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Excerpt: The Mermaid Murder

A mermaid in the water.

An Exclusive Excerpt from THE MERMAID MURDER Copyright 2024 by MS Lewis All rights reserved
No copying or pasting any part of this is permitted
without the written consent of the author.

The Mermaid Murder

If the bullshit I wrote about was true— and I’d pretty much decided it was— then I wouldn’t be drowning. My eyes were squeezed tight, but I forced myself to open them, to try to see my underwater world. Something was waving in the darkness— sea grasses, I realized, and there were oversized flowers so big they looked fake. They were fake! The sides of my world were smooth and made of glass, but it was even darker beyond them, and I could see my reflection.


I was not me; I had long, curly hair, darker than my own chestnut brown, and sparkles on my cheeks. I wore a clam-shell bra, and

I had a long, gorgeous tail, covered in scales of iridescent blue— lighter at the top and darker at the tail. I tried to move it, and the tail swept through the water, startling me so much I almost gasped.


I wanted to gasp, I realized. I had to gasp. I needed air. I had to breathe!


I flexed everything from my abs to my toes, and my powerful tail propelled me upward through the water. I expected to burst through the surface and drag in a big breath of air. Instead, my head smashed into something solid and pain shot down my spine. The dancing sea grasses made stripes of light and shadow as I sank through them to the bottom.


Then I lay there on my back and opened my eyes for what I feared would be the last last time. But I was in my own warm bed, beside my sexy cop. He was tipped up on his side, looking at me. My little bulldog lay across my feet, snoring like a chainsaw.


“What?” I asked.


“You were twisting, sort of. Seemed agitated. I was debating whether to wake you, but Myrtle flopped across your legs and you got peaceful.”


I sat up, shaking off the weirdest dream I’d ever had. Then I wiggled my toes to make sure they were still there, because looking under the covers would’ve been too obvious. I was not about to admit to my guy that I’d dreamed I was a mermaid. That would blow my hard-ass image right out of the water, pun intended.


“You should probably not wake me from a dream unless it looks dire,” I told him. “In case it’s, you know, one of those dreams.” Because if it was one of those dreams, I needed to experience every detail I could get. Those dreams came for a reason. They were, it turned out, work assignments. You know, for my side gig “consulting” with the cops.


“It looked pretty dire for a second there.”


I glanced down at his sexy chest and asked myself why I was in such a hurry to get out of bed.


It’s not too late, Inner Bitch suggested. Get horizontal!


“You want to tell me about the dream?” Mason asked. “Another nightmare about the wedding?”


“No, hon, nothing like that.”


There was only just the one, Inner Bitch reminded me.


Yeah, one in which I kissed my new husband on the shore of the reservoir where we lived, then turned smiling to find our family all gazing, horrified, past us. My sister screamed and pointed, so I turned to look. There were Misty and Christy, my beautiful twin nieces, lying dead in the shallows, their faces in the shell-shards and sand, their hair moving with the waves.


To a person whose dreams sometimes came true, that one was traumatic.


They don’t come true. The ones that do, aren’t dreams at all. More like you do a ride-along inside some killer’s mind, Inner Bitch said. Or a mermaid’s. The one about the twins was just a stress dream. Marry the man, already.


While my wedding nightmare was unlike those other kinds of dreams, it might still portend doom. Maybe all the death was symbolic, rather than literal. But what could a pair of dead nieces symbolize, besides disaster?


I hadn’t told Mason any of the details of the dead twins dream. He knew I’d had a nightmare about the wedding but thought I couldn’t remember details. I'd had to tell him that much. He’d known something was wrong.


“Rache?” Mason prompted.


I pulled my feet out from under Myrtle and she growled in her sleep. “It was a what-the-hell-did-I-eat-before-bed kind of dream,” I said. Then I frowned, trying to recall. “What did I eat last night?”


"The surf-n-turf at Aiello’s.”


“Well, that explains it, then. Too rich and too delicious. There had to be a downside. I’m good. I’m good.”


He lifted his brows, but he hadn’t sat up yet. Inner Bitch was right, I needed to get back in. I slid myself lower and my phone rang. I glanced at it, and then turned it to show Mason.


He made a pouty lip and flung back the covers. Then he walked naked to the bathroom while I admired the dimples in his perfect ass.

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