Injured in a bombing, war correspondent Kate Tessler returns to her hometown in Arizona to recover. For the first time in her life, she's starting to feel her age of nearly fifty despite living like a teenager again: staying in her childhood bedroom with only a cat for company, trying to understand why her sister resents her so much, and running into people who still refer to her as Kitty. The hardest part? Seeing her once-sharp and witty mother stuck in an Alzheimer's unit.
When an old friend asks her to investigate suspicious deaths at the nursing home, Kate limps into action. Is a self-appointed "Angel of Mercy" killing patients to end their suffering? Are family members hastening their inheritance? Is an employee extorting money and removing the witnesses? Kate uses her journalism skills to track clues, but the puzzle pieces simply won’t fit.
If Kate can't uncover the truth quickly, her mother could be next on the killer's list.
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I put a hand on Tommy’s wheelchair and leaned down. “I’ll tell you all about it sometime, if I can. But for now, please pretend we’ve only been chatting about times long past.”
Mendelson joined us, his hands on his hips. “Miss Tessler, I see you’re here again. I hope you aren’t bothering the residents with your questions.”
“I prefer Ms. Tessler, and I was having a lovely chat with a very interesting man.”
My new friend beamed at Mendelson. “Not many people want to listen to my war stories, but this young lady has been humoring me.”
I spotted Mrs. Gregorian and her family. I’d probably learned all I could from them about Mrs. Gregorian’s illness and recovery, but if Mrs. Gregorian was one of the overmedicated patients, that opened up a new line of questioning.
And another thing: Mom had gotten worried about money shortly after seeing Mrs. Gregorian. Could that have been the neighbor she meant, the one who claimed she’d been asked for more money? Could “Mr. Brown—no, Mr. Rogers” actually be Mendelson, the memory care program coordinator? He’d been wearing a brown button-up sweater, so maybe that triggered Mom’s memory but sent it in the wrong direction.
I turned to Tommy. “It was lovely talking to you. I hope we’ll meet again when I’m here visiting my mother. I need to speak to some other new friends now.”
Mendelson scowled and shuffled his feet.
I grinned. “Have a great day.”
I felt his gaze on me as I turned to cross the room.
Between the residents, visiting family members, dogs, and their handlers, the spacious room was a swirl of activity. I waited for a woman using a walker to cross in front of me. My leg ached, so I shifted more of my weight onto my good leg and the cane. A man to my right half turned, gesturing wildly with his arms while he told a story. I flinched back to avoid being hit.
Something slammed into my left leg. I grunted in pain as my leg collapsed. My cane swung upward, goosing the gesturing man and tangling in his legs.
The next thing I knew, I was sitting on the floor in a heap.
About the Author
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