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Death on a Stick

Hilda's new candy store will close in its first month unless she can prove her lollipops weren't responsible for two deaths! But there’s a bright side – she gets to be investigated very closely by interesting detective Riley McDonagh.


Hilda looked up when the door jangled, then looked again. She recognized Kim at once, but she was on the watch for faces from her past, while Kim's attention was occupied with shepherding two children through the door and looking around the shop. Hilda finished cutting up her samples, dark chocolate amaretto truffles, while Kim browsed the cases.

Hilda set the samples out on a little silver tray she’d brought from her parents’ house – now hers. The older child, an Asian girl who looked to be about eleven years old, tugged on Kim’s sleeve. “Mom, I want cake pops.”

“In a minute, dear.” Kim finally looked at Hilda, over the high display case. “This store is new, isn’t... Oh my God! Hilda!”

Hilda grinned. “Kimberly Long. You’re looking good.” She really did look terrific, in a slim tailored cotton dress, fit and tanned, sun-bleached hair. Prosperous.


“When did you get back in town? Why didn’t you call me? It’s been, what...?”

“If you say how many years it’s been since high school, I’ll be obliged to strike you.”

“But my name isn’t Long anymore. I married Danny Schott. Remember him?”

“The running back? Of course I remember him. Oh, but that means...”

Kim rolled her eyes. “Yes, that’s right. Now I’m Mrs. Kimberly Long Schott. Go ahead, I’ve heard them all.”

“I wasn’t going to make a joke. No, honest. I was just going to say that you must love him very much indeed. And I’m surprised you didn’t keep your own name. I always thought you would, anyway.” Hilda looked down at the two children, the girl and a boy maybe nine years old, also Asian. “I’ve seen your daddy’s face on real estate signs all over town. He’s kind of a big Schott, isn’t he? What are the names of the little Schotts?” She looked up at Kim, mischievously. “Rim and Chip, perhaps?”

Kim sighed. “It appears you haven’t changed much.”

“But I have.” Hilda gestured down at her body. “I’m... billowier than I was in high school.”

“This is Emily, and this is Ethan.”

Ethan was partly obscured by Kim’s pleated skirt, but Emily gave a little curtsey. “May I have a cake pop now?”

“Alas, child.” Hilda feigned regret. “You’ll never find a cake pop in this store, for they are an abomination. What you're pointing at are truffle pops – much better.”

Reviews:Ralph Fenetre on The Phoenix Register wrote:

"Sweet and spicy! A tasty concoction."

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