Murder’s No Votive Confidence by Christin Brecher – Excerpt + Giveaway

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Murder’s No Votive Confidence by Christin Brecher
Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery Book 1
Kensington • July 1, 2019

Nantucket candle store owner Stella Wright specializes in creating unique candles for every occasion. But someone sets the stage for murder when a Memorial Day celebration becomes a wedding to die for . . .

Jessica Sterling’s candlelight-themed nuptials promises to be the perfect kick-off to the summer’s first official holiday weekend. Stella’s thrilled to have been chosen to provide the decorative centerpiece for the wedding ceremony: a two-foot-tall scented unity candle—a symbol of the happy couple’s love. But it looks like the bride-to-be’s uncle won’t be walking his niece down the aisle after he’s found dead. The murder weapon is Stella’s seemingly indestructible candle, now split in two.

When a beloved local bartender is arrested, Stella’s sure a visiting police captain running the case made a rush to justice. With superstitious brides-to-be canceling orders and sales waxing and waning at her store, the Wick & Flame owner decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Abetted by a charming reporter and challenged by the town’s sexiest cop, Stella’s determined to shine a light on the truth and uncover a killer who’s snuffing out her own flame.

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Friday morning, I woke up before the first ferry’s horn sounded its arrival to Nantucket Island, my hometown. I greeted the day by feeling around my bedsheets until I found my phone. Its bright light kicked in to tell me it was five thirty a.m., and to display a message I’d anticipated for weeks: “Memorial Day Weekend!” Following the announcement was a to-do list that I’d already committed to memory. The exciting days ahead signified the start of the retail high , and the weekend of Jessica Sterling’s wedding.

As owner of the Wick & Flame, a small store in town where I make and sell candles, I’d been working on the wedding for two months, since my oldest friend, Emily Gardner, Nantucket’s top event coordinator, introduced me to her client. I fixate on every angle when I undertake a project and Jessica Sterling’s wedding was no exception.

“I want something historic. Something that captures the spirit of Nantucket, but isn’t too cheesy,” the bride-to-be had said to me on our first meeting. “I’ve picked the Melville Inn for the venue, and now I’m thinking about a candle theme.”

I nodded professionally, as if this type of proposal came my way every day, but I felt I’d won the lottery.

To put it in perspective, the candy store in town has hundreds of orders for chocolate-covered cranberries when the party season hits, but no one has ever had a candle-themed event. I was dying to lead the design, and I was honored to be part of Jessica’s fairy-tale wedding. So big was this opportunity, that in my memory I gave my pitch in a flashy conference room with cushy chairs and a PowerPoint presentation. In reality, we were at The Bean, my favorite coffee shop in town.

That day, I proposed something traditional, yet original: a unique wedding scent, inspired by the

couple’s love, and the wedding’s seaside venue. My thought was to infuse the scent into two featured items.

First, a unity candle.

“What’s a unity candle?” Jessica had said. I explained that it’s a candle that symbolizes a couples’ love, which is lit during a wedding ceremony. She liked it.

Second, I proposed to infuse the scent into votive candles to give as party favors to all of the guests. To my delight, Jessica loved both ideas, and gave me the job. We ended our first meeting feeling giddy about the weekend. So giddy that we clinked coffee cups to toast our success. I will never forget the moment that Jessica raised her chai latte.

“You have my votive confidence,” she said.

About the Author

Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. Visit her at

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