Read "A Murder In Milburn", Book 4: Death By Ice Cream Online

Authors: Nancy McGovern

Tags: #Cozy Mystery

"A Murder In Milburn", Book 4: Death By Ice Cream


Title Page


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Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21


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Death By Ice Cream


Nancy McGovern

Rights & Disclaimer

This is entirely a work of fiction. All people, places and events contained have been completely fabricated by the author. Any similarities to real people, places, or events are completely coincidental.

Death By Ice Cream Copyright © 2016 Nancy McGovern

All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any manner or used in any way without advanced written permission by the author.

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Chapter 1

So this was home. Nora gave a satisfied sigh as she leaned on the counter and surveyed the diner. Finally,
, she had made it happen. Well,
had made it happen. She smiled at Tina, who was busy manning the phone.

Working the diner was tougher than she’d anticipated. Being back full time in the kitchen with order after order piling on was a whole different soup than the comparative ease of catering. Tina had made a lunch break mandatory for Nora, who was otherwise prone to working for hours without realizing that she hadn’t taken a break.

Nora looked eagerly at the door when it chimed, but it was just another customer. Her boyfriend Harvey was late today, though any moment now, he’d probably waltz through the door and join her. Having lunch with him was like a mini vacation. For half an hour each afternoon, right after the lunch rush, Nora would relax and enjoy time with him at the diner, breathing in every aspect of it, feeling as though she were home after a long time. More than the little room she rented from Mrs. Mullally,
was the place closest to her heart, where she could relax and be completely herself.

The interiors had changed somewhat from what she and Raquel had planned. Her new partner Tina had formerly been a graphic designer, and had an eye for color that Nora couldn’t match. Nora had to admit she had been doubtful about the new magenta and mint color scheme, but coupled with touches of dark wood, it looked quite stunning.

Business, so far, had been thriving. As Nora had correctly predicted, Milburn needed a diner, an old fashioned place to meet, chat, and eat real good comfort food. While Anna’s Pancake house had been the place where townspeople had formerly flocked after church, Nora found that quite a bit of traffic had diverted to her diner instead. To her surprise, she found that customers preferred coming in for breakfast and lunch, and apart from a brief increase in traffic between 8 and 9 pm, the diner was fairly quiet at night.

Still, business was good. Even now, long after lunch on a weekday, four or five tables were still filled with customers. A sudden ruckus made Nora very aware of one of them.

“You can’t do this!” A chair scraped and then toppled to the ground as a man stood up, his face a mask of fury. He was a broad man, with a tattoo peeking out from under his rolled up plaid shirt sleeves. His features were sharp, made more distinct by a large but well groomed beard, and a buzz-cut.

The woman sitting across from him looked bored. She was wearing a heavy metal T-shirt and a nose ring, and fiddling with one long strand of bleached blonde hair. Her chocolate brown eyes were staring off into the distance even as she spoke to him.

“Deal with it, Sergio,” she said. “It’s over between us, and it has been for a while.”

“Over? Just like that? Over?” He banged his hand on the table, and the woman flinched as she tried to move away.

Nora looked across at Tina and gave her a nod. Tina immediately whispered something into her phone and hung up.

“Whoa now,” Nora interrupted, approaching the couple. “Hi. I don’t mean to interrupt-”

“Good. Don’t. You better stay out of this,” the man growled. With one meaty hand, he grabbed the woman’s wrist, and tried to get her to stand. “We’ll discuss this outside, Tiffany.”

“Ow. No. I wanna finish my sandwich,” she whined. “Stop being such a jerk, Sergio.”

“Oh, you haven’t seen the
side of me yet, and you better pray you don’t. Take me to him now.”

“Why bother? After everything I’ve told you, you still want to meet Joe?”

“You’re darn right I do! I have a right to!”

“Sir.” Nora put herself between the man and woman. “I’m going to have to ask you to calm down.”

“Stay out of this, woman!” Sergio shouted. “Tiffany, I’m giving you one last chance. Tell me where Joe is or I’ll-”

“You’ll what? You’ll do nothing. You don’t have the guts!” Tiffany screamed from behind Nora. “You never did! You think those tattoos fool anybody? You’re a wimp, Serge! You always were. Why do you think I left you?”

Nora could see each word hitting him like a shard of glass. His eyes seemed to change color, going from light to dark. A spark lit up deep within them. His face seemed to pale, and also to age, as his mouth drooped.

He put a hand behind him and brought out a revolver, pointing it straight at Tiffany.

Instantly, there was chaos as the other patrons screamed and scattered. Nora saw Tina immediately dial 911.

“I don’t want to hurt nobody!” Serge said. “But Tiffany, you’re taking me to Joe if I have to put a few bullets in you first!”

“Listen, buddy…” Nora tried to distract him, but with one large hand he shoved her aside. She went flying, and caught a blow to her side as she was flung against a table. Pain slammed her breathless, but determination had her rising up to face him again.

