A Fright to the Death (A Family Fortune Mystery)

4 avg rating
( 623 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780425264485: A Fright to the Death (A Family Fortune Mystery)
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

From the author of Be Careful What You Witch For, here is the newest Family Fortune Mystery, starring former cop Clyde Fortune, who—snowbound with her kooky family in a creepy castle—is climbing the walls and combing the halls, looking for a cold-blooded killer...

After their flight to Mexico is cancelled, Clyde and her detective boyfriend, Mac, end up snowed in with their families at a supposedly haunted hotel. Clyde’s tarot card reading mother, Rose, is making dire predictions for the weekend, and self-proclaimed pet psychic Aunt Vi is enchanted by the legend of the hotel’s ghost—until the power goes out and a body turns up.

With a hotel full of stranded suspects, Clyde will have to draw on all her skills—both the police ones she’d rather forget and the psychic ones she’d rather ignore—to solve the bone-chilling mystery before someone else gets iced...

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Dawn Eastman is the national bestselling author of the Family Fortune mysteries, including An Unhappy Medium, A Fright to the DeathBe Careful What You Witch For, and Pall in the Family. She lived in Michigan for many years in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small dog.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Acknowledgments

1

I knew Mac scoffed at all things psychic, but why must he taunt the fates?

“I can’t believe we’re finally getting away,” he said with a boyish grin and took my hand. “This is going to be fantastic.”

I smiled and hoped he would stop talking. The man had no sense of jinxes and self-preservation. We were barely twenty minutes down the snowy tree-lined highway away from Crystal Haven. Away from my parents, my aunt, his mother, my nephew, and two spoiled dogs. The back-patting phase of the trip sat happily in our future. Sometime after I had returned to my small Victorian, Mac had returned to his cottage, and we had shared the photos with our inquisitive families. We had decided to take my new Tahoe on the trip. Mac’s pickup truck and my ancient Jeep seemed inappropriate for a potentially icy drive to Chicago. The unfamiliar vehicle made it feel like we were already far from home.

I looked out the window at the gray sky of a Michigan winter. It had snowed almost daily in January. Mac and I got through it by plotting our escape over a few chilly evenings as the white fluff had piled up outside.

I wasn’t just excited to get away—I was desperate. Between Mac’s job as a homicide detective, my live-in teenage nephew, and the rest of my interfering family that lived a stone’s throw away and had no qualms about stopping by, we had little time to spend alone together. Plus, the pressure to either return to my own police career or find a new job that didn’t involve walking dogs increased daily. I was more than ready to escape my everyday life and all I wanted was to step off that airplane in Mexico with Mac, alone. I craved it so badly that I felt certain I might hex it. What can I say? A life with psychics and tarot readers had instilled a strong superstitious streak. And the longer I stayed in Crystal Haven, the worse it got.

But, we were together. Finally. And we were about to jet away from winter for a week. Ignoring caution to join his reckless glee, I said, “What should we do first when we get there?”

Mac ticked an eyebrow upward in an exaggerated leer. His blue eyes sparkled and the lines around his eyes deepened. He spent so much of his life keeping every emotion in check that I cherished the moments he relaxed and allowed his humor to take center stage.

“Oh, nice. I walked into that one.” I laughed, relaxing in my seat. I reached for my phone as it buzzed in my pocket. “After that,” I said as I clicked the phone open.

My grin faded and my mood nosedived when I saw the message.

“Mac, pull over up here.” I pointed to an exit just outside of Kalamazoo.

Mac turned away from the road long enough to see the concern on my face. He glanced at the phone in my hand and flicked the turn signal. “Was that Seth? Is something wrong?”

I shook my head. I wished it were from my nephew, Seth.

“The text was from the airline. Our flight got canceled. It says due to weather.”

Mac pulled into a gas station parking lot and turned off the ignition. I looked out the windshield at the leaden gray sky releasing a few small snowflakes. Channel 8’s weather guy hadn’t said there was going to be a bad storm. Maybe we could take another flight. The high-pitched ping of the rapidly cooling engine broke the silence. I immediately tried to pull up the airline’s website on my phone.

Mac leaned back and rubbed his jaw, staring out the window. “I was really looking forward to getting away from this.” His gesture encompassed everything outside of the car. “And having a break from your family,” he said quietly.

I looked away from my phone and put my hand on his shoulder. “I know. Me, too. I’m pretty sick of snow. And I know my family has been a handful. I’m tired of them, too.”

Living in Crystal Haven, a town full of psychics, had its unique set of drawbacks. And so did growing up in a family that made its livelihood off of psychic messages and tarot cards.

“I’m checking to see if there are other flights. Hope is not lost.” I waved my phone at him. I was waiting for the website to load when Mac opened the door and startled me.

“Let’s go inside and regroup,” he said.

