Mischief 24/7

Mischief 24/7

by Kasey Michaels

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Mischief 24/7 by Kasey Michaels

Jade Sunshine isn't one to back down from a challenge. That feisty spirit is what made billionaire business-whiz Courtland Becket fall in love with the sexy detective. It's also what led to their divorce. Now, with the murder of Jade's father, the exes are working together to catch a killer, though the chemistry still crackling between them makes it almost impossible to focus.

Jade is still as fearless as ever, and Court will move heaven and earth to protect her. And he just may have to. A lot can happen in twenty-four hours. They could be swept away on a wave of rekindled passion. Or end up the next check mark on a desperate killer's "to do" list.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460305522
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 10/15/2012
Series: Sunshine Girls
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 527,804
File size: 452 KB

About the Author

USA TODAY bestselling author Kasey Michaels is the author of more than one hundred books. She has earned four starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, and has won an RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award and several other commendations for her contemporary and historical novels. Kasey resides with her family in Pennsylvania. Readers may contact Kasey via her website at www.KaseyMichaels.com and find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKaseyMichaels.

Read an Excerpt

The time is now, the place, the City of Brotherly Love. And the crime is murder.

Murders, actually. Murders old, murders new.

Retired Philadelphia homicide detective Teddy Sunshine had been working four cold cases whenever business was slow at the Sunshine Detective Agency. He'd been conducting a routine semiannual updating of his files on those cases when he was found dead in his home office, an apparent suicide.

But Teddy hadn't eaten his old service revolver, the police said, until after he had strangled the woman he'd been stalking for three weeks—Melodie Brainard, the wife of the leading mayoral candidate.

His three daughters aren't buying that story. They can't. They loved Teddy Sunshine.

One by one, Jolie, Jessica and the oldest, Jade, who had been partnered with Teddy in the Sunshine Detective Agency, took on the cold cases and worked them the way their father had worked them, sure one of the cases was connected with their father's death. One by one, the old cases were solved, leaving only two: the surely un-solvable tragedy of a high-school scholar athlete gunned down in a drive-by shooting, and the sad haunting case dubbed the Baby in the Dumpster.

But every answer the Sunshine sisters found seemed to raise new questions, and while the girls have felt cheered by their progress with the cold cases, they still can't prove Teddy's innocence.

Jade, even more than her sisters, feels a responsibility to clear Teddy's name. But will her obsession with the old cases, old hurts, past mistakes, risk her future with the man she had always loved, the man she'd thought gone from her life after their short, troubled time together as Mr. and Mrs. Court Becket?

The clock is ticking….

SUNDAY, 11:06 P.M.

There was a summer thunderstorm making it a noisy night outside the suburban Philadelphia mansion belonging to antiques importer Samuel Becket. Sam wasn't there, however, having traveled to California with his on-again-off-again and now on-again fiancée, movie star Jolie Sunshine.

He'd invited the three Sunshine sisters—Jolie, Jessica and Jade—to stay at the mansion as long as they liked, since their family home had been damaged by a suspicious fire shortly after the death of their father. Sam's sprawling, securely fenced-in estate, complete with a gatehouse manned by intrepid former professional wrestler Carroll "Bear Man" Yablonski, was now Operations Central for the Sunshine Detective Agency, or what was left of it.

And what was left, now that Jolie had been forced to return to California, were TV cable-news journalist Jessica and Philadelphia homicide detective Matt Denby, Jade, and Sam's cousin from Virginia, Courtland Becket. Court, owner of an almost embarrassing empire of five-star hotels, among his other assets, had flown immediately to Philadelphia when he'd heard about the alleged suicide of Teddy Sunshine. He wasn't going anywhere as long as Jade needed him. Even if she said she didn't.

Jade closed her cell phone with a snap and looked blankly at her ex-husband as he entered the living room. "I don't believe it."

Court, casually elegant in belted, pleated tan slacks and a form-fitting navy pullover too expensive to sport a label, tipped his head to one side inquiringly, and then headed for the bar in the far corner of the large room. "For the sake of harmony, neither do I. Ginger ale for you, right? Considering the tone of your voice, however, I think I'll have a beer. Oh, and what don't I believe?"

"Jessica, of course," Jade said, thinking about her baby sister, who had left the house not four hours ago on what she had called a mission. "Poor Matt."

"Poor Matt? That doesn't sound good." Court returned to the conversation area with their drinks and sat himself down on the facing couch. "When we discussed this earlier, I thought the idea was that your sister was going to give him some space. What was it she was going on about? If you love someone, let him go, et cetera, et cetera? In which case, might I point out, you obviously adore me."

"Not now, Court, please," Jade said, getting to her feet and smoothing down the wrinkled skirt of her simple shirtwaist cotton dress. She was bone-weary and definitely rumpled. Only Court could still look fresh, and heart-crushingly handsome, this late in the day. Or maybe it was a gift bestowed only upon those who were born to generations of money.

