From the author:
No one is surprised when feisty Delilah Dickinson opens her own literary travel agency in Atlanta after her divorce. But during her first group's tour of an old plantation modeled after Tara from Gone With the Wind, she finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery-and everyone knows death is not so good for business. So, with God as her witness, Delilah vows to find the killer.
With all the drama of Margaret Mitchell's epic story suddenly coming to alarming life, Delilah's only chance to head off a not-so-Civil War is to track down and confront the deranged murderer. But she must move quickly and very quietly, or risk becoming the next victim of a killer-who frankly doesn't give a damn.
I didn’t mean to lose it. Really, I didn’t. It must have been the two squabbling teenagers. Or the two annoying adults. Or the pressure of setting up a new business and knowing that if I couldn’t make a go of it, it would be just one more in a long list of failures.
We won’t even mention the divorce.
All I wanted was a minute to myself. Just one simple, single minute to sit there in the new office and take a deep breath and look around and say to myself, This is mine. And it’s going to work.
But I hadn’t been there in the chair behind my new desk more than ten seconds when the door burst open and Augusta and Amelia came in snapping at each other over something. They looked at me and said in unison, in the sort of plaintive wail that only teenagers can manage, “Aunt Deliiiiilah!”
I held up one finger and closed my eyes. If they can do that to me, I can do that to them. They sighed. Together, of course.
Then I heard heavier footsteps, and Luke Edwards, my assistant—and son-in-law—said, “Miz Delilah, the phone’s not workin’. Are you sure you called ’em and told ’em we’d be movin’ in today?”
“Of course she called them,” my daughter Melissa said from behind him. “She wouldn’t have forgotten something that important.”
I had hired Melissa, too, as secretary/receptionist. It was sort of a package deal. She and Luke hadn’t been married for very long, and they thought it would be just darlin’ if they could work in the same place and spend all their time together, since they loved each other so much.
I didn’t call them poor deluded fools. At least not to their faces. You can’t do that to kinfolks.
“Aunt Delilah, she’s being totally unreasonable,” Amelia said.
“Well, she’s stuck in the nineteenth century,” Augusta said. “There’s nothing wrong with body piercing. It’s an ancient custom.”
“We can’t run the office without the phones,” Luke said.
“Will you leave the poor woman alone? She knows that,” Melissa said as she crowded into the room along with Luke, Augusta, and Amelia.
“She’s going to mutilate herself and embarrass me—”
“Embarrass you? It’s my body—”
“I can call the phone company on my cell—”
“I’ll call them. It’s my job—”
I opened my eyes. I stood up and put my hands on the desk and said, “Will y’all just hush up for a minute?”
Now, I admit I raised my voice a little. But not enough so that all four of them should have stared at me like I just choked a kitten or something. Augusta and Amelia got that little bottom-lip quiver— you know, like they were about to cry because I’d yelled at them—and to tell the truth, so did Luke, whose big ol’ country boy, football player looks hid a soul that was a tad on the sensitive side. Melissa had known me the longest, so she recovered first and said, “I think we should all go on and leave her alone for a minute. She’s got a lot on her plate these days and we don’t need to be bothering her with our petty problems.”
“There’s nothing petty about tryin’ to run a tour business with no phones,” Luke grumbled as she shooed him out of the office.
“You, too, girls,” Melissa said to her cousins, who, at sixteen, were six years younger than she.
I could tell Augusta and Amelia wanted to argue with her, but they left, too, and Melissa eased the door shut on her way out. I was alone again.
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