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  • Published: 23 January 2024
  • ISBN: 9780241684382
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $19.99

Deadly Little Scandals

From the bestselling author of The Inheritance Games

Extract

LABOR DAY, 3:17 A.M.

Sawyer, are you there?”

“I’m here.”

“I can’t feel my feet. Or my hands. Or my elbows. Or my face. Or—”

“Sadie-Grace, just give me a second.”

“Okay… Was that a second?”

“If I’m going to get us out of here, I need to think.”

“I’m sorry! I want to stop talking! But I dance when I’m nervous,

and right now, I can’t dance, because I can’t feel my feet. Or my hands. Or my elbows. Or—”

“Everything is going to be fine.”

“When I’m nervous and I can’t dance, I babble. And, Sawyer? Being buried alive makes me very nervous.”

 

FOURTEEN WEEKS (AND THREE DAYS) EARLIER

CHAPTER 1

Has anyone seen William Faulkner’s life vest?”

There was a point in my life when the question Aunt Olivia had just called down the stairs would have struck me as odd. Now it didn’t even merit the slightest raise of my eyebrow. Of course the family’s mammoth Bernese mountain dog was named William Faulkner, and of course she had her very own life vest.

Hell, it was probably monogrammed.

The mamas of the Debutante set were very big on monogramming.

Really, the only thing surprising about Aunt Olivia’s question was the fact that my aunt, who was type A in the extreme, did not already know where William Faulkner’s life vest was.

“Remind me again why we’re hiding in the pantry?” I asked Lily, who’d dragged me in here five minutes ago and hadn’t spoken louder than a whisper since.

“It’s Memorial Day weekend,” Lily murmured in response.

“Mama always gets a bit high-strung when we open the lake house up for the summer.” Lily lowered her voice even further for dramatic effect. “Even her lists have lists.”

I shot Lily a look intended to communicate something about pots and kettles.

“I have an entirely reasonable number of lists,” Lily retorted in a whisper. “And I would have a lot fewer if you showed any inclination whatsoever to get ready for college yourself.”

Lily Taft Easterling was just as type A as her mama, and both of them insisted on operating under the assumption that I was going to State with Lily in the fall. Matriculation at that fine institution was, I had been informed, a family tradition.

I couldn’t help thinking that my specific branch of the family tree had our own traditions. Deception, betrayal, no-bake cherry cheesecake…

“Is it me, or did there use to be a lot more food in this pantry?” I asked Lily, to keep her from reading anything into my silence.

“Mama packs for the lake like a survivalist preparing for the end days,” Lily said in a hushed voice. She fell silent at the sound of incoming footsteps, which stilled right outside our hiding place.

I held a breath, and a moment later, the pantry door _ ew inward.

Hasta la vista… Lily!” Lily’s younger brother, John David, punctuated that statement with a cackle and began pelting us with Nerf darts.


Deadly Little Scandals Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The second book in the twisty, gasp-inducing Debutantes duology - an addictive YA mystery from the author of #1 bestselling, TikTok sensation Inheritance Games series.

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