Grannies, Guns and Ghosts


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Blurb of “Grannies, Guns and Ghosts”:  Senior snoop, Agnes Barton, has taken up residence in a Winnebago at a campground in East Tawas, Michigan. It’s not the ideal place for a woman of seventy-two to live, but she’s making do. She had planned to start a detective agency with partner in crime, Eleanor Mason, but a snag with the license has them free wheeling it, not that it matters because they are the ones folks call when dead bodies turn up.

A frantic phone call has Agnes and Eleanor racing to the scene of yet another crime scene. Herman Butler has fallen to his death from a third story window, and the widow, Betty Lou, is beside herself with either grief or competing for the Oscars, and it’s up to Agnes and Eleanor to unravel the mystery, which gets more interesting when a ghost is listed as a possible suspect.

This time around, Agnes and Sheriff Peterson can agree, the widow is nuts, but wait, a few days later the ghost ship, Erie Board of Trades, was spotted off the shores of Lake Huron. Ghost hunters, G.A.S.P., hightail it into town, and East Tawas is overrun with ghost sightings.

Agnes and Eleanor must sort fact from fantasy before another body is found or a curse is realized.

CHAPTER 1

I, Agnes Barton, of sound mind and body, promise not to throttle my partner in crime, Eleanor Mason, no matter how much she tries to get a rise out of me. I must have lost my mind when I decided to partner with Eleanor in our new detective agency, Pink Ladies. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Truth be known, she had saved my life. I wonder if I’ll ever hear the last of that? Oh, who was I fooling, she’s the only one I’d want to snoop with. While we are quite the odd couple, we’re also a great team. So what if the official paperwork and licenses are out of date, that won’t stop us from investigating whatever we had a mind to.

Charter Arms couldn’t have made a better pistol than The Pink Lady. What woman wouldn’t love a pink, ultra-lightweight .38 Special. It’s perfect for women to tote around in their handbags. Not that you would call a carpet bag a handbag by any means. Some of them are large enough to conceal an arsenal of weapons, if a body had a mind to do such a thing.

Unlike the fictional bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, I like to keep my sidearm handy. Nobody really gave a squat what a person of a certain age had concealed in their bags. I suppose most younger folks think we all knit and do all sorts of creative things. Oh, I have a creative mind all right, but not creative enough to dodge Eleanor. Poor dear wouldn’t know what to do without our adventures.

I had taken up residence in a camper of all things, parked in a camp-ground in East Tawas, Michigan, on the tranquil shores of Lake Huron. Lucky for me I got a larger spot at the camp-ground and I had adjusted to living in a Winnebago. My house had been fire-bombed during our last case. It’s not so bad. I get to enjoy the misty lake as the sunrises and some of the most spectacular sunsets in Michigan.

I eyed my cat, Duchess, and said, “I hope it doesn’t take ‘til winter for our house to be rebuilt.”

Duchess responded with, “Meow.”

“I know girl, no mourning doves here,” I said to her. I strode by the mirror as I made my way into the bathroom and deep lines formed as I grimaced. I’m still wearing my pink bathrobe with pink ruffles, white sandals covering my feet. My unruly salt and pepper hair was tangled and I tried to work my fingers through the knots. Every dang morning it’s the same thing, my hair looks like a rooster did it in my sleep. Puffy dark circles were apparent, obviously from the restless slumber as my hip ached something fierce last night.

I made my way into the kitchen and poured coffee grounds into my new fancy-dancy coffee maker that is supposed to make a good latte. If I ever figure out how to use the damn thing! It’s only seven in the morning and I’m already cussing, if only in my head at the moment.

I jumped and bumped against the counter and clutched my chest when my door vibrated nearly off the hinges. Whoever could that be and this early?

I pulled back the pink lace curtains to reveal a familiar pair of friendly blue eyes. Eleanor, had her face pressed to the window with both her hands against my door like a lost puppy begging to be let in.

I yanked open the door and watched in amusement as she tried to steady herself, resembling a Weeble Wobble. What is the saying? Weeble Wobble but we don’t fall down.

“Have you been camped outside my door all night waiting for me to let you in?” I body blocked the doorway. I wasn’t ready to let her in just yet.

She puffed up her chest, trying unsuccessfully to act offended. “Of course not, Agnes. I just didn’t want to bother you if your hot-shot lawyer man is here.” She giggled, her large belly jiggling. “Unless you want an audience,” her eyes danced.

She wishes.

“Who?”

“You know perfectly well whom I’m talking about. The last time I came here the camper was rockin’ so hard that I thought there was an earthquake occurring inside.”

“It was earth-shattering.” I frowned. “Andrew Hart has gone back to wherever he came from, just as I knew he would.”

“Did he say when he’s coming back?”

She actually sounded sincere.  “I don’t know nor do I care. I’m seventy-two and I don’t have the time for the entanglement a man would create in my life.” I cared all right, but I’d never let her know it. If I gave it too much thought I’d be no good to anybody. Andrew left, and I wish under better terms, but me being the stubborn woman I am, we left on a sour note. An argument over coffee creamer of all things, and I crossed the line when I insisted he stay in town, but no sense in regrets now. It’s too late.

**Comments from the author:  If you have ever wondered what Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum would be like as a senior citizen then check out this series. Think Grandma Mazur meets Murder She Wrote.

IMG_2379**Contact Madison Johns:

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