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Jacqueline Vick Books

Bad Behavior EBOOK (Book 2 in the Harlow Brothers Mysteries)

Bad Behavior EBOOK (Book 2 in the Harlow Brothers Mysteries)

The Second Book in the Harlow Brothers mystery series

Regular price $8.99 USD
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Be careful what you wish for.

It drives Nicholas Harlow nuts that his employer and brother, Edward Harlow, refuses to promote his Aunt Civility etiquette books to the public, instead opting to give lectures to like-minded societies. When Nicholas tricks his brother into a speaking event at a popular bookstore, the attendees include Edward’s former college English professor – a smarmy Lothario with his own book to hawk. Then the professor dies in a spectacularly public manner, and his last act is to point an accusatory finger at his former student.

When Edward is brought in for questioning in front of the local paper’s star reporter, Nicholas adds damage control to a growing list of responsibilities that includes pegging the appropriate party for murder. But when he develops feelings for one of the suspects that no respectable sleuth should have, the investigation jumps off the rails. Unfortunately, the killer remains on course, and it’s only a matter of time before the brothers must make hard decisions in order to deliver justice. 

Join the Harlow Brothers for another romp through murderous suspects, romantic possibilities, and the ever-present sibling rivalry.

 

“Vick can inject humor into a death scene while simultaneously providing an important clue.” 

  

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Just then, a couple at the back corner of the room left. Once the busboy wiped the table down, the hostess, a blond Amazon, invited us to make ourselves comfortable in the bright yellow booth. Edward asked if we could wait to be seated in Hattie Channing’s section. As luck would have it, this was it.

As we checked out the menu, I could feel the eyes of our fellow diners upon us. When I stared back, I noted the expressions were open and friendly, just interested in the newcomers. If they had identified Edward as the featured speaker at the Babbitt and Brown debacle, I’m sure there would have been a few frowns, or at least an amused smirk.

“How are you gentlemen doing? Are you ready to order?”

In my defense, the clear alto addressing us sounded nothing like the breathy squeak I heard the night of Edward’s talk, so when I looked up to respond, my mouth dropped open and I missed a breath.

Miss Hattie Channing had lost the neck ruffles, the horned-rimmed glasses, and the yogurt-pink suit. She filled out her knee-length, sky-blue uniform in a way that let a man know she would be soft to snuggle with, and she wore her long, chestnut-brown hair pulled back into a high ponytail. From this angle, I could see her eyes were hazel, more browns and golds than greens. In a unique twist, her irises were encircled by a black ring. I’d only known one other woman with eyes like that, and I still dreamed about her.

“Hi.” To my ears, my voice sounded like it belonged to a hormonal teenager, so I cleared my throat and tried it again. After seeing this new version of Hattie Channing, I was more than willing to allow Mrs. Robbins to arrange that luncheon.

She glanced from me to my brother, and her eyes opened wide as she made the connection. Her freckled skin paled and she swayed, but before she went into a full swoon, Edward put in his order.

“I’ll have the BLT, but instead of fries, I’ll have a side salad with the light vinaigrette dressing, please.” He flipped the menu over. “And a mango iced tea to drink.”

Now that he had prepared the way to a satisfied stomach, Edward gave his attention to our waitress.

“Ah. Miss Channing. It’s a pleasure to see you again. I hate to bring up a distressing topic—”

I interrupted him before he could further traumatize her with talk about the murder. And I deny my primary influence was Hattie Channing’s improved looks. Asking questions of a person who looks ready to run screaming from the room is not productive.

“I’m ready to order.”

It wouldn’t hurt to clarify that I was all man, so I made sure my order didn’t include leafy vegetables or tropical fruit.

“The patty-melt for me, with fries and a cup of coffee, black.” I handed her the menu with a smile and a thank you. Her lips trembled on the returning smile. She snatched up our menus and left us in a hurry.

“You interrupted me.”

I met Edward’s gaze head-on and lied. “I’m hungry, too.”

“You wanted to stop me from asking her about the murder. And for the record, you take cream in your coffee.”

“Okay, smart guy. Maybe I headed you off.”

“Why?”

“Because I saw the look on her face when she recognized us from the other night.” Since there is nothing that can make Edward balk like a public scene, I added, “Because I didn’t want her to pass out right here in the middle of the restaurant.

“I see.” Edward picked up his fork and rubbed it with his napkin. “As long as you are aware we can’t avoid asking her about the subject forever.”

“Agreed.”

He set his fork back down in its proper position. “Maybe she was feeling ill because she murdered the man and thought we might be onto her. Did you think of that?”
I hadn’t thought of that, and I said so. “She doesn’t strike me as the murdering type.”

“Nicholas, Nicholas, Nicholas.” He heaved a loud sigh.

“Your track record with the opposite sex is questionable. Margarita? Murdered. Bethany? Murdered. Amanda?” He tilted his head. “Murderer.”

Those were women I had met at Inglenook Manor. One I had liked. The others didn’t count, as I only got close to them because they had information about the murder, especially one. Still, he had a point.

“If you think I’m being too protective of Miss Channing, then by all means question her when she brings our order. Don’t blame me if she lands face-down in your side salad with a light vinaigrette.”

He never got the chance to speak with her again. The waitress who returned with our lunch was a stranger. She informed us Hattie Channing had to leave abruptly, which did not bode well for me and my instincts about women.

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Reading Order

The Frankie Chandler reading order:

Barking Mad at Murder (1)

A Bird's Eye View of Murder (2)

An Almost Purrfect Murder (3)

What the Cluck? It's Murder (4)

A Scaly Tail of Murder (5)

A Scape Goat for Murder (6)

The Harlow Brothers Reading Order:

Civility Rules (1)

Bad Behavior (2)

Deadly Decorum (3)

Customer Reviews

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L
Linda

Easy read.