Putting the Fun in Funeral

By: Diana Pharaoh Francis

Celebrating death never felt so good

Beck Wyatt has always hated her mother—enough to kill her. As luck would have it, someone beats her to murdering Mommy Dearest and now Beck gets to plan the tackiest funeral the world has ever seen for the worst woman she’s ever known.

But first, Beck has a few minor problems to deal with. First on the list? Avoid getting kidnapped. She also has to convince the police she didn’t kill her mother. And then there’s surviving a death curse ….

With the help of her three best friends, cheesecake, and a little magic, Beck figures she can handle anything, even the mysterious and irritating Damon Matroviani, whose sexy good looks light her panties on fire.

All too soon, her life is turned inside out, and just when things are looking like they can’t get any worse ... everything hits the fan.

Chapter 1

“Tell me about your mother.”

“She’s dead.”

Detective Ballard gave me a studiously bland look. “I’m aware. Do you think this is funny?”

I pretended to consider. “Funny—no. Ironic? Yes.”

“Do you care to explain yourself?”

“Because I get to plan her funeral.” I already was. It would have to be the tackiest, white-trashiest, low-rent trailer park sort of affair for kicking off the dearly departed. I’d definitely serve beer. Oh, and champagne. With Funion  s and pork rinds and pigs in blankets and deep-fried Twinkies. And confetti. Maybe fireworks. Or pumpkin chunkin’. I could go with a viewing and dress her in Daisy Duke shorts and a tube top. Add some blue eye shadow and crimson lipstick for that extra-special touch.

Regret slid through me. No. She’d need to be cremated. I needed her cremated, just to be sure she couldn’t come back as a zombie or vampire. Maybe I’d be allowed to light the match on the fire.

“Miss Wyatt?” The detective said, tapping my knee and interrupting my happy daydream.

I focused on her. She could have used some under-eye concealer. Maybe a little lipstick. And some rouge. The woman looked like death. “What?”

“I asked how you would categorize your relationship with your mother?”

“She pretty much hated everything about me, and I tried my damnedest to earn her malice.”

Her brows rose at my candor. “So you didn’t get along with her?”

Was she deaf or just stupid? “Didn’t I just say that?”

“Did you?”

The detective needed her ass kicked. “Yes.”

“. . . relationship contentious . . .” she muttered as she wrote in her notebook.

Such a mild word. Like my mother hadn’t been the wicked witch of the west. Like she hadn’t spent every minute of every day criticizing and castigating me and moaning over my flaws and failures, which were all I was to her. I don’t even know why she’d had me. Or kept me.

“Did she have any other family? Do you have siblings?”

“Don’t know and no.” Because if there was one thing that was true about my mother, it is that she kept her life a secret from me.

“What about friends? Or enemies? Anyone you can think of who might want to hurt her?”

“Grab a phonebook and start with the A’s,” I suggested.

The detective looked up from beneath her brows. “Your cooperation could go a long way in solving your mother’s murder. Don’t you want to find her killer?” Her tone implied heavily that I might just be the killer. Not that I could blame her. I was a perfect suspect. Luckily I had a perfect alibi.

“If the killer walked in right now, I’d probably offer to suck his dick,” I said. “That’s how much better my life will be without my mother.”

Which was pathetic. And also a challenge the universe had no intention of losing. Not only could my life get much worse, it Murphy’s Law said it probably would.

“Where were you yesterday?”

“I already told you. Twice.”

“I’d like to hear it again.”

“Yeah? I’d like a mansion in Monaco and naked hot-tub time with Ryan Reynolds, but neither of those are going to happen either.”

Detective Ballard visibly gritted her teeth then changed tack. “Was your mother seeing anyone romantically?”

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