A perfect blend of knitting and cozy mysteries.

Knitting Together Murder with Reagan Davis

Reagan Davis writes cozy mysteries set in small town Ontario. Her protagonist, Megan, owns a knitting shop; the perfect job for an amateur sleuth ;-)

In the introduction I mention speaking (via zoom) with a university psychology class last week about my memoir about ten years I spent in a cult in the 1990s. The students were super engaged and thoughtful and it was a joy to chat with them and answer questions. I’m always thrilled to help educate anyone about how cults work and how even smart, self-aware people can get sucked into them.

Today’s show is supported by my patrons at Patreon. Thank you! When you become a patron for as little as $1 a month you receive a short mystery story each and every month. And the rewards for those who love mystery stories go up from there! Learn more and become a part of my community of readers at www.Patreon.com/alexandraamor

Patreon

This week’s mystery author

Reagan Davis

Reagan Davis doesn’t really exist. 

She is a pen name for the real author who lives in the suburbs of Toronto with her husband, two kids, and a menagerie of pets. 

When she’s not planning the perfect murder, she enjoys knitting, reading, eating too much chocolate, and drinking too much Diet Coke. 

The author is an established knitwear designer who regularly publishes individual patterns and is a contributor to many knitting books and magazines. 

To learn more about Reagan and all her books visit ReaganDavis.com

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on StitcherAndroidGoogle PodcastsTuneIn, and Spotify.

apple podcasts logo

Excerpt from Twisted Stitches

Monday July 6th

Twisted Stitches by Reagan Davis

“Megan!”

The disembodied voice comes from nowhere. Just loud enough to hear, but not loud enough to recognize. There’s nobody around. This is the third time in fourteen hours the voice has called my name. Am I hearing things? Is this a neurological symptom?

The disembodied voice comes from nowhere. Just loud enough to hear, but not loud enough to recognize. There’s nobody around. This is the third time in fourteen hours the voice has called my name. Am I hearing things? Is this a neurological symptom?

The voice called out to me when I walked Sophie last night, again this morning during our morning walk, and just now, while I load groceries into my trunk at the Shop’n’Save in Harmony Hills.

I make a mental note to search the internet when I get home, in case this is a symptom of a stroke, or a brain tumour, or something.

Returning the empty cart to the cart corral, I see Mr. and Mrs. Willows across the parking lot. They’re getting into their older, oversize, white pickup truck that Mrs. Willows affectionately refers to as “The Beater.” They see me too. We smile at each other and exchange waves. Could one of them have called out to me?

Like me, Mr. and Mrs. Willows live in Harmony Lake. They have a farm on the outskirts of town. 

It’s not uncommon to run into other Harmony Lake residents in Harmony Hills. Harmony Lake is a small town with limited amenities. Most of us who live there make regular trips to Harmony Hills to visit the big box stores, medical facilities, and other businesses and services we don’t have on the other side of the Harmony Hills mountains.

Standing in an asphalt parking lot with no shade, at noon on a July day, with the heat from the hot pavement radiating up my sundress, makes a hot summer day feel downright scorching. I start the engine, turn the stereo down and the air conditioning up.

A few uncooperative curls insist on hanging rebelliously around my face as I twist my hair into a bun and secure it with the hair elastic I wear on my wrist. 

I pull down the sun visor and open the mirror. With my sunglasses resting on top of my head, I check the mirror and wipe a smudge of mascara from below my left eye. I squint into the bright, midday sun as I grab the lip balm from the cup holder, and smear some on my lips. Ready! I return my sunglasses to my face and turn up the stereo so Beyoncé and I can sing Crazy in Love together. 

Merging onto the highway that will take me through the mountains and home to Harmony Lake, Beyoncé fades out and Mr. Brightside by The Killers takes its place.

I’m dueting with Brandan Flowers when I check the rearview mirror and notice a small white car following way too close. 

I’m in the left lane. I turn on my indicator to let the driver know I’ll change lanes and get out of their way. I check the mirrors and shoulder check to make sure it’s safe. As I press my foot into the gas pedal and begin to move over to the right lane, the driver of the small white car guns the engine and slams into me from behind. 

I grip the wheel tightly to maintain control of the vehicle and stay in my lane.

That was intentional. Why did the car rear end me?

The driver revs the engine again and veers right. 

The car is beside me now. 