“I said stay out!” Serge barked at her. “Just stay in your place!” His face was tear-streaked, and his gun was pointed straight at her. With a little yelp, Tiffany had scurried away from him.

“Tiff, stay where you are! I’ll shoot! I’m warning you, I’ll shoot!”

Nora was preparing to charge him, when a pan flew through the air and connected with the side of his head. She saw his eyes roll upwards, and with an almost comically blissful face, he collapsed on the floor, the gun toppling down next to him.

Around her, customers were still screaming, and chairs were scattered about like bowling pins.

Harvey stepped over them, adjusting his tie, and walked over to check the pulse on Serge’s neck. “He’ll live. Probably won’t wake up for a while, but he’ll have a good headache when he does,” he declared, nodding up at Tina. “You should probably call Sean and ask him to pick up this cockroach.”

“I- I already did.” Tina stuttered. “Nora… is Nora ok?”

“She’ll be fine.” Harvey made his way toward Nora, after gingerly pocketing the fallen gun.

“You all right?” He put his hands on her elbows, and searched her face.

“I’m just fine,” she said, her breath still uneven.

“Doesn’t look that way.” Tenderly, he kissed her lips.

To anyone else, he would have looked calm, almost casual, as he led her away and made her sit down, but Nora, who knew Harvey well, could see the fury in his eyes. One hand was in his suit pocket, and she knew that if she drew it out, his hand would be in a fist, the knuckles white with the force of his squeeze. His smile was mild, gentle, but a vein beat on the side of his forehead. If she didn’t distract him, he might just go back to the unconscious man, and beat him within an inch of his life.

“Quite a bit of adventure for today,” she said with a cheery laugh. “Poor woman. I heard what she was saying, she was just trying to break up with him.”

“Did you have to intervene?” Harvey asked, his voice still mild, but his eyes boring into her.

“You know Nora, that’s what she does. If she sees something wrong, she steps in to make it right,” Tina said, appearing between them. “Sean will be here in a minute, Harvey.”

“You ladies ought to consider hiring a bodyguard,” Harvey said. “I don’t want Nora throwing herself between every man who pulls a gun on a woman.”

“I did what I had to, Harvey. Let it go,” Nora said, putting her hand on his forearm. “Thank you, by the way. That was some quick thinking with the pan.”

“It was a good idea to serve your huevos rancheros in the pan,” Harvey said.

“Oh, is that tomato all over him then?” Tina gave a breath. “I thought… well, never mind. He’ll have to pay for all this mess.”

“The point is, you need some form of protection,” Harvey said. “Maybe it’s time I took you to the shooting range each weekend.”

“Harvey, it wasn’t that serious.” Nora said. “It was-”

“He pulled a gun on you!” Harvey exclaimed. “Nora, sometimes I think you’re just a little too casual about things that are life and death!”

She bit her lip, and didn’t retort that sometimes, especially where it concerned keeping her safe, he was a little too protective. She had a feeling he’d only agree to that statement, and it wouldn’t change a thing.

The bell above the door gave a little clang as Sean and his Deputy, Dave Ellerton, stepped in.

The Deputy gave a little whistle as he surveyed the scene. “Been a battle here?”

“It was horrible. This man was like an enraged bull. He pulled a gun on this woman,” Tina looked around and exclaimed. “She’s gone! Her name was Tiffany, I think. She called him Sergio.”

“Pity,” Sean said, handcuffing the man. “It would have been good to get a statement from her. Was she a local, Tina?”

“I… I think so,” Tina said doubtfully, “but I haven’t seen her about, to be honest. She didn’t look like the type I’d socialize with.”

Nora laughed. “She had a heavy metal T-shirt and a nose ring. Tina clearly disapproves.”

“Now, you have a full description and a name,” Harvey said. “Is that enough, Sean, or will you be needing Nora to do your work for you again?”

“Don’t start on me, Harvey,” Sean warned him.

“But you’re so much more fun than my punching bag at home,” Harvey said.

“You know what? Fine.” Sean stood up. “Let’s haul this man to the doctor, Deputy. Also, let’s put some cuffs on Harvey here.”

“What!” Nora put herself between the two men. “Sean, that’s insane. Harvey saved my life. You should be thanking him.”

“I don’t see a gun,” Sean said, his face tight.

“Here it is.” Harvey bought it out of his pocket.

“This thing?” Sean laughed. “This isn’t real. It’s a fake. A good looking model, but a fake.”

“Oh.” Harvey raised an eyebrow. “That’s a surprise.”

“So you threw a heavy pan that could potentially have killed a man,” Sean said. “Without bothering to think about consequences. Take him away, Deputy.”

“Sean…?” The Deputy was looking around him, a little uncertain.


“This is outrageous!” Tina said. “You’re supposed to be protecting us from that hulk lying there, not Harvey, who saved us.”

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