Come to Silver Hills. Where age is relative and relatives can be deadly.
A skeleton under the floorboards…a long-hidden crime…and a nonagenarian WWII veteran who claims to have no knowledge of how the body got buried under her living room floor…
When their new friend, Scarlett, moves to Silver Hills, Flo and Agnes soon realize the crotchety veteran isn’t exactly a people person. Unfortunately, her acerbic personality isn’t helping her convince Detective Peters that she had nothing to do with murdering the dead guy beneath her floorboards. So the two sleuths, with a colorful array of the usual sidekicks, dive into the decades old murder and quickly learn it has a grip in the present. Can Flo and Agnes keep themselves above the fray? Or will they soon find themselves over their heads and swimming against the tide? If you’ve been to Silver Hills before you already know the answer to that. There’s really only one question left: backstroke or breaststroke?
“Flo and Agnes are the bees knees! They have a new resident, who at first appears to be a problem. Then she becomes a friend who needs help. Well, Flo and Agnes are up to it, and the quest is on!!! It’s hilarious, and scary, and a lot of fun…these senior citizens are not going to give in to threats, no, they’re not! Once again, they emerge victorious. Read it, I’m positive you’ll enjoy it!” Tamara Ingram Reader Reviews
“It will keep you in stitches! Sam Cheever nailed it with this book. This is my first book to read in this series but will definitely be reading all of them. Keep them coming! I was laughing out loud so much that my family wanted to commit me.” RhondaC Reader Review
“A minister, a thespian and a security guard walk into a funeral…”
“Good Lord in Heaven, Agnes,” Flo complained. “You’re not going to tell that joke again.”
Agnes chuckled and picked up her beer, taking a healthy swig.
Beside her, Scarlett clutched her own beer, which she hadn’t so much as sipped since they’d dropped into Happy Hour at Silver Hills.
TC threw Flo a grin. “But I haven’t heard the punch line yet.”
“That’s because there isn’t one,” Agnes supplied. “The thespian beat tail out of there before the minister and the security guard could ruin her greatest performance.”
Scarlett nodded enthusiastically. “She really inspired the mourners. I heard Pee Pee Arnold got himself so fired up with emotion at this morning’s funeral he fainted dead away and an ambulance had to come haul him off to the hospital.”
Agnes and Scarlett bumped knuckles and Scarlett made an explosion noise and wiggled her fingers.
Flo rolled her eyes. “Aside from the fact that I don’t want to know how Pee Pee got his name…I have no idea what you two are so happy about. Agnes single-handedly sucked all the dignity out of an untold number of current and future funerals.”
“I know,” Scarlet said, grinning. “Ain’t it awesome?”
“Daisy’s husband enjoyed my super-mourning,” Agnes said.
“Is that what you’re calling it now?” Flo gave up trying to make the adult delinquents understand why doing bad Shakespeare at other people’s funerals was in horrible taste. Unfortunately, she seemed to be in the minority with that opinion. Agnes was right. Everybody, including poor Daisy’s husband had loved Agnes’s enthusiasm.
The front doors slid open and Scarlett turned as someone screeched her name. “Oh no. Here’s comes the party-pooper fairy.”
Flo turned too and saw Scarlett’s daughter swooping down on them, her tired face looking more agitated than usual. She hurried in their direction, her hands fluttering madly as she ran, and her eyes wild. She was panting from exertion as she reached their table. “Mother!”
Scarlett frowned. “Daughter?”
Thelma put hands on wide hips and glared down at her mother. “What have you done?”
Scarlett shared a look with Agnes, who shook her head in a plea of ignorance, and then glanced back toward her clearly angry daughter. “I went to a funeral and now I’m having drinks with my friends.”
Flo smiled at the friend reference. “What’s wrong dear? You look upset.”
“Upset?” Thelma squealed. “I guess I am upset. You would be too if you’d just found a dead body!”
Everyone blinked for a moment, clearly at a loss. Finally, Flo decided it was up to her to ask. “You found a dead body?”
Thelma twitched, her hands coming up to frame shapes upon the air as if that would explain all. “Not a body exactly. I mean, yes, I did find a corpse. But it’s a corpse without any…corpse.”
Flo frowned. “Maybe you should sit down, hun. Have something cool to drink. Or maybe some tea?”
Thelma seemed to grow even more agitated at the suggestion. “I can’t sit!” she shrieked. “There’s a pile of bones under Mother’s floorboards.”
