FRAMED TO DEATH

FRAMED TO DEATH

by Christina Freeburn

Paperback

$15.95
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, March 25

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635110135
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 03/02/2016
Pages: 270
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.57(d)

Read an Excerpt

Framed to Death

A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery


By Christina Freeburn

Henery Press

Copyright © 2016 Christina Freeburn
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63511-016-6


CHAPTER 1

I closed out the register, securing Scrap This's receivables in the bank bag. Not bad. Not good either. We were out of the back-to-school slump, when most shoppers found their excess income taken by school supplies, but not yet at the Christmas-is-coming, start-the-crafting time period. I hoped the specialty paper designed with the high school football team's colors and mascot would bring in extra revenue. The order arrived this morning, and my grandmothers planned on unveiling it tomorrow morning with a special event.

If there was one thing the town of Eden loved, it was football: professional, collegiate, but especially high school.

From August to January, the town revolved around the sport. Whenever there was a home game, Eden practically shut down, with only a few restaurants remaining open along with the largest gas station in town. The pastor even knew better than to have a prayer meeting on football night. It was something I hated and loved about Eden — consistency.

Our town not only revolved around the game but also Coach Rutherford, who put our county on the football map by winning the West Virginia State football championship six times. The scuttlebutt around town was that Coach Rutherford was granted an exception to all the rules, so lack of parking, change for meters, stoplights, and speed limits wouldn't get in his way of getting to a game, practice, or press conference on time. I guess every town needed a hero. This year, Eden had anticipated making it three championships in a row and bringing the county to seven total, until a horrific car accident left the star quarterback Brandon Sullivan paralyzed from the waist down.

The phone rang. I briefly contemplated ignoring it, but knew I risked a drive-by checking up by either my grandmothers or whoever Cheryl had decided was the new candidate for her granddaughter's knight-in-shining armor as she yanked it from Steve Davis.

"Scrap This."

"Hi, Faith, it's Charlotte. I have a favor to ask."

Six months ago, dressed like an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Charlotte Hanson breezed into town on a Harley. Her daughter, Hannah, had followed behind driving their red, white, and blue extended-cab truck. Some of the residents of Eden were a little taken aback and stayed clear of Charlotte. Not me. I introduced myself and we became fast friends.

She intrigued half the community, scared the other half, and ramped up all the gossips in town. The only thing that quieted the talk about Charlotte's past — which included having a baby at seventeen, a short stint in jail, and a relationship with a semi-famous reality television star — was talk about Steve's family tree. My ex-husband Adam happened to be Steve's cousin. And a murderer.

"As long as it has nothing to do with a guy," I said.

"Well, it kind of does."

I groaned. Ever since I cooled things between Steve and me, my grandmothers and friends had been trying to find a replacement. The relationship hadn't taken a nosedive because of our shared skeleton in the closet, but because Steve knew my secret and never told me about his connection to my ex-husband Adam the murderer.

My family and friends feared I'd return to my hermit lifestyle. They refused to grasp that I needed to sort out my emotions before I entered a new relationship. Not to mention during the last four months, Steve continually found ways to change the subject when I started the we-need-to-talk conversation, so we weren't "officially" over. Unfortunately for him, those manipulations firmed up my resolve to end things rather than changing my mind.

"I'm not trying to set you up. I need you to pop into Polished and check that there are no guys visiting with Hannah and her friends. My appointment with the insurance agent is running over, and I don't want the girls taking advantage of my absence."

"Not a problem. I was heading home in a few minutes, so I can run next door first and make sure Polished is girls only."

"And if you don't mind ..." A slight hesitation entered into her voice. "Would you mind hanging around until ten to make sure the girls get out by curfew? I don't want to get fined."

"I thought the town ended it when school started back."

"So did I. The school sent out a message last night reminding us of the curfew and that the only exceptions were for students attending football games or pre-game celebrations. "

"How does that make any sense? The last pre-game celebration involved a bonfire that almost burned down the embroidery shop."

