The Alpine Decoy (An Emma Lord Mystery)
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An Emma Lord mystery by the author of "The Alpine Christmas."
When a beautiful young African-American nurse with a shady past takes a job in Alpine, some locals show their true bigoted natures, filling editor-publisher Emma Lord with disgust. But when a second newcomer -- a young black man -- is found shot through the head, Emma is stuck with a story she will never forget.
Though Sheriff Milo Dodge connects the victim to the nurse, Emma believes there's something more sinister afoot. So she and Vida Runkel, her formidable house-and-home editor, try writing their own scenario. But the case offers too many subplots, too many suspects, and one crafty killer who leaves no tracks. That is, until Emma hits the deadly trail . . .
tan pants. “The deceased wasn’t a local,” he said in his laconic voice. “According to Marlow Whipp, he came into the grocery store just before closing, about five to seven. He tried to say something, and then collapsed.” Never a fast talker, Milo slowed to a snail’s pace. The little cluster of neighbors drew closer. “His name is Kelvin Greene, from Seattle. He was twenty-seven years old and lived somewhere out in the Rainier Valley area. It looks as if he was shot in the head.” Milo’s long face
Dixie Ridley gave a languid wave. I couldn’t see the Wickstroms, who were temporarily hidden by the arrival of Jean-Nicol and a silver wine bucket at the next table. Wendy and Todd Wilson seemed polite, if not effusive, in their greeting. Vida chatted for a full five minutes, leaving only after the waitress had presented the bill. “Well!” she gasped, sitting back down and polishing off her demitasse in a gulp. “Five hundred and eighty-four dollars and twelve cents! It’s not even a special
high school. Neither did his athletes. They’re worked up anyway, since Swede got snatched. There’s no sign that anybody broke into the high school, though. Damned odd.” Obviously baffled, Milo shook his head. It seemed to me that the sheriff was showing more concern over Bucker Swede’s disappearance than Kelvin Greene’s murder. “But a black male was hanging out by the high school field that morning.” Trying to get Milo back on track, I told him about Carla’s report. “It was so early that it
publicity? Sandra’s money? Early on, yes. But Tom had established himself as one of the West’s leading newspaper entrepreneurs. With Sandra’s money. Tom was grateful; he had a strange sense of loyalty. Honor, he’d call it. I called it fear. Tom was afraid to face a different future. Most of us are like that. Milo was. I was. Milo was afraid a second marriage would turn out as badly as his first. I was afraid of marriage, period. That must be the reason I clung to Tom. As long as I could file him
needed a shave, closed one eye and wrinkled his thin nose. “Melcher. ’Ninety-two Wrangler. ’Eighty-nine Honda Accord. Yeah, they come in here. She had a lube job on the Honda last week.” Figuring that the newlywed Melchers wouldn’t have made it into the current Port Angeles phone book, I trotted over to the corner booth and dialed Directory Assistance. Jackie’s husband was named Paul. Their phone was answered on the second ring. “Emma!” shrieked Jackie Fulkerston Melcher. “How funny!” To my