6 Beach Blanket Barbie

6 Beach Blanket Barbie by Kathi Daley Read Free Book Online

Book: 6 Beach Blanket Barbie by Kathi Daley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kathi Daley
knew Cassie before moving to Ashton Falls.”
    “Yeah, they’re from the same hometown. They came to Ashton Falls together when she got a job in the area. But like I said, after Hannah was born, she moved back to Maine and Rob stayed here. I don’t see her as a threat to our relationship.”
    I wasn’t so sure Ellie had nothing to worry about but didn’t say as much. I thought about my mom, who’d put the world as well as twenty-four years between my dad and herself and still found her way back.

Chapter 5
Sunday, May 18
    “You think Barbie may have been murdered?” my dad asked the next morning. Zak had invited Dad, Mom, and Harper to brunch to make up for the fact that we’d had to cancel on them the previous evening. I really had wanted to help Levi, but I also felt bad about the frequency with which we seemed to have to postpone our plans with some of the most important people in my life.
    “It’s possible,” Zak con firmed as he passed the fresh fruit salad he’d made to go with the blackberry-covered French toast around the table. He’d set up our feast, which also included both sausage and bacon, on the deck overlooking the lake. This morning, like every morning in paradise, was a perfectly awesome day. “The coroner’s report confirmed that Barbie had flunitrazepam, more commonly known by its brand name, Rohypnol, or its street name, roofies, in her system. While the drug could have been ingested voluntarily, it’s not unreasonable to suspect that Barbie was slipped the drug without her consent.”
    “Levi is certain she never would have taken the drug voluntarily,” I added as I bit int o a piece of cantaloupe. “And I have to say I tend to agree with him on this one. Barbie had many faults, but she was extremely OCD about what she put into her body.”
    “So someone slipped her the drug and then pushed her off the pier ?” Mom speculated.
    “Possibly, or she was slipped the drug, became disoriented, and then fell of f the pier,” Zak offered. “The coroner didn’t note any signs of a struggle, and the official cause of death was drowning.”
    “It’s odd that she’d even be on the pier at that time of night,” Dad said. “It still gets mighty chilly once the sun goes down.”
    “Yeah , it is odd,” I agreed. “And she didn’t have on anything other than a very thin dress when I found her.”
    “Do you think it’s possible she was drugged elsewhere and then dumped into the lake?” Mom asked.
    “No. Salinger found a shoe on the pier,” I answered. “It appeared Barbie got her heel stuck in the space between the planks of the decking, so she must have been ambulatory at that point.”
    Harper, who had been sleeping in the portable crib next to us, began to fuss. I pushed away my plate and picked her up. I’d been waiting for her to wak e up ever since they’d arrived. I know most of you will think I’m biased, but Harper is the cutest baby in the entire world. I know every new parent or sister thinks that, but trust me, she really is the cutest of the cute.
    “I can take her in and change her,” Mom offered as I held Harper against my shoulder and rocked her back and forth. I nuzzled my cheek against her head as I took in the smell of her angel-soft hair.
    “I’ll do it.” I picked up the diaper bag , adjusted Harper in my arms, and headed into the house.
    Zak had converted one of his extra bedrooms into a nursery, complete with a crib, dresser, and changing table, so Harper would have her own space when we babysat, which we both very much wanted to do. I’d gone just a tiny bit crazy decorating the space in a Noah’s Ark theme that featured dozens of stuffed animals arranged on shelves around the room. The walls were painted a pale yellow with white trim, and Ellie had promised to paint a mural of the ark and animals on one of the walls.
    I could overhear the conversation on the deck below as I changed Harper’s diaper and then dressed her in one of the outfits

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