"You know Eden better than I do. I forbade Hannah from attending tonight's rally and agreed to let her have a mani-pedi party at Polished to make up for it. It's tough making friends in a new school, especially when you're a senior."

"I'll make sure the Cinderellas head home before the clock strikes ten."

"Thanks. You can use the key I gave your grandmothers to go through the back door." Charlotte ended the call.

I secured the bank bag in the small safe in the back office, snagging from the desk the Polished key Charlotte entrusted to them after she misplaced hers several times in her opening week. Out of habit, I locked the back door of Scrap This and set the alarm. I wasn't afraid someone planned on lying in wait for me, but so far our store hadn't been a recipient of a good-natured prank — AKA vandalism — from Eden High's football team like some of the others had, and I wanted to keep it that way.

I made my way to Polished, unlocking the back door and easing it back into the frame. I didn't want to startle the girls and make them think I was an attacker.

"Are you stupid?" a high-pitched feminine voice asked.

The question was followed by a loud clatter.

"Let me go," Hannah squeaked out.

I ran into the room. A teen with long blonde hair held Hannah against a wall. Small bottles of nail polish skittered across the floor. Another girl screamed, diving toward small organza fabric bags that were on a manicure table.

"Faith, why are you here?" Hannah pushed the girl away, tripping her way toward the other teen.

"Apparently to break up a fight." I steadied Hannah, stopping her from reaching the girl attempting to hide the silvery bags under her cheerleading t-shirt.

"You're not needed here." The blonde who'd attacked Hannah flipped her hair over her shoulder.

"I can decide that for myself." The antics of the other girl had my attention more than the trying-to-act-like-a-thug behavior of the one not shoveling items down her t-shirt.

One of the bags escaped the groping hands and took up residence in a corner near the back legs of a chair. A light blue ribbon was tied around the top. I knelt down and reached for it.

"We'll clean up this mess." The girl dropped onto the floor, inching forward on her belly like a caterpillar. The items under her shirt making a crackling sound as she wiggled under the table. "Whitney didn't want Hannah telling everyone we were here."

"Shut up, Kirstin," Whitney, the blonde, said.

"We're excluding others. Don't want to get in trouble for it," Kirstin said, continuing to slither toward the bag from the opposite side. She whacked her forehead on the edge of the manicurist chair and didn't slow down one bit. "I'll get the potpourri."

Right. I hadn't been out of high school so long that I forgot what it was like to be a teen. A lot of acrobatics, physical and verbal, were being conducted over some bags of potpourri. I jumped over Kirstin and quickly brought my foot down on the bag. I had a strong suspicion I was seeing the elusive synthetic marijuana disguised as fragrance satchels. The designer drug hit our community three months ago, and no adults or members of law enforcement had seen it in anyone's possession, though all had heard of it and witnessed some of the aftereffects of its use. Like Brandon Sullivan's accident.

I picked up the unmarked fabric bag. The little pouch of potpourri held a mixture of crumbled red, green, and brown dried leaves. It matched the description I'd read in the paper of the illegal herbal substance, named Janie by the police department. My stomach plummeted. "Where did you get this?"

"I'll say you gave it to us if you don't give it back," Whitney said.

A heavy pounding shook the front door.

Kirstin craned her neck, blanching to the color of vellum. "Run!"

Conroy Jasper, wearing civilian clothes rather than a police uniform, stood at the front door of Polished. He jabbed at the doorknob. "Open up, Faith."

The girls raced for the back of the store.

I grabbed the arm of the closest teen. Whitney. "Not so fast."

She whirled, pointing her smartphone at me, and yanked something out of her jacket pocket. A flash went off in my face, then a liquid squirted at me. Pepper spray.

Screaming, I hunched over, scrubbing at my eyes as tears coursed down my face. The bag containing the potpourri dropped to the floor. Someone leaned down; I shoved at the figure. I couldn't let the girls have the drug.

"Leave it," Whitney said.

"Open up or I'll break down this door," Jasper's concerned voice reached me.

