Thanks to everyone who stopped by last week.
I'm sharing a snippet from the 2nd Alex O'Hara mystery novel, The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé. Alex is a P.I. in the small Lake Michigan resort town near Grand Rapids. I skipped ahead to chapter 3.
Some changes were made to the original.
The outside door opened, letting in a blast of Michigan winter air. The cold draft shot down my back as I lay on the floor under the receptionist’s desk. What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
“That better be you, RJ,” I hollered. “And you’d better fix this piece of shit telephone system before I tear out every damn wire.”
When RJ didn’t give me a song-and-dance about why it had taken him so long to respond to my SOS, I squinted between the edge of the modesty panel and the floor. Oh, no. Dark gray trousers with a knife-sharp crease grazed the fashionably-correct spot on a pair of highly-polished gray Italian loafers. Definitely not RJ’s scruffy athletic shoes topped by the ragged hem of his worn blue jeans.
Now for the rest of the scene:
I had two choices. Door Number One—stay under the desk and pretend no one was home. Door Number Two—scramble out and greet the potential client.
Scratch Door Number One. I’d already spoken. He knew I was there.
As I scrambled, I hit my head on the underside of the desk. “Hell’s bells.”
“My dear girl, whatever are you doing in that awful place?” The owner of the expensive loafers had walked around the desk and was peering down at me. “May I give you a hand?”
How about duct tape for my mouth? My mother must be turning over in her grave. And Pop would be appalled that I’d given a client a bad first impression of the agency he and Tony Palzetti had started after high school. Correction, after high school for Pop, college for Tony.
As I scooted out from among the tangled wires, I also cleaned the floor with my backside. The underside of the kneehole drawer caught the scrunchie anchoring my ponytail and pulled it off—the scrunchie, not my ponytail. Through another tangle, this time my hair, I looked up at the owner of the sexy voice.
Delish, as my Dottie would say. “Money, money, money,” as ABBA sang. Under his black, unbelted Burberry, he wore monochromatic better than Alex Trebek. Dark gray suit, a darker gray shirt, and a gray-on-gray striped tie. His blond hair with its precision cut enhanced his appearance. No barber for this guy. Had to be an expensive stylist. The businesswoman in me took notice. So did my lady parts.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Nicolas Palzetti. There are other fish in the sea than you.
She’s at it again. Alex O’Hara just can’t say no to a new investigation. What do a 45-year-old boyfriend, a deadbeat dad, and a teenage runaway have in common? All new cases. With no receptionist, phone and internet problems, and her own boyfriend in the wind, Alex has no idea how she’ll manage. But the question for the past three months is why did Nick disappear. Is this the end of O’Hara & Palzetti?