This installment of the murder mystery is my installments. If you are interested in more about me check out my Web site at www.margaretdaley.com. The excerpt for my October Love Inspired Suspense is up on my Web site. The last installment will be next Saturday.
Murder on Main Street--part 5
By Margaret Daley
“Mrs. Beavers, I know the police have questioned you, but are you sure you don’t remember anything unusual that day Gilford Richards was…” The word murder clogged Tory Bradford’s throat. She swallowed hard. “Was murdered here?” She still had a hard time believing someone died in this very office at Victoria’s Tea Shop.
“Not a thing happened out of the ordinary.” The older woman placed a china cup and saucer on the desk in front of Tory. “I wish I could be more helpful.”
Mrs. Beavers scurried from the office before Tory could thank her for the tea. So much for investigating who was trying to kill her. She had hit another dead end. She’d paid Fred Crawley, The Book Worm’s owner, another visit, hoping he’d remembered something after a few days to think about “the accident.” But he hadn’t been able to help her either. He hadn’t seen anyone in his shop when the bookcase crashed to the floor, barely missing her. She’d even visited some of her neighbors to see if they had seen somebody near her car last night or early this morning. Again no one had seen anything unusual.
Barry Sanderson rushed into the room. “Are you all right? I just found out what happened with the rattlesnake in your car.”
Exhaustion, from three near fatal incidents, pressed down on Tory, her shoulders sagging. “Where have you been?” She took a sip of the soothing tea.
“I was in Tulsa at a meeting since early this morning. My secretary told me what happened, and I came right over.” Her fiancé came around her desk and drew her into his arms. “I’m here now to take care of you, darling. You need a man to watch out for you. “
If she wasn’t so tired, she would argue the point with Barry, but it would take too much energy. “I don’t understand why someone would want me dead.”
“Let’s move up our wedding, then I can take care of you all the time. We could drive to Eureka Springs this weekend and be married.”
For forty-two years she’d looked out for herself, but maybe Barry had a point. They hadn’t set a date yet. Perhaps they should, but she wasn’t ready to get married that fast! She started to say that when she smelled smoke. She glanced toward the door. “What’s going on?”
Barry whipped around and hurried into the hallway. Tory followed. Smoke oozed from the kitchen. Her heart pounded as she raced behind Barry into the room.
Mrs. Beavers, flushed, waved her arms and shouted, “My scones are burnt.”
At that moment the fire alarm went off.
Barry thrust his car keys into Tory’s hands. “If I can’t take care of the fire, I’ll call 911. Please move my car in case there’s a problem.”
Mrs. Beavers left with Tory while Barry went to the window to open it.
“Men and their cars.” Tory exited the building and took a deep breath of the fresh air.
Tory walked to Barry’s luxury sedan and slid behind the wheel, peering at the building. Smoke poured out of the open window. The sight made her hurry. She glanced back to check the alley before backing out of the parking space. Clear. She started to turn and put the car in reverse when her gaze lit upon a burlap bag on the floor behind the passenger’s seat. The black letters stamped on it froze her.