GENRE: Women's fiction
I loved the house, even before I knew what was in it. Maybe it was the simplicity of black and white. It wasn’t the cool shade of the huge pine trees in the yard, because they were everywhere in Southern Pines, just down the road from Pinehurst. Maybe it was just that I’ve always been a sucker for certain smells and the house had the smell of old wood and mystery. I couldn’t resist it. I’m not sure I could again, even now.
I don’t remember what I was thinking as we drove up to the house. I might have been thinking how marvelous it was to have air conditioning in the car. The sweltering heat of North Carolina in August had been a shock after the cool, rainy Northwest. Or maybe I was thinking about what I would do about dinner, or the other houses I had been looking at.
Whatever it was, it all went away as Nancy Parker, my real estate agent, whirled her black SUV into the gravel circular drive and threw it into park. I stared through the windshield at what appeared to be a historic mansion.
“Uh, how much did you say they were asking?” I managed.
Nancy cleared her gravelly smoker’s throat and pulled the listing out of her voluminous purse. “Two twenty-nine five. Nice round number.” She let out a wheezy snort of a laugh and added, “You’re going to love it.”
Although I doubted it, I hoped she was right.