Sneak Peek: Double Double Recoil & Trouble – Addison Moore

Sneak Peek: Double Double Recoil & Trouble

Sneak Peek!

Practical Guide for Killers

Book Description:

It’s Halloween in Honey Hollow and things are about to get deadly.

***A MURDER IN THE MIX Crossover!***

My name is Eufrasia Canelli but everybody calls me Effie. I come from a big Italian family with big hearts, big appetites, and an even bigger bankroll that’s cleverly hidden from the IRS. 

I’m not married to the mob, I was born into it. Just last year, I was laid off from my career at a tech company and in an effort to keep from moving back home—I went crawling to the biggest crime lord I know—my Uncle Jimmy.

He gave me two options: Dance at his strip club—or hunt down his enemies. 

Seeing that I’m no fan of public nudity, I opted for murder. 

Let’s just say my mortality rate so far is nil. 

Okay, so I’m not a straight shot but my Uncle Jimmy doesn’t seem to mind and I’m still raking in enough money to keep a roof over my head.

I also took a part-time job at a local bakery. Not only do I get to satisfy my sweet tooth for free but I get a decent cover when I’m asked about my employment.

My uncle has a new assignment for me—one that I would do anything to get out if I could. But as it stands, my own neck is on the line. To complicate matters, my uncle has given me yet another hit for the haunted month of October. It’s double for my trouble and my luck is just about to run out.

To top things off, a body turns up at a spooky restaurant called the Tavern of Terror and you won’t believe who’s sitting on top of the suspect list. At this point I’d welcome a hot date with the boogie man. 

I guess it’s true what they say—living in Honey Hollow can be murder.

Chapter 1

Four hours from now…

The Killer

The back alley is as dark as it is bitter cold. And both remind me of my heart at this moment.

The icy fall air blows the leaves that have fallen from the neighboring oaks, leaving them rattling around in the wind like the bones of a skeleton. Spooky season is upon us, and that seems appropriate because things are about to get downright terrifying for my target. 

I watch from the shadows as they approach, unsuspecting of the danger lurking nearby. It’s almost poetic the way fate has brought us together in this dimly lit place—a back alley, where so many of our dealings have taken place.

They stop in their tracks. I can tell they’re sensing a presence but unable to identify where it’s coming from. The fear emanating from them is palpable, their breaths quickening as they struggle to wrap their head around the situation.

“Hey?” They stagger my way, squinting in a feeble attempt to make me out. “What the”—they stop short once they spot the weapon in my hand. There’s no point in hiding it. There’s no point in hiding what’s about to transpire. 

“You?” they sputter in disbelief. “You’re going to do this to me, of all people?”

I step forward and revel in the power I hold over them. The moonlight glints off the gun in my hand, casting an eerie glow on their face. 

“I’d say it’s nothing personal—that it’s just a matter of circumstance, but I think we’d both know that was a lie.”

They take a step back and their eyes dart around the alley for any chance of escape. But there’s no escape from the web they’ve woven. They’re trapped—caught in the clutches of their own demise.

“What did I ever do to you?” they plead as desperation seeps into their voice. “This is a mistake.”

“Mistake?” A dark laugh ripples through me. “This is no mistake. You see, life is full of choices and you’ve made yours. Now it’s time to face the consequences.”

Their eyes widen as the weight of their actions crash down over them. They struggle to find words as their breathing grows shallow. 

This is it. 

The final meet-up of predator and prey. The final act in a wicked game that’s gone on far too long.

Please,” they beg, their voice laced with regret. “Give me a chance to make it right. I can change. I swear.”

I tilt my head, considering their plea. But mercy has no place in this dark alley or in my heart. 

“It’s too late for redemption, buddy,” I say, stepping closer with each word. “You rolled the dice and now it’s time for you to meet your maker.”

Their body seizes as they realize the inevitability of what’s to come. And in their eyes, I see a reflection of my own darkness.

