Book Excerpt From "Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Fool and His Honey"

“Would it suit you if we put you and Hayden over in the garage apartment?” I asked, trying to make my voice light and friendly.

“That would be super. I wondered when I drove up if that was a separate apartment,” Regina said. Maybe she sounded a tad disappointed that I’d changed the subject. “Hayden still gets up at night, and we’d be less likely to bother you.”

“Let’s just take your things over there,” I suggested. Taking the keys from a hook by the back door, I grabbed the big diaper bag and Regina’s purse and trotted across the covered walkway and up the stairs that ran up the side of the garage, the side toward our house. The heavy bag looped over my shoulder banged ponderously against my thigh. Though the air was colder and wetter, it wasn’t actually raining at the moment.

The apartment smelled only slightly stale. Our friends Shelby and Angel had moved out about eight weeks ago. I had been keeping the heat on so nothing would freeze or mildew, and I turned it up and glanced around as I heard Regina open her car trunk below.

The garage apartment is one very big room, with a corner walled in for a bathroom and adjacent closet. There’s a queen-sized bed, a chair and love seat and attendant tables, a television, and a small table for two in the kitchen area. It’s as pleasant as basic apartment living gets.

Regina seemed pleased.

“Oh, Aunt Roe, this is so nice,” she said, throwing a suitcase on the bed. “Before we got married, we lived in an apartment that was a lot smaller than this.”

I hated to think about that.

“Well, I hope you enjoy it,” I said at random. “You and Hayden, that is. I’ll leave you to unpack. Oh, do you have something for the baby to sleep in?” I had no idea what to do if she didn’t. But Regina assured me she had a portable travel crib. That seemed a luxurious item for a poor mother to have, and I wondered a little.

I heard the crunch of gravel as I stood in the doorway. Martin emerged from his car and stood staring at Regina’s car for a minute.

“Martin,” I called, “come up here.” Evidently he hadn’t returned to his office before he came home.

He passed under the walkway to stare up at me. “What are you doing in the apartment?” he asked. No one had been in the apartment since Angel and Shelby had bought a house in town.

“Oh,” I said, feeling a pleasurable anticipation, perhaps tinged with a touch of malice, “you won’t guess who’s come to visit, honey!”

Looking distinctly apprehensive, Martin came up the stairs. I stood aside so he could enter the apartment.

“Uncle Martin!” cried Regina. She faced the door with a big smile stretching her generous lips, the baby pressed to her chest like a bag of groceries.

Martin’s face was priceless.