Where Did the Slipper Go?

Today is the third day of release fun for the first book in the Ever After Mysteries, The Last Gasp. I’m quite excited about this book and I’m so excited that we are beginning to release the series! (My book is book five, so it will be awhile, but in the mean time, you can go get four other books!) To celebrate the release, all the Ever After authors are doing a blog hop that includes a mini-mystery and prizes. For my part, I’m trying to prove that I do not have Cinderella’s slipper in my possession…

Just Where Did the Slipper Go?

“Where is Cinderella’s glass slipper, Miss Jones? We have two men, who say they saw you with it in your hand at the Lost Dutchman’s Museum.”

When the deputy sheriff found me in my favorite coffee shop, wrapped in one of my favorite coats, writing my new book to the sounds of chit-chat, coffee making, and Louie Armstrong, I couldn’t rightly answer his question.

I really had not expected a hot June day to cause me trouble for so long. My friend Christianna and I had planned to explore the area around the Superstition Mountains, starting with the Lost Dutchman Museum. June in Arizona, you must know, is really rather scorching, but with some determination and a good breeze, we set out for adventure.

I didn’t plan to become a thief that day – I really didn’t! Christianna and I had wandered the museum a bit before we came across the wildlife exhibit. A lovely exhibit really, full of a variety of native wild animals, stuffed and polished to look quite alive. Except, they didn’t move. Perched atop a giant rock on the wall, lounged a beautiful and very lifelike Mountain Lion. Her eyes seemed to pierced right through you. And by her enormous and frozen paw, lay the most beautiful slipper I had ever seen in my life. Even in the lights of the museum, it glistened and sparkled like a polished diamond. I had no idea that it had belonged to Cinderella though – how could I?

Christianna and I felt certain the slipper did not belong in the exhibit, possibly not in the museum itself, but what were we to do? We decided to leave it be.

Until the last minute, when Christianna started to walk away, and I decided to snatch it up. It seemed dangerous to leave it there; anyone could walk away with it. I dropped the slipper in my purse; Cinderella must have had truly diminutive feet, because that slipper fit in my rather small vintage purse and still snapped closed. Christianna somehow didn’t notice, which is very unlike her, but that place was distracting.

I had planned to ask the ladies who ran the museum about the slipper before we left. Truly, I did! But I got so caught up in my research that I completely forgot and walked right out with it. That’s the truth! I only remembered the slipper in Goldfield hours later, when I opened my purse to pay for tickets to the exhibits.

Now, I should have turned around then and there to return the slipper to the museum – if it even belonged there, which I doubt. I didn’t want to miss out on exploring Goldfield though, so I decided to do it later. It was a fatal and foolish mistake.

The slipper survived the train ride and various wanderings around town. I know, because I peeked at it a few times, for fear it might have fallen from the purse or been stolen without my notice, despite the fact I hadn’t let go of my purse even once. I had just about had enough with carrying around such a valuable object, when we descended into the mine for our next tour. The tour guide, in an effort to allow us a glimpse of how dark the mine would have been in the 1800’s, shut off all the lights – then blew out her candle. Someone jostled me, causing me to nearly lose my balance, and my purse flung from my wrist. I heard a thud.

When the light returned, I looked around the dirt floor for my purse, but I didn’t see it anywhere. Christianna noticed my search and joined me, as we fell behind the group. She found it, lying atop a wooden structure – I don’t think it could have been a table, but maybe – that had been behind us in the shadow.  The purse lay open as it had apparently fallen, my wallet peeking out and my handkerchief my sister had made me resting on the wooden surface. The slipper, however, had vanished. I searched in vain; there was no sign of it!

I told all of this to the deputy sheriff, while he watched me with very serious eyes. Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything else, but he made me nervous, so I told him that I had seen Marji Laine in the mine. I didn’t speak to her, except in passing, as I don’t really know her; just her picture. I didn’t really mean to imply that she stole the slipper, but I think he took it that way. Particularly when I told him that she had been standing next to me before the lights went out.

I suppose my say-so won’t get her arrested. They might question her though. Who knows? Maybe she has the slipper! I don’t know. I only know that I don’t have it anymore.

You can go judge for yourself whether Marji has that slipper or not… If nothing else, she might give you another clue. Don’t forget to enter to get the reward (some people call it a giveaway, but we know better,) for helping the authorities catch the culprit!

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