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You might think that the home inspector should have turned up the skeletal remains as he went over the place with a fine-toothed comb, but they were so well hidden, there was no way Sid Lowame could have uncovered them. He did question the water bill, though, and suggested there was a leak somewhere outside the house. That’s what started the ball rolling.

We stumbled on the bones while digging up the yard with a back hoe, trying to find it. The killer’s shovel put a hole in that water pipe while he was depositing his victim into her almost-final resting place.

I admit I might have ignored some of the warning signs because I was so bent on buying the bungalow. Any time you have a missing person, you probably should wonder if something sinister happened on the property. I’ll remember that the next time this crops up, but I hope it doesn’t. This experience will last me a couple of lifetimes.

“It’s worth the investment,” I declared as I led my boss up the old, broken cement sidewalk on that first day. “This is a treasure for the taking. It just needs some TLC.”

“Why, pray tell, would I want to do that?” Ned glanced at me as he began the usual effort to poke holes in my plans. “How does that benefit me?”

“Does everything have to benefit you?” I shot back. “Does the world always have to revolve around you?”

“Of course it does. I’m the boss. I pay the bills.” He glanced at the tiny bungalow under the sycamore tree. “The house has good bones – I’ll give you that. Why do you think this is a worthy choice for the price? It’s small.”

I struggled to figure out a way to convince him that this house would be perfect for a flip, likely to sell quickly with new bathroom fixtures, new kitchen counters, and a few other cosmetic improvements. I’m a Ms. Fix-It, and there is nothing I love better than bringing an old wreck back to life. And I’m really good at it. I only wish I was as good at romance as I am at renovation.

“I think we can get it all done in six weeks, Ned. I also think we can convince the owner to drop the price $20,000. After all, it’s been sitting on the market for almost eight months.”

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