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Candy Apple Red : A Jane Kelly Mystery
Jane Kelly is through following men. She left Southern California for the murky quaintness of Lake Chinook, Oregon, apparently so she could trade her bartending skills for much more glamorous work process serving. And the boyfriend, of course, is long gone. But things have been looking a little brighter lately. Her hobby doing PI work is kind of fun, especially when she lands a real case--that pays real money. But the case is about Bobby Reynolds, best friend of Tim Murphy, the only guy she's never gotten over. Everyone except Tim believed Bobby murdered his young family--isn't that why he vanished Now Tim's coming home and Jane's on her way to talk to Bobby's father. Looks like Jane'll be trailing men after all--this time with a tape recorder and a camera. To top it off, she's being trailed by a homely pug named Binky, left to her by a distant relative. With a job she's learning as she goes along and her ex back in town, Jane's life just went from stress-free to completely stressed-out. And then there's the dead body.
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September 30, 2005
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Excerpt from Candy Apple Red by Nancy Bush
If I ' d known they were about to find a body at the bottom of Lake Chinook I never would have gotten myself into the whole mess. The lake ' s deep in places and the Lake Corporation only drains it every couple of years to check the sewer lines running along its muddy bottom. The thought of the little fishy things trolling the waters, chewing off teensy nibbles of human flesh, would have been enough for me to say, ' Hasta la vista, baby ' and I would have exerted great haste in making tracks.
But I didn ' t know. And I also didn ' t know my whole life was about to change. The day I spoke with uber-bitch/lawyer Marta Cornell I was blissfully ignorant of the events in store for me which was just as well. Don ' t ever tell yourself you ' re happy with the way things are because that ' s when everything changes in seconds flat. And not necessarily for the better.
' Jane! ' Marta boomed over the phone. The woman was over six-feet-tall with a voice to match. She could deafen with one word. I yanked the phone from my ear and hoped I still possessed my hearing. ' I have a client who has an unusual request and I think you ' re just the person to help. '
' What unusual request ' I asked.
' It ' s about Cotton Reynolds. '
My heart leapt. Christ, I thought a bit shakily. I ' d just been thinking about my ex-boyfriend, Tim Murphy, who knew Cotton well. Had thoughts of Murphy actually triggered the past ' What about him ' I asked, trying to hold my voice steady.
' My client wants some follow-up on... Bobby Reynolds. ' Marta hesitated, unlike her to the extreme. ' She wants you to interview Cotton. '
I stared at my office door and instead of its scarred, paneled wood saw the white-haired man who happened to be one of the wealthiest in the state of Oregon. Cotton Reynolds lived on the only island in Lake Chinook, less than a mile from my bungalow. By boat, I could be there in ten minutes, if I wanted to. By car, it would be trickier. The island was private and Cotton ' s was the only house on its three acres. If I dropped in to say hello, I wouldn ' t get past the huge, wrought iron gate nor the island ' s guard dogs, two ill-tempered Doberman ' s.