A Crabby Killer

A Crabby Killer by Leighann Dobbs

Book: A Crabby Killer by Leighann Dobbs Read Free Book Online
Authors: Leighann Dobbs
probably going to Tom Landry’s for goat cheese. It’s her favorite.” Claire could practically taste the tangy raw cheese that she also bought from Tom’s farm. She remembered she was running low. “I need to stop there, myself.”
    The Biddeford farmhouse was a big, white, three-story with a peaked roof and a wide porch that ran along three sides. A two-level red barn sat across the driveway from the house and an old German Shepherd lounged lazily in the half open doorway of the barn. He lifted his head and sniffed the air as Claire and Dom got out of the car.
    “Hey, Shep.” Claire squatted beside the dog, scratching behind his ear. Shep phantom-scratched with his back leg and looked at her adoringly with his golden-brown eyes.
    “Claire! What are you doing here?” Mae appeared on the porch wearing a white apron with small double cherries stamped all over it. The middle of the apron was stained bright red and Claire figured the stain was either raspberry or strawberry jam. Apparently, the health inspector had not shut Mae down as Blunt had hoped.
    Claire stood and scuffed the dirt with her shoe. Dom moved away so the dry dirt wouldn’t soil him. “We stopped by to talk to you about Blunt.”
    Mae’s face hardened. “What about him?”
    “Zambuco seems to think you would have motive to want him dead and we wanted to come out and see if we could help you,” Dom said.
    “We know you're innocent and we figure we have the experience to help you set Zambuco straight,” Claire added.
    Mae crossed her arms over her chest. “Why? What did Zambuco say to you?”
    “We didn’t actually talk to Zambuco, but Robby said Blunt tried to get the health inspector after you.”
    “That’s right. The dirty so-and-so. He tried to set me up. Claimed he found goat hair in my jam.” Mae’s voice rose an indignant octave. “I guess he figured if my kitchen got shut down, I’d be out of business and willing to sell the farm to him.”
    “Did he pay the health inspector off or something?” Claire asked.
    Mae shook her head. “No. He planted the hair and then I guess he probably planned to sabotage me somehow when the inspector was here, but Blunt never showed up and I passed the inspection.”
    “When was that?”
    “Morning before yesterday, when Blunt was … well, you know.”
    Dom frowned at Mae. “You knew Blunt was planning to sabotage you?”
    “Well, of course. I know there’s no hairs in my jam. How would a goat hair even get in there? And my kitchen is spotless, so I’m sure he planned to slip something in there that morning when I wasn’t looking. Somehow, he finagled an invitation to be in on the inspection.”
    Claire glanced toward Tom Landry’s farm. There would be plenty of goat hair over there, but how would it get into Mae’s kitchen? Was Blunt planning on using the goat hair against Tom, too? “Did you tell this to Zambuco?”
    “Darn tootin’ I did,” Mae said proudly.
    Claire’s stomach pinched. No wonder Zambuco thought Mae was the killer. She’d even given him a reason to suspect her. Which, to Claire, proved more than anything that Mae didn’t do it. If she was the killer, she certainly wouldn’t have indicated to the police that she would have benefitted from making sure Blunt didn’t show up for that inspection.
    “That’s why Zambuco has you high on the suspect list,” Dom said.
    Mae’s face wrinkled in confusion. “Well, I don’t see why Zambuco would suspect me because Blunt plays dirty.”
    “You told him you suspected Blunt was going to sabotage your kitchen for the inspection, right? Getting Blunt out of the way before the inspection would cause the inspection to go better for you. See why he would suspect you?”
    Mae’s mouth formed a small ‘O’. “Gee, I didn’t think of it that way.”
    “Is that why you were late to the Crab Festival meeting that morning?” Claire asked.
    Mae nodded. “Yes. The inspector was coming earlier that morning. I would’ve

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