Without hesitating, I fire a shot, then two to make sure I get the job done right. 

I watch as their body crumples to the ground, and just like that, my heart pounds with a shred of remorse. I hightail it out of there and back into the harsh reality as the world moves on, oblivious to the tragedy that just unfolded. 

And as I fade back into the darkness, I carry the weight of the life I extinguished. 

It’s a burden I must now bear forever.

Chapter 2



“Let me have him,” Niki demands just this side of a whine, her eyes sparkling with enough mischief to make any court jester jealous.

I prop myself against the gleaming counter, right here at the Cutie Pie Bakery and Cakery with my arms crossed, tapping my foot impatiently as my little sister does her best to get under my skin. It doesn’t take much these days. And Niki is sort of a pro at it.

“Cooper is my kind of trouble,” she goes on. “Tall, dark, and dangerously good-looking. I’m an expert at reeling in men like him. It’s a shame to let him go to waste and we both know it.”

I roll my eyes at the thought. “You’re an expert at something, all right,” I grunt. “Last time I checked, Bruno the butcher had a restraining order against you. Let’s just say you have a way of scaring off potential suitors faster than a haunted house on Halloween night.”

She shoots me a devilish grin. “What can I say? My sizzling charm can be overwhelming for some folks. But Cooper? Dear ol’ Coop won’t be able to resist my irresistible self. I’ll have him eating out of the palm of my hand like a zombie devouring fresh brains. Besides, he deserves a proper sendoff and we both know it.”

Geez.” I swat a dishtowel her way as if I were swatting a bug. “Would you keep it down?”

Speaking of Halloween, it’s the middle of October and all things spooky have taken over our small town of Honey Hollow. The bakery has enough witches, ghosts, and goblins scattered around that it practically qualifies as a haunted house itself. But it’s the scent of freshly baked cinnamon rolls that assures our customers they’re in the right place. 

The bakery might be decorated to the hilt for this spooky, kooky month and all of its haunted charm, but I’m not feeling all that charming these days.

My name is Eufrasia Margarita Canelli, but people just call me Effie. I’m five feet five inches of fun, have dark medium-length hair, dark eyes, and a knack for landing myself in the deadliest and some might say darkest situations. Like with Cooper.

“You are under no circumstances to give Cooper Knox a proper anything,” I hiss over at my look-alike. Niki and I have three other siblings as well, and each one of us Canelli kids is a mirror of the other—chocolate dark hair, coffee brown eyes. 

What can I say? We’re delicious. Not to mention the fact my parents were one-hit wonders when it came to the genetics department.

Niki leans in as customers swarm around her. “You mean Cupertino Knox Lazzari, aka your next hit.” There’s a tiny gleam in her eyes as she says those words and it only confirms what I’ve long suspected. My sister is a psychotic loon—another genetic trait my parents are responsible for.

But as it turns out, she speaks the truth. 

About a year ago, I was let go from the tech sector, and in an effort to keep a roof over my head, I went crawling to my Uncle Jimmy for a job. He gave me two choices—dance on stage at his strip club or take up arms and go after his enemies.

Suffice it to say, I was fitted with a Glock. 

And my next hit? Cupertino Knox Lazzari—aka Detective Cooper Knox. His crisscrossed moniker is a story for another time. 

The long and short of it? 

The Lazzaris and the Canellis have been the primary warring mob families in this part of Vermont going as far back as the Mayflower

Okay, so maybe not that long, but it sure as heck feels like it.

And by the looks of it, my Uncle Jimmy is ready to initiate another deadly round of that turf war, starting with the only man I’ve had feelings for since I fell in love with Marty Hindberger’s peach fuzz on his upper lip back in seventh grade. 

But I’m not in seventh grade anymore. I’m barreling toward thirty and I’ve got a bullet lodged in my weapon just waiting to burst out and give Cooper the kiss of death that my uncle thinks he deserves. 

Let’s get one thing straight. I’ve yet to send any one of my uncle’s foes to paradise, or the hot place either for that matter. 

