Room 6

Bathroom

Storage

Room 5

Stairs to

Bathroom

3rd Floor

Room 4

Bathroom

Room 3

Main

Settee/

Stairs

Phone

Room 2

Room 1

Landing

N

W

E

S

Third Floor

Guest

Bedroom

Storage

Master

Bedroom

Joe’s

Bathroom

Den

Storage

N

W

E

S

ONE

JUDITH MCMONIGLE FLYNN twitched in the kitchen

chair, jumped up, paced the floor, and leaned her

head against the cupboard by the sink. Desperately,

she tried reason, argument, and, finally, bad grammar in an attempt to fend off Ingrid Heffelman from

the state bed-and-breakfast association.

“I don’t want none of those crazy people at Hillside Manor,” she shouted into the phone. “I mean,

any of them. They’re Hollywood types, and they’re

nuts.”

“Just because they make movies doesn’t mean

they’re crazy.” Ingrid huffed. “Look, I know this is

a big favor. But you had only two other reservations

for the last weekend of October besides the producer, Bruno Zepf. I can put those non–movie people

up somewhere else to make room for the additions

to Mr. Zepf’s original guest list.”

Since Bruno Zepf had made his reservation two

weeks earlier, Judith knew she was on shaky

ground. Like many Hollywood big shots, Zepf was

as superstitious as he was successful. Ten years earlier, his career as an independent producer had been

launched at a film festival in the Midwest. At the

2

Mary Daheim

time Zepf couldn’t afford a hotel; he’d had to stay in a

bed-and-breakfast. The movie had won the top prize,

launching his Hollywood career. Ever since, he had

stayed at B&Bs before premiering a new production.

But other members of his company wanted to stay in

the same B&B, hoping that Bruno’s good luck would

rub off on them. Magnanimously—egotistically—the

Great Man had allowed at least a half-dozen associates

to join him at Hillside Manor.

“Please, Ingrid,” Judith pleaded, moving away from

the cupboard, “I’m stuck with Mr. Zepf, but I’ve had

my fill of so-called beautiful people, from opera

singers to gossip columnists to TV media types. I’ve

had gangsters and psychos and—”

“I know,” Ingrid interrupted, her tone suddenly cold.

“That’s one of the reasons you’re going to accept this

deal. You’ve managed to have some very big problems

at Hillside Manor, and while they don’t seem to have

hurt your business, they give the rest of the B&Bs a

black eye. Look what happened a year or so ago—your

establishment was included in a sightseeing tour of murder sites, and you ended up on TV with a dead body.”

“The body wasn’t at Hillside Manor,” Judith retorted as the cupboard door swung open all by itself.

She took her frustration out on the innocent piece of

wood, slamming it shut. “And it certainly wasn’t my

fault. Besides, I got the tour group to take Hillside

Manor off the sightseeing itinerary, didn’t I?”

“You still looked like an idiot in that television interview about your so-called sleuthing,” Ingrid countered. “It was embarrassing for innkeepers all over the

state. You owe me—and the rest of the good people

who run B&Bs around here.”

SILVER SCREAM

3

“That was the editing,” Judith protested. “I didn’t

ask to be on TV. In fact, I begged them not to do the

piece. I hardly consider myself a sleuth. I run a B&B,

period. I can’t help it if all sorts of weird people come

here. Look, now you’re the one who’s setting me up.

Who will you blame if something happens while these

movie nutcases are staying at Hillside Manor?”

There was no response. The line was dead. Ingrid

had hung up on her.

“Damn,” Judith breathed. “Ingrid’s a mule.”

“She always was,” Gertrude Grover responded.

     

 

2011 - 2018