Chapter 1

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I kick my sandals off in the jail cell and grin.

"What's so damn funny?" Clara asks. She wipes the sweat off her neck with a wet towel the deputy gave her.

"I never thought I'd be so happy to land in a jail cell."

My cellmates and partners in crime, Jenny and Clara, stare at me. "Why?" they ask.

"Because it's not moving!"

"You are the worst, Maggie." Jenny waves a finger at me. "We practically had to tie you up, just to take you to the mall."

"If I'd known a trip to the mall would end up being a trip to a different state, I would never have agreed to join you two."

"And miss a sale?" Clara asked.

We burst out laughing.

"They'll never believe us back home," Jenny says. She brushes a fly off her calf.

Clara snorts. "Home my wrinkled ass." She shakes her head. Her dyed-red curls are plastered to her skull. "That place is just a glorified coffin we occupy while we're waiting to die."

"You mean, while our heirs are waiting for us to die," Jenny says. "They only come by to find out if they can get their grubby little hands on their inheritance."

"Now you all know why I gave all my assets to Sweet End Home," I say.

"You mean the Bitter End. That's why you don't have any visitors," Jenny says. "Smart girl."

"I still think that's why Sadie was poisoned," Clara says, lowering her voice to a conspiratorial whisper. "I heard she was rolling in dough."

I roll my eyes. "Nobody proved she was poisoned. Or that she was filthy rich. Besides, Sadie was so obnoxious, we all wanted to kill her."

"What a great party we had the night she died." Jenny's eyes get misty and she sighs.

We all laugh.

The deputy balances a tray with three paper cups of lemonade while he opens the cell door. "Quiet down ladies. People will think you're enjoying yourself instead of repenting your sins."

Jenny takes a cup from the tray. "At our age, young man, we want to enjoy our sins as much as we can. They're all we have left."

Clara flutters her eyelashes at the deputy. "I can certainly give you some lessons on how to enjoy your sins."

"Not while I'm on duty." He locks the cell door behind him.

"How about when you're off duty?" Clara asks. "I'm not going anywhere."

The deputy shakes his head and walks away.

"Clara Davis, behave yourself!" I say.

"I am!" Clara sniffs and runs her fingers through her wet curls.

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