I’m coming down the home stretch with Diamonds and I’m really loving this story. The edits are going well and I’m hoping you’ll love it as much as I do.
Once the edits are completed, I will be sending it out to find a new home for it. As a result, I don’t have a cover I can show you.
Here’s a scene to whet your appetite. I’d love to hear what you think of it?
To refresh your memory. The McKall triplets have returned home to Cape May, NJ to attend their 10th year class reunion when they’re awakened in the middle of the night by a knock on the door. It turns out to be a former classmate who announces she has a dead body in her room and her jewels have been stolen.
Sissy removed her turban and pushed the blond curls away from her face to massage her temples. “I arrived around noon yesterday, dropped my bags off in my room and headed out to meet Bella Pagano afterward. You remember her, don’t you?”
I rolled my eyes. “Of course, I do. Senility hasn’t set in yet.”
“Anyway, I never saw the corpse until this morning when I walked to the bathroom. And I probably would’ve missed it then too, but that darn closet door was open. That drives me crazy, so I went to close it and couldn’t because her body was in the way.”
Sissy became unusually quiet, bridged her hands over the top of her head and rocked back and forth, the expression on her face told me she was in pain. “Man, I have a freakin’ headache the size of New York. Do you have any aspirin?” I reached for my handbag, dug inside and pulled out a small plastic bottle and handed it to her. She popped the pills into her mouth and swallowed them without water.
“Don’t you want any water?”
“No. I’m good.”
I jerked my head back in surprise. “Okay, continue telling me the facts,” I urged.
Sissy shrugged. “So, like I was saying, I found the body in . . . well, you already know all that stuff—anyways, I started to wonder why they’d chosen my room, you know, with the dead body and all . . . and then it dawned on me: my jewels.” A smug expression capped her face, “I’ll bet the stiff was a member of a ring of jewel thieves—maybe even the boss lady and when she saw my heirlooms, she didn’t want to share the wealth with her partners in crime. Being a suspicious gang, they figured that’s what she was planning, and they bumped her off.” Sissy paused and stared at me with a wide grin. “What do you think? Are you going to write a story about this?”
“Perhaps,” I said just to shut her up. I was getting a nosebleed trying to keep up with her. My mind drifted momentarily as I tried to picture the scenario, until I heard her say mention something about her suitcase.
“. . . my suitcase was lifted up onto the luggage rack and the thief rummaged through my stuff, and it wasn’t me. I dropped them off and turned around and walked out.”
“Before we go any further, Sissy, you realize you’re going to be the prime suspect.”
“Nah. Even though I’ve lived in Florida for a long time, these guys aren’t about to forget old Sissy. They’ll know I didn’t do it.”
“I wouldn’t count on it,” I stressed. “That’s why it’s important for us to go over everything before they arrive.” She gave me a casual shrug and stared at me.
“So, your suitcase,” Mags said, “Is it possible you’ve forgotten you opened it for something before you left the Oceans End B&B?”
“No, ma’am,” she said. “Absolutely impossible. I only wheeled the bag into the room . . ..”
“What about this outfit you’re wearing,” I asked. “You just complained about your blouse being wrinkled . . . and the way your tutu is bunched up, it looks as though you dressed in a hurry.”
“No, I didn’t. My clothes are wrinkled because I slept in them, and when I saw the body, I ran outta my room.”
“So, this is what you wore when you met Bella?”
I made a notation to check with Bella. “Okay, go on.”
“Are you getting all this down?” she asked.
I frowned with confusion. “What do you think I’m doing? Playing a game?”
She gave me a one shoulder shrug. “That’s what prompted me to check my suitcase for my jewelry pouch and it was gone.” Closing her eyes, Sissy rubbed her temples again.
“What time did you notice the body?”
“Oh, I guess about three-quarters of an hour ago.” She continued as if anticipating my next question. “Like I said, after I dropped off my luggage, I walked out of the room and didn’t return until very late. After I reported it to the front desk, the ding-a-ling wouldn’t tell me which room you all were in, so I knocked on all the doors.”
My eyes widened in surprise. “You mean, you woke everyone up?”
Sissy’s face cracked into a sheepish grin. “I guess I did, but I’m never going to see these people again anyway, so it’s all good.” She yawned. “Bella and I were having so much fun I didn’t realize how late it was until the owner of the bar announced they were closing.”
“When you came home last night, did you pass anyone in the hall?”
“Not that I remember . . . but I was pretty drunk.”
“Did you notice anything odd about the door when you used your key to enter?”
“You mean, like marks that someone had broken in?”
“Nothing that stands out.”
“Okay. Is your room set up like this one?” I asked. She looked around and nodded. “It isn’t as messy as yours and the closet door opens up to the left instead of the right.”
“And what did you see when you entered the room?”
“Nothing, I just dropped down on top of the bed, clothes and all.” Sissy stood and walked to the door.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m gonna show you how I got into bed, so pay attention cause I’m only doing this once.” When Sissy reached the door, she pivoted around like a soldier, and headed towards me, dropped down onto my bed, her head straight as an arrow. “Oww,” she said, cradling her head in her hands. Her eyes closed for a brief second. “See what I mean? You didn’t see me move my head at all, did ya?”
The conversation stopped abruptly when we heard a loud knock on the door. Startled, we all looked to one another.