Agnes looked at Scarlett and Scarlett shrugged. Then everybody glanced down to the floor beneath Scarlett’s chair. “I don’t see any bones,” Agnes stated quite reasonably. “Maybe you should sit down,” she said kindly. “Your cheeks are very red.”
“It is really hot outside,” TC offered as she stood up. “Here, take my chair. I’ll go get you something cold to drink.”
Thelma looked from one to the other, her gaze wild, and then gave them a hefty sigh. “I might as well. Obviously I’m not communicating this as well as I should.” She allowed TC to settle her into a chair.
Patting the older woman on a well-padded shoulder, TC muttered something about getting water and hurried off to the bar.
An awkward silence followed. Flo struggled to find a way to speak to Scarlett’s daughter without referring to the elephant in the room. She finally decided to take the problem head on. “Maybe you can start from the beginning, hun. Tell us what has you so upset.”
TC arrived back at the table with a tall, icy glass of water and handed it to Thelma. The woman held her finger up as she tipped the glass back and siphoned off two thirds of it in one long, energetic drink. When she finally lowered the glass, she seemed a bit calmer. “Thank you. That was exactly what I needed.” She ran the back of her hand over her glistening forehead. “It is hotter than blazes out there and I’m afraid I had gotten myself into something of a tizzy.”
“What’s got your goat, girl?” Scarlett asked her daughter.
Thelma turned to her mother, her lips tightening with pique. “Mother, I’ve done my best over the years to intervene when you’ve made trouble for yourself. But this time…” She shook her head and tears filled her brown gaze. “I just don’t know what I can do.” She sniffled, glancing down. “I don’t know how we’re going to pay for a lawyer…”
Flo let her eyes widen as she glanced toward Agnes. Her friend bit the inside of her lip, shrugging to tell Flo she had no more idea than Flo did what the other woman was talking about. “Thelma?” Flo said gently. “Tell us what’s wrong, hun. Maybe we can help.”
Thelma shook her head. “You can’t help. Nobody can. Mother’s really stepped in it this time.” She sniffled dejectedly.
“Oh for heaven’s sake, girl! Just tell us what you’re blathering on about so we can get back to enjoying our afternoon.”
Thelma’s gaze flashed with anger as she turned to Scarlett. “I’m talking about the corpse hidden beneath the floorboards in your living room. Didn’t I already tell you that?”
Scarlett rolled her eyes. “You’re crazy. There isn’t any corpse in my living room.” She snorted. “At least not since your father died.” Then she let out a guffaw that caused several gazes around the room to swing in her direction.
“It’s not funny, Mother. Tell me who it is!”
“How on earth would I know? Maybe it’s the remains of that invisible friend you had when you were six. God knows he probably killed himself to get away from your sour puss.”
Flo decided she needed to step in. “Thelma, tell us about the body. How did you find it?”
“I was boxing stuff up to give to Goodwill…”
“I told you not to give my stuff away!” Scarlett interjected angrily.
Thelma held up a hand. “I’m not giving away anything worth keeping, Mother. Just the junk.”
“One woman’s junk is another woman’s treasured stuff,” Scarlett said. “You leave my treasures be, girl.”
Shaking her head, Thelma continued. “Anyway…I rolled up the rug that was under the couch…”
“I got that rug in Shanghai. Don’t you dare give it away!”
“Stop talking, Mother.”
“Let her tell her story, Scarlett,” Flo pleaded. She nodded at the other woman to continue.
“I noticed the boards underneath the rug looked funny.”
“Funny how?” Agnes asked.
“They were loose and ill-fitting. And the color was a bit off.”
“Go on,” Flo said gently.
Thelma glanced toward her mother. “I thought maybe Mother had hidden something in the floor. She’s tricky about hiding stuff.”
“Obviously I need to be, since the minute I turn my back you give all my stuff away.”
Thelma opened her mouth to defend herself and then snapped it closed, shaking her head. “I went and got a knife and pried the board out. It was too dark to see clearly so I got a flashlight.” She shuddered. “I wish now I hadn’t.”
Flo decided to try to move Thelma’s story along. “You saw a body under there?”
“No. I mean, yes. All I could see at first was a roll of plastic, tied and taped. But then I shone the light over one end and…” She bit her knuckles, quivering from the memory.
“What was it?” Agnes asked breathlessly.
“A skull face! I didn’t stay around to find out if there was a whole body under there. I ran out and came to find out who Mother had killed.”