One October morning in 1932, Vicente Sorolla entered the white house on the hill and was never seen again.
Now, Detective Dori Orihuela witnesses his brutal murder in her nightmares.
Drawn to this tough but tender woman, Vicente materializes out of the butler’s pantry and asks her to find his lost love, Anna. Dori wonders if she’s not only about to lose her badge, but also her sanity.
Dori has always been drawn to the mysterious Queen Anne Edwardian house in her hometown. But after a devastating injury that puts her career on the line, Dori isn’t sure if she made the right decision purchasing this rundown old mansion.
Her wisecracking Grammy Cena has waited too long for her independent granddaughter to return home. She hires a a kooky psychic to banish the ghost and a handsome contractor with whom Dori has an unhappy past.
With a promise to Vicente, Dori may solve a forgotten Prohibition era murder. Or she may exhume secrets someone died to protect.
With the rain pattering on the roof of her car, she pulled up the semi-circular drive of the house the county of San Diego declared was legally and financially hers. Her Rav-4 looked ridiculous in front of the three-story, 19th century mansion that stood tall and proud even though one earthquake could send it into a smoking ruin.
The police tape Dori had draped across the sagging front porch fluttered in the wind. But she would fix it. Together, piece by piece, both she and the house would be put to rights. Staring at it through her fogged up window, she remembered the very first moment she saw saw this house and thought, this will be mine.
The memory was so clear that for a moment she was nine years old again, sitting in the backseat of her dad’s Scout, imagining what went on through the murky, mysterious windows. There were three other 19th Century mansions in this neighborhood that had been beautifully restored. But this one was special. She’d came back to it through the years, even when she visited from Denver. Now it was hers.
Sighing, Dori reached across the seat for her CVS bag. Goosebumps sprang up her arms. She tensed; the back of her neck tingling with the awareness that she was being watched. Locked inside her car, she scanned the back seat and the yard.
No one lurked behind the dead boxwoods. The grass had dried up, and not even one weed sprung up out of the dry earth. The plastic bag crinkled as she closed her fist around it. The house wasn’t in the best of neighborhoods but she refused to think about Grammy’s worrying.
The weeks she’d first lived in the house, before the shooting, Dori never felt weird or scared. But it was good to be aware, she told herself as she pushed the door open and paused, sniffing chimney smoke from the neighbor’s house. It was quiet up here, the traffic on Sweetwater a soft hush that rode on the winds sweeping clouds across the sky. She shut the door and the alarm beeped. The bay windows in the front parlor reflected Dori as she walked up to the house.
Idly wondering what to pick from the meals Grammy had prepared for her, Dori plugged her key into the lock. Her heart gave a painful jolt when she looked up into the face of a man. He stared at her from the other side of the wavy glass window of the Dutch door.
His dark eyes narrowed. In one motion, Dori dropped her bag, stepped back and reached for her weapon. But she only felt the bandage under her shirt where her Smith and Wesson should’ve been. She swayed in momentary confusion and then remembered she’d locked it away. When she looked back up into the window, he was gone.
Dori stood there with her pulse kicking against her neck. He couldn’t duck faster than the blink of an eye, nor was the window shade moving in the wake of a sudden movement. It hadn’t been that long since she’d been with a man that she’d start making one up as Grammy had repeatedly warned. Warning pricked at her nerves. She pulled up alongside the edge of the door and peeked into her dark kitchen. She strained her ears, listening for movement in the house. Against her better judgment, she reached over and turned the key.
She pushed the door open and the smell of cologne stopped her short of walking inside. Dori instinctively rocked her weight onto the balls of her feet, her muscles tensing for a fight. Night crept across the yard behind her.
As a cop, she’d been in much scarier situations than this. But back then, Dori had a gun at her hip and a radio for back-up. Unlike real bad guys, figments of her imagination couldn’t send her to the hospital. Dori told herself to go out to her car and call the cavalry.
Instead, Dori propped the door open with an old brick. This was her house damn it and it might feel good to kick some ass.
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Mary Castillo is an Amazon bestselling author and audiobook narrator. She writes chilling paranormal mysteries and sexy, heartwarming romantic comedies, all with compelling characters that keep you turning the pages long past your bedtime! Her debut, Hot Tamara was selected by Cosmopolitan magazine as a Red Hot Read and Latina magazine called Mary “an author to look out for” and selected In Between Men and Names I Call My Sister for the Top 10 Summers Reads in July 2009. Lost in the Light was a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Paranormal Mystery.
Mary grew up in a haunted house in National City, CA. She cries every time she sees the movies, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Casablanca, and may have developed a mild addiction to listening to audiobooks while she knits.
GoodReads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/47331.Mary_CastilloAmazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Castillo/e/B001ITYOWC