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Exes and Woes

Made in Savannah

Cozy Mystery Series Book Fourteen

Hope Callaghan


Copyright © 2020

All rights reserved.


This book is a work of fiction. Although places mentioned may be real, the characters, names and incidents, and all other details are products of the author’s imagination and are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual organizations, events or persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced in any format, by any means, electronic or otherwise, without prior consent from the copyright owner and publisher of this book.


Visit my website for new releases and special offers:  hopecallaghan.com


Thank you to these wonderful ladies who help make my books shine - Peggy H., Cindi G., Jean P., Wanda D., Barbara W. and Renate P. for taking the time to preview Exes and Woes, for the extra sets of eyes and for catching all of my mistakes.

Thank you to Alix, my Savannah expert, for sharing your knowledge of this special place.

A special THANKS to my reader review team:

Alice, Alta, Amary, Amy, Becky, Brenda, Carolyn, Cassie, Charlene, Christine, Debbie, Denota, Devan, Diann, Grace, Helen, Jo-Ann, Jean M, Judith, Meg, Megan, Linda, Polina, Rebecca, Rita, Theresa, Valerie, Virginia and Vicki.


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Cast of Characters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

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Cast of Characters

Carlita Garlucci. The widow of a mafia “made” man, Carlita promised her husband on his deathbed to get their sons out of the “family” business, so she moves from New York to the historic city of Savannah, Georgia. But escaping the family isn’t as easy as she hoped it would be and trouble follows Carlita to her new home.

Mercedes Garlucci. Carlita’s daughter and the first to move to Savannah with her mother. An aspiring writer, Mercedes has a knack for finding mysteries and adventure and dragging her mother along for the ride.

Vincent Garlucci, Jr. Carlita’s oldest son and a younger version of his father, Vinnie is deeply entrenched in the family business and not at all interested in leaving New Jersey for the Deep South.

Tony Garlucci. Carlita’s middle son and the second to follow his mother to Savannah. Tony is protective of both his mother and his sister, which is a good thing since the female Garlucci’s are always in some sort of a predicament.

Paulie Garlucci. Carlita’s youngest son. Mayor of the small town of Clifton Falls, New York, Paulie never joined the “family business,” content to live his life with his wife and young children away from a life of crime. His wife, Gina, rules the family household with an iron fist.

Chapter 1

Carlita’s eyes followed Luigi Baruzzo as he strolled to the other side of the pawn shop and approached the weapon’s case where a customer stood perusing the goods. “How’s it going with Luigi?” she whispered to her son, Tony, who was standing next to her.

“So-so.” Tony shrugged. “He’s a little rough around the edges.”

“Rough around the edges as in how?”

“You’ll see. Just watch.”

Luigi Baruzzo, a former mafia bodyguard, had made the decision to retire from the “family” while assigned to guarding Carlita’s daughter-in-law, Brittney, during a recent visit to Savannah. He had asked the Garlucci family if he could take up residence with them – renting Carlita’s vacant first-floor efficiency apartment.

Her initial response was “no,” but after discussing it with her children, Carlita had decided to let him move in – on a temporary basis and provided he promised to give up his life of crime.

The Garluccis were also helping him by hiring him to work part-time at Ravello’s, Carlita’s Italian restaurant, and Savannah Swag, the family-owned pawn shop.

She had asked her son about how Luigi was working out and grown concerned with his vague replies. Determined to find out for herself, Carlita decided to drop by the pawn shop during his shift.

“Hmmm.” She grabbed a bottle of window cleaner, a handful of paper towels and made her way to the jewelry counter, adjacent to the gun case and Luigi.

She watched as he removed a pistol from the case and turned it over in his hand. “If you’re plannin’ on usin’ this piece to persuade someone to see things your way, this ain’t gonna create a sufficient level of fear. You wanna be able to back up any situation with force.”

He set the gun on the counter, lifted the lapel of his leather jacket and pulled out a semi-automatic. “This baby, here, the Beretta Nano, can neutralize just about anything.” He trained it on the side of the wall and pretended to fire off a shot.

The potential customer’s eyes grew wide as he stared at Luigi. “I…I plan to purchase it for home safety. We’ve had a couple of recent robberies in my neighborhood, and I want to keep my family safe.”

Luigi lowered the weapon, running a light hand over the smooth metal. “Then, this might be a little overkill,” he chuckled. “Get it? Overkill?”

“It looks like a solid piece. I…think I’m gonna think it over,” the man stammered.

Luigi leaned an elbow on the counter and lowered his voice. “I might have a friend who can

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