Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!


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Who Stole Cinderella’s Slipper?

Today is the fifth day of the release fun for the Ever After Mystery series. You can find the beginning of this mystery HERE on Cathe Swanson’s blog! I’m so excited as mine is the second book to be release, A Giant Murder. All the stories have their roots in a fairy tale. Can you guess mine?

The first release, The Last Gasp is available now HERE. Squee! The Last Gasp is based on Cinderella, so to celebrate that book release, all of the Ever After authors are doing a short blog hop – complete with a mini-mystery and prizes.

Someone has stolen Cinderella’s glass slipper.

Why Rebekah Jones thought it was me, I’ll never know. (Read her post about it HERE!) But I was sure shocked when an officer showed up at my door.

“You are Marji Laine?”

“Yes.” I peeked across the street where Mrs. Myers was pretending to water her plants with an empty pitcher. Ugh. Gossip central. I stepped outside and waved in her direction as if I hadn’t a care in the world.

The officer barely paused. “And you picked up and have in your possession a glass slipper belonging to Cinderella?”

Mrs. Myers shot me a suspicious look and went back inside her house. At least, if I did hear gossip, I would know where it came from. “Yes and no.”

“You did not pick up the slipper?” The short man lifted an eyebrow and pierced me with a suspicious gaze.

“I picked it up all right. I hate spiders.”

“Excuse me?” Obviously, I had lost him, but I had no idea how. Seemed perfectly clear to me.

“I was wearing sandals when I visted that mine. I didn’t want to take the chance that the creepy bug would skitter onto my toes.” And that little thing was speedy, too. “The glass slipper was just there on one of the displays at the little souvenir store. I picked it up and smushed that bug, quick as a wink.”

He looked at me like he was waiting for more.

I glanced back toward the Myers’s house just in time to see the blinds on one of her windows drop back into place.

“And.”

I let my head roll back and looked up at the ceiling of the porch. “I didn’t mean to take it. I didn’t even know it was in my bag. It had slipped down to the depths of my mammoth purse and I didn’t even uncover it until I got off the plane at DFW airport.”

“Then?”

“Well, I couldn’t take it all the way back. And I didn’t want to keep it. I might be willing to murder a wandering bug, but I’m no thief.” Of all the nerve. “Besides, if the thing got busted, I’d have felt horrible!”

“So?”

If I didn’t get this man out of here, my whole neighborhood would be spinning stories in no time. “I took it into the airport restaurant and left it next to a pile of menues. That’s all I know about it.”

The eyebrow rose again as he jotted something into his notepad. “Can anyone corroborate your story?”

I lifted my chin and raised an eyebrow at him for a change. “As a matter of fact, April Hayman can. She was seated next to the hostess stand where I put the slipper. I left it there, found my baggage, and zipped back home.” So there.

As you can see… I am not the guilty party.

Thankfully, the officer left and Mrs. Myers was robbed of her juicy, spreadable tidbit.

But apparently, some princess’s prom shoe is still missing. Maybe April knows something about it? You can find out what she has to say on her blog HERE, tomorrow!

Follow the clues each day to discover the culprit. And click THIS LINK to enter to win an Amazon gift card!


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The Most Wonderful Time?

Can I just say, I’m sick of COVID? Can I get an amen?

I don’t know how Thanksgiving looked at your house, but mine looked extremely different from the way it usually does. My brother has tested positive for COVID, so there was no yearly trek out to East Texas. My mom needed to stay safe in her assisted living facility, so there was no interaction with our matriarch. With the disease on the rise, we decided against a large family party and missed seeing our newest cousin. And three members of my family are sick (including my precious daughter Sparkle), quarantining, and had to spend the holiday all alone. 

But God is good. In fact, the sickest member of my family (well, I’m claiming him) said that very thing to me the other night between coughs as I spoke to him on my daughter’s speakerphone. Instead of a large gathering, Sweet Hubby, Spunky, and I visited my son who begged to host. His downstairs is large and open, giving us all plenty of room to eat without facing one another and spread out to watch the football games. Precious redhead and her hubs drove in from Atlanta and stayed with my son, as well. The seven of us kept our masks on and the windows open, but still laughed, joked, talked. And we were grateful for the time we had together. Grateful for the Zoom call a few days later that collected ALL of our family, even those who at that point were recuperating. God is indeed good! 

Our typical crew for Sunday nights. Many of us usually chat on Saturday nights, too.

Adjusting my plans for Thanksgiving made me shed a few tears, especially missing Sparkle, but it was only a day. And we’ve already declared a secondary Thanksgiving Day in February. Maybe by then, my mom will get to join us! My brother has since tested negative and his minor symptoms have disappeared – YEA! Sparkle only had seasonal allergies, but rested well during the weekend to fight off anything that might attack. And I got to do a plexiglass meeting with my mom. She’s having such a great time in her new place – so many events and people that she interacts with all the time – there wasn’t even a reason to bring up the Thanksgiving plans that had to change.  

And God is good! Because even if in February we still can’t get together, God is good for planting His seed of love and hope in the hearts of all my family members! We’ll spend eternity having one Thanksgiving party after another. How cool is that?!

In the bleakest hours, His star shines in the east. His light comes into the world. Hope rises and abounds at the name of Jesus! Yes, this is the most wonderful time!

May your December be blessed! May your family stay safe! May your spirits stay up! May your glasses stay rosy! ~Philippians 4:8


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It Takes a Leaf

Rosie probably thought I was bonkers!

I was walking my dog, Rosie, the other day.
Okay, okay, let me be completely honest about this.

My dog, Rosie, took me on a drag the other day.
Yes, that’s more like it.

Truth be told, I was a little down. I loved the crisp morning air, but I couldn’t get my mind off of all my hats.

These were some big, ‘ole, HAIRY hats, too. Hats like moving my precious mom out of the senior living center and away from the people who know her so well. Hats like working with people who aren’t always easy to work with. Even Christians sometimes can have a focus of “all about me” trying to grab as big a piece of pie as they can. Hats like loved ones being sick and others being exposed to COVID, the bleakness of remaining at home through the holidays, the disappointment of canceling our Thanksgiving celebration.

I could go on. These hats were HEA-VEEEE! So much so that as my dog dragged me down the street – she has no problem with hats! Romp is her favorite pace – I couldn’t even look up at the beautiful blue of the sky or see the brilliant red of one of the trees I passed.

But I did see a bright yellow leaf on the sidewalk. In fact, as a bit of a wind had come through during the night and emptied a tree in one of my neighbor’s yards, I saw a bunch of bright yellow leaves. Some brown ones too, and they rattled when I kicked at them.

And yes, I kicked them. I even made Rosie stop running and come back and forth through the leaves that covered the sidewalk, just so I could hear the leave scrape across the concrete as she walked through them. I kicked them and enjoyed the rattlely-clatter and then watched the light breeze make them drift down again.

Rosie thought I was bonkers. Maybe I was a little, but it lifted my spirits, lifted my chin, and lightened the load of all those hats.