Death of a Coupon Clipper (Hayley Powell Series #3) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Hayley Powell, food and cocktails columnist for Bar Harbor's Island Times, is. . .well, kind of broke. So when she's selected for that extreme coupon-clipping reality game show coming to town. . .

. . . she's thrilled, especially when her competition is nasty nurse Candace Culpepper. But when Haley stumbles across a face-down-in-the-snow Candace--scissors gleaming between her shoulders--she knows the next thing she'll be selected for will probably be a police line-up.

Meanwhile,...

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Death of a Coupon Clipper (Hayley Powell Series #3)

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Overview

Hayley Powell, food and cocktails columnist for Bar Harbor's Island Times, is. . .well, kind of broke. So when she's selected for that extreme coupon-clipping reality game show coming to town. . .

. . . she's thrilled, especially when her competition is nasty nurse Candace Culpepper. But when Haley stumbles across a face-down-in-the-snow Candace--scissors gleaming between her shoulders--she knows the next thing she'll be selected for will probably be a police line-up.

Meanwhile, though Hayley's BFF Mona was only joking about "taking Candace out," Bruce Linney, the Island Times crime reporter, definitely isn't laughing. And what about the smarmy, cold-hearted host of the show, Drew Nickerson, who may have been having a steamy affair with the intentionally-iced nurse? Hayley needs to cut to the chase and find the killer. Everything may hinge on a stray coupon, but Hayley better keep her eyes on the real grand prize: staying out of permanent cold storage!

Includes seven delectable recipes from Hayley's kitchen!

Praise for Death of a Kitchen Diva

"Delicious and satisfying. Another course, please." --Carolyn Hart

"Readers will be calling for a second round from author Lee Hollis." --Leslie Meier, author of Chocolate Covered Murder

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758289117
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 7/2/2013
  • Series: Hayley Powell Series , #3
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 9,363
  • File size: 2 MB

Read an Excerpt

DEATH of a COUPON CLIPPER

A Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails Mystery


By LEE HOLLIS

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2013 Rick Copp and Holly Simason
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7582-8911-7


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

It would be a cold day in hell before Sal Moretti allowed his employees at the Island Times newspaper to go home early. The picturesque little hamlet of Bar Harbor, Maine, certainly wasn't hell. In fact, to all the hikers and mountain bikers and cruise ship passengers and lobster lovers and vacationing families from all over the world who flocked to Mount Desert Island for the breathtaking scenery of Acadia National Park, it was a nature lover's paradise.

But that was during the summer and fall months. Today, on this midafternoon during a particularly brutal February, the temperature was hovering just below ten degrees. Outside the picture window of the newspaper's main office, where Hayley Powell sat at her desk, all she could see was a white blanket of snow. She couldn't remember the last time she had seen it come down so hard.

Hayley stood up and poured herself a cup of hot coffee from the pot she had just brewed and took a big gulp to warm herself up. Sal had allowed her to turn the thermostat up a few degrees earlier that morning, but he kept a watchful eye to make sure she didn't crank it too high and send his heating bill soaring.

She had dressed appropriately for the workday. Long underwear. Flannel shirt. Bulky wool sweater. Fleece snow pants over jeans. Big, clunky boots. However, as she looked outside at the nasty weather, it still chilled her bones.

Bruce Linney, the paper's handsome crime reporter, with whom Hayley maintained a love-hate relationship, ambled out to the front office, from the back, to get some coffee. He was dressed in an expensive black cashmere sweater and khaki pants.

"Hayley, would you mind running out and picking up some of those delicious warm blueberry muffins from the Morning Glory Bakery?" he asked. "I'm sure the reporters would appreciate it."

"Of course, Bruce. Let me just get my dogsled team ready and I'll be on my merry way," Hayley said, shaking her head.

She couldn't believe he was serious.

Maybe their relationship was more tolerate-hate.

"Is that you being sarcastic?" Bruce sighed.

"That's me saying no, Bruce!" Hayley said. "The Morning Glory is clear across town and the streets aren't plowed yet, and even if they were, the roads are so icy I'd probably lose control of my car and skid right off the town pier!"

"Man, Hayley, sometimes you can be such a drama queen," Bruce said, shrugging. "I just asked for some muffins. Maybe if you thought ahead, you would have considered the weather reports and whipped up some of your own muffins in your kitchen this morning, so you wouldn't have to go out in this nasty storm to buy us some now."

"You're not getting muffins, Bruce!" Hayley said.

Sal Moretti charged out of his office and bellowed, "Would you two pipe down? This is a newspaper, not a marriage counselor's office!"

