Thursday, January 20, 2022

Thursday, Characters from Murder and Bitter Tea #BWLAuthor #MFRWAuthor #Cozy mystery #Nursing home

 As usual Katherine and Robespierre are present in thi story;

Jenna Taylor, one of my first floor tenants, slid from the red hatchback and waved.  “Hi, Mrs. Miller.”

     I rose and gathered my tools.  “How was class?”

            She grinned.  “Thanks for your help on the Psych paper.  Got an A.”

            “I’m proud of you.”

 Her hazel eyes filled with sadness.  “You’re the only one.”  She took the basket and carried it to the porch of my “Painted Lady.”

 The Victorian house I’d lived in since my dead husband and I had settled in this Hudson Valley village had been converted into two apartments.  I chose the second floor with its view of the river and rented the first.  A week after my return from Santa Fe, I’d acquired Jenna and her friend as tenants.  The young women were students at the local college, Jenna in Nursing and Louise in Business.

  I paused at the foot of the steps.  “Why don’t you call your grandmother?  I’m sure she’d be glad to see you and as proud of your accomplishments as I am.”

  She shook her head.  “And bring my problems with my uncle on her head.  He hated my mother.  After my dad died, Mom asked him for help and he refused.”  Tears glittered in her eyes.  “You should have heard the things he accused me of after my cousin’s death.  I’m better off staying away from family.”

 Martha Two days later, Martha and I entered Le Lune, a local restaurant where Jenna worked as a hostess/waitress. The small room holds a dozen tables in a cozy atmosphere offering exquisite food. Silver moons decorated the pale blue walls. On the tables, metal lanterns with moon cutouts held flickering candles.

As we waited to be escorted to our table, Jenna looked up. “Mrs. Miller. Gran!” She dropped the menus and hugged Martha.

“Child, you look wonderful. Why haven’t you called the house? It’s been five years since I’ve seen you. I’ve missed you.” Tears trickled down Martha’s cheeks.

“You know why.” Jenna looked away but not before I saw tears glistening in her hazel eyes.

Martha nodded. “You could have let me know you were all right.”

Jenna made a face. “I couldn’t. Uncle Marcus warned me to stay away.”

Martha tisked. “I don’t understand him. Where were you all this time?”

Sophie Gamer - What’s going on?” I turned. Sophie Garner stood in the doorway. She flipped her long blonde hair over her shoulder.

“I’m visiting,” I said.

“Marcus doesn’t want Mother Garner disturbed. Did that stupid nurse let you in? I’ll see she’s fired at once.”

“You’ll do nothing of the sort.” Martha’s voice held an iron edge. “I pay her and if I think she deserves to be fired, I will. You’re almost an hour late to relieve her. Kate kindly volunteered to stay while the nurse had lunch.”

Sophie waved her red-tipped fingers. “Did you expect me to walk out on Linda Eliot? She’s a very influential person around the county.”

Martha snorted. “A newcomer with new money. The Garners have been forces to reckon with for over a hundred years, but you always did like flash.” She dropped her hand on the bed. “Don’t let her vulgar money sway you, but there’s no sense trying to make silk from trash.”

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