Add 1/4 tsp almond extract...

Can She Bake A Cherry Pie? cover

"I thought that was you over here? Enjoying the play?"

Emaline turned slowly, until she was facing Detective Jordan. Although she hadn't seen him, hadn't spoken to him for six months, she'd recognized his voice immediately. "Yes, I am. It's exciting." She'd always been a fan of Agatha Christie, and this revival of Witness for the Prosecution was superbly staged. Although her stomach was roiling, she forced herself to smile. "Are you here for pleasure, or is this a professional visit?"

His chuckle seemed to wrap itself around her heart. "I'm a murder mystery fan. Never miss a play or movie, especially when it's a classic like this."

"Me too. And books. I've got every one of Christie's."

"I'm a Travis McGee fan myself. He's sort of my role model. Or at least a model for the role I'd like to play, if I didn't have this old-fashioned work ethic." Stepping to her side, he cupped her elbow in one big hand. "Let's get out of this mob. Hard to hear yourself think."

Adroitly he maneuvered her into an alcove where he could stand between her and the intermission crowd. His wide shoulders and solid body made a good sound barrier.

"How are you doing, dealing with your grandfather's estate and all? I know it can be a real strain."

Was there suspicion in his voice? Again her stomach clenched. She willed her voice to be steady. "I imagine the tangle of red tape is no worse for me than anyone. Fortunately Grandad updated his will about five years ago. He made no major changes in his estate since then, so probate is relatively uncomplicated. Just time-consuming." A good thing, too. She wasn't sure what she would have done if Grandad had carried out his threat to revise his will before... Don't go there. Don't ever go there.

"That's good. I--" The chime sounded for the last act. He grimaced. "Look, I'd like to see you again. Are you busy this Friday?"

She felt a stab of surprising disappointment. "I am. I have a standing date..."

Another grimace, this one accompanied by a quick lowering of his dark brows.

Good heavens! Is he hitting on me? "My girlfriends," she said quickly. "We meet for dinner and a show. Every week." She wondered what would happen if she didn't show up because she had a date with a man. They had all agreed that only fire, flood or disaster would prevent their weekly get-together, and for a long time everyone had kept her vow.

The crowd had all but disappeared. "I guess--" she said.

At the same time he said, "Time to go back--"

"I'll call you," he said, as they parted.

She wished he would.

Remembering what he did for a living, she hoped he wouldn't.

Can She Bake A Cherry Pie? (ISBN 978-1-60174-026-7) is available from Uncial Press
and most other online ebooksellers, or ask for it at your local library.