The girls ran past me. The culprits were making a break for the back exit. I headed after them, only managing to run into two tables and trip over the legs of a rolling chair. Everything was a big blur through the tears streaming down my face.

"Stop them. The back door."

Dropping to my knees, I scrambled my hands around on the floor, searching for the illegal substance. My hands and arms itched to scrub at my eyes. I stopped myself from catering to the instinct, knowing that would make it worse. Stopping my hunt, I leaned back, taking in a deep breath. The best choice was waiting for Jasper as I might damage the evidence. Hopefully this would put the police on the path of shutting the drug dealer down.

"What happened?" Jasper's voice carried from the rear of the store.

I gestured at the herbs littered on the floor. "The teens had Janie. I'm kind of hoping it was just buying for personal use, not selling."

"I know about that. I mean, what's wrong with you?" Jasper wrapped an arm around my shoulders. "I heard you scream."

"Pepper sprayed." Either the teens got away, or he thought it more prudent to check on me.

"Let's get you to the sink." His other arm went under my knees.

I swatted at Jasper. "I can walk. I don't need help."

With the world still blurry, my independence was short-lived as I smacked into the edge of the counter.

Jasper wrapped his arms around my waist and hoisted me up. Now, instead of being carried across-the-threshold style, Jasper hauled me toward the back like a tantrum-throwing toddler or a humongous bag of fertilizer.

I curled my legs up to make sure we didn't become tangled and end up on the floor in a heap.

He deposited me near the sink in the manicure section, turning on the faucet and splashing handfuls of cold water onto my face. "What have you gotten yourself into this time?"

Coughing, I moved back. "You're going to drown me. I got it from here."

"You need to get it out of your eyes as quick as you can," Jasper said.

"Trust me, I want it out more than you do." I cupped my hands under the water, working on getting out the chemicals.

"Do you know who sprayed you?" Jasper asked.

"Whitney."

"Last name?"

"I don't know yet, but I will after I call Charlotte. She asked me to check up on Hannah and her friends." I snagged the cordless phone.

"I think you should hold off on calling anyone, especially Charlotte Hanson."

My finger paused over the seven. Bits of dried leaves and flowers coated the floor of Polished, and the room held a slight smell of cloves.

Jasper removed his cell from the clip on his belt, the movement revealing his holster. He showed me a picture on Hannah's Instagram account. "Clive Murphy called and reported that a group of teens high on something accidentally set Lake Breckinridge's flower shop on fire. The fire department and some squad cars are heading there. The parents in Eden want a showdown with whoever is selling this designer drug to their kids. Right now, the only tangible link to where it's coming from is a picture Hannah posted."

The photo showed the bag of potpourri on the manicure station. Poor Charlotte. She was having enough trouble finding acceptance in the community. This wouldn't help her.

"And one just popped up with you holding a bag of potpourri."

Whitney wasn't trying to blind me with her camera. She was implicating me, and Hannah helped her. Why would Hannah do that to me? "I didn't sell the drug to the girls."

Jasper collected the evidence. "I know that. We've been monitoring social media sites for the last few months, knowing sooner or later someone would get careless and post something. This is the most substantial lead we've gotten."

"The girls had a couple of bags of it."

Jasper tucked the re-bagged potpourri under his arm. Opening an app on his phone, he started taking notes. "I need the names."

"Whitney, Kirstin, and Hannah. Hannah didn't bring it into the store either," I added. "That explains why Whitney was so mad. She knows Hannah took a picture."

A disconcerting thought trickled into my mind. I shoved at it, but it settled into my brain, making itself quite comfortable. Had Charlotte suspected one of the girls was bringing the drugs? Was that the real reason, not visiting teenage boys, she wanted me to come over?

"Were you here the whole time?" Jasper swiped his index finger across the phone screen. He flipped it toward me. "This picture shows a bag of Janie on one of the small tables, but no one is in the picture. I don't know which teen brought it in."

"Manicurist station," I said.

