When a colleague at a prestigious think tank meets a violent death, Adina’s not convinced any of the obvious suspects disliked him enough to want him dead. Can the young research assistant, her quirky neighbor, and a lovable rescue pup help the police put together the pieces of the puzzle?
Killer Reputation is the third mystery in the Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth Series by Cassidy Salem. The books are standalone reads and can be read in any order.
Read an Excerpt
Cassidy Salem has always been an avid reader. She is especially fond of mysteries (both cozy and traditional) and police procedurals. Cassidy also enjoys reading historical fiction focused on American and world history, as well as the classics. When she’s not reading, she enjoys music and spending time with family and friends, and travels with her husband and son whenever possible. Her travels have taken her to destinations throughout the United States, Europe, and Scandinavia.
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Bonzo’s insistent barking woke me out of a sound sleep. The glowing digital display on my clock radio showed it was 1:35 in the morning. Perched at the window, paws up on the sill, the dog focused his attention on the great outdoors.
I dragged myself out of bed, hoping to quiet him before he woke up my housemates. Tail wagging, he gave my hand a quick lick before returning to his vigil at the window. My bedroom was at the back of the house, overlooking a small fenced yard. I looked outside but neither saw nor heard anything out of the ordinary.
I called my loveable mutt back to his doggie bed, gave him a quick tummy rub, and went back to sleep.
I was in the kitchen when Lynda, my housemate, returned from her early morning run. Instead of heading straight for the shower, she burst into the kitchen. “Something must have happened down the street at Patrick’s place. An ambulance and a police car are out front.”
“Bonzo, I think it’s time for a walk.” I grabbed his leash and he sprinted to the front door. More often than not, I didn’t have time to take him for a proper walk in the morning. Instead, he had to make do with a quick romp in the backyard and do his business while I got ready for work. He was happy to reap the benefits of my curiosity.
A police cruiser was parked in front of the pale yellow house on the corner. The ambulance was nowhere in sight. We hadn’t even reached the curb when our next-door neighbor, Mr. Crockett, waved me over. A retired policeman in his eighties, Bartholomew Crockett lived alone and spent most of his time on the front porch.
He met me halfway down his flagstone path, an oversized, dark grey cardigan buttoned up to his neck and hanging over his pants. “A lot of excitement this morning. Something happened at the house where those two young guys live. Always having wild parties and such. You girls know them, don’t you?”
“Sure, we know them. Patrick works at the DIPPeR and Jared invited us to a party over there last month. Do you have any idea what happened over there? Or who was hurt?”
“One of the guys, I think. Couldn’t tell which one from here, and I didn’t want to get in the way – I’ll see what I can find out when the officers come back out.”
“And you’ll let me in on what you find out, I hope.”
I took Bonzo for a short stroll in the opposite direction before returning home. By then, Lynda had showered and was enjoying a steaming cup of java. She looked up when I came in.
“Find out anything?”
“Not much. I’ll tell you on the way to work.”
Lynda gulped down the last of her coffee, and we headed out to catch the Metro.
Lynda Lowell worked in the Publications Department at the Drake Institute for Public Policy Research – what we insiders refer to as the DIPPeR. That’s how we ended up as housemates. Lynda Lowell, Shari Moss, and I had been sharing a three-bedroom house in the northwest section of Washington, D.C. since February. So far, it was working out great, and a major improvement over the basement studio apartment where I had spent my first two years in the city. Especially since it meant I could have a dog.
“So, what did Crockett tell you? If anyone knows what happened, it’d be him.”
When we first moved in, it felt like he was always watching us. It was almost creepy. That is, until I started talking to him and realized he’s a kind-hearted, lonely old man.
“He doesn’t know much. Not yet, anyway. He said they took someone out on a stretcher. Thinks it was one of the guys who live there, meaning Patrick or Jared. He couldn’t tell who.”
“His eyes are probably not so good at his age.”
“In all fairness, from a distance, lying on a stretcher, would you be able to tell who was injured?”
“Anyway, Mr. Crockett did say he’ll try to wheedle some intel out of the police officers before they leave. I think he misses being a cop. Did you see Shari this morning?”
“Nope. She was gone before I went out for my run. She probably just had an early shift this morning.” A nurse at a hospital in Silver Spring, it wasn’t unusual for our housemate to be up and out of the house before we surfaced.
“She’s been spending a lot of time over there. I hope she’s okay.”
“I heard her come in late last night, so I’m sure she’s fine.”
Excerpt from Killer Reputation by Cassidy Salem © 2018 All rights reserved.
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