Ruby is the bane of Andi Anna’s existence. If not for a well-intentioned, yet inadvisable promise to her dad to take care of his wife, should he pass unexpectedly, Andi could easily dismiss the frantic, middle-of-the-night phone call from her (ex) stepmother. Too late. She answered and couldn’t ignore the hysterical voice on the other end, especially since Ruby was supposed to be on a cruise to Mexico Andi had booked for her and three friends. Where could she be, and why was she calling?
“Oh, yes honey, it’s me and oh, Andi Anna, I’m in truubble darlin’. Oh, land-sakes I don’t know what to do!” came a long-winded shriek through the phone. The phone I now held at arm’s length.
I kicked my feet free of twisted linens, swung my legs over the side of the bed and tapped my toes along the Mexican tile in search of my manatee slippers.
“Wait a minute, Ruby. Where are you? Shouldn’t you be on a cruise ship in Cozumel?”
“Oh, Lordy, yes, but I had a little problem.” Ruby gasped.” I’m in Cancun, in the hoosegow.”
The hoosegow? Surely not! On a good day, Ruby was a piece of work. Just when I got used to her theatrics, she’d raise them a notch. I was not, however, hearing the typical, “locked the keys in the car, with the engine running on the ferry to Fisher Island,” hysteria. Something about this conversation was different.
“Andi Anna, are you still there? Hello?”
“Yes, Ruby, I’m still here.” Unfortunately. “So, tell me, how did you end up in a Cancun jail?”
“Some high-fallutin’ sheriff, along with two of the rudest deputies in the whole wide world, ripped me right off the ship. One was even a woman!” Ruby scoffed. “She was the rudest of all. Can you believe it? I’ve never been so humiliated in my life, Andi Anna. Why the whole ship watched while they marched me on some stinky old ferry to the mainland; some tourist town called Carmen Miranda.”
Carmen Miranda? I vaguely remembered my grandmother talking about an old-timey Broadway star by that name who wore fruit hats. Her nickname was the “Brazilian Bombshell”. Come to think of it, Granddad really liked her. Snort.
“Did you say something, Andi?”
“Uh, no. But, this Carmen Miranda place, could that be Playa del Carmen?”
“You expect me to remember every single detail in my condition?” She huffed. “I haven’t told you the worst part. Soon as we got off that nasty boat, they dumped me into the back of a police car. You wouldn’t believe the seats, Andi. Filthy dirty, and full of holes. Common criminals rode back there. I’m going to sue them six ways to Sunday, I can tell you. You don’t humiliate Ruby Jones and get away with it.”
What had Ruby gotten herself into? Did she steal silverware from the captain’s table? Jump on stage, grab a mike, and belt out a few show tunes? Honestly, she had no inhibition and certainly no filter when it came to putting herself on display.
Stay tuned! Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder will be released later this summer! Meanwhile, I’ll post more excerpts in the weeks to come for your reading pleasure.