Monday, June 28, 2021
Book Review: SPRING CLEANING MURDERS (An Ellie Haskell Mystery) by Dorothy Cannell
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Book Review: MURDER WITH STRINGS ATTACHED by Mark Reutlinger
Monday, June 21, 2021
Review: WHISKEY SECRETS (Whiskey Lies Book 1) by Carrie Anne Ryan
Friday, June 18, 2021
Guest Post: AUDIOBOOKS - FROM A NARRATOR'S PERSPECTIVE by Shaina Summerville
Monday, June 14, 2021
New Release! LOVE AND MONEY, ANOTHER MURDER (Sheridan Hendley Mystery Book 6) by Christa Nardi
As I got ready to meet my colleague and friend, Leah Buxbaum, at the mall, my step-daughter, Maddie, came into the kitchen. Her nose wrinkled, brows knit.
“What’s up? Something wrong?” She wrung her hands. “Mrs. Hamilton called just now and asked if I could babysit for Holly. I said yes and she hung up. I think she wants me to babysit now, but I’m not sure.”
I opened my mouth and closed it, opting to go with a solution instead of chastising her for not getting the details. “Get your stuff and we’ll walk down to their house and find out what she wants.”
She grabbed her backpack and phone. “Let’s go.”
Nodding, I grabbed my stuff and we went outside. The Hamiltons lived in the same subdivision we did, four houses down. Maddie had babysat for them before, usually in the evening so the two young parents could enjoy a night out.
The last minute request in the morning concerned me. I hoped everything was all right. “Did Heather say why she needed you today?”
“No. She asked if I was available and then hung up. Something’s wrong, isn’t it?”
We walked up to the door and Maddie didn’t even get to knock when the door opened.
“Hi, Maddie. I’m so glad you were available.” She turned and walked into the house, Maddie and I following. She stopped, turned around, and stared at me. “Sheridan?”
“Everything all right, Heather? I was worried with the short notice and Maddie didn’t get any information on how long you expected to need her.”
She teared up and Holly decided to provide the background music. I moved closer and touched Heather’s arm. “Maddie, please try to calm Holly while I talk to Heather.” Maddie followed my directions.
Between sobs, Heather blurted out, “The hospital called. Hank was in an accident. I need to get there. Please let Maddie watch Holly. I’ll call and let her know what’s happening….” Her sentence was cut off by what sounded like a gunshot.
Maddie grabbed Holly and moved away from the windows. I stopped Heather as she moved toward the front picture window. There was another shot and I spotted somebody in baggy sweats and a hoodie running out of the house next door. “I’m calling 9-1-1.”
I tapped on my phone. “Hello. Shots fired next door and someone is running down the street.” I gave them the address and ducked out the door, hiding behind Heather’s car in the driveway. She joined me and I relayed the message from the dispatcher. “Police are on their way. It looks like the front door is wide open.”
Heather started for the house and I pulled her back. I peeked over the hood as sirens approached. Whoever it was had gotten away. As the sirens grew louder and the first police vehicle arrived, doors opened and our neighbors stepped out onto their porches or steps. And my phone pinged. It was my husband, Brett McMann, Detective with the Virginia State Police.
“Hi. You calling about the shooting?”
“How’d you know about it?”
“I called it in, Brett. Maddie and I are at the Hamilton’s. I was about to leave to meet Leah and Heather needs to get to the hospital. Hank was in an accident.”
“He all right?”
“She got a call from the hospital. She’s not sure. Officers have arrived. I’ll check in later.”
I yelled in to Maddie to stay in the house with Holly. Pulling Heather with me, I approached the officers as they got out of their car.
“You the lady who called this in?” I nodded. “We heard shots fired and then saw someone run out of the house.”
“Stay here.” He signaled to his partner and they approached the house. Although the door was open, he yelled, “Anyone home? Everything okay in here?”
More officers arrived while we waited by the car. The newcomers worked to set up a perimeter, keeping the gawking neighbors at a distance. I recognized some of them, but not all. We stayed by the first car on the scene and waited. Paramedics arrived and disappeared into the house. Heather kept bouncing on her feet.
Excerpt from Love and Money, Another Murder. Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.