Something Old, Something New
Psychic Consignment Mystery Book 4
Love is in the salty, sea air of Sarasota, Florida.
But so is murder.
The Concordia sisters, owners of the One Woman’s Junk consignment shop are up to their eyeballs in trouble as they try to help their friends, solve a murder and plan a wedding. All while managing not to kill each other, offend any of their wacky clientele, or wreck their own love lives.
“I can’t live here anymore.”
Amanda Concordia’s head shot up to look at her younger sister, Winnie. She and her sisters were gathered around the cash register of One Woman’s Junk consignment shop. To anybody passing by the store, it would have looked like they were having a heart-to-heart. But to Amanda, it felt like her heart was breaking. After all, they’d only just recently reconnected, and now Winnie wanted to break up the band again.
Before she could respond, Winnie continued, “We don’t have to live together to do things together.”
Even though she delivered the proclamation matter-of-factly, Amanda, could feel Winnie’s doubt and anxiety.
Bea, their youngest sister, perched on a stool behind the checkout counter, had a lot to say about this new announcement. “That’s not what Letty wanted. She brought us all together. She wants us to be together.”
The middle Concordia sister stared down at her hands, fiddling nervously with a sketching pencil.
“We are stronger together,” Amanda reminded Winnie quietly.
Winnie looked up, a spasm of guilt passing over her face. “I never wanted to be here,” she reminded them. “We came to settle Letty’s estate, not to run a consignment shop in a town where the average temperature hovers just below that of hell.”
“It’s not that bad,” Bea argued. “Everyone says you’ll acclimate to the heat.”
Winnie raised her head defiantly. “What if I don’t want to acclimate? You’re forgetting that I didn’t choose to work in this place. Letty got herself killed and I came to clean up the mess.”
Amanda flinched at her sister’s tone.
“Letty didn’t choose to be murdered!” Bea spouted off, exasperated. “And we all showed up. You’re not the only one who put their life on hold.”
Winnie pushed herself off where she’d been leaning on the counter and gave her younger sister a hard look. “What did you give up coming here?” she mocked. “You showed up penniless, friendless and needing a wheelchair to get around because of some stupid stunt you tried. Now you’ve got a job and a boyfriend. Don’t try to tell me that things are worse for you here.”
Bea flinched beneath the attack.
Feeling how badly Winnie’s words had stung their younger sister, Amanda stepped into the fray. “She was just saying that ending up here was unexpected for us all.”
Winnie turned on her. “There’s a difference between unexpected and unwelcome.” With that, she stalked out of the store, causing the bell over the door to jangle.
“That lass has a wee bit of a temper,” Angus, the tartan-cap wearing, Loch Ness statue who guarded the door to the shop while holding an ashtray, said in his thick Scottish brogue.
Nutmeg, the scruffy brown dog, whined, “Mad.”
“What did he say?” Bea asked, glancing over at the dog who was hiding under a table loaded with handbags.
“He said she’s mad,” Amanda translated. While her sisters could now have conversations with inanimate objects, they still couldn’t understand the dog…or ghosts.
“That’s an understatement.” Bea scowled at the door as though Winnie stood in the doorway.
“It’s been a lot of changes,” Amanda said carefully. “For all of us.”
Bea shook her head. “But most of them have been good.”
Hearing a low chuckle behind her, Amanda turned to look at Rupert, the shop’s ghost. Wearing his seersucker suit, he sat atop a collection of carefully displayed kitchen wares, swinging his legs back and forth.
“Your sister seems to have forgotten that you were almost killed a few times,” he pointed out.
“Are you talking to the ghost?” Bea asked.
Amanda nodded, turning her attention back to her sister. “He was reminding me that we’ve almost been killed a couple of times since coming here. It hasn’t been all good.”
“I didn’t say it was all good,” Bea pouted. “But look at all the good that’s happened. We’re sisters again. And we’ve got our powers. And we met Aunt Amity. And—”
“Harmony has told you she doesn’t want to be called that,” Amanda interrupted to remind her.
“And we stopped crimes and solved murders,” Bea continued, undaunted. “And I met Ash. And you met Tom.” She batted her eyelashes and covered her heart with her hands, pretending to swoon.
Amanda’s cheeks grew warm at the thought of Detective Tom Keller. With the exception of her renewed relationship with her family, he was definitely the high point of living in Sarasota.
“And we’ve got the store.” Bea glanced around at the collection of resale items.
“Winnie hates the store,” Amanda pointed out.
“She doesn’t like dealing with customers. She could be perfectly happy sitting upstairs doing the books.”
Amanda shook her head slowly. “I don’t think so. She’s always wanted more. This is a big step down for her. She owned her own advertising company.”
“Which she lost,” Bea reminded her.
“Let’s not mention that.”
Bea pounded lightly on the counter three times. “I don’t want her to leave.”
Amanda caught her breath as a wave of her youngest sister’s sadness hit her. “Neither do I. But if we hold her back, she could very well grow to resent us.”
Bea hung her head in silent acknowledgement that Amanda was right. A big, fat tear splashed onto the counter.
Amanda walked around the counter and hugged her sister tightly. “One way or another, it will all work out.”
“That’s what Letty used to say,” Bea choked out.
Amanda swallowed the lump that rose in her throat at the mention of their godmother who’d raised them and bequeathed this shop.
They clung to each other for a long moment, each grieving the departure of Winnie.
“If Winnie leaves, maybe Rena could move back in here,” Bea sniffled.
Amanda chuckled at the mention of the homeless teenager who was currently staying with Bea and Ash. “You want some privacy, but don’t think I deserve some of my own?”
“I didn’t mean—” Bea began defensively.
“I’m just kidding,” Amanda assured her. “We’ll figure out what to do about Rena.”
Startled by the jangling of the bell over the shop’s door, they turned to see who had entered.
“Come quick,” Winnie said, her eyes wild.
Her panic hit Amanda square in the chest, making it hard for her to breathe. She stumbled back a step from the intensity pounding at her.
“What’s wrong?” Bea asked worriedly.
“It’s Rena,” Winnie said. “They’re looking for her.”
“Who?” Amanda gasped.
Winnie glanced around, making sure there was no one else in the shop. “The cops. They say she’s wanted for attempted murder!”