About the Book
The editor is short-staffed, with no one experienced enough
to handle something this dangerous. Kate can never give up on the search for
truth, so with her trusty senior sidekicks and new PI partner—her sister,
Jen—Kate takes the case. Can a fifty-year-old journalist still recovering from
a war injury survive the dangers of the Arizona desert long enough to catch a
The doorbell rang.
I stroked Harlequin, my parents’ black and white cat, who
liked to snuggle me whenever I had the heating pad on my leg. “Sorry, can’t
disturb the cat.”
Jen heaved a theatrical sigh and headed for the door. We
weren’t expecting anyone, so it was probably a delivery—or else Clarence, with
a report on some odd crime he thought we should investigate to keep him
entertained. Since I’d been home, I’d helped get three murderers arrested.
Bored retired men remained the biggest danger in my life, followed by my
I heard a woman’s voice from outside. “Kate Tessler?”
Jen stepped back and gestured toward me.
A petite woman, probably my age give or take a few years,
stepped into the foyer. Her gaze landed on me and she marched forward. “April
Tran, editor-in-chief of the Sun.” Her chin length black hair swung forward as
she leaned over to hold out her hand.
I shook the offered hand. “Pleased to meet you. What can I
do for you?” I tried to keep my demeanor professional. It would be the only
professional thing about me. I wore baggy shorts and an ancient Def Leppard
T-shirt with a coffee stain down the front, and my short, silver hair stuck up
all over. I hadn’t bothered to shower that morning, since I wasn’t expecting to
see anyone important.
April Tran couldn’t have weighed more than a hundred pounds,
but she dropped down on the other end of the sofa hard enough to bounce the
cushions and make Harlequin grumble.
“I need your help.” She frowned at the cat and the heating
pad. “I hope you can help me.”
“If you explain what you need, I’ll let you know,” I said.
Jen quietly took her seat across the coffee table and picked
up the notebook and pen she kept within reach.
“Gabriella told me about you,” April said.
Gabriella Dempsey was a reporter with the Sun. I’d done her
a favor a few weeks before by giving her info about cyberbullying at a local
high school. Well, technically I’d distracted her from the bigger scandal
involving Todd’s political opponent and a shady developer who’d committed
murder. But the cyberbullying story tied into that, and since the bigger story
broke, Gabriella had been covering it as well.
“I’ve been following her reports,” I said. “She’s doing
“She’ll have my job one day,” April said without heat. “At
least, if she lives long enough.”
I stared. “Is that a general comment, or are you worried
about her safety?”
“She was in a car accident last night,” April said.
“Gabriella is in the hospital.”
“Oh no. Is she—” I wouldn’t ask if Gabriella was all right,
given what April had already said. “What are her injuries?”
“Broken arm, cracked ribs, burns. She’s conscious, but
between the breathing tube and the burns on her hands, she can’t really
communicate.” April gulped a couple of times. “She can’t talk or write.”
I felt lightheaded. My damaged leg was bad enough. Losing
the ability to speak and write was devastating, especially for a reporter.
I made myself breathe. “Do they think she’ll get better?”
April gave a shrug and half shake of her head that suggested
“Is that what you meant by if she lives long enough?” I
“Not exactly.” April’s hands made fists on her thighs. “The accident wasn’t an accident. Someone ran her car off the road.”
About the Author
Kris Bock writes novels of romance, mystery, and suspense. In the Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona. Desert Gold starts the Treasure Hunting Romantic Suspense series and follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. The Furrever Friends Sweet Romance series features the employees and customers at a cat café. Get free mystery stories, a cat café novella, and more when you sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter at https://sendfox.com/lp/1g5nx3.