See the exclusive book cover of STAY CALM AND COLLIE ON here, for the first time ever!

Stay Calm
See the exclusive book cover of STAY CALM AND COLLIE ON here, for the first time ever!
A Pet Palace Mystery

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In the first Pet Palace Mystery, Stay Calm and Collie On, Lane Stone introduces Sue Patrick and Lady Anthea, two friends and co-owners of an upscale doggie resort. The very British and proper lover-of-fine arts Lady Anthea and the all-American Elvis fan Sue Patrick couldn’t be more different from one another, but they work well together because of their differences rather than in spite of them. And it’s a good thing they do because they suddenly find themselves having to add “murder sleuths” to their resumes when the driver of their pet limo is found killed. Now they have to get to the bottom of his murder not only to save the reputation of the Buckingham Pet Palace – but also their lives!

Now, without further ado, we are pleased to present the adorable cover of Stay Calm and Collie On!

Stay Calm and Collie On by Lane Stone, $3.99, everywhere eBooks are sold! 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Buckingham Pet Palace is known for treating dogs like royalty—until their chauffeur’s murder dethrones its good reputation!

As owner of an upscale doggy daycare and spa, animal-lover Sue Patrick pampers pooches for the most elite clients in Lewes, Delaware. Surely she can survive a weeklong visit from Lady Anthea Fitzwalter, her well-to-do business partner from England. But before Sue can serve her guest a spot of tea, she discovers more-than-a-spot of blood inside the company van—and all over the driver’s dead body . . .

Someone abandoned the van full of dogs at the Lewes ferry terminal and got away with murder, leaving Sue and Lady Anthea pawing for clues. With a fundraising gala approaching and Buckingham Pet Palace facing scandal, can two very different women work together to fetch the culprit from a list of dodgy suspects—or are they heading toward a proper disaster?

If the cover and synopsis wasn't enough to hook you, keep reading for an excerpt from the book below! Though you'll have to wait until November 11, 2017 for the book's release, you can start falling in love with the characters right now.

 

Chapter 1

“Sue! Hi!” My customer gave the Buckingham Pet Palace lobby a furtive once-over. “Is she here?”

No need to say who she was.

I propped my elbows on the reception counter and lowered my voice like I was about to reveal news to her and her alone, secrets people would kill for. “Her flight from Heathrow landed on time. She flew into Dulles. The driver called me from there and then again when they crossed the Bay Bridge.” I was happy to indulge her curiosity with minute details; after all, I had worked long and hard to get everyone in Lewes, Delaware talking about Lady Anthea Fitzwalter. The whole town seemed to be looking forward to the first visit of our very own royal personage.

“Good afternoon, Lydia.” My head groomer, Mason, joined us, leading a geriatric beagle. He handed our customer the leash, then pivoted to giveme a tired, put-upon nod.

“Thanks for fitting us in. I wanted Loopy to look his best for Friday’s gala.”

Mason turned back to her and managed a weak smile. I telepathically dared him to point out that the beagle looked pretty much the same after a groom as before, the exception being the Union Jack bandana Loopy now wore. Though only in his mid-twenties, Mason was one of the best dog groomers in Delaware. This particular dog had hardly been a challenge, still I complimented him on a job well done. But received no acknowledgment.

“You look tired,” she cooed. Bingo! That’s what Mason was longing to hear.

“Exhausted. You have no idea.” Mason reached a toned and heavily tattooed arm down to give Loopy one final behind-the-ear scratch, then dragged himself away, calling over his shoulder, “I did teeth and glands.”

She turned back to me. “Sue, is he okay?”

“He’s loving every minute of it.” Mason’s hangdog expression hadn’t fooled me at all. He tells me weekly that he’s an artist. On Saturday he told me he was suffering for his art. I slid Lydia’s credit card slip across the counter and showed her where to sign. “Both of my groomers are booked solid getting all the dogs ready for the gala.” Abby, my standard Schnauzer, still needed to be groomed. It was only Monday, so I wasn’t worried. I discreetely tucked the receipt into a cellophane bag along with a gluten-free dog treat in the shape of a blow-dryer.

She patted her shoulder bag. “I have my invitation right here. Engraved, even. Oh, my. Very nice.” She paused in her quick sentences. “Might wesee Lady Fitzwalter during the week here?”

“Oh, yes. She’ll be in and out all week. Drop by anytime for tea.” I pointed to the table of Twinings tea and Wedgwood mugs, which we have out every day. Our usual fare of Walkers shortbread had been replaced by the more labor-intensive clotted cream and scones. Of course, the Savannah Road Bake Shop had done the heavy lifting in baking the pastries. I’d purchased the clotted cream from a British specialty grocer in Wilmington. Though Walkers sported the coat of arms and the words, By Appointment HM the Queen, showing their Royal Warrant status, I wanted something special for my co-owner’s visit.

Our contract allowed Buckingham Pet Palace to use her likeness and her name, but Lady Anthea had gone above and beyond that with her frequent emails, sometimes asking astute business questions, sometimes attaching photos for me to use. I appreciated all she’d done to make the Pet Palace a success and I wanted her to know it.

The front door opened and my afternoon receptionist floated in. Dana would be starting her senior year at Cape Henlopen High School next month. She has the biggest afro in the history of the world. My blond hair is cut short, so balance was maintained in the hair universe.

“Hi, Dana,” Lydia and I said at the same time.

“Hey!” She and her hair leaned over to pet Loopy. She’s truly beautiful—not pretty, not attractive—but beautiful. She takes advantage of our relative proximity to Manhattan to model part-time. I wondered how many hours she would be able to work at Buckingham’s in the fall and how much time she’d spend in New York, beefing up her college fund.

Loopy lay down and rolled over on his back. A blatant appeal for a belly rub from Dana. Lydia shook her head. “None of that, young man. They have a party to put on,” she said, giving the leash a slight tug. The dog reluctantly accepted defeat and stood. “See you Friday,” she called on their way out.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lane Stone is the author of the Pet Palace Mystery series and the Tiara Investigations Mysteries.  A native of Atlanta, she, her husband, and their schnauzer, Abby, now divide their time between Sugar Hill, GA and Alexandria, VA. When not writing, she volunteers for A Forever Home, a dog foster organization, and handles communications for the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation.

Please visit Lane Stone online at www.LaneStoneBooks.com

Lane and her dog, Abby, can be found on Twitter @TheMenopauseDog and Facebook

 

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