This week I'm presenting a snippet from The Baron's Cufflinks, the third book in the Oak Grove Mysteries. Harmony Duprie, my main character is up to her usual shenanigans—finding trouble.
A couple of DUI’s and one arrest for marijuana possession do not a villain make. I was almost disappointed. Other than a few waitresses he’d manhandled, Tadd didn’t seem to have any enemies. He wasn’t necessarily popular, but no one hated him. Not on record, at least. So who had the motive to kill him?
A talk with my favorite FBI agent seemed to be in order.
Not that I particularly liked Agent Felton. But I only knew two FBI agents and couldn't tolerate the other one. Although Felton didn't count as a friend, he wasn't an enemy either. Still, it surprised me when he agreed to meet for lunch, no questions asked.
I spotted him right away when I entered the small Chinese buffet place, his suggestion, near his office. He stuck out like a sore thumb amid the crowd of secretaries having lunch. It had been a few months since I’d seen him, and gray hairs were now scattered in with the brown. Meeting him on his home turf meant I'd need to be on my best behavior, but I was good with that.
The restaurant’s Shanghai soup dumplings were a treat and I was on my second serving when Felton wearied of our sporadic chit-chat. “You didn’t call me to talk about the weather. Or to tell me you’ve realized that you’re deeply in love with me. What is it you want, Miss Duprie?”
I could play it for kicks or play it straight. The choice seemed obvious if I didn’t want to tick him off. I swallowed and looked him square in the eye. “Information. Do you know anything about a guy by the name of Tadd Foard?”
The agent leaned back in his chair, crossed his arms, and thought for a moment. “Can't say that I do. Why?”
“He was murdered a few days ago.”
“And you care why? Are you sticking your nose where it doesn't belong again?” He grinned as he raised a spoonful of the egg drop soup towards his mouth.
“I may be a suspect.”
We spent the next few minutes cleaning up the soup that had sprayed everywhere.
What starts as Girl's Night Out ends in murder, and Harmony Duprie is a suspect.
She's innocent, of course, but with no alibi, the sheriff's department won't remove her from the list of suspects. It doesn't help when a waitress from the bar gets beaten up and the only clue is a slip of paper with Harmony's name on it. Throw in a rookie deputy dead set on building his reputation and Harmony must tread carefully.
But caution isn't Harmony's middle name and she plunges head first into danger to defend her honor.
What she finds is a web of half-truths and suspicions implicating several law enforcement agencies, with Jake, her ex-lover, stuck in the middle of it all.
The Baron's Cufflinks is available at here:
Books2read Universal https://www.books2read.com/u/b5OVGp