Did you miss Chapter One?
From Trigger Yappy
“Salmonella?” I asked.
“Nonsense!” Yolanda shrieked. She had such an indig‐
nant look on her face that I pulled the phone away from her before
she could burst into flames. “She’s blaming her hangover on chicken?
“Tell her I’m on my way,” I said to Nurse Joan.
Nurse Joan grumbled something into the phone I couldn’t under‐
stand. Then there was a rustling sound and she said, “Hold on a
“Maggie?” My sister’s voice filled the line. She sounded as if she
had rocks in her mouth.
“Rachel! How do you feel? What happened?”
Next to me, Yolanda angled her head toward the phone again,
straining to hear.
“I kept throwing up and . . . uh . . .” She sighed and took a deep
breath. “I’ll tell you later, okay? I’m so tired . . . sleepy. It must be the
pain medicine they gave me.”
“I’ll be right there.”
“No, uh . . . Maggie, you have to do Yappy Hour. There’s a woman .
. . oh . . . I can’t remember her name. She going to visit the bar tonight.
You have to be open. She’s the editor of Doggie Day—”
Yolanda let out a squeal. “Doggie Day!”
“Who’s that?” Rachel asked.
“Yolanda,” I said.
“Hi, Yo,” Rachel said. “Let me talk to her.”
“I’m not bartending while you’re in the hospital!” I said. “I’m
coming to see you—”
“I’m not dying, Maggie. You can check on me later. They’re just
holding me to monitor—”
“I’m on my way.”
“No! Ugh . . . You’re impossible. Let me talk to Yolanda,” Rachel
Yolanda snatched the phone out of my hand and walked away
from me so I couldn’t eavesdrop on their conversation. Although I
could clearly hear Yolanda’s exaggerated gasps and whispers of,
“Doggie Day? Oh my goodness gracious! They’re coming here?”
Through the front window of the bar, I saw a crowd approach‐
ing. I glanced at my watch. Just like clockwork, the Roundup Crew
was ready for Yappy Hour. My friends Abigail, Brenda, and Max
were in the lead. Brenda and Max had started up a romance and
were holding hands. Behind them, I could see Yolanda’s nemesis, the
infamous Geraldine, and next to her was a woman I hadn’t seen
Each of them had a small dog attached to the end of a Wine and
Bark Day-Glo green leashes. They had just come from their Friday
afternoon walk on the beach, so most of them were wearing shorts
I took a deep breath to fortify myself; dealing with the dogs had
never been my strong suit, especially as they never seemed particu‐
larly fond of me.
The door flung open, and Beepo eagerly ran to greet them, his tiny
nails scratching along the terra-cotta floor. As the group streamed
into the bar, the cacophony of yapping dogs reverberated off the
Abigail rushed over to me. “Maggie! I didn’t expect to see you here.
I thought you’d be packing.” Her dog, Missy, a white Shih Tzu wearing
a rhinestone bow on the top of her head, sniffed around my ankles
and barked accusingly. “Oh, can you give her a Bark Bite?” Abigail
asked. “She was such a dear at the beach, I promised.”
How can Missy know what Abigail promised? I wondered, but I didn’t
say anything out loud. Even though I’d only recently met all of these
doggie aficionados, I knew them well enough not to ask.
The rest of the crew took up several tables in front of the bar and
someone shouted, “Hey, Maggie! How about a round of Salty Dogs?”
Abigail and her dog, Missy, followed me to the bar. I went around
to the back side and grabbed a Bark Bite from the bowl nestled near
the cash register. As soon as I tossed the biscuit to Missy, the rest of
the dogs scampered over.
“How about us humans? Any food around?” Abigail sniffed the air.
“Is something burning?”
I raced to the back kitchen and pulled the Arf d’oeuvres out just in
time. Only a few needed to be sacrificed, I turned to pitch them into
the trash and stumbled over Beepo.
“Why are you always underfoot?” I asked.
Beepo looked up at me with watery sad eyes and I immediately
felt guilty for scolding him. I scratched him between his tiny
triangle ears and he padded away from me, contented for the
Max peeked around the corner. “Because there’s food around,” he
said. He strode over and picked a doggie in a blanket off the tray and
popped it into his mouth. “Hot!”
“They just came out of the oven, genius.”
Max smirked at me. He had a classic boy-next-door vibe about
him and we’d quickly become friends.
“You need help behind the bar?” Max asked. “I can whip up the
pitcher of Salties for you.”
“Yes. You’re a lifesaver.”
I tossed the overly crisp Arf d’oeuvres to Beepo, who caught them
midair in his mouth.
“Don’t tell the others,” I warned Beepo, “or I’ll be overrun with
Beepo’s little tail wagged so hard, it shook his entire body.
Max and I went behind the bar where he immediately pulled a
bottle of Stoli from the rack. “Where’s Rachel?”
I salted the rims of the glasses while Max grabbed a pitcher of ice.
“She’s sick. Salmonella.”
Max made a face. “Oh, no. That’s awful. Where’d she get it from?”
I cringed. I hadn’t had a moment to contemplate the question.
Where had she gotten whatever made her sick? I shrugged. “Rachel
and I had both had cheese and crackers last night for dinner. I didn’t
Max poured the vodka over ice and then grabbed a bottle of juice.
As he finished preparing the pitcher, I pulled out a tray and, after
placing the best-looking Arf d’oeuvres onto a plate, added the martini
glasses. Max put the pitcher onto the tray and I walked it over to the
table by the window.
Yolanda seemed to be holding court. She stood at the head of the
table and towered over the ladies. She was mid speech. “I wanted to
scratch her eyes out. She’s so rude.”
Brenda gave Yolanda a sympathetic look, while Geraldine scowled.
The woman I didn’t know had long blond hair pulled through the
back loop of a baseball cap. The image on the cap was the Verdant
Vines logo. She said, “Fran? Oh, she’s a nightmare. Don’t even get me
Geraldine let out a low whistle and the poodle seated at her feet
came to attention. “I don’t want to hear any negative talk about Fran.
She’s been a good friend to me.”
“Ladies,” I said in greeting as I placed the tray in the middle of the
“I don’t know her,” Brenda said. “I’ve only seen her around town.”
I carefully poured the drinks into each glass as they continued
their gossip. I couldn’t afford to spill drinks on any other patrons or
Rachel would never let me live it down . . . On second thought . . .
Maybe that was a way to get out of tending bar!
No. I was way too uptight to make mistakes on purpose. Lord
knew they happened frequently enough on their own.
Geraldine leveled her gaze at the new woman. “You don’t like Fran
because she used to date Hendrick.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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