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VALENTINED

(An Essie Cobb Senior Sleuth Mystery)

Patricia Rockwell

Published by Cozy Cat Press at Smashwords


Copyright 2012 Patricia Rockwell


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Chapter One


When love is in excess it brings a man no honor nor worthiness.”

Euripides


Essie peered through the tiny window in her mailbox. She could see a hand holding a large, thick envelope heading directly towards her face. She pulled back as Phyllis, the front desk clerk at Happy Haven, squeezed the large-sized envelope carefully into her small cubicle. Essie waited patiently as Phyllis added several additional items—probably flyers for cemetery plots, which Essie received regularly in her mail by the bucketful. Not unusual for a ninety-year-old woman. She tapped her fingers on her walker handle bars as Phyllis continued to attempt to squeeze all of Essie’s mail into the small compartment. While she waited for Phyllis to finish her delivery duties, Essie glanced above the wall of mailboxes—probably at least a hundred or more of the little bronze squares—one for each resident at the Happy Haven Assisted Living Facility. Hanging above the wall of boxes was a dangling banner of sparkly red and pink cardboard hearts. Valentine’s Day was just a few days away and Happy Haven always went all out to decorate for each holiday. On the wall beside the mailboxes, a large poster advertised the facility’s big upcoming Valentine’s Day event—a speaker referred to on the ad as “Dr. Love–Guru of Valentine’s Day and its History.” Just what a bunch of old people need, Essie thought, lectures in love.

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