Not that she wanted to think about that right now, either. She needed to pace, to work off some of the tense energy that had driven her these past weeks. Not even two weeks, in fact, since she'd come home to find Teddy's body in his office, the back of his head blown off and his service revolver on the floor beside his desk. And yet sometimes it felt like an eternity. "The bottom line is, Jessica and Matt are together again, how I don't know."

"You're talking Jessica when you say you don't know, right? As to that, Sam and I have a theory that might apply here," Court said, speaking of his absent cousin. "We've decided that your baby sister is a witch. The good, G-rated, pretty, blond, nose-twitching kind. But still a witch."

Jade smiled in spite of herself. "You and Sam might have a point. In any case, they've gone off somewhere together. To celebrate before the rest of the world knows anything, which they will, soon, from coast to coast and in several large foreign cable markets—and that's as close to a direct quote as I think I can get. She won't say where they've gone, but she did say to hold the fort and that they'll be back tomorrow night sometime."

Court took a long pull on his beer, then smiled up at Jade. "Gone? Really? Let's do roll call, Jade, all right? Sam and Jolie? In California, getting ready to fly to Ireland to shoot your sister's next movie. Matt and Jessica? Whereabouts unknown, although the words hotel suite with a king-size bed and room service seem to be one fairly plausible conclusion. They should have called me and I could have arranged for the penthouse downtown."

Jade winced inwardly. She remembered that penthouse very well. She tried to cover her sudden discomfort by saying brightly, "Ah, but then we'd know where they are, and I don't think Jessica wants anyone to know."

"Good point. In any case they're gone, they're not here. Jessica took our new friend Ernesto home earlier, where he is even now packing to leave for college on Tuesday. Mrs. Archer has the weekend off, although she may have come back by now. Still, her apartment is pretty isolated. Bear Man is in his gatehouse at the end of the drive, most probably standing in front of a mirror as he strikes a few muscle-popping poses. Leaving this very large house—and you and me. For the first time since we got here, Jade, I think I like the odds."

It was tiring, always fighting Court—fighting herself actually—so Jade gave in. "You forgot Rockne," she said, smiling as Teddy's beloved, aging Irish setter snored in front of the cold fireplace. "He's my chaperon-slash-bodyguard. Rockne! Sic him, boy!"

Rockne's left ear twitched a single time, but his eyes didn't open.

"I suppose you could go see if Mrs. Archer is available. She's probably deadly with a rolling pin at twenty paces," Court suggested. "What do you say, Jade? Can we put the cases to one side for one night? Just one?"

Jade returned to the couch and sat down, not to agree with Court, but to reach for the file folders that had been piled on the coffee table. "We're getting so close, Court. I mean, taking the process of elimination into account, I should be able to wrap this all up in a few days."

"You're going to wrap this all up in a few days? Just you? Who solved the case of the Vanishing Bride?"

"Jolie and Sam," Jade said, shifting the manila folders on the tabletop. "With a lot of help from Teddy, who nearly had the whole thing wrapped up before he… before he was murdered."

"Steady, Jade," Court said, leaning across the table to squeeze her fingers. "Let's move on. And the Fishtown Strangler case?"

"Jessica and Matt. Except that's not completely solved, not if Herman Longstreet is telling the truth about Tarin White not being one of his victims, remember?" She put a hand to her head. "Sometimes it's like we're going in circles, you know?"

"Look, I don't want to push this, but every day you look more… well, fragile. Your hands look a lot better since the night of the fire, but the burns still have to be tender. You don't eat enough, I don't know when you sleep, and when I think maybe you're taking it easy for a while, I find you in the workout room running on the treadmill. You've got to slow down, Jade. Stop beating yourself up."

Jade pulled her hand free of his. He was wrong. The burns she'd gotten trying to put out the fire were completely healed now. It was the rest of her that remained wounded. "That's just crazy, Court. I'm not beating myself up. Why would I beat myself up?"

"Oh, I don't know. Because you didn't come home earlier that night, find Teddy while he was still alive and draining that bottle of Irish whiskey, talk him out of what he was going to do?"

"Teddy did not kill himself!" Jade clasped her hands together in her lap because her hands were shaking and, otherwise, Court would see. He already saw too much.

"All right. Fine. He didn't kill himself." Court rubbed at his own forehead now, and Jade suppressed a guilty wince, knowing that he was as tired as she was. They were all tired.

"I'm sorry, Court. I know what it looked like. I was there, remember? The door to the office closed, Rockne shut outside that door, whining and agitated. The nearly empty bottle of whiskey for liquid courage. Teddy's body on the other side of that door, slumped back in his chair, the gun on the floor beside him after he'd…after he'd been shot. I know, Court. I know how it looked. I'll never forget how it looked."