I followed, thinking that it was typical of our luck that our vacation would consist of diet soda and popcorn in a roadside gas station. I thought I heard the fates giggling.

2

The balding, chubby proprietor smiled at us as we entered. Mac made a beeline for the cheddar popcorn, his go-to stress indulgence. I grabbed a diet soda and a package of almonds.

“Did it say when they might reschedule?” Mac asked. He put an arm around my shoulder, leaned down, and squinted at my phone as we walked to the counter.

I shook my head. “No, and I can’t load the airline website.”

We placed our items on the counter and the man began scanning them into the register.

“I hope you two are headed home before the storm hits,” he said.

Mac and I exchanged a worried glance.

Mac handed over a twenty. “Storm?”

The man looked at us over his glasses. He turned his small TV to face us. The sound was muted, but we saw the news crawl along the bottom of the screen: BLIZZARD WARNING.

“They say Chicago’s already socked in. Airport’s closed and the roads are packed with people trying to get home. It should be here in a couple of hours.” His voice held a note of excitement at being able to break the news.

I was leaning into Mac and felt him go very still. My own shoulders slumped as I saw our vacation dissolve.

The man smiled kindly at me. “You were headed to Chicago?” He slid Mac’s change across the counter.

I nodded, and swallowed hard.

Mac pocketed his money, slung an arm across my shoulders, and steered me out of the store. As the door closed behind us, he leaned close to my ear and whispered, “I have a plan.”

I stopped walking, which forced him to turn to look at me. “A plan?” I asked. Mac definitely had a romantic side, but I expected romance along the Mexican seashore, not along Route 131. When did he come up with a plan?

He moved his arm down to settle around my waist. “Just relax, I’ve got this.”

He opened my door for me and swept his arm out to gesture me inside. He bowed slightly before swinging the door closed. I grinned and sat back in my seat, excited now by the new adventure.

I opened the weather app on my phone and scrolled through the many warnings and alerts caused by the snow currently pounding Chicago. A storm in Chicago would often head across Lake Michigan and slam into the west coast of Michigan. So while Chicago was digging out, we would be hunkering down to wait out the weather.

“They’re saying we should start seeing serious snow by later this afternoon.” I shut my phone off.

“We’ll be safe and dry by then but not in Crystal Haven,” Mac said.

I sat back and watched the white landscape scroll past my window. My attempts at questioning were met with off-key humming. Even though I’d grown up in Crystal Haven, I didn’t know the Kalamazoo area very well and had no idea where he planned to take us.

Twenty minutes and miles of white fields and forests later we were nowhere near anything that looked like a city. We passed a sporting goods store touting the exciting sport of ice fishing and snowmobile rentals. Mac pulled down a dirt road that headed into dense woods. I hoped he wasn’t planning to camp, even if a cozy cabin was involved. We routinely lost power during storms even in Crystal Haven; I could imagine what a cabin in the woods in February would be like.

“Mac . . . ,” I said, and couldn’t quite hide the nervous quaver.

He steered the car around a corner, the trees gave way to a wide clearing, and a beautiful snowcapped castle appeared. Its windows glowed gold in the afternoon gloom. Big wet snowflakes had begun to fall and added to the charm. It sat on a hill above us and as Mac followed the road that took us around to the back parking area, I leaned forward to get a better look out the front window.

It was big, but not enormous like some of the European castles I’d seen in books. It sported a large tower turret on the front and smaller turrets sticking off the side of the bigger one—with a wraparound porch and pointed roofline.

“What is this place?”

This is Carlisle Castle,” Mac said. “It was built by a furniture tycoon during the late 1800s. It’s still owned by the same family and they converted it into a hotel about ten years ago. What do you think?”

Snow-covered and surrounded by tall pines, it looked like a storybook Christmas castle. Maybe I had misjudged Mac’s planning-on-the-fly abilities. I smiled and squeezed his hand.

“Who needs Mexico?” I said. “This definitely makes up for the canceled flight. How did you know about it? Do you think they’ll have a room?”

“I saw a brochure back at the gas station and remembered someone mentioning it,” Mac said. “It didn’t occur to me that it would be full. . . .”

The full parking lot ramped up my concern. Mac pulled in and found a spot as far from the entrance as possible.

We exited the car and looked up at the castle. Mac stood behind me with his arms around my waist. “It’s not Mexico,” he said, “but it’s not Crystal Haven, either.”

We headed toward the entrance holding hands. I glanced down the row of vehicles and saw an orange smart car. It looked just like my mom’s. I shrugged off a brief flash of worry and followed Mac through the rapidly falling snow.

Inside, the entryway glowed from Victorian lamps reflecting off the dark wood of the front desk, tucked beneath a wide curving staircase. I imagined a cozy weekend with Mac, curled up by the fire—surely there was a fireplace somewhere—and not dealing with dogs, nephews, parents, aunts, or anyone but Mac. We shook the snow off our coats and stamped our feet.