My motto is I maim to please, and Uncle Jimmy hasn’t said squat so far, because as it turns out, each one of those goons he’s sent me after has owed him quite a bit of money. And after I’ve landed a bullet in a stray limb, surprise surprise, they’ve all paid my uncle back with interest.

But the hit on Cooper just so happens to be different. Not only does Cooper not owe my uncle a dime, but my uncle wants him dead as a doornail for the simple fact Cooper has become a nuisance to him. 

Honestly? I have a feeling I’m on the cusp of achieving the very same feat. 

A few of the customers burst into laughter as they wait for their sweet treats while my coworkers, Suze and Lily, work busily to meet their needs. 

I sigh past my sister as I take in the bakery in all its Halloween-inspired glory. The walls are painted a buttery yellow, the scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies makes my stomach growl, and there are enough spiderwebs, skeletons, and pumpkins to make any cemetery jealous. 

Spooky decorations dangle from the ceiling, casting eerie shadows on the walls while eyeball-shaped desserts beckon from the display case, daring customers to take a bite. And that they do. We can’t seem to keep any of the scary, hairy desserts in stock.

Lily Swanson, a dark-haired cutie, bounces this way, reeking of attitude. She’s worked here far longer than I have but has welcomed me with open arms—albeit those arms of hers are more like claws. She’s been known to be a bit catty. And honestly, it’s what I like best about her. 

“Well, well, well,” she coos. “What’s got the two of you all hot and bothered?” She smirks as if she’s about to win the gossip lottery.

I like Lily. She’s not only sassy to a fault, but she happens to share my penchant for glazed crullers. Lucky for us, the owner of this place, Lottie Lemon, lets us eat our weight in just about any dessert we like. 

My part-time job here at the bakery is more or less a ruse, but one that I’m afraid Cooper is on the brink of blowing up—thus the real reason I’ve been instructed to blow him up. 

In other words, my uncle thinks the handsome detective is starting to smell the mobster blood in the water—thus the next drop of blood is required from the handsome detective himself—via my bullets and me. 

How did I get tangled up in this mess again?

Oh, that’s right, greed. That is, if you can call a desire to pay your rent greedy.

“I’m trying to steal her man,” Niki offers Lily a greedy grin to go along with the explanation.

“Cooper is not my man,” I’m quick to offer up without so much as a thought.

I shoot Niki a dirty look for making me say those words. So much for keeping things close to the vest. But I suppose as long as we don’t talk bullets I can evade an arrest. Lily has no clue what I really do for a living and I’d like to keep it that way.

“Oh, honey”—Lily gives a throaty laugh in my sister’s direction—“only a fool would give away a man of that caliber.” She nods right at me. “I saw that kiss you shared at the fall festival. He’s not going anywhere.”

I make a face. “Yeah, well, that kiss was weeks ago and it’s yet to be repeated.”  

Suze struts over. 

Suze Fox is an older woman, a tough cookie with short blonde hair. Scratch that, mostly gray hair and a perpetual scowl. She’s Lottie’s mother-in-law or ex-mother-in-law, or some sort. Either way, Suze can’t really stand Lottie despite the fact Lottie signs her paychecks. Suze is basically a crabby old lady who everyone tolerates because she doesn’t mind working the rush hour.

“Are you two at it again?” Suze winks my way. “Fighting over a man like he’s the last piece of candy in the trick-or-treat bag? Let me tell you, men are about as fun as a haunted house. But Halloween candy? Now that’s worth the fuss.” She reaches past me and snags a fun-size candy bar from the witches’ cauldron full of treats we have set out for the customers. “Especially these chocolate patties filled with peanut butter. I just can’t get enough. And at this time of year, I allow myself to gobble down a bag a night!”

Now that’s living.

Niki scoffs at the woman. “Suze, you’d be singing a different tune if you tasted the testosterone treats I have. Trust me. There are plenty of men that are worth the tasty battle. And when you find the right one, it’s like finding a full-size candy bar in your loot bag. Pure delicious ecstasy.”

