A Deathly Rattle (Maternal Instincts Mystery Series: Book seven) Sneak Peek – Chapter Three | Diana Orgain

A Deathly Rattle (Maternal Instincts Mystery Series: Book seven) Sneak Peek – Chapter Three

Did you miss Chapter One?

Did you miss part one of Chapter Two?

From A Deathly Rattle 

Chapter Three

The Nursery

To Do:

  1. Attend the strike.
  2. Buy more prenatal vitamins.
  3. Figure out plan for new nursery.
  4. Land a new client.
  5. Exercise.
  6. Call Deb.
  7. Call Barramendi—get copies of VD’s latest cases.


A wave of nausea washed over me as I shuffled down the hall toward my wailing daughter’s room. I rubbed my bleary eyes. It was definitely too early for this.

“Morning,” I sang as I came up to her crib, that gurgling sensation still churning in my stomach.

No wonder she was crying—she had peed through her diaper.

“Oh no,” I crooned. I lifted her up out of the crib and set her on the changing table. “Won’t a fresh, dry diaper feel better?”

But even after I got her changed, she was fussy.

“Breakfast time?” I asked.

I picked her up and sank down in the rocking chair to breastfeed. Her cries faded to whimpers and then calmed. While I rocked her and tried not to think about my topsy-turvy stomach, I scanned the small bedroom that doubled as my office.

We’d need another crib when the babies were born. Possibly two.

Maybe we could let the twins sleep together for a month, but then it’d be best to get them used to their own space. Or should we start out with two more cribs right away?

How the heck were we going to fit two more cribs in here?

My desk took up a fair amount of space, but even if I moved it into the living room, we were still short on square footage . . .

Are we going to have to move out of the city and into the suburbs?

My heart clenched at the thought.

I grew up in San Francisco.

I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving.

I scanned Laurie’s room again. I loved her duck-themed bedroom. I’d picked out every detail myself—her mobile of adorable yellow ducklings, her buttercream sheets, all the stuffed ducks.

So many stuffed ducks.


When I was pregnant with Laurie, Jim had worked extra hours to make sure we could cover all the expenses of the new baby, so he hadn’t been around as much as I would have liked. History was sort of repeating itself where that was concerned. To get ready for these twins and keep Laurie in diapers, he was picking up extra jobs here and there.

That was one of the reasons he was in LA working on the ad campaign for that movie.

My attention landed on the first edition of The Ugly Duckling displayed on Laurie’s dresser, and I smiled. Busy as he’d been, Jim had actually found that online and bid on it as a surprise for me. The Ugly Duckling had always been one of my absolute favorite stories as a kid.

We’re going to have to do some major house renovations.

I tried not to think too hard about it. Once Laurie was finished, I laid her on the rug for a bit of tummy time.

My nausea was all but gone, but my head was in another place entirely.

When I blinked, I saw Vicente’s deathly pale face. It was too early to call Deb or chase down leads. But I could do something about this nursery.

“Excuse Mommy for a second, little ducky,” I said, bopping Laurie’s nose.

She giggled, then stuck her knuckles in her mouth.

I hurried out of the room and dug around in our kitchen junk drawer for the measuring tape.

I measured Laurie’s crib first. It was small, and we would probably get something similar for the twins. Then I stretched out the measuring tape along the wall. A second crib would make the room crowded. A third would leave it virtually unusable.

“Oh dear.” My stomach flipped again, my nausea flooding back, this time with a side of hormonal panic.

The little bookshelf I’d painted for Laurie would be the first thing to go, but I had worked so dang hard on that. I was pretty sure we’d have to lose the baby dresser, too, leaving us to fit all of Laurie’s and the twins’ clothes into that one little closet.

The room would be all baby beds and one changing table.

Oh no. Can we even keep the changing table? It’s sort of large.

“Why is this room suddenly looking so small?” I huffed.

I grabbed my phone. I needed to talk this out with Jim. He was probably up by now, but it was still early enough that he wouldn’t be in a meeting yet.

The phone rang three times, and Jim’s voice came through loud and clear. “Morning, gorgeous.”

Must be the coffee. Jim was always a little flirty halfway through his morning coffee.

“Morning, handsome,” I said, sitting down on the floor with only a pinch of difficulty. Laurie crawled toward me, reaching up and cooing happily.

“Heard you got a new job. Is Vicente okay?” Jim asked.

“Who told you?” I asked curiously, putting my free hand out for Laurie to grab.

“Your mom called me. Filled me in on the details.”

“Gotcha.” I ruffled Laurie’s soft curls. “Yeah, Vicente is hanging in there. He’s not looking too good. His cousin hired me to work the case.”

“You be careful, all right?”

“You know I will be,” I assured him.

“But I suspect that’s not why you called me this morning,” he said.

“No,” I said. “Honestly, I’m having a Mommy Meltdown.”

He laughed. “Oh gosh, is Laurie giving you a hard time?”

“Not at all.” I smiled down at Laurie, who seemed to have heard her dad’s voice and was now grinning ear to ear and trying to pull herself up closer to the phone.

“Da-da,” she babbled.

“Ma-ma,” I mouthed back.



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Diana Orgain is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Maternal Instincts Mystery Series, Love or Money Mystery series, and The Roundup Crew Mysteries. Diana is also the New York Times Bestselling co-author of the Scrapbooking Mystery Series with Laura Childs. To keep up to date with the latest releases visit Diana at www.dianaorgain.com


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