My best friend Julia plops down on the corner of my desk and sighs loudly.
I snicker. “What’s the matter with you, sunshine?”
“Oh, Lizzie, I am soooo bored!”
“Um, it’s not exactly a slow news week,” I point out.
She pouts, “I know, but now that you’re back from your leave and I don’t have to do your job, I have a lot of free time on my hands.”
“I would be happy to go back home and let you do my job.”
She smiles. “Nope. Don’t do that. I missed you too much.”
“Aw, aren’t you sweet?”
“What’s making it worse is that my hubby is gone for a week to a convention,” she whines.
“I didn’t know drug dealers had conventions.”
She rolls her eyes at me. “He’s not a drug dealer, he’s a drug sales rep. We’ve had this discussion before.”
Sure we have, but it’s still fun to needle Julia about it. “Doesn’t he transport drugs around in a duffel bag and distribute them to people?”
“You’re so funny. I’m trying to talk to you about a serious issue here.”
“Oh, right. Not getting any, eh? I’m very familiar with that problem.”
Julia pulls a face. “Sorry. I shouldn’t complain. But this is the first time he’s been gone since we got married. I do nothing interesting at work all day, then I go home and do nothing interesting at home. I need some excitement in my life.”
“Hmm. I may have a solution for you.”
I hesitate. “You may not want to say yes until I tell you my evil plan.”
“I’m serious. I’m up for anything.”
“You must be really bored.”
“You have no idea.”
“You asked for it. Here goes.” I lean in and whisper, “Wanna help me solve a murder?”
She shrieks, “WHAT?”
Everyone in the office swivels to glare at us.
I hold up my index finger to my lips. “Shh! The boss will hear you all the way inside his office.”
Julia’s eyes are bugging out of her head. She whispers, “Are you seriously going to chase a killer around—AGAIN?!?”
I protest, “In my defense, I was not chasing a killer around the last time. I was wrong about who the killer was, and I was chasing around the wrong person.”
Finally calming a bit, Julia pleads, “Why don’t we leave it to the police?”
“Because they made a mistake and arrested an innocent woman, and now they’re so busy building a case against her, they’re not out looking for the real murderer. Melody didn’t do it.”
“It’s not your problem.”
“I realize that, but she asked for my help. Look at it this way. You need something to do. I need someone to watch my back so I don’t get into trouble again. It’s the perfect solution.”
Julia is not convinced. “I don’t know…”
“Just think of it like one of our girls’ nights out, minus the alcohol.”
“That doesn’t sound like much fun.”
“Oh, c’mon, it will be fun. I can offer you excitement, intrigue—”
“Broken bones,” Julia interrupts, pointing to my Foot-boot.
I shrug. “Well, if you’re too chicken-shit to do this…”
Julia glares at me. “What did you just call me?” Julia is a total fraidy-cat, but she can’t stand being called names. Over the years, I’ve learned she will do pretty much anything if you call her a chicken-shit.
“I believe I just called you a chicken-shit. You know, a sissy, a coward, a pansy, a yellow belly, a momma’s—”
“I am NOT a chicken-shit.”
“Fine. I’m all in. What are we doing?”
I smile. She’s gonna hate this. “Infiltrating a Wiccan coven.”
All of the color drains from her face. She clears her throat and replies shakily, “Sounds like fun. And why exactly are we going to do that?”
“Because it’s the only place I can think of to start.”
Lizzie Hart hoped her first day back at work after nearly being killed would be uneventful. No such luck. Before she can finish her morning coffee, Lizzie and her co-workers find a dead body on the rooftop of their office. Media vultures that they are, the Liberty Chronicle employees are psyched to have first-hand news to report. Lizzie, however, is devastated when she realizes that the victim is her ex-boyfriend’s brother.
When evidence begins piling up against one of Lizzie’s friends, she reluctantly dons her detective hat once again, determined to find the real killer. She’s not thrilled about chasing another psychopath around, but she’ll do anything for a friend. Lizzie’s love life is rapidly becoming a hot mess, too. Her latest attempt at sleuthing isn’t leaving much time for her budding romance with town hunk Blake Morgan. Add that to the fact she’s hiding a secret so big it could rock the very core of their relationship, it’s no wonder that Lizzie’s in a tizzy.
Poor Lizzie ends up juggling a murder investigation, a wacky Wiccan coven, and two men vying for her attention—all while nursing injuries left over from the last time she decided to play Nancy Drew. It’s a good thing she always has a few tricks up her sleeve.
THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC is the second book in THE LIZZIE HART MYSTERIES series. It is the sequel to Caroline Fardig’s bestselling debut novel, IT’S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH.
About the Author:
CAROLINE FARDIG was born and raised in a small town in Indiana. Her working career has been rather eclectic thus far, with occupations including schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom. Finally realizing that she wants to be a writer when she grows up, Caroline is currently hard at work churning out more novels in the LIZZIE HART MYSTERIES series. She still lives in that same small town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.