Jasper heaved out a sigh. "Fine, manicurist station, though now isn't the time to be worried about those particulars."

"I think the particulars concerning this are important."

"Whether it's a called a small table or a manicurist station, no. The second picture of you handing a bag of Janie to a teen is what should concern you."

"I didn't hand anything to anyone."

"That's not what this shows." Jasper showed me another photo.

It had been taken right before I was pepper sprayed. In it, I was holding the bag of Janie and a hand was reaching for it. Someone could interpret the picture to mean I was giving it to someone. I doubted Whitney would admit she was trying to take the confiscated drug away from me.

"I took it from the girls, and Whitney was trying to get it back."

"I know that, you know that, but what will other people believe?" Jasper said. "I'll need you to come to the station first thing in the morning to make a statement."

CHAPTER 2

A loud pounding on my front door woke me from a sound sleep. I shook my head, trying to clear the fuzziness and the remnants of a nice, tantalizing dream. I had thought I'd be plagued with nightmares of what was to come after my adventure with the teens and the synthetic marijuana. Instead of dreams of being arrested by the police, I had one involving a detective, the ocean, sand, and candlelight. The loud knocking continued. I glanced at the window. The world outside was still dark. Something must be wrong with my grandmothers. I sprung from the bed, nearly face-planting on the carpet as my legs tangled in the comforter.

I half-ran, half-jumped down the stairs. I yanked the door open, stumbling backwards when I was greeted by a fierce-faced Officer Mitchell, a guy I'd attended high school with, and a contrite Officer Glover. With cheeks blazing, I crossed my arms over my chest. I was wearing a Scrap This t-shirt made out of a thin fabric and yoga shorts, not the most appropriate attire for this visit, though I wasn't up on the proper ensemble for a before-dawn visit from the police.

"May we come in, Faith?" Officer Glover asked.

Before I could answer, Officer Mitchell pushed his way inside my home while removing handcuffs from his utility belt. "You're wanted for questioning."

"What?" I focused on Glover, who appeared as taken aback as I was at Mitchell's proclamation.

"The Chief said there are a few things to clear up." Glover put a restraining hand on Mitchell's arm. "No need for the cuffs."

"You might be okay taking a forced leave of absence, but I'm not. I have a wife and three kids to support." Mitchell turned me around, tugging my hands behind my back. "Chief Moore also said by the book, so that's what I'm doing."

