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Book 3 - Frightful Friday (A Tabitha Chase Days of the Week Mystery Large Print Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.7 (740 ratings)

Book 3 - Frightful Friday (A Tabitha Chase Days of the Week Mystery Large Print Paperback) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.7 (740 ratings)

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An upset at the Harvest Festival , a Fright Night fundraiser with a deadly twist, and a realtor-turned-sleuth caught in the middle of both.

Main Tropes

  • A haunted house on Halloween
  • An intuitive sleuthing cat
  • A small town with characters you'll think of as friends.


Tabby is finally ready to go on a casual fun date with Detective Jay Jameson at the local church’s Harvest Festival, but her witch friends are holding their Fright Night fundraiser that same night. She feels caught in the middle of a long-standing quarrel between the two groups, especially when a dead body shows up at the center of it all.

As blame-shifting grows, will Tabby be able to figure out who is responsible for the corpse while keeping all of her friendships intact?

Order your copy of Frightful Friday now to find out!

Intro Into Chapter One

I had no idea if I was dressed right for my first date with Detective Jay Jameson. I felt under-costumed for the typical Halloween parties I was used to attending back in Portland and over-dressed for a church’s Harvest Festival. I’d been looking for hints for the past week—such as when Jay had taken his nephew shopping for overalls and when this red and white gingham dress mysteriously showed up in my aunt’s bedroom closet. It wasn’t the first time I experienced magical happenings aboard my late aunt’s houseboat. They were slowly making me into a believer in the supernatural.

I spun in front of my full-length mirror, taking in my braided red pigtails and the extra-dark freckles I’d painted onto my cheeks for the night, wondering for the fiftieth time if it was too little or too much.

But I’d always been a fan of Halloween and of dressing up, and besides, I had an actual Halloween Fright Night party to go to after the church’s Harvest Festival, so I was hoping this getup would serve both purposes.

After locking up the houseboat, I drove my own car to the outskirts of town where Crystal Cove Community Church had taken over one of the local farms to hold their harvest celebration.

I pulled into the gravel lot and navigated around the odd-angled parked cars. Country people parked differently than city people, I’d noticed since moving to Crystal Cove. Locals in this small town parked like they had all the room in the world, which I supposed they did. I wound around until I found Jay’s dark sedan. Seeing his car gave me another pang of doubt. I was here to meet a police detective, for goodness sake. Why on earth had I thought it appropriate to dress like Holly Hobbie?

I took a deep breath and then stepped out of my car. My cat Sherlock had desperately wanted to join me tonight, but since I’d had no idea what kind of farm animals we might run into out at this location, I had decided it was better to attend animal-free. However, when I went to shut my car door, Sherlock popped his front paws up against my driver’s seat from the back.

“You sneaky little tagalong.” I pulled him up to look him in the eyes, a task made trickier by the spectacles he wore fastened around his head. Then I surveyed what I could see of the farm and didn’t notice any roaming animals. I was secretly glad to not have to walk into the party alone. Lights were strung along a wall made of hay bales in the distance. Music streamed from that direction, too, so I had to assume that was where I’d find the Harvest Festival. Far in the distance was a large barn, hopefully keeping the farm animals in containment for the evening.

As I walked toward the music and lights, Sherlock let his stream-of-consciousness thoughts trickle into my mind, as though he wanted to get them all out now before we found the people.

Meeting Detective Jay? Must be an investigation. Danger! Suspects! Intrigue!

“No, nothing like that, buddy,” I murmured. It was amazing how quickly I’d adapted to having these sorts of “conversations” with a cat. Before moving to Crystal Cove, I’d had my mind firmly rooted in reality, but since then, I’d been learning to recognize strong emotion in my cat’s inner voice. I knew he was already invested in these thoughts. “The only danger I expect tonight is if Jay tries to kiss me,” I added.

My cheeks warmed, even though there was little chance of much romance happening between us, at least for tonight. Having his young nephew along would make sure of that. Tonight would be more friendship than anything else. With all the recent changes in my life, I’d made it clear I wasn’t in a hurry to start dating anytime soon.

As I rounded the wall of hay bales, the surrounding area became immediately brighter with pot lights.

Hay bales ran in lines in four directions, creating a makeshift room, or perhaps more like a makeshift gymnasium, due to the large size. At least a hundred people of all ages laughed and talked and played carnival-type games around the perimeter—ring tosses and toy fishing and a lasso game. Country music played from the far end and there were three groups of four following the caller of a square dance. I was far from the only woman at this party wearing gingham. In fact, looking around, I would have almost guessed it was a requirement. In the center of the “room” I spotted Jay and his nephew, but as I moved closer, it seemed he was mid-argument with a couple of stout ladies in their seventies.

I didn’t want to interrupt, and held back a few steps. The white-haired woman spoke so loudly she could be heard from a good distance away, even over the music.

“Don’t you think you should be over there, shutting it down, rather than over here, partying the night away!” It sounded like a punctuated statement, more than a question.

“I’m afraid I’m off duty tonight, Mabel. And I’m here with Brady.” He motioned to his nephew, whose face scrunched in worry at the tension.

“Well, somebody has to do something about them!” the other woman said. She looked a little younger, with her hair dyed a dark brown, but she had just as many wrinkles.

