9780553592375

Murder Had a Little Lamb

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780553592375

  • ISBN10:

    0553592378

  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2009-10-27
  • Publisher: Bantam
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Summary

WHO BETTER THAN A PET DETECTIVE TO EXPOSE A WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING? Things get wild and woolly when Jessica Popper's wedding to longtime fianceacute; Nick Burby is interrupted by the sound of bloody murder. The sacrificial lamb is the black sheep of the Burby flock, a long-lost relative Nick has never even met. In fact, no one thought Cousin Nathaniel would return to the fold for the event-except his killer. Now, instead of enjoying her honeymoon, Jessie finds herself playing Bo Peep to a growing list of suspects, none with a past as white as snow. All the clues lead to an exclusive private school in Long Island's high-toned Bromptons, where snobby socialites and a smattering of locals on scholarship take classes in African drumming and field trips to Europe. But shearing away the thick fleece of politics, tension, and rivalries reveals a very different animal under the school's progressive appearance. And just when Jess thinks she's about to herd in the killer, she realizes she's being led like a lamb to slaughterhellip;.

Excerpts

Chapter One


"The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them."

—Stanley Coren, dog psychologist

Do you, Jessica, take this man, Nicholas, to be your lawfully wedded husband . . ." Every woman wants her wedding day to be perfect, and so far mine had been exactly that.

The setting couldn't have been lovelier—a sprawling estate on Long Island's North Fork that had been the home of a prosperous sea captain back in the 1800s. These days, it was available for private events, which meant that today Nick and I had the charming three-story Victorian mansion, the expansive lawn, and the exquisite gardens all to ourselves.

The day couldn't have been more pleasant, either. The delightfully warm June sun shone down on my soon-to-be husband and me as we stood beneath a graceful wooden archway decorated with gauzy white fabric and colorful wildflowers. Behind us, more than a hundred friends and family members looked on. Off to the left was a large white tent set up for the wedding feast, complete with a three-tier cake.

And I was certainly dressed like the heroine in a story- book, the type that ends "and they lived happily ever after." My wedding dress was straight out of a fairy tale, made from flowing ivory silk and cut in a flattering empire style. One of my closest friends, Suzanne Fox, had applied my makeup in a way that made me look as if I were glowing. She'd also twisted my straight, dark blond hair into an elaborate updo, leaving a few loose strands to frame my face. The finishing touch was the cluster of white flowers she'd fastened to one side of my head.

As for the groom, he looked positively debonair, thanks to a well-cut tuxedo that made him look as if he were dashing off to the Academy Awards. And while I'd grown used to the lock of dark brown hair that was constantly falling into Nick's eyes, for this special occasion he'd apparently used some magic potion to tame it.

True, a few butterflies had been doing the hokey-pokey in my stomach before the ceremony. Yet everything was going exactly as planned until the moment I found myself standing in front of the judge.

I could feel the eyes of my guests boring into me as I clutched a bouquet of the same white flowers as my hair ornament. At the moment, I desperately hoped the profusion of petals hid the fact that my hands were trembling.

". . . For better or for worse, to love and to cherish . . ."

Not that I had any doubts about marrying Nick. Not at this point. He was the love of my life, and looking back over the years we'd been together, I realized that even though we'd had our share of ups and downs—or possibly more than our share—I'd never stopped feeling that he and I simply belonged together.

It was just that there was something so momentous about actually uttering those two words—I do. While I could picture myself being married to Nick, I was still having trouble getting over that one last hurdle . . .

"From this day forward," the judge intoned, "for as long as you both shall live . . . ?"

It was time. This was it. So I opened my mouth, prepared to say those life-changing syllables, when the peaceful scene was shattered by a piercing scream.

"A-a-a-ah!"

Instantly, everyone froze.

Nick turned to me, wearing a puzzled look. "Jess?" he asked questioningly.

It seemed he just assumed that the desperate cry for help had come from me.

"A-a-a-ah!" we all heard again, the horrible cry cutting through the warm June day like a bolt of lightning. "No! No!"

Maybe it's because as a veterinarian I'm used to handling emergencies, but before I had a chance to mentally form the phrase "ruining your own wedding," I whirled around, hiked up my long skirt, and raced back down the aisle. I was only vaguely aware of the chaos erupting around me as guests rose f

Excerpted from Murder Had a Little Lamb by Cynthia Baxter
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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