Sassy newspaper columnist, Kate Lambrose receives a cryptic
poem asking her to locate a missing person. She discovers the
mystery to be the perfect distraction from her grief over the loss
of her husband who isn’t dead, but gay. While Kate juggles her
teenage daughter’s angst over her father’s revelation, surprise
visits from family, and keeping her at-arms-length boyfriend at
arm’s length, she unriddles the cryptic poem and discovers a 40-
year-old murder. Unknowingly, she befriends the killer who
makes her the next target.
“She’s not married.” Her stern gaze peered at me over her glasses. “At least in
the legal sense, if you know what I mean, and according to her application, of
“How old is she?”
“Um, I’d say mid-twenties. Got that baby face still.”
I raised my brows and Sadie chuckled. “That’s from memory, not the application.”
“Of course.” I laughed with her.
“She works the swing shift at Bob’s. Always pays her rent on the first. In cash too.”
“Huh. Well, I’ll go on over and knock on her door.”
“You go on and do that,” Sadie said. She waved her arms, shooing me out. “Mind
you stop back in here when you’re done. Fill me in on whether I was helpful for
your next CSN article.”
“Yeah, City Scope News.” She giggled.
I thanked her and headed over to the next building.
Stairways at each end zigzagged up three flights and the downstairs small patios
jutted out beyond the landing over-head.
Rosa Lynn Kohl’s unit was the second apartment on the second floor. I knocked.
My stomach somersaulted. I wiped my sweaty palm on my slacks and waited.
Masking tape with the occupant’s name and a little stenciled heart stuck to the
door beneath the unit letter B.
Footsteps, then the door popped open the length of the security chain and
cigarette smoke rolled around the door-jamb. I peered through the gap and spied
a bulbous nose, and one dark brown eye smudged with chocolate mascara.
“Yeah?” she said.
“I’m Kate Lambrose, from City Scope—”
“I don’t want the paper.” She slammed the door.
I knocked again. “Look. I’m not selling subscriptions.” No answer. I knocked again.
“You’re Rosa Kohl, right?”
The chain yanked and the door flew open. “What about it?”
My eyes met a well-endowed bust restrained by the thinnest tank top material. I
tilted my head back and peered up the flaring nostrils of the largest woman I had
ever encountered. “You wouldn’t happen to uh…” I swallowed hard. Insanity
equaled asking an angry giant if she used an alias. “Use the name Rosalyn
Kohler?” She took a step towards me. Her bare, flat feet slapped the concrete
deck, and I stepped back to avoid a nipple in the eye.
“Does it say Rosalyn Kohler?” She smacked the door where the tape held fast.
I flinched. “Do you know anyone by the name of Abby?” No time to explain my
crusade, I valued my life.
“What are you, a cop?”
I shook my head and back stepped as she took another step toward me. My butt
bumped against the balcony rail.
“FBI? CIA? ICE?” She fired initials at me.
“CSN reporter.” I managed to get my mouth working again.
Obviously, she had buried lies, but not out at sea and she was not my Rosalyn
Kohler, thank God. The Amazon woman scared me gray, especially after she
threatened to drop kick me over the railing. Baby face? Maybe if her daddy went
by the name Jolly Green. Paranoid? Absolutely, and definitely in need of anger
management classes. I beat feet down the steps. Next stop, Abbot’s pharmacy for
Summer Brunette hair dye to wash away my gray.
My knees were still shaking when I stopped at the rental office and thanked Sadie
Arnold. She was sorry her lead hadn’t panned out, but thought she might have
info on the Alien Baby headline.
On the drive back from Hudson, I compartmentalized all my facts, which wasn’t
much. After my run in with Rosa Lynn Kohl, my imagination ran wild and tangled
with the words from my phone threat. “Leave it go before you’re gone.” Giant
woman’s paranoia infected me, and I spun conspiracy plots in my head. Maybe
Sadie Arnold’s tip had merit. Maybe Rosa Lynn Kohl really was Rosalyn Kohler
and somehow tied to my phone threat in ways I hadn’t suspected. I checked my
rearview mirror repeatedly during the ride back to Yardman, as if I could spot a
tail. Just to be certain, I skipped the first exit off the highway and opted for the
second. A slight detour and it put me on the south end of Yardman. I vowed to
watch fewer murder mysteries.
"Wonderful book! Enticing, smart & clever
writing with a great flow; hard to put it down.
Great character development...Kate, the lead,
is bright, witty & adorable...I really enjoyed
getting to know her as with all the other
characters. It's the type of book that you
become a part of and miss when you've
finished reading it." -Craig Scott
"I was looking for a lazy Sunday-type read and
this book was the perfect choice. In fact, I
really couldn't put it down and finished it in one
day." -Annie S.
"A very fun and easy read. great entertainment
for a long flight - the main char Kate will make
you laugh aloud and pull at your heart strings.
Very intereseting and keeps you reading to
find the end. New Authors that need to be
looked at. I loved the book and am waiting for
"The pace is good as Kate works the case from
the intriguing beginning to a bang up action
ending. Excellent job!" -Martha Powers
"I absolutely loved this book, it was
suspenseful, humorous and all around good :)
Great job with the characters and plot, I can't
wait for the next one! This would make an
amazing series and movie!" -Heather Paquette
"As a child I read every Nancy Drew book I
could find. Now as an adult I can enjoy her
grown up counterpart. I will enjoy the sequel
and hope a series of Kate books will evolve.
Very entertaining reading." -Elaine Franklin
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