Jay bent down and said something quiet enough to Brady that I couldn’t hear. The kid looked adorable in his oversized pair of denim overalls and painted freckles all over his cheeks that were much more obvious than mine. Jay pointed toward a fishing pond on the perimeter, but Brady clung to him. He couldn’t have been more than five or six, awfully young to be on his own at this festival, even if it was put on by a local church.

Without taking time to rethink it, I swept forward and said, “I can take Brady fishing.”

I wasn’t sure if I was overstepping—I’d only met Brady once, after all. But Jay looked at me gratefully.

A second later, Brady squealed, and I had no idea why until he said, “Kitty!” and pointed up to my arms.

“Sure, let’s go over here and pet the kitty,” I told him, leading him away from the two angry women. As I bent and Brady asked my cat’s name, I strained to hear more of the argument, while playing it casual for Brady.

Unfortunately, my cat was just as interested, and as soon as I placed him down in front of Brady, he strained back in Jay’s direction.

“Sherlock,” I said to both Brady and my cat. And then I took on a sternness to address only the cat. “Our job is to stay here. Nothing to worry about over there.”

Sherlock hesitated, but then took a few steps back in our direction, thankfully keeping Brady’s attention rapt, as it seemed Mabel and her friend were getting even more worked up.

Before I could finish that thought, Mabel grabbed her friend’s arm and pulled her toward the gap in hay bales to the parking lot.

I stood as Jay approached. “What were they so upset about?” I asked.

Jay sighed. “The church members started this festival last year, to give locals an alternative to the dark and scary events put on by the witches. Your Aunt Lizzie used to be somewhat of a bridge between the two groups. She brought an awareness that the Crystal Cove witches didn’t focus on dark magic, but were meant to be a force of good in this town. But since then, the church has brought on a new pastor who doesn’t understand the nuances, and with Marigold Weathers often playing up the darker side of her magic, it seems there’s a growing feud between the two groups again. It doesn’t help that the witches have gone all out this year with their Fright Night haunted house. Many of the church members think the local police should shut it down for the safety and reputation of the town.”

Jay rolled his eyes, but I felt slightly guilty, as I hadn’t told him that the reason I’d wanted to bring my own vehicle tonight was because I planned to go and support the witches at their haunted house when I was done here. It was a fundraiser, in hopes that they’d be able to afford to put on their Winter Solstice Festival later this year. Even though I’d never celebrated the holiday myself, many of the witches were becoming my friends since moving to town, and I was quite certain there was nothing dark or evil about their powers. If this fundraiser was something they cared about, I wanted to support them.

“Did they go to try and shut it down themselves?” I asked, trying to picture Mabel and her friend going up against Marigold, Ruth, and the other able-bodied witches.

Jay shook his head. “I told them they should call their concerns into the station. In a small town, it’s easy for people to think a detective is on duty all the time, and so our department has a policy, especially when it comes to non-emergencies. We re-direct people to whoever’s on duty at the station, and that allows the others of us to get some actual time off.”

I’d only known Jay a few months, but even I could think of several times that he’d been suddenly needed for a case, even though he wasn’t officially on duty. I was glad to see him setting some boundaries with these church ladies.

Soon after, Jay and I moved along to the carnival games, taking in each one for as long as it held young Brady’s attention. “Look, Uncle Jay! I won a bag of candy!”

“Great!” Jay said, putting his hand out for it. Brady obediently passed it over and Jay told me, “My sister and her husband aren’t big on giving him sugar.” I felt immediately sad for the kid, having his candy taken away from him on Halloween.

But then Brady told me, “If I don’t eat any, Mommy will trade me for a toy tomorrow.” He grinned brightly enough that I figured it was a fair trade.

Thankfully, Brady wasn’t interested in square dancing, as I hadn’t tried anything of the sort since eighth grade.

When a man in a cowboy hat announced that the next hayride was set to leave in five minutes, Jay got boyishly excited and insisted we do that next. I couldn’t quite understand the thrill, but I didn’t complain, since I was just as happy to avoid the dancing.

A tractor led a long trailer filled with hay bales along a path on the outskirts of the farm, lit only by the moon and twinkle lights. As the hay bales jostled us along the dirt path, my leg kept knocking against Jay’s, and I couldn’t help but think of how romantic this might have been if he didn’t have his nephew on his lap and if I didn’t have Sherlock on mine.

At the end of the ride, as we climbed off of the trailer at the entry way to the festival area, we saw the two angry women again, but thankfully this time their attention was not on Jay.

They had a young woman between them with wild red curly hair and bloodshot eyes.

“Come with us,” Mabel told the distraught woman in a voice that had changed to pure compassion. “We’ll get you into the festival and get your mind off of your poor lost brother.”

But the lady seemed to have no interest in the celebrations. She seemed to be trying to pull the ladies away from the celebration. “No! I can’t have fun! I came here to pray. I need some answers!”

Mabel and her friend gave each other a look over the crazed lady, who now bent forward to cry into her hands. “Why don’t we help Carla find some of the elders,” Mabel said to her friend, and then they led the lady around the perimeter of the hay bale walls. “We will pray and help you find some peace about your brother.”

As they moved out of earshot, it looked as though Mabel’s words weren’t bringing the woman any peace so far.

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