Hayley and Bruce exchanged a look and called a silent truce. They both knew it was best not to tick off the boss right now because Sal was already on edge. His wife had left him for two weeks to go visit her mother in North Carolina, so there was no one at home to take care of him.

And this was painfully obvious. His shirts were wrinkled. There were a half-dozen empty bottles of TUMS on his desk from all the late-night gorging on pepperoni pizza. The poor guy was scattered and off his game. It was clear he missed his wife terribly and didn't like being on his own.

"They're saying on the Weather Channel that this storm's only going to get worse, so I think we should just call it a day and all go home," Sal said.

Stunned silence.

Sal was dismissing the staff for the day?

It wasn't even three o'clock in the afternoon.

Bruce did his best Rod Serling voice. "You're about to enter another dimension. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!"

"Shut up, Bruce," Sal snapped. "I want everybody to be careful driving home. It's a mess out there."

Sal rubbed his eyes and ambled back to his office.

Hayley wasn't going to wait for him to change his mind. She quickly shut down her computer and grabbed her green L.L. Bean winter jacket from the office closet. She threw it on, laced up her black boots, and was out the door.

She carefully navigated the frozen walkway from the office to the street. Still, she nearly lost her balance on the slippery ice and had to wave her arms like a crazy person to keep herself from falling flat on her back.

Once she managed to reach her white Subaru wagon, which was parked up the street, she pulled on a pair of mittens her mother had knitted her twenty years ago and began brushing all the fresh snow off the car. She clicked the remote key to unlock the doors and then rummaged through all the kids' athletic equipment and empty fast-food cartons and discarded paper coffee cups in the backseat to find her red wooden-handled ice scraper.

Hayley began hacking at the clumps of ice that had formed on her windshield, clearing enough so she could at least see where she was going on the short drive home. Then she climbed behind the wheel, shut the door, started the engine, and cranked up the heat. She waited a few minutes for the car to warm up before slowly pulling away from the curb.

She could hear the wheels crunching through the snow and she hadn't even maneuvered the vehicle all the way into the street before the car hit a patch of ice and began slipping and sliding into the opposite lane. Luckily, no one was stupid enough to be out driving in this mess. There were no cars to collide with, so Hayley counted her blessings.

She stayed focused, never taking her eyes off the road, gently pressing her foot down on the accelerator not too much, just enough to keep the car going in a forward motion. She didn't want to chance losing control again and smashing into a tree or a fire hydrant or, God forbid, a storefront window.


What was normally a five-minute drive home took twenty minutes, but Hayley finally managed to get herself and her Subaru home safely. She turned into the driveway of her gray two-story house. Well, it was gray when she left for work this morning. Now it was completely white. At least the snow covered the fact that her house was in desperate need of a new coat of paint. Which she couldn't afford. Maybe she would get a nice tax refund this year, which she could use to paint the house in the spring.

Wishful thinking.

Lex Bansfield, the man Hayley had been dating on and off for the past year and a half, usually would clear her driveway with his snowplow truck during a storm. However, he hadn't had a chance to swing by yet, so Hayley assumed he was busy clearing the roads on the expansive seaside estate, where he worked as a caretaker.

It was slow going, the tires of her Subaru skidding through the mound of snow piled high in the driveway as she pulled in and opened the garage door with her remote. Hayley had to press her foot harder down on the accelerator to keep the car moving forward. Then suddenly, without warning, the tires freed themselves from the packed snow and the car took off, speeding toward the open door of the garage. Hayley slammed on the brakes and prayed her car wouldn't hurtle through the garage and crash right through the back wall and into her neighbor's adjoining yard. Luckily, the Subaru squealed to an abrupt stop just inches from the wall.

Hayley breathed a deep sigh of relief.

The last thing she needed right now was a costly repair. She got out of the car and was about to head into the house when she stopped.

She heard a creaking sound.

Hayley looked around.

Nothing appeared out of the ordinary.

She couldn't make out where it had come from.

She continued to walk out of the garage.

Another creak.

This time, louder.

What was that?

It seemed to be coming from the roof.

She looked up.

One of the wooden beams supporting the roof looked warped, as if it was bending and about to snap in half. That couldn't be.

She knew she would need to reinforce the roof at some point. Lex had warned her many times, but she just didn't have the money to do it right now. Besides, Lex told her she was probably fine unless there was a lot of weight on it. Only then might it give way to the pressure.

Wait.

Hayley suddenly realized there was about two-and-a-half feet of heavy snowfall on top of her roof.

