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Killer Witch in Westerham—Paranormal Investigation Bureau Book 6

Killer Witch in Westerham—Paranormal Investigation Bureau Book 6

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A superstar has come to town… and so has murder.

On a routine photography job, Lily meets hunky movie star and witch Jeremy Frazer, but the moment is ruined when she photographs a woman murdered years ago. When a new murder victim turns up with the same injuries, the police get on the case, only to arrest Jeremy for the crime. How can the kind, helpful, charismatic guy Lily met on the job be a cold-blooded killer?

Then Jeremy’s lawyer goes missing, and the movie star begs Lily to help him, swearing she’s the only one he trusts. Though Lily has no idea why he thinks she can save him, she takes the job. As she and Jeremy become close, jealousy gets the better of Will, and he turns his back on her. But is it really jealousy, or can he see something she can’t?

Is Lily risking happiness with Will to help a serial killer clear his name, or is she the only hope an innocent man has to find justice? And what did happen to Jeremy’s lawyer?

Main Tropes

  • Amateur Sleuth
  • Witches
  • Quirky Characters

Synopsis

On a routine photography job, Lily meets hunky movie star and witch Jeremy Frazer, but the moment is ruined when she photographs a woman murdered years ago. When a new murder victim turns up with the same injuries, the police get on the case, only to arrest Jeremy for the crime. How can the kind, helpful, charismatic guy Lily met on the job be a cold-blooded killer?

Then Jeremy’s lawyer goes missing, and the movie star begs Lily to help him, swearing she’s the only one he trusts. Though Lily has no idea why he thinks she can save him, she takes the job. As she and Jeremy become close, jealousy gets the better of Will, and he turns his back on her. But is it really jealousy, or can he see something she can’t?

Is Lily risking happiness with Will to help a serial killer clear his name, or is she the only hope an innocent man has to find justice? And what did happen to Jeremy’s lawyer?

Intro into Chapter One

If happiness was chocolate soufflé, then this was sadness. I stared into my barren soufflé dish. All gone. Finished. Kaput. Finito. Fini. I sighed. The only way I was going to get more was to order another one—and look like a total pig—or lick the scant chocolate remains and probably get kicked out of The Ritz restaurant.

Will chuckled, his delectable dimples flashing at me from across the table. He looked oh so fine in his Persian-blue suit with white shirt and grey tie. The Ritz knew what it was doing when it implemented a dress code. “Before meeting you, I didn’t know dessert could break a girl’s heart.”

“Well, now you know.” I put on my most serious expression. “There’s a name for it. Dessertdesertedaphobia.”

“Sounds serious.”

“It is. The only cure is more dessert.” I nodded sagely.

“Well, then, I have the means to cure what ails you. I’ll just order you another one.”

I smiled. “You’re the best boyfriend ever, but it’s okay. My eyes are bigger than my stomach. I’ll probably make myself sick. But if we’re still here in thirty minutes, feel free to ask again.”

He grinned, his blue eyes shining with happiness. “Consider it done.” 

How had I managed to end up with such a handsome, kind, thoughtful, and capable man? I quietly thanked the universe. 

Now that dinner was finished, it was time to do what we’d really come here for. My smile dropped, and I pulled out my phone. “It’s time, I think.”

His smile faded. “You don’t want to bask in the dessert afterglow a little longer?”

I shook my head. “Not even chocolate soufflé can make this easier.” Words I never thought I’d say because, well, chocolate had done a pretty good job of comforting me thus far in life. I leaned forward and whispered, “I’m going to cast my no-notice spell.”

He reached over, grabbed my hand, and stared into my eyes. “Good luck. Maybe we’ll go for a walk in Green Park when this is done, check out the squirrels.” He knew me so well. Squirrels were guaranteed to cheer me up. Cute, fluffy-tailed things, zipping about like they were on fast forward.

I smiled. “Thank you.” I took in a trickle of magic and mumbled my spell. I grabbed my phone out of my red clutch. We were seated next to the windows, which were as tall as doors and framed by heavy drapery. The grandiose room screamed wealth, its soaring ceilings replete with a fresco of a cloudy sky, bronze chandeliers, and wall sconces, and statues set into arched wall niches. It had more than a touch of the French chateaus about it. 

I could take a few photos from our table, but I’d have to get up and walk around because anyone seated on the far side would look small, not to mention, if my parents had their backs to where I sat, I wouldn’t know it was them.

Taking a deep breath, I tamped down the unsettling stew of fear and anticipation that threatened to free my chocolate soufflé in the most unpleasant of ways. I craved these moments of trying to photograph my parents in a freeze-frame of history. But my talent was a curse. The soaring joy of seeing them was fleeting and always followed by the asphyxiating anguish of knowing they weren’t actually there. My fingers could reach out for eternity and only ever find the whisper of a zephyr. My grief was more solid than they were.

But my talent was crucial in putting together the puzzle of what had happened to them and would likely lead us to Regula Pythonissam. They were the group of witches who were after me and had indirectly been involved in recent crimes in Westerham. Their endgame was a mystery we intended to solve before anyone else was killed, but I doubted it would be that easy. It felt as if we were playing catch-up.

I stood, put my arm in the air, and waved it above my head. Not one head turned my way, but Will had an eyebrow raised. “What are you doing?”

“Making sure my no-notice spell is working. I always feel skittish when I use it. It’s hard to believe no one will notice me doing something suspicious.” I held my phone up, switched on the camera app, and said, “Show me my parents here ten years ago at lunch.” I panned the phone to capture from one end of the room to the other.

A few tables that were full in real time showed as empty, and some that were empty suddenly had people sitting at them. I couldn’t see my parents at any of the tables immediately surrounding us, so I carefully stepped away from our table and picked my way through the restaurant, viewing each table through my phone as I went. I sidestepped a waiter, narrowly avoiding total disaster. Yikes. I needed to be more careful.

A woman’s laugh machine-gunned from a table to my left. She sounded like a drunk goat—well, what I imagined a drunk goat would sound like. I turned quickly and looked at her table but through my phone, and whoever had sat there the day my parents were here had been just as vulgar, but in a different way. A thirty-something-year-old man with dark, slick-backed hair that looked way too oily for anyone’s good, was mid-conversation with two other businessmen. The guy’s mouth was open, and his half-masticated food was on display. I gagged and turned away. Thanks, universe. Awesome freeze-framed moment… not!

I swallowed and refocussed. Now was not the time for being distracted. I wove between two more tables and stopped dead. My breath hitched, and my heart raced. There they were, sitting with three other people—a gorgeous, petite brunette woman who was maybe Japanese, and a man and a teenage girl whose backs were to me.

My mother’s brow was furrowed as she stared across the table at the man whose face I couldn’t see, likely listening to something he said. My father’s lips were pursed, his expression screaming disapproval. But why? The Japanese woman’s eyes radiated sadness as she looked at my mother. What was going on? I snapped various shots and moved around to the other side of the table so I could see who the man was.

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