Murder With Strings Attached
by Mark Reutlinger
Genre: Humorous Mystery
Sometimes even the most carefully conceived burglary can take an unexpected turn. Florence Palmer has her eye on concert violinist Aaron Levy's priceless violin. Unfortunately, she finds it's already been stolen. Her surprise doubles when the virtuoso she'd planned to burgle offers to hire her to help him steal it back. But they're not the only ones looking for the missing violin. When Flo inadvertently becomes the prime suspect in a case of murder, she and Aaron need to clear her name. Will they find the real killer and get the violin back to its rightful owner without anyone else, especially themselves, being killed?
Passing the front desk on my way to the elevator, I wanted to avoid eye contact with any of the clerks on duty. But, like Lot’s wife, I couldn’t resist just a peek. Unfortunately, one of the check-in clerks, an older woman with gray hair pulled back into a tight bun, happened to be looking in my direction and our eyes met.
The woman immediately called to me, “Miss, would you please step over here?”
I returned a mimed “Who, me?” gesture. The bun lady nodded in the affirmative.
Damn, that’s all I need, I berated myself. I just had to look, didn’t I? But I knew I now had no choice but to comply. I walked over slowly as I tried frantically to think of answers, having no idea what the questions might be. Would I be asked who I was and what I was doing here? If so, would my answers be credible? When I reached the desk I tried to act nonchalant.
The bun lady said, “Just a moment, please,” and reached under the desk.
Totally irrationally it flashed through my mind that the woman was going to pull out a pistol and place me under arrest. Good thing I’d just peed, or I’d probably have done it now. It’s amazing what tricks a guilty conscience can play on you. What she actually pulled out, however, was a stack of letters. She handed them to me and, motioning toward a mail box mounted on the far wall, said, “Would you be a dear and drop these in the box over there?”
I accepted the letters and the assignment with relief. “Certainly, ma’am. No problem.”
Mark Reutlinger is the author of the novels "Made in China," "Murder with Strings Attached," and the "Mrs. Kaplan" cozy mystery series, as well as "Sister-in-Law" under the pen name M. R. Morgan. He is a professor of law emeritus at Seattle University. Born in San Francisco, Mark graduated from UC Berkeley and now lives with his wife, Analee, in University Place, Washington. When not reading or writing, Mark enjoys tennis, biking, playing the clarinet (in the Tacoma Concert Band), sports cars, and various arts and crafts. He doesn't know where he finds time for it all.
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