The wooden beam suddenly snapped and Hayley heard a rumbling sound. Then she watched in horror as the entire roof over her garage caved in, landing on top of her white Subaru wagon and crushing it.

No. This was not happening.

Hayley just stood there in a state of shock. Flakes of snow landed on her rosy red cheeks. She was about to cry, but she choked back the tears. She was afraid if she did cry, the tears would freeze right on her face.

She heard Leroy, her white Shih Tzu (with a pronounced underbite), barking inside the house, undoubtedly spooked from the thunderous crash of the roof collapsing. Hayley decided to deal with the garage when the snow stopped. With her car buried underneath the rubble, she was probably going to have to borrow some snowshoes to get to the office in the morning.

Hayley entered the house through the back door into the kitchen. Leroy was there, jumping up and down to greet her. The sight of her devoted pup instantly put Hayley at ease. The little guy leapt into her arms when she knelt down to say hello. He began licking frantically at her face, attracted to the wet snow. Hayley noticed Leroy's nose was running and he was shivering. She set him down and took off her coat. That's when she realized the temperature inside the house felt like twenty degrees. Maybe even colder. She knew she had left the heat on when she went to work. What could have possibly happened?

Dear God, no.

Not the furnace.

Lex had also warned her that her furnace was barely hanging on and the odds of making it through another winter weren't very good. She had brushed off his comments, not because she didn't believe him, but mostly because she just couldn't bear the thought of having to invest in a new one. She simply didn't have the money. Hayley opened the door to the basement, snapped on the light, and descended the stairs. Leroy scampered behind her.

When she reached the bottom of the steps, she knew in her gut the situation was dire. She touched the furnace. Ice cold. She played with the buttons and readings. Nothing.

It was dead.

And she was screwed.

Unable to hold it in any longer, Hayley finally started to cry. Why was all this happening at once? How was she ever going to pay for all this? She sat down on the bottom step of the basement and let the waterworks flow.

She was going to allow herself a few minutes of self-pity, and then she would steel herself and work on solving the problems at hand.

Her cell phone rang.

Hayley reached into the back pocket of her snow pants and pulled out her phone.

It was Gemma.

Calling from her dad's in Iowa.

Hayley's two kids, sixteen-year-old Gemma and fourteen-year-old Dustin, were spending the winter break with their dad, Hayley's ex-husband, in Des Moines, Iowa, where he worked as a manager at Walmart.

Hayley got a lump in her throat. She missed them. The three of them were a team. Now faced with all this sudden adversity, she wished they were home with her to calm her nerves. Just having them around made her feel better. But they were so far away and she felt so alone right now.

Hayley wiped away the tears, cleared her throat, composed herself, and then clicked on the phone.

"Gemma, honey, how are you?"

"It's freezing here, Mom. I wish we were back in Bar Harbor."

"It's pretty much the same here, so you're not missing anything. How's your brother?"

"Still annoying. Dad's got a new girlfriend. Becky. She's nice, I guess, but totally trying too hard to impress us. Just like the last three. What's going on with you?"

"Not much," Hayley said. "I just got home from work."

"It's only three o'clock there. Are you sick?"

"No, I'm fine."

"You don't sound fine. You sound stressed," Gemma said.

"No, Gemma, everything's just fine. Believe me."

But things were not fine.

Not fine at all.

And they were about to get a whole lot worse because a collapsed roof, a crushed car, and a busted furnace would soon be the least of Hayley Powell's problems.

CHAPTER 2

Hayley was in desperate need of a strong cocktail.

And pronto.

After hanging up with her kids, she placed a call to one of her two best friends, Mona Barnes, a local lobsterwoman, with an all-terrain vehicle that could get her to the nearest bar, which just happened to be owned by Hayley's younger brother, Randy. And with happy hour fast approaching, Hayley also knew at precisely five o'clock her other BFF, glam Realtor Liddy Crawford, would be seated atop the first bar stool nearest the entrance, sipping a Rose Kennedy and complaining about the weather to anyone within spitting distance.

Mona. Randy. Liddy. Her reliable support system.

And she certainly needed them all now.

Mona was happy to leave her six kids—no, wait, seven—in the capable hands of her husband before dinner in order to hang with Hayley, especially after hearing her bestie's tales of woe. Her truck plowed through snow in Hayley's driveway at ten minutes to five; the palm of her hand was pressed down on the horn alerting Hayley to her arrival.

Hayley had wiped away her tears with a tissue, as well as some runaway mascara that had cascaded down her left cheek, and told herself everything was going to be okay as she zipped up her winter jacket and carefully made her way down the porch steps to Mona's truck.