"And the front door locked, the alarm on and no signs of forcible entry anywhere," Court added, his voice tight, as if he didn't want to say what he was saying, but likewise, knew that some things had to be said.

"I don't remember" Jade told him. "Honestly, Court, I don't. Is that it? Have you been thinking that I lied to you all about that? About the alarm being on or off, the door locked or unlocked? Do you think I only said I don't remember about the security code because otherwise the verdict of suicide is impossible to argue? How long have you thought I've been lying?"

"Not lying, Jade. Not intentionally. But sometimes we do forget what we don't want to remember."

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Mischief 24/7 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Kasey Michael books, they always have a nice plot line with some romantic interest and some comedy. I am always on the look out for a new book from her. When this series came out I made sure I purchased every one in the series starting with book one. You don't need to read her books in sequence however she builds on characters and I enjoy them in order.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the last in the series and I'm sorry to see it go. It's a very interesting storyline which uses the unsolved cases worked on by the girls deceased dad to hone their detective ability. Along the way, of course, the girls meet their one and only's.
JRNM More than 1 year ago
Kasey Michaels' Sunshine Girls series is funny, quirky, usually a quick read. She leaves the reader wanting the answers right away, but the storyline ensures buying the next book for more on the missing Teddy Sunshine. Enjoyable, light reading.
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martini More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the characters. Couldn't wait for the next book to come out. The story keeps you interested and wanting a good outcome for the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finishes off the Sunshine Girls Series.
harstan More than 1 year ago
As always the oldest Sunshine sister, Jade remains the responsible last one standing trying to prove their father Teddy did kill Melody Brainard or commit suicide. She refuses to give up while Jolie has found a distraction (see DIAL M FOR MISCHIEF) and so has Jessica (see MISCHIEF BECOMES HER). Jade worked for her dad in his private investigative agency and assumes his last cases contain the key clues. She is stunned when her former husband, Courtland Becket offers to help her. His ulterior motive is for a second chance at their love now that high maintenance Teddy is gone. As they investigate the cold case files that Teddy was searching before he died, their attraction remains strong, but not quite as powerful as Jade's obsession that Teddy goes to his grave a hero not a killer. Although the readers will know early on what Teddy did and did not do in his last moments, fans will relish this often amusing romantic suspense thriller. The current day cases are resolved while the ties back to the Regency saga Romney Marsh is brilliant. Jade is the most convoluted of the Sunshine siblings as even in death her father comes before her needs; Court hopes to gain that role on his second chance, but knows Teddy must be more than just exonerated; he must receive homage from the Philadelphia police, the media, and the sisters. Harriet Klausner
jjmachshev More than 1 year ago
Reviewed for queuemyreview.com; book release Apr09

Humor, a murder mystery, and hot reunion sex¿what¿s not to love? ¿Mischief 24/7¿ is Kasey Michaels¿ final story of her `Sunshine Girls¿ trilogy. This humorous and light-hearted romantic suspense series is about the three daughters of Detective Teddy Sunshine and their efforts to clear his name after his death. In the process, they each manage to reunite with ex-lovers and find the lasting love we all dream of.

Jade is the eldest of Teddy¿s daughters and the one who gave up her childhood after their mother deserted the family. She became the responsible one and helped her sisters find their dreams at the expense of her own. The one time Jade tried to have something for herself, Courtland Becket, Teddy¿s instability and her own fears and weaknesses forced her to give in yet again. Now Court is back, and this time he apparently doesn¿t intend to take no for an answer. But as the investigation into Teddy¿s death heats up and they come ever closer to finding the killer, will these two live long enough to enjoy a future togther?

Good final book in the series. Although I figured out the killer fairly early on (in the previous book even), I still enjoyed the red herrings and solutions to the other cold cases Teddy left for his daughters. Jade is the most complicated and conflicted of the three Sunshine Girls. That made her story more emotional, for me, than the stories of the other two daughters. At times I became so frustrated with her, but could certainly understand her motivations even without agreeing with her actions. And Courtland¿WOW that man had the patience of a saint. He just flat out refused to give up and how romantic is that?!

Kasey Michaels¿ trademark humor shines in the dialogue between characters and the secondary cast (including two dogs) is every bit as interesting as the main one. Her skill with pacing and action is fabulous as ever and I just seem to zoom through her books. I¿m also very interested in the hints she dropped about a possible upcoming book linking her `Beckett¿s of Romney Marsh¿ series with the `Sunshine Girls¿ via a mystery at Romney Marsh in England. If indeed this book is written, I¿ll be jumping for joy as both series have earned spots on my keeper shelf. ¿Mischief 24/7¿ is another winner that will keep you grinning as you read.