Suze bursts out with a laugh. “Oh, Niki, I’ve been around this planet twice as long as you have and I can attest to the fact none of them are worth the trouble. We’ve got Halloween right around the corner, and the only kind of candy I need comes in the form of bite-size chocolates and caramel apples. No man can compare to the sweetness of a perfectly crafted confection. Have I mentioned the peanut butter patties?”

Niki lifts a brow my way. “I bet there’s nothing bite-size about Coop.”

“Good grief,” I groan as I quickly grab a miniature candy bar for myself, and it just so happens to be a Reese’s peanut butter cup. The best of the best. 

I just may be on the fast track to becoming a crabby old lady myself. Gobbling down a bag of these beauties a night doesn’t sound like such a bad deal. 

“I think you’re right about Cooper.” Lily nods to Niki as she grabs a handful of candy to appease her sweet tooth. “That man is a full-size hunk of handsome. I’m just glad I’m not single anymore. I’ve got a man who sets my heart racing like a runaway train. Just wait until you find the perfect man, Niki. You won’t have to lust so hard after Effie’s main squeeze.” 

Suze shakes her head. “Oh, come now. That’s like finding the perfect costume to wear on Halloween night in a sea of polyester nightmares. We all know it’s not possible. Especially not this time of year. All of the freaks come out of the woodwork, and the next thing you know some stranger with fangs is asking to suck the blood out of your toes.”

“No one wants to hear about your foot fetish, Suze.” Lily waves her off. “Bloodsucker or not, it’s about finding that one guy who’s a treat, even amidst all the spooky tricks.”

Suze huffs her way, “Tricks, treats, who needs ’em? I’d rather have a plate of salted caramel apple pie and a good cozy mystery to read. Men may come and go, but pie, now that’s forever.”

Hear, hear,” I sing. Because is there anything more truthful than pie?

“And let’s not forget, girls,” Suze croons. “We’ve got a bakery to run. There’s magic in these sweet treats, and they are far tastier than any man. We have the power to whip up confections that make people swoon. Who needs a man when we can work our magic with cupcakes and cookies? We’re like modern-day sorceresses of baked goods.”

That might confirm Lottie’s theory about Suze being a powerful witch.

“Forget about the baked goods,” Niki snips. “Let’s talk bodies—as in dead bodies. Who do you think will stumble upon the first stiff of the season? Lottie or Effie?”

A hard groan comes from me.

It’s true. Both Lottie and I have stumbled upon a few corpses, but let’s call a deadly spade a spade—Lottie can dance circles around my corpse-finding skills. She’s sort of gone pro herself. 

“I’ll go first.” Niki shrugs. “My money is on Effie. She’s got a talent for finding trouble even when it’s disguised as a harmless pumpkin spice latte.” She holds up her coffee as if to prove her point. “She spilled one all over her laptop last week.”

Darn right, I did. And now I’m in the market for a new laptop—and maybe a new favorite beverage. I still haven’t forgiven it for the malfeasance. 

Suze chuckles with a demented gleam in her eyes. “Effie may have the grace of a one-legged vampire on a pogo stick, but Lottie? She’s got the luck of a black cat on Halloween night. My bet is on her to stumble upon the first body. And believe me, she’ll be on it like it’s the last piece of chocolate in a haunted candy jar.”

“I heard that,” Lottie says, strutting this way, her caramel curls bouncing over her shoulders. “All right, it’s true. I’m living my worst nightmare. I’ll admit, I have a knack for attracting chaos like a moth to a jack-o’-lantern, but let’s not forget, Effie has her own special talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” She winks my way. “I guess it’s a toss-up at this point who will trip over a corpse first.”

“Gee, thanks,” I say just as the chime on the door goes off and my own nightmare begins.

***I hope you enjoyed this preview! Thank you for reading!****