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In a small town in Northern Ontario, Dr. Frederick seeks a fresh start and looks forward to being the town's physician. It isn't long before a spunky female plumber gains his attention, but it's the suspicious deaths and strange activities at the nursing home that preoccupy his thoughts.

Her misguided youth behind her, Abigail Cameron returns to her old home town to rebuild her life as a qualified plumber. An injury prompts her to seek out the handsome local doctor and she feels an immediate attraction, however, in light of her tarnished reputation she doubts he feels the same.

The murder of her mother—a woman who seduced and extorted married men—prompts Abigail to dig into her past in search of her father’s identity. Secrets surrounding her birth are locked in the ravaged mind of her ailing grandmother, now a resident of the nursing home.

Amid rumors, lies, deceit and betrayal, Abigail and Fred hunt for answers, unleashing deadly events that threaten their lives. Can they trust their hearts, and each other, before they run out of time?


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Knowing every death upset her grandmother, whether the victim had been a mere acquaintance or a long-time friend, Abigail rushed to the nursing home after her visit to the hospital.

From what she had gathered talking to Teresa, the head nurse, Abigail had missed Dr. Pike by a few minutes, but he had looked into Nana’s meds and wanted to examine her. His course of action pleased Abigail, but learning about the death of another resident had put a damper on the good news.

Fourth death in a month. What are the odds?

Granted, the average age of the residents revolved around eighty-nine years old, above the life expectancy of a man or a woman in Canada. Still, the three previous deaths had involved able-bodied residents living in her grandmother’s wing, the kind of people who shouldn’t expire without warning.

None of the two nurses who treated her hand at the hospital had known the identity of the latest victim, so Abigail counted on Nana to provide her with details.

Nana? Who am I kidding? According to her grandmother, the first dead woman was strangled by the ghost of her husband, the second dead woman was hit by a snowmobile crossing the corridor, and the first dead man drank poisoned beer. Nana’s imagination showed no boundaries—or ties to reality.

As she parked in a visitor’s stall, Abigail glimpsed the doctor’s light blue-green SUV leaving the parking lot. She had missed him again.

Bottling up her disappointment, she walked into the nursing home. A numeric keypad was affixed to the wall of the entryway, but it hadn’t functioned in years, or so she learned from her grandmother’s neighbor, a gentleman named Burt. Anyone could enter or leave without being monitored or seen.

The lobby was deserted, Caroline’s door was closed, and the lights in the narrow corridor were dimmed. How two wheelchairs could cross each other without colliding was a mystery Abigail had no intention of solving tonight.

She didn’t encounter a soul on her way to her grandmother’s wing, but she heard wailing and moaning coming from behind a few closed doors. No wonder Nana is hallucinating ghosts.

The old nursing home gave her the creeps. The building should have been demolished then reconstructed instead of being converted and refurbished. Disheartened by the way Caroline managed the place, Abigail knocked on her grandmother’s door and waited.

When no one answered, she used her key then slowly opened the door, ready to dodge any makeshift weapons or projectiles. “Nana? It’s Abigail. Are you up?”

A light shone in the living room. Her senses on alert, she walked in. As a child, she learned to always prepare for the worst. Nana hadn’t displayed any violent tendencies until she banged up the bathroom door, so Abigail braced herself for a possible altercation.

Her grandmother sat motionless in her rocking chair in the same nightgown she wore yesterday. In one hand she held on to a frying pan and the other to a large cup.

Time to retire the frying pans.The hefty monthly cost of living in the nursing home included three meals a day. No discounts were given to the residents who chose to cook for themselves. A few weeks ago, the director had deemed the stove a fire hazard and ordered it removed from the kitchen. Now Nana used the stove’s empty space to park her bigger walker, the one with the seat and backrest that she used to go outside. Since it had replaced the stove, the walker hadn’t moved an inch. The only remaining appliance was an empty refrigerator except for the bag of cheese curds and the bottles of rum her grandmother stashed in the veggie compartments.

“Did the little girl steal more toilet paper?” When Nana didn’t respond, Abigail pried the pan and the cup from her hands. A smidge of liquid pooled at the bottom of the cup. Abigail brought the cup to her nose and sniffed it. Rum.

“I’m not crazy. I’m not old.” Her grandmother blinked at the ceiling. “And I’m not drunk.”

Startled by the sudden and forceful exclamation, Abigail managed to hold on to the cup, but the pan landed on the vinyl floor with a clunk. She picked it up and took both items into the kitchen where three knives lay on the counter.

“Nana, what were you doing with the knives?” Their serrated blades weren’t smeared with any substances, but the fact that her grandmother had taken all of them out of the drawer alarmed her. “Nana, you didn’t threaten anyone with a knife, did you?”

These knives along with the pots, the pans, and any other objects that could inflict serious injuries were coming back with her tonight.

“The drug dealer stabbed Burt.” The chair creaked as its occupant began rocking back and forth. “Not me.”

The name of her neighbor roused Abigail’s suspicions. She returned to the living room, and gripping both armrests, she stopped the rocking and knelt in front of her grandmother. “Did something happen to Burt? Is he the person who died tonight?”

“He always gave me his brownie at supper.” A lone tear snaked down the ridges of Nana’s withered face. “I want to go to bed.”

Nana... A forlorn sigh died in Abigail’s chest. “Let’s get you into a nice warm bath first, then I’ll tuck you in.”

Nana hated baths, so when she didn’t argue, it confirmed Abigail’s suspicion that something seriously wrong was at play.


AuthorJS Marlo

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