Pickled...Then Potted All that remains of Lula Mae Wiggins-who drowned in a bathtub of cheap champagne on New Year's Eve-now sits in an alleged Etruscan urn in Savannah, Georgia. Further north, at the Den of Antiquity antique shop in Charlotte, North Carolina, plucky proprietor Abigail Timberlake is astonished to learn that she is the sole inheitor of the Wiggins estate. Late Aunt Lula Mae was, after all, as distant a relative as kin can get. Arriving in picturesque Savannah, Abby makes a couple of startling discoveries. First, that Lula Mae's final resting pot is more American cheap than Italian antique. And second, that there was a very valuable 1793 one-cent piece taped to the inside lid. Perhaps a coin collection worth millions is hidden among the deceased's worldly possessions-making Lula's passoing more suspicious than orginally surmised. With the strange appearance of a voodoo preistess coupled with the disturbing disappearance of a loved one-and with nasty family skeletons tumbling from the trees like acorns-Abby needs to find her penny auntie's killer p.d.q...or she'll be up to her ashes in serious trouble!
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August 31, 2000
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Excerpt from A Penny Urned by Tamar Myers
Lula Mae Wiggins drowned in a bathtub filled with champagne. She was fully clothed. It happened on New Year's Eve.
Though someone had sent me a letter, I wasn't informed of her death until a full three months had passed, thanks to my ex-husband, who returns all my mail unopened. Fortunately the delay was no cause for added grief. Lula Mae was my daddy's second cousin, or something like that and had never been a part of my life. Frankly, her name didn't even ring a bell.
"It was cheap champagne,- Mama said that day we got the fateful call from Savannah. "The kind you kind buy from Food Lion for $3.75 a bottle."
"How do you know?" I asked. We were playing Hearts with Wynnell and C.J., two of my closest friends and coworkers. I had just been passed the queen of spades and was trying to maintain my cool.
Mama grinned. It was she who had passed me the queen.
"The coroner said so. He said the taste was sweet enough to set your teeth on edge"
"Did he taste it?" C.J.. asked.