Brigadoon Moon sends Mex to the Western Isles of Scotland, near the Callanish Stone Circle, where her old friend Waverly King is conducting a production of Brigadoon. Mex tangles with the local aristocrat who harbors a secret identity and who is obscuring a triple murder by using the centuries-old battle between the witches and the Druids as a diversion. Mex receives her own Druid initiation in the process. On the home front, frustrated by her sweetheart’s lack of attention, she ends her relationship with Veronica. She then proceeds to fall in love with Waverley, who is married — and whose husband approves of the new arrangement.
The Mex Mysteries Book Two
Feelings are not facts.
Fact: I am sitting in the first-class compartment of a British Airways flight on my way to northern Scotland.
Fact: I am going there because my dear friend, Waverley King, invited me.
Fact: My lover, Veronica, had just thrown me out of my own house.
Oh, and the Pink House.
Let me backtrack for a minute, as I luxuriate in the airline’s decadent pillows. I always dress fancy when I fly and I always fly first class; it’s one of my indulgences. It’s not about leg room—five feet three inches doesn’t make that demand—it’s about service. And Mexicali Rose Stone loves service.
Dang, I’ve just told you my whole name, but no one, and I mean no one, but my Mama, is allowed to use the whole thing. I go by Mex, for the most part. My familiars get away with Mexy, sometimes. Mexicali Rose was my Mama’s signature song when she sang cabaret all over the universe. On the bucolic mid-October afternoon of my nativity, she decided that I ought to be named Mexicali Rose. No comment. Except, between us, it’s Mex. Just Mex. Plain Mex.
And, whilst we’re at it, I’m an intuitive investigator.
I work hard at what I do. Too hard sometimes. A former and recovered alcoholic, I replaced my alcoholic benders with work benders. Maybe I should say, as I love my work, that I replaced my drinking benders with playing benders, which makes me a playaholic. As addictions go, it’s healthier, and usually more productive. So when I go on holiday, I go on holiday. Not on vacation. I do not lead a life which requires that I vacate it, and I like to do my holidays in style. I am, after all, a femme. Veronica calls me the Ur-Femme. Ur being translated loosely from the German for Original, with a Capital O. I like to be waited upon. (See above.)
So, about the Pink House. I had just finished a particularly grueling investigation. Veronica had some holiday time coming to her from Oklahoma! She’s the Production Stage Manager. We decided to take my car north to leaf-peep and go antiquing. To stay in bed-and-breakfasts and to take some well-deserved time off. I was wound so tightly, I spent the first three days throwing up. Charming.
On the fourth day, a realty sign in a Main Street window in one of those bucolic upstate New York towns whose name I have forgotten grabbed me. Hevia Realty. I pointed it out to Veronica, and with the legacy of my mama’s transplanted Brooklyn accent, said, “He-ah Ve Ahr.” Instead of throwing up, I laughed. Our holiday got off, albeit belatedly, onto better footing.
We parked my cherry red Miata, Esmeralda, in front, went in, and met none other than the owner and realtor, Gilbert Yesnowitz. I said to Veronica on the sly, “He only makes half his deals.” A man with a comb-over to beat all comb-overs. Then some deep, childhood dream of mine surfaced.
“Call me Gil.” He was expansive in his familiarity.
“Gil, we want a Queen Anne Victorian house on a lot of property.”
“I have just the thing.”
I thought Veronica’s eyeballs were going to fall out of her face, contact lenses and all. She knew better than to contradict me.
“You do?” Hope made my voice rise higher than its usual modulation.
“It came on the market this week. Just one thing you need to know.”
“It’s . . . .” He blushed.
“Yes?” I prompted.
Determined, like passing on difficult news, but someone had to break it, Gil soldiered on, “It’s . . . pink.” True confessions.
“Goody!” escaped my lips.
From behind me, Veronica added an extra-dry martini monosyllable, “Pink.”
That moment might have been the beginning of the end.
Just for the record, Mex, The Pink House doesn’t even come close to explaining why you’re on this flight.
That’s the voice that guides my life. Spirit is what I call her, although she goes by many, many other names depending upon who calls.
Rarely does the catalyst function as genuine cause, but since, Beloved, you so often insist upon a defining catalyst, we use them.
Which may be true, but it turns out the Pink House needed a lot of renovation and I did not have one more spot of patience for any of it. Veronica was acting as the (Five-Star) General Contractor for the renovation in between shows, and she was driving me nuts. I was driving Veronica nuts.
“Easy does it.” If Veronica said it once, she said it a hundred million times. I just couldn’t do it. No matter what I did. Oh, I used my tricks. I meditated, I walked, I fingered my rosary, I lit candles, I sang, I asked my granny for help, I prayed, I danced. I soaked in soothing baths, and used aromatherapy, and I finally got that what I was attempting was impossible. At least, for me; at least, right then. And that’s when Veronica kicked me out.
Now, I’m laughing. Then, I was so outraged that I sputtered. In between, I played the If Only game. Do you know it? Here are some of my best moves.
If only we had just stayed in the City . . .
If only I had ignored that Realtor’s sign . . .
If only I had listened to Veronica . . .
If only I had taken a holiday . . .
If only . . . if only . . . if only . . . basta!
You get the game. So after enough if onlys, I laughed, and once I started, I couldn’t stop, and then Veronica couldn’t stop either till we had cried out the tension of the past few months with tears of hilarity. Still, she threw me out. So here I was on a plane soaring over The Pond, about to take my second holiday in less than a year.
One of the things that happens when I’m on holiday is that I get to think, which I truly enjoy. Really think, which is code for really listen. The thing is, what I have to think about on this trip is not enjoyable. There’s trouble in Paradise. I don’t really want to notice it, much less really think about it, much less really listen about it.
Go to sleep, Mexy.
I followed Spirit’s thoughtful advice.
Words by ALAN JAY LERNER Music by FREDERICK LOEWE
© 1947 (Renewed) by ALAN JAY LERNER and FREDERICK LOEWE
All Rights for the World Outside of the U.S. Controlled by EMI U CATALOG INC. (Publishing)
and ALFRED PUBLISHING CO., INC. (Print)
All Rights Reserved
Used by Permission of ALFRED MUSIC PUBLISHING CO., INC
The lapel pin that Mex wears in Brigadoon Moon is a variation on a Celtic eternal knot, and is, actually a plot point in the story—so I daren’t tell you more than that!
Brigadoon Moon is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental—if you believe in that sort of thing.
© 2017 Susan Corso
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission of the publisher. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyright materials in violation of the author’s rights unless you know how to swashbuckle.