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The puce-colored punch looked like poison, but she didn't care. Grace braced herself and took a swig of it anyway because no one else had. Mabel would be devastated if she found out her punch was a bust. So what if the color was a perfect match with her psychedelic-seventies panties.
Grace shuddered and smacked her lips. "I wonder who that man is?" she asked her friend Sophia. She ladled some of the punch for Sophia.
"What man?" Sophia asked, right behind her on the would-be punch line. "Hey, isn't this punch the same color as those panties you bought…"
"The distinguished-looking tough guy – over there." Grace pointed as discretely as was humanly possible when one had fingernails painted in brilliant orange. "Just drink the punch. It's not going to kill you."
"Nice nails." Sophia said, then sipped her punch and cringed. "You do realize that "distinguished-looking tough guy' is an oxymoron." Sophia looked up at her with a puckered expression. "Are you sure this punch isn't lethal?"
"You're right. I'm secretly a murderer disguised as an interior decorator and my biggest ambition is to kill my best friend at a Beacon Hill party filled with cops from the Boston Police Department." Grace took a breath. They both looked around.
They were surrounded. It would be a great night for a murder anywhere else in the city of Boston.
"Don't whine – the punch tastes fine. It's mostly the food coloring," Grace said over her shoulder to Sophia. Her ploy to make the punch look appetizing wasn't working, Grace thought. No one was venturing even close to the punch bowl. She stole another look at the oxy-moron as she looked around the room. He stood in the middle of some stuffy older men. But then that's the only kind of men there seemed to be at this particular party. That could be because the hostess -her friend Mabel- was old enough to be thankful for the end of prohibition.
Sophia stopped short. "What?"