There’s an exit coming up. The last exit before Harmony Lake. I need that exit. If I miss it, I’ll be stuck on the highway with this crazy driver for twenty minutes until we get to the Harmony Lake exit.

I accelerate again, hoping to pass the car and veer across to the right lane toward the exit. When I press the gas pedal, the other driver accelerates, too, and won’t let me pass. 

The car swerves toward me. I steer left to avoid it and almost hit the concrete median that divides the north and south lanes. 

Why is it trying to side-swipe me? 

Easing my foot off the accelerator, I change tactics. If I slow down, maybe it’ll pass me. Then I can switch lanes behind it and get to the exit before we pass it. 

As I slow down, I look to my right and see the driver of the white car is wearing a disguise. One of those fake-nose-fake-glasses-fake-moustache disguises that makes you look like Groucho Marx, paired with a fuzzy wig-hat combo like the ones you find at a party store. 

Why would someone drive around incognito, intentionally hitting another car on the highway?

The driver’s side window in the white car lowers about halfway down. The wind from the open window causes the driver to take a hand off the wheel and adjust the hat-wig disguise. I look at the road and accelerate again, hoping to pass the car. I’m running out of time. I turn my head to the right, and the driver is pointing a gun at me! 

A gun! 

POP!

The impact shakes my car and rattles my nerves. I wrestle with the steering wheel and manage to keep control, narrowly avoiding the concrete median. 

What the?! 

The driver shot at me. Whoever is in that car is trying to kill me! My grip on the steering wheel is so tight, my knuckles are white. I look to the right and make eye contact with the shooter, and they lower the gun.

Clunk!

The shooter lurches forward immediately, following the distinct sound of metal against metal. The disguised head almost hits the steering wheel. Someone rear-ended the car. The shooter recovers, looks right, guns the engine, and glides across the highway, just making the exit.

The car is gone.

It’s over. 

What just happened? 

I barrel instinctively down the highway toward home. My heart is racing. There’s a lump in my throat, and a knot in my stomach.

Honnnnnnk!

Mr. Willows is beside me in his big white truck, gesturing at me to pull over.

I indicate, check my mirrors, turn my head to check my blind spot, then pull onto the left shoulder. I should have pulled over to the right, but I choose the path of least resistance. 

Mr. Willows pulls up behind me. He appears at my window and cranks his fist.

Thankfully, I’m old enough to remember when cars had crank windows and understand his hand motion. I lower my window. 

“Are you OK, Megan? Is it in park? Put it in park.” 

I nod. My vision blurs as my eyes fill with tears, and I unclench my hands from the steering wheel and put the vehicle in park. 

Mr. Willows reaches through the window and turns the key, shutting off the engine. Then he pushes the button on the dashboard that turns on the hazard lights. 

I inhale deeply and take my foot off the brake. 

“Is she OK? Was she hit?” Mrs. Willows is beside him now with her face in the window.  

“I’m OK,” I mutter. “I need to get out.” I open the car door and try to get out, but the seatbelt stops me.

Mrs. Willows reaches across my lap and unbuckles it. Clutching the car door for support, I stand up. My stomach roils. I take the two steps to the concrete median, grab on, heave the top half of my body over it and throw up on the paved shoulder of the north bound lanes. The wind is at my back, and I’m grateful I put my hair up before I left the grocery store. 

“Henry! Get her some water!” Mrs. Willows shouts as she rubs my back. “Shhh,” she says quietly. “You’re OK, Megan, you’re safe.” 

With his cell phone to his ear, Mr. Willows nods in acknowledgement and jogs toward the back of his truck. 

“Why don’t you sit down?” Mrs. Willows suggests as she guides me back toward the car. 

I sit sideways with my feet hovering above the pavement. Mr. Willows reappears with a bottle of water. He removes the cap and hands it to me. 

“I hit him! His car will have rear end damage.” I’m not sure if Mr. Willows is speaking to me or to the person on the phone. “I rear-ended him as soon as I caught up to them. He was chasing her.” He uses his hand to cover the microphone on his cell phone. “The police are coming, Megan. It’s going to be OK.” He speaks to me in a quieter voice than he uses on the phone. 

In the moments before the police arrive, Mrs. Willows tells me that she and Mr. Willows saw the whole thing. According to her, the driver of the white car followed me onto the highway. She thinks the driver targeted me. She doesn’t believe it was road rage because she says I didn’t do anything to the other driver. She says she got the car’s license plate number.

Good. I want to know who tried to kill me.