Angela Baker should be thrilled at having given birth to her third baby, but her mother always finds a way of spoiling the moment. This time Mom takes a cruise specializing in plastic surgery and ends up overboard, murdered and leaving Angela to identify the body. But is it Mom? Angela isn't certain but, then again...who would be? The woman has become unrecognizable as a result of too many little "procedures."
Pushed by a detective determined to close the book on the murder, Angela does her own investigating and turns up more than one mother as well as the knife-wielding doctor from hell.
A new short story from our Fingerprints line and the author of Murder with All the Trimmings.
I was panting my way through a contraction when my cell phone sang out, “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” The contraction ended, but the cell played on.
I turned to my husband. “Answer that, Dudley. I’m a little busy here.”
“My name’s not Dudley. It’s Fred.”
“Fine. Answer it anyway. Must be the scopolamine making me forget who you are.”
The doctor shook his head and made circling motions with his finger.
“Hey!” I sat up and pointed at him. “You were the one who gave me the drug.”
Fred or Dudley or whatever was the name of the man responsible for putting me in this position, turned his back on me and whispered into the phone.
“Give me that.” I reached for the cell.
“Later.” What’s-his-name, the man I loved right up until the last contraction, ignored me and continued to talk.
I grabbed his arm. “You’re supposed to be working with me, panting along, and cheering me on, not chatting on the phone. Where are my ice chips?” I knew my tone was accusatory, but I was not cheerful about how slowly this delivery was going. The other two each only took a matter of minutes. What was it with this kid?
“You told me to answer it.” He still held the phone to his ear, his usually tanned face drained of color.
I could feel another contraction coming on. I grabbed the phone out of his hand.
“What do you want?” That was what I meant to say, but instead all I produced were noises reminiscent of our dog’s gasping for air after an hour playing catch in the back yard.
The doctor signaled by shoving his palm forward in the air. “Push.”
Fred nodded, an encouraging smile plastered on his now greenish face.
“Is this Mrs. Baker?” I heard the voice on the phone say.
I blew out a strangled, “yes.”
“We need you to identify your mother’s body,” the caller said.
My husband dropped to the hospital floor.
I leaned over the side of the bed. “You promised me you wouldn’t faint this time. You lied.”