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An Instant Confection (EBOOK)

An Instant Confection (EBOOK)

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EBOOK. Book 5 in the delightful USA Today Bestselling cozy mystery series, Amish Cupcake Cozy Mystery. 

Jane Delight is looking for a fresh start, and believes her new home will dough the trick. But as a batter of fact, her mischievous cat, Mr. Crumbles, has found a body beneath the floorboards in the bread of night!

Jane's eccentric housemates, octogenarians Matilda and Eleanor, are all done and crusted with mayhem, but will stop at nothing to help Jane. Joining the trio is dishy detective Damon McCloud, who is determined to see that the murderer gets his just desserts before he can make a bake for it.

USA today bestselling cozy mystery by Ruth Hartzler

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Read a Sample

Chapter 1.

I was glad to get home that day. I was looking forward to the renovation of my new home. I had bought the house from my sister and her husband, Amish farmers who lived on the adjoining farm. I had left the Amish many years ago and had lived in New York for years with my then husband, who, on my fiftieth birthday, announced he was divorcing me.
Octogenarians, Matilda and Eleanor, lived with me in my new house along with their funny little cat, Mr. Crumbles.
Matilda and Eleanor had rather questionable decorating ideas, and they had already decorated the living room to their own taste, which consisted of vibrant and clashing primary colors. My sister had nearly fainted when she had seen it for the first time. I had nearly fainted when I had seen the weapons lining one wall: daggers, swords, clubs, batons, knuckledusters, bows, and shurikens.
They assured me the weapons were only for decoration, but I wasn’t so certain.
Still, I wouldn’t have to put up with the weapons much longer. They would soon be moved to a part of the house which had been sectioned off to date. There wasn’t even a window. For some reason, it had been bricked up years ago by the person from whom my sister and her husband had bought the house and land.
I wondered what was in there. Matilda and Eleanor had assured me they would find a way into that part of the house by the end of the day.
I chuckled to myself as I turned down the dirt lane leading to my house. I passed the fields with Matilda and Eleanor’s dreadfully behaved goats. Thankfully, they were not doing anything untoward for once.
I was looking forward to relaxing that night. I got out of my car and walked into the house. Usually, Matilda and Eleanor greeted me. This time, there was no sign of anybody, not even Mr. Crumbles. I walked into the kitchen for a snack. There was still no sign of anybody. “That’s strange,” I muttered to myself. Still, I hadn’t stayed back at the cupcake store to bake like I usually did, and I was home more than an hour early. Maybe Matilda and Eleanor were out doing something with one of the goats.
This was rather strange. Still, they couldn’t be too far away. I pulled out a piece of wet bottomed Shoo-fly pie from the fridge and set it on the table. I cut a slice and put it on a plate.
I figured I should check the adjoining section of the house to see Matilda and Eleanor had gotten into it somehow, but then I chuckled to myself and shook my head. It was all brick. There was no way anybody could get into that section.
I had just finished my pie when I heard a scratching sound. I hoped rats hadn’t moved into my house. I looked around and then discovered the scratching sound was coming from under the kitchen sink. I bent down and for the first time noticed a note taped to the door. It read,
Jane, if you’re home early, do not let Mr. Crumbles out. It’s for his own safety.
I opened the door a crack and peeked in to see an angry cat face.
The kitchen cupboard door flew open, and Mr. Crumbles flew out. It took me a second or two to realize there had been an ear-splitting explosion. I was certain both of us were airborne for a moment. I landed hard on my back with Mr. Crumbles landing on my face.
“Ugh, argh,” I said through a mouthful of cat fur. I struggled to my feet in time to see Mr. Crumbles sprint from the room, every hair standing on end. I was certain my hair was doing the same.
What had happened? I staggered outside.
Matilda and Eleanor appeared around the side of the building. “Jane, whatever happened to you? You look a fright,” Eleanor said.
“What happened?” I asked. I knew the two of them had been involved.
They exchanged glances. “We got into the room,” Matilda announced proudly.
“Wait! Was that the explosion I heard?”
“Yes, Eleanor used too much explosive.”
“I did not!” Eleanor said with indignation. “I wanted to use less, but you insisted.”
“I did not insist,” Matilda snapped. “You wouldn’t let me have an opinion on it. After all, I am not the one who is an expert in plastic explosives.” She made air quotes at the word, ‘expert’.
I clutched my head with both hands. “Exactly - what - happened?” I said slowly through gritted teeth.
Matilda beckoned me to follow her. “We got into the room,” she said again. “Come and see, Jane!”
I rolled my eyes and followed them. She was right. They had certainly gotten into that section of the house.
There was a gaping hole in the wall. Rather, there wasn’t a wall at all, at least not on one side. Bricks were scattered everywhere. “I’m surprised the roof is still on,” I muttered crossly to myself.
Eleanor beamed widely. “I know what I’m doing,” she said. “Those plastic explosives are very chemically stable.”
I bit my tongue. It was better that I didn’t say anything. I carefully picked my way across the bricks and made my way over to where the wall had once been.
“We won’t need to cut out a hole for a window in the wall now, will we?” Matilda said brightly. “There isn’t a wall.”
I remained silent. I didn’t trust myself to speak. I looked into the building. It was simply one rather large room with rafters across the top. It reminded me of a barn construction. “Why on earth would they seal off this section of the house?” I said, more to myself than to anyone.
“They obviously bricked it up from the outside,” Matilda said. She pointed to the far wall where the door had been boarded up. “That explains why we weren’t able to open that door from the inside of your house.”
“I’ll have to get someone to replace the wall,” I said with a frown. “I hope it doesn’t rain first.”
I did mental math to figure out how much it would cost me to have a wall replaced. I needed somebody to lay the bricks, and then I’d need to buy windows, maybe even an external door.
I absently walked into the room, but Eleanor caught my arm. “Those floorboards aren’t safe, Jane.” I followed her gaze, and she was right. There was a narrow hole in the middle of the floor. “Did your explosives do that?”
Eleanor was clearly affronted. “Of course not, Jane. I know what I’m doing with explosives.”
I folded my arms over my chest. “And exactly how did you come by these skills with explosives?”
“She watches a lot of YouTube videos,” Matilda said, as quick as a flash.
Eleanor hurried to agree. She nodded vigorously. “That’s right, that’s right,” she said, still nodding.
I narrowed my eyes. “I’m going to go inside and have a nice cup of meadow tea to soothe my nerves.” My breathing was ragged, and I was shaking.
Eleanor pointed to the door with a hammer. “I’m going to open that door.” She waved the hammer as she spoke. I hadn’t even noticed she was holding a hammer.
“Please try not to do too much more damage.” I gingerly picked my way back across the bricks and made my way around the side of the house.
Mr. Crumbles was standing on the porch. His hair had returned to its normal state. “It was Eleanor,” I told him. “Come inside and I’ll get you some dinner.”
I was still speaking when there was another explosion. Once more, I was flung backward, and once more Mr. Crumbles landed on my face.
“Ugh. Err. The door!” I said through a mouthful of cat fur.

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