At the desk, a young man smiled at us from behind a laptop and Tiffany lamp.

“Hello, welcome to Carlisle Castle,” he said. His name tag read: WALLACE PRESCOTT. He wore round glasses, a bow tie, and a thatch of dark hair flopped over one eye. “Whoa, cool!” he said as I stopped in front of the desk. “Your eyes are two different colors!” Wallace pointed at my eyes and squinted his own as he examined me. He wasn’t the first person to announce it to me as if I hadn’t noticed in the past thirty years that one eye was bright blue, the other brown.

Mac cleared his throat and Wallace seemed to remember that staring at the customers was not in his job description. Mac asked about a room for the weekend.

Wallace’s smile fled. “I’m sorry, we’re completely booked. We have a group here this weekend and all the rooms are taken. . . .” Wallace clicked on his laptop but shook his head the whole time.

“Let me check some other nearby hotels for you. I looked at the weather channel before you came in and they say once the snow starts we’ll get two inches an hour.”

Just as Mac turned to me to discuss our predicament, we heard, “I knew it!”

I felt Mac stiffen next to me as my stomach dropped. We both turned in the direction of the voice and, as I had already surmised, there stood my Aunt Vi. At five foot two, she was shorter than me by several inches. She wore her gray hair in a long braid down her back and favored brightly colored skirts with layers of cardigans. Like my mother, she was in her seventies, but refused to acknowledge it.

“I just had a feeling your flight would be canceled,” Vi said as she rushed toward us. “This is a great place, don’t you think?” She waved her arms to encompass the entire castle. “I can’t believe you came here! Are you staying for the whole weekend? This’ll be a hoot! Wait ’til I tell your mom and Lucille.”

“Lucille?” I squeaked.

Vi cocked her head at me. “Remember I said I was going to ask her to come with us since she’s such a good knitter?”

Mac turned to me, his eyes a bit wild.

“My mother is here?” he said.

It came back to me in snippets. I’d been so excited about my escape from a snow-covered and frozen Crystal Haven that I hadn’t paid much attention. I remembered talk about yarn and knitting classes and how my dad and my nephew, Seth, would have a boys’ weekend . . .

“The knitting conference is . . . here?” I asked.

Vi nodded and grinned. “You should see this place, Clyde, it’s so . . . castle-y. Wally here will give you a tour.” She nodded toward Wallace.

“Ms. Greer, I don’t have a room for them,” Wallace said. “And it’s Wallace.” He pointed to his name tag. She looked him up and down and then turned away.

“Oh, don’t worry,” she said. “They can stay with us. Rose and I have double beds and Lucille has two twins in her room. Clyde can stay with us and Mac can stay with Lucille. It’ll be great!”

Mac and I exchanged a terrified glance. Vi was unstoppable when she got an idea in her head and we both felt the tide of this vacation washing farther out to sea.

“We can’t impose like that, Vi,” I began. “Wallace was just checking some other hotels . . .”

Vi shook her head and crossed her arms. “Nonsense. Have you looked out there?” She gestured at the window. “You’ll never get anywhere and then you’ll be stuck in the woods in a blizzard.” She pointed a knobby finger at me. “No. You can stay here at least until the weather clears. It’s really no bother.” She put her hand on Mac’s arm.

Mac and I looked outside to see heavy flakes pouring down.

Wally cleared his throat and said, “Sometimes the road does become impassable in a bad storm.”

“Let me just talk to Mac,” I said and we walked a few steps away from the desk.

Vi crossed her arms and tapped her foot.

I put my hand on his back and turned away from our audience. “What do you think?”

Mac pressed his lips together and then let out a breath of air. “Well, it’s the exact opposite of the way I thought I’d be spending the evening, but I’d hate to get stranded on the road somewhere.”

I snuck a look at Vi over Mac’s shoulder. “We can stand it for one night and we’ll figure out where to go in the morning. How long can a snowstorm last, right?”

We walked back to the desk and I nodded to Vi and Wally.

“You make a good case for safety,” Mac said. “We’ll stay tonight.”

Vi clapped her hands and grinned.

“How about that tour, Wally?” Vi asked. “I’ll come along. I have a few questions. Plus I want to hear about the ghost again.”

“Ghost?” Mac said.

Vi nodded. “It’s a great story. I’m trying to talk the knitters into doing a séance. Come on, let’s go!”

Wally hurried out from behind the desk in an attempt to take control of the tour. He smoothed his jacket, and smiled at us.

Mac took my hand and glanced longingly at the door. We heard it rattle on its hinges as a gust of wind struck it full force.

