Formula for Murder (Maternal Instincts Mystery Series: Book Three) Sneak Peek – Chapter One | Diana Orgain

Formula for Murder (Maternal Instincts Mystery Series: Book Three) Sneak Peek – Chapter One

Did you miss Book One ?

Did you miss Book Two ?

From Formula for Murder 

Chapter One 

To Do:

1. x Make holiday photo appointment for Laurie.
2. Send out Christmas cards Get them printed first—then
send out Christmas cards.
3. Complete Start Christmas shopping.
4. Find a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament.
5. Get Christmas tree.
6. Finish background checks Galigani gave me.
7. Get new PI client. How do I do this?

I checked Laurie in the rearview mirror. She was sound
asleep; as usual, the motion of the car had lulled her into

She looked adorable, wearing a tiny red satin dress with matching
red booties. We were on our way to get her first holiday photos taken.
I couldn’t believe three months had evaporated; it seemed like she was
born just yesterday. My best friend, Paula, had warned me the time
would fly by, but this was ridiculous. How had I put off taking
Laurie’s holiday photos? Now it was the first week in December and
I’d be hustling to get them taken, printed, and sent out as Christmas

It’s all right. From now on efficiency will be my middle name.

I cruised down the hill to the stoplight and stepped on the brake.
Out of habit, I glanced in the rearview again and saw a silver SUV
barreling down the hill.

Was the car out of control? It continued to speed and there was no
telltale sign of the nose dipping as it would if the driver were braking.

They were getting closer! Almost on top of us.

I quickly looked for a way to avoid impact. The cars in front of me
were waiting on the traffic signal and a steady stream of cross traffic
moved through the intersection.

No! The SUV was going to hit us!

My eyes were transfixed on the rearview mirror. I held my breath,
bracing myself for the crash at the same time my brain screamed for a

Please stop in time. Please don’t hit me and my baby!

Adrenaline shot through me, and everything felt as though it was
happening in slow motion. I watched in horror as the SUV swerved
violently to the right, but there was no way it could avoid hitting us.

The impact jolted us forward and I banged my head on the
steering wheel. My seat belt caught and tugged at me just as we
slammed into the car in front of us, then my entire body jerked back‐
ward, the base of my head smacking into the headrest.

Laurie let out a shrill wail, piercing into my heart. My gaze shot
right and I locked eyes with the assailing driver. He was young, maybe
only sixteen or seventeen, with longish brown hair and peach fuzz on
his chin. His eyes were wide in shock. The SUV revved and tore off
through the red light.

The light changed to green, and traffic—which had been stopped
all around us—began to move again.

The passenger door of the vehicle in front of us opened and a
woman jumped out. She rushed to my driver’s side. I unfastened my
belt with only one thing on my mind.


My hands were shaking from the adrenaline pulsing through my
system. I pushed open my door.

The woman asked, “Are you all right?”

“I don’t know. My baby! My baby!”

The woman’s eyes widened as she focused on Laurie in her car



Why wasn’t she crying? She had cried out on impact but now she was

My heart was lodged in my throat. I struggled with the door
handle, my hands fumbling it. The woman reached over me and easily
opened the door. I dove inside the backseat to Laurie’s side.

Traffic sped around us. One vehicle slowed then stopped. The
driver yelled, “Is everyone okay? Do you want me to call a tow truck?
The police?”

I swallowed past the lump in my throat and shouted, “Call an

My voice sounded near hysterical even to me. I examined Laurie,
who upon seeing me started to fidget and then began to cry.

Was she hurt? Was I supposed to move her? Panic about spinal
cord injury flooded my mind.

“What do I do?” I asked the woman. “I don’t want to take her out of
the car seat. What if it hurts her little spine?”

“Can we get the entire car seat out of the car? Traffic’s not waiting,
honey, and I want to get you two out of danger.”

I unclipped the car seat bucket and pulled the carrier out of the
car. The woman grabbed the carrier, and we crossed a lane of traffic
to the side of the road.

She set Laurie’s bucket down on a bed of ice plants. “My husband
went after the guy,” the woman said. “I can’t believe he just took off
like that!”

I nodded distractedly, my mind and attention on Laurie. “He was
young, a kid.”

The woman blew out her breath in a sharp huff. “Probably on

I leaned in as close to Laurie as I could without removing her from
the seat, trying to soothe her.

“Did you see the plates on the car?” the woman asked me.

I rubbed Laurie’s cheek, she rooted toward my hand. She was
either hungry or looking for soothing. “No,” I answered. “Just him.
Long brown hair, peach fuzz, wide-eyed doe look on his face.”

“Foreign diplomat car. DL? What code is that? French?” she asked.

Sirens screamed from up the hill.

Help is on the way!

I pressed my cheek against Laurie’s and whispered, “Shhh, little
angel, pumpkiny pie, Mommy’s here and help’s coming fast.”

The woman said something inaudible and looked up in time to see
an ambulance accompanied by a police cruiser pull up to the curb.

The paramedics jumped out of the ambulance.

An officer stepped out of the patrol car and began speaking with
the woman.

One EMT leaned over Laurie and me. “How are you?”

“I’m okay. I think. My baby is only three months old. I didn’t want
to take her out of the seat. Because, you know, I didn’t know if it was
okay to move her. I’m scared of neck or spinal injury—”

“Right, right,” the EMT said, flashing a light across Laurie’s eyes.

I knelt in the ice plant and hovered over them, not caring about
the dew that soaked through the knees of my jeans and chilled me.

The EMT looked at me. “Her eyes are responding okay, but I can’t
tell much without taking her out of the seat. You want to go to the
hospital? It’s down the street.”

I nodded, trying to shove down the hysteria welling inside me.

The EMT picked up Laurie’s bucket. Laurie was now seemingly
beginning to panic, too, and her cry turned into a shriek, her tiny
arms flapping about.

It broke my heart to see her in distress, not really able to calm her.
Every fiber of my being screamed to grab the bucket from him, pull
Laurie out, and cradle her.

Please just be hungry or fussy. Don’t be hurt, don’t be injured!

The other EMT helped me up off my knees. The woman seemed
to be recounting the accident to the police officer. As soon as I got to
my feet I followed Laurie into the ambulance. The EMT who had
assisted me moved to the officer and said something I couldn’t
pick up.

The officer nodded and came toward me. He was slightly taller
than me and had a stocky build. Somehow his build reassured me as
though it made him sturdy and dependable. “Ma’am, I’ll need a state‐ment
from you. If you leave me your information I can get it from you


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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


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