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Angelica had taken the news as well as could be expected, and Jake had at least helped her interview candidates to take over the grill at Booked for Lunch. But even the mention of Nigela Racita Associates could send Angelica into a ranting rage.

“Look, everyone, why don’t you all go home. Or, in your case, Antonio, back to your office. It’s not likely we’ll hear any more about this tragedy until the Sheriff’s Department can piece together what happened.”

“More likely the National Transportation Safety Board,” Mr. Everett suggested, gently set Miss Marple down on the floor, and stood.

Tricia nodded. “Come on, Ginny, go home. Read a good book, and go to bed early.”

“Yes, I will make sure she goes to bed very early,” Antonio said, his expression and tone solicitous. Ginny glared at him.

Tricia stepped behind the counter, found Ginny’s purse, and handed it to her. “Go home,” she said gently.

Ginny gave her a hug and turned for the door, which Antonio held open for her.

“I’ll be leaving, too, Ms. Miles,” Mr. Everett said. He did not offer Tricia a hug but gave her a solemn nod.

The phone rang before Tricia had a chance to lock the door behind him. She picked up the receiver. “Haven’t Got a Clue. I’m sorry, but we’re closed—”

“Don’t you think I know that?” came Angelica’s voice. She sighed, and softened her voice. “Come on over to the café. I’ve made soup.”

Although the day was warm, soup was Angelica’s second-favorite comfort food—after ice cream, of course. It wasn’t surprising she’d turned to cooking for consolation.

Two minutes later, Tricia found herself sitting on a stool at the counter in Booked for Lunch. She usually ate lunch at Angelica’s café, but today she hadn’t had the time or the inclination. Now the aroma of something heavenly took her back to her childhood.

“Deborah was my first friend here in Stoneham. I just can’t believe she’s gone,” Tricia said, pressing a tissue to her leaky left eye. She had a feeling the tears might be about to make a return visit.

“And what a way to go,” Angelica agreed, shaking her head. “Squashed like a bug.”

“Oh, Ange!” Tricia admonished. “Deborah was my friend!”

“I’m sorry,” Angelica said, and she truly did sound it. “She was my friend, too. But you have to look at it this way. It was quick. She never saw it coming, and she never suffered.”

No. Not like their grandmother. That unhappy experience would haunt Tricia for the rest of her life. “But it’s so unfair.”

“Yes, she was just starting to turn a profit on the shop,” Angelica agreed.

“I’m sure that wasn’t the only thing topping her bucket list. She’d have much rather lived to see her son grow up, get married—and enjoy her grandchildren.”

“Grandchildren?” Angelica wailed. “Her son wasn’t even two years old—I’m sure she hadn’t even considered grandchildren.” She stepped behind the double doors that separated the tiny kitchen from the dining room, and came back with a bowl. She set it on the counter, pushed it in front of Tricia, and handed her a spoon. “Eat. You’ll feel better.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“It’s Grandmother’s chicken soup recipe. I made it myself,” Angelica said, her voice taking on a singsong cadence on the last words.

Tricia knew their grandmother had never written down this particular recipe. In fact, she rarely worked from a recipe. She boiled a chicken carcass for hours and tossed in whatever veggies she had on hand, and added salt and pepper to taste. It always tasted delicious and it never tasted the same.

Angelica placed a napkin and a couple of packets of saltines on the counter and handed Tricia a spoon. She dutifully plunged it into the bowl, fished out a chunk of chicken and a piece of green bean, brought the spoon to her lips, and burned them. “Hey!”

“Oh, I guess I should have warned you. It’s hot.”

“No kidding.” Tricia put her spoon down on the paper napkin beside her bowl. She hadn’t planned on mentioning Antonio Barbero—but in a fit of pique, decided to do just that. “Ginny’s boyfriend came around just before she and Mr. Everett left for the day.”

As predicted, Angelica winced at the reference to the man. “Don’t tell me. He’s already fishing to buy Deborah’s store.”

“He denied it, but from all the gossip going around the village, you just know that’s what’s going to happen.”

“Do you think David would sell?”

“Not if Elizabeth has anything to say about it. But that’s the trouble—she probably won’t. I’m sure Deborah left everything to David in her will. Isn’t that what most married people do? That’s what Christopher and I did.”

“My last two marriages had prenups—neither Drew nor Gary were taking any chances. But then I made sure I was covered and did okay, anyway.” Angelica leaned both elbows on the counter, resting her head on her hands. “And now that you’re divorced, to whom have you left everything?” she inquired sweetly, and even batted her eyelashes.

Tricia frowned, but answered honestly anyway. “You—and a couple of charities.”

Angelica’s smile was beatific. “Me? You are my dear sweet sister. Have I mentioned lately how much I love you?”

Tricia’s gaze narrowed. “I read a lot of murder mysteries where people are killed for inheritances, so don’t suddenly invite me to go sailing in Portsmouth Harbor or anything else nefarious.”

“Me, nefarious?” Angelica rolled her eyes. “If it makes you feel any better, I have left all my worldly possessions to you, too. And . . . maybe a few charities.”


Tricia blew on her soup before commenting. “Great minds must think alike, after all.”

The door to Booked for Lunch opened, and Bob Kelly stepped inside. “Am I interrupting anything, baby?”

Angelica sighed. Since she’d found out Bob had cheated on her earlier in the summer, her ardor had cooled considerably. But they still occasionally went out to dinner, and Bob tried unsuccessfully to mooch lunch off of her on a regular basis. Tricia turned back to her soup. By the look on Bob’s face, he was about to start whining.

“What a day,” he said, and took the stool next to Tricia. He sniffed the air. “Boy, that soup sure does smell good.”

Angelica ignored the hint for a freebie. “What’s up, Bob?”

“This has to be the worst day ever for Stoneham,” he said, shaking his heard wearily.

“I’d say so,” Tricia said, taking a spoonful of soup.

“I can’t stop contemplating the slew of lawsuits that’ll come from this mishap.”

“Mishap?” Tricia asked. “There are two dead people—one of them my friend—and all you can call it is a mishap?”

“And all you can worry about are the lawsuits?” Angelica asked, just as incredulous.

“There’s the whole bad PR angle to consider as well,” Bob added, and reached for one of Tricia’s packets of saltines on the counter. She slapped his wrist, taking back her crackers.

“I don’t think you realize the position I’m in,” Bob went on. “I hired that pilot. I suggested we hold the Founders’ Day celebration. That leaves the Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Selectmen, and the whole village at risk of litigation.”

“Who do you think will do the suing?” Angelica asked.

“David Black, for one. There’s already talk that he’s seen a lawyer.”

“What?” Angelica asked. “His poor wife’s only been dead a few hours.”

Bob shrugged. “That’s what I heard.”

“Has anyone seen David?” Tricia asked. He wasn’t her favorite person, but at the very least, she needed to offer her condolences.