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Deceptive calm with coffee and cake

An update. After a bad case of  writer’s block we find our sleuth taking an uneasy interlude over coffee and cake. A brief extract from book #6, as yet untitled, in the ongoing series of crime fiction featuring Bromo Perkins.

FINDING the way to Grains, Beans and Leaves needed no help from satnav or Google. A sign saying Follow Your Nose would have sufficed.

The enticing smell of fresh baking wafting out through the café’s two sets of open double doors scented the way for anyone not familiar this essential stopover for the town’s residents.

It was the go-to place for breads of innumerable shapes, sizes and ingredients. Loaves stacked in open weave wooden baskets piled high along most of one wall were selling fast when Bromo strode in after his visit to Felix Novak.

It was a case of be early or be disappointed for the conveyor belt of customers who arrived, bought and departed in an orderly line, entering through one door and exiting through the other. Mission done.

Bromo side-stepped the dedicated bread buyers to enter the café’s less-frenzied section with its haphazard layout of tables and chairs, lounges and benches. A comparative oasis of calm. A sanctuary for the not quite awake, a retreat from whatever lurked in the hours ahead.

As he hoped, Tash and Katie were among the crew behind the counter. Both were too busy dispensing drinks, filling sandwiches and baguettes, and explaining the array of pastries and cakes.

Not that he had any pressing questions for them right now, but maintaining a loose sort of presence felt like a wise move.

Just in case …

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