She had quickly arranged a playdate for Leroy with the neighbor's rambunctious beagle so Leroy wouldn't have to stay cooped up in the freezing house.

As Hayley climbed into the passenger seat, Mona cranked up the volume of her car stereo. She was playing a Brad Paisley CD. The song was "Whiskey Lullaby," one of Hayley's favorites. And she could sure use one right now.

"Thought a little Paisley might cheer you up," Mona said.

"You're too good to me, Mona," Hayley said, smiling.

Mona cranked the car in reverse and backed out of the driveway. There wasn't another car in sight. Most people had the good sense to sit tight at home and wait out the nasty weather, but this was a cocktail emergency.

When Hayley and Mona entered Randy's bar, Drinks Like A Fish, and stomped the excess snow off their boots onto the welcome mat, Liddy spun around on her bar stool. With her half-empty Rose Kennedy in hand, she wailed, "Can you believe this god-awful weather?"

Sometimes predictability can be a good source of comfort.

Hayley walked over and gave Liddy a hug.

"I hear you had a pretty bad day," Liddy said softly, patting Hayley on the back.

"Yeah, it really was." Hayley nodded, still fighting back tears. "But my kids are safe and everyone's healthy, so I guess I should be grateful."

"That's the spirit," Liddy said before she let go of Hayley and took a sip of her cocktail. "My day was the worst. Two canceled open houses and Eddie Grindle dropped out of an escrow because the pipes in the house he was buying froze up. I told him, 'You're buying a house in Maine during the winter. Pipes are going to freeze!'"

"Would you shut your piehole for once, Liddy, and let Hayley have our sympathy for at least five more minutes before we put the spotlight back on you?" Mona barked.

"Mona, it's all right," Hayley said, not wanting her two buddies to go at it.

"Well, excuse me, Mona, for wanting to share with my two best friends. Go ahead, Hayley, tell us about your terrible day and I will sit quietly and just listen so Mona doesn't go off and hit me or something."

Too late.

"I really don't feel like talking about it, actually." Hayley shrugged.

"See, Mona? I was being a good friend. I was just trying to get Hayley's mind off her troubles by sharing my problems."

"Yeah, I'm sure that was it," Mona said, rolling her eyes.

Hayley's brother, Randy, ambled over from behind the bar and slid a drink in front of her. "Hey, sis. Here's your Jack and Coke. And just in the nick of time, from what I hear."

Hayley smiled and nodded; then she took a big gulp and sighed. "Much better."

"Club soda?" Randy said, pointing at Mona.

"Yeah, whatever. I am so sick of not ever getting to partake in happy hour," Mona said, scowling.

"Wait, Mona, don't tell me," Hayley said, eyes popping out. "Are you ...?"
(Continues...)


Excerpted from DEATH of a COUPON CLIPPER by LEE HOLLIS. Copyright © 2013 by Rick Copp and Holly Simason. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    Liked a lot

    Very good series
    Entertaining

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Another great read

    I love this series, especially the recipies and am excited to read the next installment

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    T

    This is the worst in the series & after 85pgs. I stopped reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2013

    series frombegining

    good series,recommend

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2013

    While the first in this series was my favorite, I enjoyed all th

    While the first in this series was my favorite, I enjoyed all three of these books and look forward to the fourth in the series, Death of a Chocoholic, due to be released January of 2014.

    Author Lee Hollis (Mr. Copp & Ms. Simason), has created a delightful protagonist in Hayley Powell. Her exploits in these three tales had me laughing out loud more times then I can count. Hayley is a very real, less than perfect woman, making her way in life raising her two children and working her job at the newspaper. I liked the situations she finds herself in. Hayley is helped through her adventures by her best friends Mona, an always pregnat lobster boat captain and Liddy, a high class real estate agent. Throw into the mix her brother Brain owner of the local bar, his partner Sergio the chief of police, Hayley's children, her dog Leroy (named for her NCIS TV crush Mark Harmon) Sal the editor of The Island Times and Bruce the smarmy crime reporter at the paper---you have a very well rounded cast of characters. Add to that, Bar Harbor, Maine as the beautiful setting and you have winning combinations.

    With fast paced plots, interesting twists and solid story lines, this series is destined to be a favorite among readers.

    Recipes lovers, you won't be disappointed. Every book features Hayley's column Island Food & Spirits, which includes seven recipes from Hayley's kitchen along with cocktails to enjoy while preparing your meal! ¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted November 17, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2013

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