Supernatural Psychic Mysteries: Four Book Boxed Set

By: Morgana Best

(Misty Sales Cozy Mystery Suspense series)

Book 1

A Motive for Murder

Chapter 1

I was surprised to get a handwritten letter—I mean, who gets them these days?—and the writer was an aunt I barely remember. When I was a child we visited the relatives back in England, and I only vaguely remember Aunt Beth. She smelled like mothballs, as did her house, dark and full of lace doilies.

“My dearest Misty,” the letter began in a scrawl, “I am quite old now, and I fear my advancing age leaves me not long for this world. I am writing to you because I would like you to collect the family history. I have photos and”—what was that scribbled adjective?—“charts, some back to the Domesday Book. These are too valuable to send to you so I need you to visit me and collect them at your earliest convenience.”

I was unable to make out the rest of the handwriting, although there was only one more paragraph. The paper was overpowered by the scent of violets with a hint of naphthalene.

Dear old Aunt Beth is clearly quite mad, I thought. Here I am, on the other side of the world in Australia, and she writes to me as if I can pop across town to pick things up.

I wouldn’t have given it another thought or even replied in any hurry. It’s not as if she had left an email address.

It’s only that, as I was throwing the letter down on the kitchen table in disgust, I saw the return address, High Wycombe.

Chapter 2

“No, of course we won’t pay you to go to England! What do you think our budget is?” My boss narrowed his eyes and glared at me.

I avoided his gaze and looked at the cheap print of sailing ships on the wall behind him. “I only want the airfare. Return airfare,” I added for good measure, just in case he got any ideas. “My accommodation is already paid for. Surely you can get it as a tax deduction?”

He opened his mouth, so I spoke quickly. “My accommodation’s already arranged in High Wycombe which is right next to West Wycombe. You could do the whole magazine as a UK feature. You’ve already assigned me to work on the Hellfire Club for the Haunted issue, but I could go there in person and make it a much bigger feature. You could do a whole issue on it.”

His face was turning from beet red to a paler pink, which gave me enough encouragement to press on. “West Wycombe is home not just to the Hellfire Club, but to West Wycombe Park, the Dashwood Mausoleum. Oh, and nearby there’s Medmenham Abbey, and the Green Man of Fingest. I could do a whole bunch of articles for the one feature.” I said it all in one breath, and then sat down in the rickety blue chair opposite his desk. I vaguely thought that the budget must be bad if the magazine couldn’t afford better chairs than this.

My boss’s expression was continuing to improve, and I took him sitting back in his chair tapping his pen as a good sign. Keith was the managing editor of the biggest (not that that’s saying much, there weren’t many) paranormal magazine in Australia.

Straight after my college degree, I had landed a job as a journalist on one of Australia’s biggest newspapers. Unfortunately, at the same time I had started dating Steve, then a postgraduate law student. For the entire three years we dated, I had to pay for both of us at restaurants and even at coffee shops. Lending him money was a regular occurrence. When I finally complained, Steve said I was selfish and thinking only of myself.

Last year Steve had landed a position with a prestigious law firm in Australia’s capital city, Canberra, and at the same time left me for a younger, thinner version of myself, but managed to turn it all back on me, as usual. Within a month I was fired from my newspaper job, which I found highly suspicious, and I’m sure Steve had a hand in it. After living on noodles and rice for some time, I finally managed to find a journalism position at the paranormal magazine.

The paranormal seems to follow me around. In the TV show Rosemary and Thyme, there’s a murder every episode. It’s not even as if they’re law enforcement or anything. One’s a plant pathologist and the other one is her gardening assistant. Everywhere they go, there’s a murder. I’m like that: not murders, thankfully, but the paranormal. It could only happen to you, people always say about the strange things that happen to me.

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