I wrote a Jazzi and Ansel cozy short fiction for the anthology MURDER THEY WROTE. Had a lot of fun with it. So here’s a snippet about what Jazzi, Ansel, and Jerod took on this time:
Jazzi wrinkled her nose. “We might as well go see how bad the kitchen and dining room are. Those are the two rooms we’re supposed to make beautiful.”
The town’s charities had banded together to purchase the home at a cheap price and sent out invitations to different contractors, designers, and decorators to volunteer their time and expertise to renovate a room or two. They’d be paid for their expenses, but not their labor. And then, tickets would be sold for people to see the finished results, and eventually the house would be sold. All of the profits would go to the charities involved.
Jazzi had been surprised when they’d been invited to be part of the project. A lawyer who’d bought one of their previous fixer-uppers had recommended them to the committee. She was excited to restore the kitchen. She loved to cook, and kitchens were one of her favorite remodels. However, when Edmund Harding, the man who was overseeing the improvements, led them into the house, her enthusiasm faded. He smiled at the look of horror that stiffened her face.
“Not what you expected?” He looked to be in his mid-forties with a ruddy complexion. He was the golf pro at the course across the street from the house, and it was obvious he spent a lot of time outdoors.
Jerod ran a hand through his thick brown hair and closed his eyes. “We’ve stepped into a time warp. Please. Make it go away.”
Pebble-patterned green and orange linoleum rippled over an uneven floor. Cheap, plain wood cupboards lined the kitchen walls to the high ceiling. Someone, at one time, had painted them and streaked them to try to simulate wood. The countertops were chipped, orange tiles with dirty grouting. And all of the colors clashed with the aged wool carpet with gray swirls that spanned the dining room floor, visible through an archway.
Ansel stared. “We knew it needed updating, but we didn’t expect it to be this bad.”