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Three, Four - Kill Some More
 

Spider & Web

 

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Reader reviews about this Casey Fremont story:

As with his first novel, John's second effort makes a great read. It is fast paced, with interesting twists & turns in the plot. I look forward to John's third novel ...
Bob M

Back cover blurb:

Casey Fremont’s ex husband (Jarvis the Rat) is two months behind with alimony payments, so she asks TrueTemp Agency to find a temp job for her ― this time it is with a legal firm. Her two roommates, Effie Tremayne and Aaron Kincaid, are still living with Casey and sharing rent. Her relationship with Detective Dennis Epstein still has not been “consummated." Post cards begin arriving in Casey’s mail box. They contain images and cryptic messages. Casey and her cohorts decide they coincide with murders occurring in Little Rock. They need to unravel the messages so they can prevent further deaths and uncover the perpetrator. Not only does she have to battle the stalker, Romeo, she mustalso convince the police they are missing the connection. Post cards begain arriving in Casey's mail box. They contain images and cryptic messages. Casey and her cohorts decide they coincide with murders occuring in Little Rock.

Excerpt from "Three, Four - Kill Some More" (two chapters)

CHAPTER 1

Yesterday, Romeo followed Casey Fremont to the building where he knew the TrueTemp Agency was located. That bastard ex husband of hers must be late again with the alimony check. She needs to get a temporary job to tide her over until the end of the month.

Earlier today, he followed her to a building, a place he assumed she was interviewing for a job. Now he watched Casey as she strolled through the nearby mall. He wondered if she received his postcard yet... and tried to imagine her excitement at being faced with a new mystery. Was it too soon to take the next step? Romeo decided it was and melted into the crowd.

 

CHAPTER 2

The grip of the mild winter was over, temps were comfortable and allowed me to put the top down on the Mustang on occasion. My mood was rising as I approached my mailbox. It was empty.

I’m damned tired of waiting for the alimony check from my ex to arrive, Casey Fremont told herself. Jarvis the Rat’s monthly tribute is arriving later every month.

Two days ago I visited the TrueTemp Employment Agency looking for another temp job. I can always rely on good ol’ Rutledge Trueblood to come through for me. He knows if he doesn’t, I’ll carry out my threat to tell his wife about the way he fondled me that first time at his agency.

It’s always fun to see Becca as well. Though she’s only the receptionist, she takes even less guff from Rutledge than I do. She and I have several things in common, among them a love of mystery novels. I turned Becca onto collecting signed first editions from some of the best authors in the field.

“Now Casey,” Becca said. “Ain’t you glad this meddling ol’ black gal put you on to Effie? I mean, seems like you and her have really hit it off.”

“You’re right,” I said. “And, I certainly don’t considering it meddling. It was a good move for both of us.”

Becca punched the intercom button and announced me. “Rutledge, Casey Fremont is here to see you and she has that look in her eye.” She waggled her head toward his office and smiled.

Rutledge pulled his typical strings and got me an interview for the following day and told me to report to a Mr. Thomasen. I don’t like Friday interviews – most bosses are looking forward to getting away for the weekend and tend to cut the discussions short.

*****

By the time Effie Tremayne got home, I was off the internet and excited to tell her what I learned. “Here’s my share of this month’s rent,” she said when she walked into the three bedroom condo I share with her.

“Never mind that. Let me tell you about the new job I'll be getting.”

Effie did a quick change into her grubbies and went to work in the kitchen. She does some cooking and cleaning, and I give her a break on the rent. It’s not rent, it’s a mortgage. Jarvis the Rat let me have the condo in the divorce hoping I’d default and he could buy it on the cheap. That’s how lawyers think, I guess.

I launched into the story about my decision a few days ago. “I got flat tired of waiting for the alimony check to arrive, so I decided to get a permanent-temporary job. Today Rutledge landed me an interview with a smallish law firm that hires private investigators to dig up dirt.”

Effie stopped chopping the veggies and looked at me. “Don’t stop now.”

“Best of both worlds,” I said. “I can use the courses I took in criminal justice and learn more about how P.I.’s operate. After our caper last fall – the one you called The Case of the Falling Bodies – I’ve been thinking about getting a P.I. license.”

“Wow,” Effie said. “You going to let me work for you?”

“I think that’d be a long ways down the road. Oh, there’s another upside about the job. The office is close to Park Plaza Mall – and that… means lunch-hour shopping.”

“Let me know if they have jobs open I could do. I wouldn’t mind a change of scenery.”

“Let me know if they have jobs open I could do. I wouldn’t mind a change of scenery.”

We were finishing dinner when Aaron got home. Aaron Kincaid is our other roommate. He’s a flight attendant, he’s black and he’s gay. It took me a long while to get used to all that. In truth, it took me months to begin to overcome my prejudices.

“Aaron,” Effie said. “Do you want to work for Casey’s private investigator’s agency?”

Later, in my room, I dialed Dennis Epstein’s number and got his voice mail. I met him last fall when I worked at the Midtown Atrium Towers Building and that body nearly landed on me. He’s a detective sergeant with the Little Rock Police Department and a hunk. Our relationship has blown hot and cold for the past several months. I left a message for him and hoped he would take it as encouraging.

*****

The next morning, Friday, I put on a business suit with a skirt that stopped well above the knees—that ought to hold his attention long enough to land the job. I was on my way to the law firm that was located near the intersection of University Avenue and West Markham Street.

I was right about Friday interviews. Mr. Thomasen, the senior partner in the law firm wanted to get away early, but he hired me on the spot. I was now an assistant paralegal at a more than decent salary.

Tracy Marston gave me a quick and dirty rundown on the company and handed me a tri-fold brochure about them. “This will answer most of your questions about the people here. And… ” She pulled a report-style folder from her desk, “…and this will explain what the bosses expect around here.” The cover page was titled: Thomasen, Sinclair & Westland–Employee Guidelines. I made the mistake of referring to the firm as T, S and W. Tracy corrected me saying, “The partners prefer that all of the names are always used.” I would have to remember that around here, but outside the office I was sure I would slip into the abbreviation.

I tucked both items into my purse, finished the employment paperwork and headed for Park Plaza Mall. I think a small celebration is in order Casey, my girl, I told myself. That thought must have been almost audible, because Tracy’s face bore a peculiar look as I left.

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