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Merciful Secrets - A Whispering Pines Mystery, Book 8 (EBOOK)

Merciful Secrets - A Whispering Pines Mystery, Book 8 (EBOOK)

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Celebrate the season in Whispering Pines with snow, mistletoe, and murder.

Preparations for the Yuletide festival are in full swing, and so is the gossip about a blackmailing villager. Sheriff Jayne O’Shea doesn’t have time or patience for small-town rumors. After two long years overseas, her father is coming for a visit and everything has to be perfect. Then, just as things start falling into place, the blackmailer is found dead.

As if that wasn't enough, strange packages start showing up on doorsteps around the village, each containing a clue as to how the receiver will die.

Now, Jayne has to decide what’s more important. Focusing on a murder that’s already happened or trying to prevent six more.

MERCIFUL SECRETS is the eighth book in the Whispering Pines mystery series about a woman determined to return her grandmother's village to the idyllic haven it used to be ... before all the secrets started rising to the surface.

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Chapter 1
THE PYRAMIDS WERE BUGGING ME. Or, at the moment, the lack of them. I’d removed them from and returned them to their longstanding spots in the bookcase in my father’s childhood bedroom half a dozen times. Currently they occupied the storage box on the floor next to the bookcase.
I dug out the model of the Great Pyramid of Giza and centered it on the eye-level shelf. The model of the Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza went on the shelf directly below it. There were others. My dad had been obsessed with the structures, along with all things ancient and buried, as a kid. These two were the most impressive of his collection, meticulously carved from small blocks of pine, precisely positioned, and hand-painted. The others were made of Legos or popsicle sticks.
“Jayne,” a croaky, half-asleep voice from behind me made me jump. “Again with the pyramids?”
I turned to find Tripp, my boyfriend and business partner, standing in the doorway wearing only his pajama pants despite the chill in the air.
“He should see them,” I explained. “They’ll remind him of his childhood and everything that’s good about the village.” Not that everything about the village, or his childhood for that matter, was good, but I wanted to amplify those things that had been. I stepped back and took in the display. “What do you think?”
“I think your dad is going to see his daughter first. What we’ve done to the house will be a far second. His old things are a nice touch but not worth obsessing over.”
“But shouldn’t his room make him feel nostalgic?” I pondered my own question for about the hundredth time. “Or, since the rest of the house has been updated, do we act like this isn’t his room anymore?” I looked from Tripp to the pyramids and back twice. “What do you think?”
“I think”—he took my hand and led me toward the door—“it’s three in the morning and your brain is doing that thing brains do in the middle of the night.” He turned off the light and shut the door behind us. “The room is spotless. The bathroom sparkling. The towels are fluffy and the bed cozy. What more could he want?”
He closed his eyes and let out a little sigh. “What?”
“He likes chorizo sausage with scrambled eggs for breakfast. And pepper jack cheese.”
“Would you like me to call Lorena and have her meet us over at Sundry in ten minutes so we can get some?”
Now he was being a smart aleck. “No. But we need to get some if we don’t have any. And blueberries. He likes blueberries.” As we climbed the stairs to our third-floor attic apartment, another thought struck me. “At least he used to. What if he doesn’t like any of that anymore? What if his diet has completely changed? What if he has completely changed?”

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