3

Our guide led us toward the back of the hotel and to the right, where we came to a restaurant surrounded by windows. It had the feel of a greenhouse except today everything was white outside. Small tables were scattered about the room. Black table...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 7.99
US$ 7.78

Convert currency

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.

Destination, rates & speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Dawn Eastman
Published by Penguin Putnam Inc, United States (2016)
ISBN 10: 0425264483 ISBN 13: 9780425264485
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. From the author of Be Careful What You Witch For, here is the newest Family Fortune Mystery, starring former cop Clyde Fortune, who--snowbound with her kooky family in a creepy castle--is climbing the walls and combing the halls, looking for a cold-blooded killer. After their flight to Mexico is cancelled, Clyde and her detective boyfriend, Mac, end up snowed in with their families at a supposedly haunted hotel. Clyde s tarot card reading mother, Rose, is making dire predictions for the weekend, and self-proclaimed pet psychic Aunt Vi is enchanted by the legend of the hotel s ghost--until the power goes out and a body turns up. With a hotel full of stranded suspects, Clyde will have to draw on all her skills--both the police ones she d rather forget and the psychic ones she d rather ignore--to solve the bone-chilling mystery before someone else gets iced. Seller Inventory # BTE9780425264485

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 7.78
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Dawn Eastman
Published by Penguin Putnam Inc, United States (2016)
ISBN 10: 0425264483 ISBN 13: 9780425264485
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the author of Be Careful What You Witch For, here is the newest Family Fortune Mystery, starring former cop Clyde Fortune, who--snowbound with her kooky family in a creepy castle--is climbing the walls and combing the halls, looking for a cold-blooded killer. After their flight to Mexico is cancelled, Clyde and her detective boyfriend, Mac, end up snowed in with their families at a supposedly haunted hotel. Clyde s tarot card reading mother, Rose, is making dire predictions for the weekend, and self-proclaimed pet psychic Aunt Vi is enchanted by the legend of the hotel s ghost--until the power goes out and a body turns up. With a hotel full of stranded suspects, Clyde will have to draw on all her skills--both the police ones she d rather forget and the psychic ones she d rather ignore--to solve the bone-chilling mystery before someone else gets iced. Seller Inventory # AAS9780425264485

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 7.86
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Eastman, Dawn
Published by Berkley
ISBN 10: 0425264483 ISBN 13: 9780425264485
New MASS MARKET PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Your Online Bookstore
(Houston, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Berkley. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0425264483 Ships promptly from Texas. Seller Inventory # Z0425264483ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 7.87
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Eastman, Dawn
Published by Berkley Pub Group (2015)
ISBN 10: 0425264483 ISBN 13: 9780425264485
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Berkley Pub Group, 2015. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # KS-9780425264485

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 3.89
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Dawn Eastman
Published by Penguin Putnam Inc, United States (2016)
ISBN 10: 0425264483 ISBN 13: 9780425264485
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the author of Be Careful What You Witch For, here is the newest Family Fortune Mystery, starring former cop Clyde Fortune, who--snowbound with her kooky family in a creepy castle--is climbing the walls and combing the halls, looking for a cold-blooded killer. After their flight to Mexico is cancelled, Clyde and her detective boyfriend, Mac, end up snowed in with their families at a supposedly haunted hotel. Clyde s tarot card reading mother, Rose, is making dire predictions for the weekend, and self-proclaimed pet psychic Aunt Vi is enchanted by the legend of the hotel s ghost--until the power goes out and a body turns up. With a hotel full of stranded suspects, Clyde will have to draw on all her skills--both the police ones she d rather forget and the psychic ones she d rather ignore--to solve the bone-chilling mystery before someone else gets iced. Seller Inventory # AAS9780425264485

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 7.97
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Eastman, Dawn
Published by Berkley Pub Group (2015)
ISBN 10: 0425264483 ISBN 13: 9780425264485
New Quantity Available: 4
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Berkley Pub Group, 2015. PAP. Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IB-9780425264485

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 4.17
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Dawn Eastman
Published by Penguin Random House
ISBN 10: 0425264483 ISBN 13: 9780425264485
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Random House. Condition: New. Brand New. Seller Inventory # 0425264483

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 4.65
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.60
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Eastman, Dawn
Published by Berkley
ISBN 10: 0425264483 ISBN 13: 9780425264485
New MASS MARKET PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Berkley. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0425264483. Seller Inventory # Z0425264483ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 9.44
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Eastman, Dawn
Published by Berkley
ISBN 10: 0425264483 ISBN 13: 9780425264485
New MASS MARKET PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Best Bates
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Berkley. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0425264483. Seller Inventory # Z0425264483ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 9.44
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Eastman, Dawn
Published by Berkley
ISBN 10: 0425264483 ISBN 13: 9780425264485
New MASS MARKET PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Bookhouse COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Berkley. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0425264483. Seller Inventory # Z0425264483ZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 9.44
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book