Finally healing after her heart-breaking divorce, Anne Freemont is ready to put the painful past behind her.Discovering an old Victorian for sale in the small mountain town of Carolan Springs may be just what she needs. The beauty of Colorado beckons, so Anne heads west to start her new life.
Yet, before Anne’s completely settled in, her neighbor is found dead in his compost pile. What’s worse is that Anne’s quirky young neighbor, Kandi Jenkins, could be the killer. When Kandi begs for her help, Anne feels she has no choice but to help the young woman.
However, she finds herself quickly at odds with the local sheriff. And while she uncovers more of the community’s secrets, she’s also exploring her awakening feelings for Sam Powers, the town’s deputy coroner.
Once Anne starts looking at who could be the real killer, the suspect list keeps getting longer and longer. It seems that Carolan Springs is a place of many secrets. But who would want to murder Ralph and who’s willing to kill again to keep their secret?
Interview with Anne’s next-door neighbor, Kandi
Kandi, can you share with our readers a bit about yourself?
Sure! Let’s see, I’ve lived in Carolan Springs pretty much all my life. I’m the oldest of all us kids. So, there’s me and then my twin younger brothers. They’re off backpacking the globe right now. After my dad passed, my mom moved us here to live with my grandpa. We called him Pops. Sadly, he died, like, a few years ago after falling off a ladder. I really miss him. I’m married to Jeff. Umm, no other family. My mom died from cancer. She left me and my brothers a bit of money, but, I don’t really want to talk about her or that part of my life, if it’s okay with you. What else? Oh, I have a new neighbor!
What do you think of your new neighbor, Anne Fremont?
She’s, like, really funny. Opps. She doesn’t like me saying like all the time. But I can’t, like, help it! But I’m getting better. She acts all tough sometimes but I think she’s really not like that at all. Sometimes I think she’s really sad about something. And she can get moody. Oh man, like, really moody. Faith says some of it is due to being a woman and getting older. Not sure I’m looking forward to that. But oh well, whatcha’ gonna do? Right? I do know that Anne has told me that I’m sweet, and smart and a good cook. I don’t think anyone has been as nice to me as Anne has. Even though she’s like, old enough to be my mom, I really like her.
You’re suspected of killing your neighbor, Ralph Rogers. What do you say to those accusations?
Well, it’s the silliest thing ever. I’d never do anything to Mr. Rogers or anyone else. It’s just silly. But I didn’t want him hurting Rusty.
Yes, that’s my Rhode Island Red. She’s the sweetest hen and is a great egg layer. They’re great chickens and I love, like, all my girls. I will stop anyone from hurting them. Anyway, look at me. Do I look like a killer? On the other hand, they always say it’s, like, who you least expect. (giggle). So maybe I am.
Tell us a bit about where you live.
I live in the most beautiful town (Carolan Springs) in the most beautiful state (Colorado). Winter is so pretty with all the big fat snowflakes. There’s nothing better than, like, grabbing a hot cup of tea and sitting in front of the fire. I have a window right by a nice comfy chair and I love hanging out there. Spring is so nice because the days are warming up and you can go hiking and see all the pretty wildflowers. Summer we have a homesteading fair and it brings in tourists which is nice for our little town. We’ve a town of old-timers with big old houses and lots of entrepreneurs who work online so it helps the town’s economy. Faith–she’s the local herbalist—and I are thinking of making Ralph’s place into a bed and breakfast and teaching classes. So, stay tuned on that. Finally, fall is so nice with the dancing aspens and the colors changing. Crisp mornings are so nice for hikes. Fall is often filled with warm sunny days and cooler evenings so it’s a wonderful time of year. That’s Vikki’s, you know, the author’s favorite time of year. But don’t say I told ya.
You mentioned the author, what can you tell us about her?
Well, she lived a long time in Texas—around the San Antonio area. But just like me, she loves Colorado’s mountains. She also enjoys traveling so I wouldn’t be, like, surprised if she didn’t write something at some point about her travels to England, Europe or Mexico. She’s a house and pet sitter, so who knows, maybe it will be a mystery series around that. She’s also written some nonfiction books. One’s called Work Quilting and it’s a vocational guidance and lifestyle book. The other one is about women’s travel. Of course, she loves everything about being a suburban homesteader or what some call backyard farming. She’s a certified permaculture designer, has chickens and beehives and gardens.
Kandi, can you tell us what’s next for the series?
Well, in Chicken Culprit, it’s about chickens. The next book in the series is about tinctures and herbs. It also has the killer using a particular way to kill someone that I don’t know has been used before in a mystery. If all goes well, the author expects the next book to come out in the fall so get on her mailing list, so you can be the first to learn the title, get a sample chapter and see the cover reveal!
About The Author
Vikki Walton is a suburban homesteader aka the Havensteader. She has chickens, gardens, and bees and is a certified permaculture designer. She’s also the author of nonfiction books. She loves to travel, is a global house and pet sitter and when not out in the garden or hiking in beautiful Colorado, is plotting her next mystery.