From Brewing up Murder
Maeve O’Dare watched her friends disappear from the
rearview. It broke her heart watching Gracie wave
frantically to her. Leaving Wisteria Pines when her café, Listen: It’s Old
Fashioned, was still so new made her anxious. Then again, she was
leaving the café in some pretty trustworthy hands. Her best friend
Gracie and her one employee, Donnie, were going to handle things in
her absence, and they’d proven themselves competent.
Her face flushed as she saw Officer Joseph standing next to Gracie
wearing a goofy looking grin. Maeve had taken a chance, giving him a
quick peck on the cheek before departing for her trip to LA.
Now, she regretted it.
I can’t believe I kissed him! Stupid, stupid, stupid, Maeve!
She shook it off. Her time away would give him an opportunity to
think about how he felt, and that was a good thing. She didn’t need to
get involved with someone who didn’t reciprocate her feelings.
She’d had enough of that.
Joseph was a complete sweetheart—very different from her ex—a
little awkward at times, but the man had a heart of gold. And there
was something about a man in uniform that could make a woman
blush. She wasn’t afraid to admit that.
“Bye, Joseph,” she whispered into the rearview mirror.
From the passenger seat, Wanda, her trusty canine companion,
Maeve laughed. “You need to start being nicer to Joseph, sweetie.”
She reached over and patted her pooch on the head. “Whether you
like it or not, he’s sticking around if I have anything to say about it.”
Wanda seemed to huff and curled up in her seat resting her head
on her paws with a grunt.
Maeve smirked. Wanda was the most expressive dog she had ever
met. Maeve never had to wonder what her dog was thinking, it was
usually written all over her face.
“We’ve got a long drive, Wanda, you up for it?” Maeve asked, and
Wanda grunted again.
LA was a considerable drive from Wisteria Pines, and Maeve
wasn’t looking forward to the trip any more than she was the destina‐
tion. She’d been asked by the LAPD to come in for questioning
because her ex-fiancé had gone missing, and then the car he’d last
been seen in, had been found at the bottom of a lake somewhere in
With my luck, as soon as I get there, they’ll slap cuffs on me.
An image of herself in an orange jumpsuit fluttered through her
mind, giving her the shivers. She pushed it from her thoughts.
“I’m innocent. I have nothing to worry about, right, Wanda?”
The dog covered her eyes with a paw.
Maeve moaned. “Well, that’s certainly reassuring. Thanks a lot,
The police had told Maeve that her abrupt move from LA to
Wisteria Pines during Frank’s disappearance looked suspicious. They
said that to avoid further suspicion, she needed to cooperate with the
investigation. She thought she’d been doing that already, so this trip to
LA was rather annoying, but she couldn’t deny the fact that she
needed closure on Frank.
She had assumed he’d left her; it certainly felt that way. She’d
called him an Uber after a fight, when he’d been too drunk to drive
home, and then hadn’t seen him again since. She suspected then that
he must have wanted out of their relationship. And it stung that he
hadn’t even had the decency to tell her he was leaving her.
Then, only a few weeks ago, she’d learned that the Uber driver had
also gone missing. So, what had really happened? Had Frank cheated
on her and run off with the girl in the middle of the night?
But now, he and the girl were still missing, while the car had been
recovered in a precarious state.
So, was Frank hurt…or worse?
That, to Maeve, wasn’t fair.
I should be able to just hate him, she thought, but now I’m worried
about the cheater.
Wanda pressed her wet nose against Maeve’s hand, and Maeve
smiled. “How do you know when I’m upset, girl?”
The dog wagged her tail, making Maeve smile.
“So, what do you want to do for eight hours in the car, Wanda?”
Wanda jumped into the back seat of the purple Volkswagen. The
dog dug around for a moment before hopping back up to the
In her mouth was a book.
“My magick book? You want me to practice magick while I’m
driving? I know it’s not the same as texting, Wanda, but I’m pretty
sure it’s still dangerous. What if I accidentally melt my car tires while
we’re on the highway?” Maeve laughed, taking the book from Wanda
and tossing it on the floorboard in front of the passenger seat.
Ah, yes, the magick book.
The mysterious gift, given to her by her mother before the woman
split for Italy on one of her grand adventures. Maeve thought it had
been some sort of gag gift up until she realized that, yes, she had
Sure has been a crazy couple of months, Maeve thought. Solved a couple
of murders, discovered a local government scandal, opened a café, adopted a
stray dog, and discovered I’m a witch!
Maeve hadn’t had a chance to grill her mother about it, but obviously
the woman knew something when she’d given her the book.
Thanks for the heads up, Mom!
“Tell you what, Wanda, there’s a truck stop with an awesome diner
at about our halfway point. We’ll stop there for an early dinner, and
I’ll get some practice in. Deal?”
Wanda barked her approval.
It took a few hours to get to the truck stop, putting them a little bit
behind schedule. But, Maeve was starving, and she was certain that
her dog was as well. Wanda could put away food like no other. After
she parked, Maeve snagged the magick book, and the two of them
walked into the diner.
A server greeted them and asked that they stay outside—no dogs
allowed, apparently. Maeve considered using a bit of magick to win
some favor with the server to allow Wanda in, but it was a cool, crisp
day, the weather finally turning from summer to fall; Maeve’s favorite
“That’s fine, I see you have a patio, we’ll eat outside,” Maeve said.
They sat at one of the outdoor tables under a large umbrella, and
the server kindly brought a bowl of water for Wanda and placed it on
“Thank you,” Maeve said with a smile.
“No problem,” the woman said. “Can I get you something to
“A cola would be great,” Maeve said, and the woman disappeared.
She scanned through the menu, the diner offered all day breakfast
which sounded divine. Decided, she plopped open her magick book
and began skimming through it, giggling at some of the ridiculous
The book said that her powers were greatly enhanced by scent.
Every witch was different though. Maeve pulled some perfume from
her purse and gave herself a little spritz. She loved the lavender scent,
and she’d learned that it tended to give her a bigger boost than others.
She glanced down, seeing that Wanda had finished her bowl of
water. “As show of good will, grant her a refill,” she said, flicking her
wrists, and the bowl refilled itself with water. A sense of pride filled
Maeve. “That was easy,” she said
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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