Thank you for reading my new book excerpts. I hope the excitement of my mystery fiction is well described in these pages.

A Cut Above

[excerpt of a completed manuscript set in Colorado. Lieutenant Meagan Storm is a strong female protagonist who is a homicide detective. NOTE: the sequel to A Cut Above, A Bite to Remember is completed. ]

Storm was sitting in one of the uncomfortable metal chairs that populated most police departments. Lying beside her was a large, black dog. He seemed to blend into the floor and despite his size; no one seemed to notice him. A casual observer would thing she was relaxed and reading a book.

Most of the observers weren’t casual; she was in a cop shop and their lives depended on them being observant. Dressed in her usual jeans, black turtleneck, beat-up cowboy boots and the black leather jacket covering her weapon, she looked harmless. A lot of people under estimated her because they saw a small woman with dark hair the color of espresso and dainty features, it wasn’t until they met her eyes, grey and stormy as her name that they realized she was a person to be wary of.

The detective she was supposed to meet was late. The whole idea had been her husbands’. Storm had to smile to herself; the thought of a husband in her life wasn’t even an issue as short as two months ago and now she was married. They had come together on a murder case in another police department half way across the country and while solving the case had fallen in love. That really wasn’t true, they had been in love with each other for eight years, but had finally come together again. He had some how talked her into marrying him.

The Colorado Spring’s Police Department had been her home, but he lived in New York, so she was here, “on loan” to see if she liked the city and could move there.

The noise level in the bull pen went up a notch, she watched as two officers brought a subject in and sat him down at the desk closest to her for booking. His hands were behind his back in cuffs but he looked like he could have snapped them without a hard breath. Six-eight if he was an inch and the body to go with it; he could have been a line backer on a football team until you saw how crazily his eyes twirled. She hoped not all the suspects in New York were this big.

Storm felt a prickling in the back of her neck that always warned her of danger and straightened up in her chair. The slight movement brought her to the man’s attention, but he looked at her and dismissed her as a threat. She felt Ace’s head come up and she motioned him to be still. Ace was her permanent partner. A black German Shepard the size of a small pony, he was lying out of sight of the prisoner, by her chair.

A girl in her early twenties was sidling down the aisle between the desks with her arms loaded with files. She had blonde hair and was cute in the just out of school way; dressed in the hip-hugging jean look, with part of her belly showing that was the style. As she passed the desk, the prisoner’s arms bunched and he broke the restraints like they were made of string. Storm started to yell a warning, but it was too late and the man grabbed the girl by the neck and shoved the chair over as he sprang up. All the officers jumped up, only the officer who had brought the man in had his gun; but the only sound in the room was the girl’s screaming.

One of the detectives quietly asked him to put the girl down; no one had to get hurt. Storm knew the man was past that point, she didn’t know his story, but she knew he had no intention of giving up. The hostage was turning a dusky blue and her screams were down to barely audible whimpers.

Sighing, she realized that she was the only one he wasn’t watching. If she didn’t do something the girl would be dead. Taking her book by the corner, she threw it like a Frisbee, and hit him on the back of the head. Storm followed the book across the few feet separating them and went for his arm to get him to release the girl. With a roar, he tossed the girl away from him and went for Storm’s throat. Dodging, she hit him with everything she had, dead center on his nose. He staggered back for a heartbeat and stopped when he heard the deep growl next to him.

Storm could hear the other officers moving forward. He started to take a step and Storm spoke for the first time, “Ace gets a tad riled up if he thinks someone wants to hurt me, I really wouldn’t want to give him that impression if you want to keep all your parts intact,” she drawled in the accent of her childhood in the south. It never ceased to amaze her how a person would go up against other humans with guns, but back off from a growling dog.

....................................

A path opened up and she saw a middle-aged man in a rumbled suit, the only thing she could think of when she looked up at him, was ‘Deputy Dog’. His face was droopy in all the right places with small, black, patent-leather eyes. Storm was having a problem not grinning when she looked at him. He placed his hands on his hips and shaking his head, he sorrowfully announced: “Everyone, I’d like you to meet Lieutenant Meagan Storm, on loan to us from Colorado Springs. She’s here to show us how they throw the book at criminals out west.” The comment was met with laughs and whistles as the tension in the pen dropped.

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