Still recovering from an injury that might have permanently derailed her career as an international war correspondent, Kate Tessler is living in her childhood bedroom and pondering her second act when another case lands in her lap. Kate’s father and his coffee group are worried. Their friend Larry married a younger woman who now insists he has dementia and won’t let any of his friends visit. They’re convinced that Larry’s wife and her two adult, dead-beat kids are out to steal his money. Can Kate help?
Soon Kate and her unusual gang of sidekicks are unofficially, officially investigating. But before they can dig out the truth, a murder raises the stakes. Now they need to prove Larry is both mentally competent and not a killer. They’ll have to find the real murderer—without risking their own lives in the process.
“Clarence can drive the getaway vehicle,” I said. “Dad goes to the front door. The rest of us will go around back. Joe can go first and scout out the yard, make sure no one is in back. Arnold and I will follow. Dad, give us a minute to get in position and then ring the doorbell.”
“How long do you think you’ll need to get Larry out?” he asked.
“Five minutes? That will seem like forever to you, but we may need every second.”
We couldn’t see the house well from where we were, but I pictured it in my mind. The front walk led up to an alcove. The front door was set at least five feet back in that alcove. No one at the front door could see the gate opening, but they might hear us if we tried to cross the rocky front yard, especially if Larry was confused and asking questions.
“We’ll stop inside the gate on our way out,” I said. “If you’re still arguing, I’ll call your phone. Make sure Pamela closes the door as you leave. Then we’ll all head for the cars.”
Dad pulled out his phone and tipped his head back so he could study the screen through the lower part of his trifocals. He tapped it a few times and stuck it in his pocket. “All right. I’ll feel it vibrate.”
“We used to have to pay good money for that kind of thing,” Clarence said.
“Clarence, turn the car around now,” I said. “When we come out, pull up to the house next to Larry’s. Stay out of sight of any of Pamela’s windows.”
“I’ll give them the slip!” Clarence said. “We’ll go on the lam. We’ll peach that gold digger and put her in the big house with a pair of silver bracelets.”
“You’ve been watching gangster movies again,” Joe said.
“Right. I always wanted to be a lookout man.”
“Concentrate, people. Everyone know the plan?” I looked at each of them. “Now, let’s kidnap your friend.”
About the Author
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