Listed and Lethal Mysteries

Murder on Moon Mountain (#2)
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Murder On Pea Pike (#1)
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Murders By Design Mysteries

The Design Is Murder (#5)
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Rooms To Die For (#4)
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Killer Kitchens (#3)
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Monet Murders (#2)
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Designed For Death (#1)
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The Barefoot Queen

In The Lion's Mouth

     Chapter One

     Good Lord Almighty. The place had been trashed. A three million, five hundred thousand dollar mansion on Moon Mountain, with a view of the Arkansas River. Addresses in Eureka Falls didn’t get any better than this. And look at it now.
     Beer bottles, soda cans and empty pizza boxes were flung around the great room willy-nilly. A trail of red wine leaked along a velvet chair, ending in a puddle on the marble floor. Overhead, a pair of jeans swung from the chandelier, and jaunty as a flag, a U of A T-shirt perched on an ivory silk lampshade.
     In front of the fireplace, two matching sofas the length of freight trains faced each other. The one with its back to the entrance had a sneaker parked on an arm like it had every right to be there.
     That must have been some party.
     I sniffed the air, a nasty mix of stale beer, leftover food and sweaty clothes. Though I hadn’t met the owner, a Mr. Barry McHale, he was a highly praised man-about-town. Well, regardless of his social standing, if Mr. McHale wanted to sell his super-sized cottage, he’d better get a cleaning crew in here fast. Needing to let my realty office know about the mess, I rummaged in my tote for the cell. As usual, it had dropped to the bottom of the bag.
     Not caring if my heels clicked like rifle shots, I stomped across the marble floor to the sofa, set the tote on the arm next to the sneaker—and screamed.
     Stretched out on his back, arms flung over his head, a naked man lay there sound asleep, giving me a clear view of everything he possessed. At my scream, his eyes opened for an instant, then fluttered closed.
     “Geesh, not so loud.” When I screamed again, his lids opened wider and, shielding his eyes with a hand, he struggled to sit up. “What are you doing here, lady?”
     Fumbling in my bag for the cell, I inched toward the entrance. “Don’t you know? I’m with Ridley’s Real Estate. Honey Ingersoll’s the name.”
     “Are you the owner of this house?”
     He stood, clutching a pink satin pillow to his groin, a move that did nothing to hide his matchstick legs or the pot belly sagging over the satin.
     No answer.
     I found the cell, yanked it out of the bag and thumbed in 911. Before pressing “Talk,” I asked one more time.
     “Are you Barry McHale, the owner of this property?”
     He paused, scratched something under the pillow and said, “Nope, I don’t think so.”
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