"We don't have a reason to arrest her." Glover removed me from Mitchell's custody.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Framed to Death by Christina Freeburn. Copyright © 2016 Christina Freeburn. Excerpted by permission of Henery Press.
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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Framed to Death 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Framed TO DEATH - Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery Book 4 Author: Christina Freeburn Published: 4-26-2016 Publisher: Henery Press Pages: 268 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Amateur Sleuths; Crafts & Hobbies ISBN: 13: 9781635110135 ASIN: B01B5BVGUA Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.25 Stars I received a copy of "Framed to Death" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Description Eden has turned into a hotspot of crime, and Faith finds herself smack dab in the middle of the flare-up. When a favor for a friend links Faith to the synthetic marijuana problem invading her town, no good deed goes unpunished becomes the title of her life. The town accuses the police of favoritism toward her, putting a strain between Faith and Ted, and a new officer is determined to prove Faith’s guilt. When the criminal is outed, Faith’s relief is short-lived. A fire takes out the store—along with the suspected dealer—and she’s now number one on an officer’s suspect list. Faith sets out to prove her own innocence, and her digging sparks the truth to life. Instead of the truth setting the town free, Faith finds out it might destroy Eden, the friends she holds dear, and smother out her own life. Books in the Faith Hunter Scrap This Cozy Mystery Series: CROPPED TO DEATH (#1) DESIGNED TO DEATH (#2) EMBELLISHED TO DEATH (#3) FRAMED TO DEATH (#4) My Review of "Framed to Death": Faith Hunter is in the sights of a new cop determined to find something against her strong enough to so the he can arrest her. There in lies the cause of the strain between her and Ted. As the town starts to turn against her she searches for the true criminal that leads her closer and closer to the chance that he will crop her out of the picture permanently. With great characters that are well developed and believable. The relationships easy to understand and follow. Add in a plot that was laid out with care containing more than a few twist and turns to engage the reader as they sniff out clues. Can you figure it all out before Faith? Either way you will be pulled into the story from the first scene and held captivated until the last. Enjoy! My rating of "Framed to Death" is 4.25 out of 5 stars. I hope you have as much fun reading Faith Hunter's Scrap This series as I did.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
This was my second book by this author and I liked it a lot better than the first one. The first one spent a lot more time discussing the scrapping and less on the mystery. While I like to scrap, reading about someone doing it just isn't that much fun. I think this book handled it much better. There was some scrapping and then there were, of course, days at the shop. However, the majority of the dealt with the drug and arson problem. I liked it a whole lot better. And the suspects, there were so many of those. I seriously thought I for sure knew who was doing it, but I was wrong, yet again. This is a great cozy mystery series which I am beginning to like more and more. The writing gets better with each book I read there were a few chuckles and overall an enjoyable and entertaining read. Huge thanks to Henery Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great book; this is the fourth book in the Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series by Christina Freeburn. This book has a wonderful story and well developed characters. Faith does a favor for a friend and finds herself in the middle of a synthetic marijuana crime invading her town. The new officer is determined to prove that Faith is guilty of the crime. If you are looking for a great book that will keep you reading long into the night, then you need to read this book and series. This was such a great read and full of surprises. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
TessT More than 1 year ago
Crafting, quilting, humor, passion. The town of Eden has it all Wherever your heart is, you will probably have it fulfilled in Christina's latest book, Framed To Death.
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
I love to read mysteries that have a crafting theme to them. Even though this is the first book I've read by this author, I grew to enjoy the story very much. It isn't always easy to jump into a series, it can be frustrating and difficult to catch up and learn about all the characters. I didn't expect the story to flow so smoothly so I was pleasantly surprised once I got a grasp on the happenings in the town of Eden. Faith is working with her grandmothers in Scrap This, a local scrap book shop. When mysterious fires begin destroying local businesses, Faith finds herself hot on the path of the firebug. Not only is Faith trailing the firebug, a simple act of kindness in helping a friend lands her in the hot seat when she is accused of supplying "Janie", synthetic marijuana to local high school students. Faith's frustration grows, it seems everyone is involved but no one wants to tell the truth. This story is full of twists and turns, the author tells a great story of friendship, greed, secrets and so much more. I found myself laughing and crying one minute and really annoyed and angry the next! I love it when an author can get me to react so strongly to a plot. I am looking forward to reading the others in this fast paced series. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
[ I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising] "It was easier to consider the people you didn’t like as possible murderers." Faith Hunter is still finding her way around as head of Scrap This, her grandmothers' scrapbooking store. She's also still trying to figure out her personal life, which is hard to do in your hometown where everyone knows your name and personal boundaries are non-existant. However, what has been happening in town has everyone all upset. Synthetic marijauna,known as Janie, has been making inroads into the High School. One kid was made a paraplegic as a result of a crash that happened because he had smoked some. And the entire town is scared and looking for the source and focus is landing everywhere as the town's annual High School Football bonfire season has started. And there are suspicious fires popping up all over...and people have died...too many. Faith is in the middle of the whole mess and if she works on figuring out the puzzle,maybe they'll stop arresting her..... Insurance fraud, murder, High School rivalries and peer pressure....Faith works on making all these scraps fit together and work towards solving them. Her own place in the community of Eden may depend on it. As much as I have enjoyed other books in this series, this one is not as good. Very few of the divergent pieces come together and more than once I wondered if it was ever going to make actual sense. Hours later, I'm still wondering if I actually enjoyed this enough to recommend it.... It felt forced with too much input. And with that, I'd have to say no. I don't recommend this book and I do hope to see the real Faith Hunter back in the next installment.