Sorry for missing last week. Time management is not my forte. With so much sunshine lately, I feel like I can get more done.
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'm continuing from where we left off the week before last when the stranger announced that she needed a receptionist, and he was it.
Some changes were made to the original.
“Have you called the telephone company?”
“Of course.” How dumb did he think I was? I didn’t ask. “They said there’s no problem on their end.”
After putting his hands on my shoulders and moving me aside, he knelt on one knee. “Oh, my. What a mess.” He looked up with a sheepish grin. “I didn’t mean your housekeeping—although you should talk to your cleaning service. I meant all the wires.”
And a little more:
I didn’t tell him I was the cleaning service. With the new year, I went into belt-tightening mode along with the rest of West Michigan—the adage about thrifty Dutch still holds true, even if I’m not Dutch—while we paid for holiday expenditures. Thank goodness for the windfall from the Feds for capturing an assassin last fall.
“Have you been having other problems with the phones?” The man was still under the desk lying on his back the way I had as he played with the wires connecting the phones and computers.
Along with no landline service, I still had no internet. And no RJ to fix either.
With his knees bent, his pant-legs had hiked up, grazing his long, gray socks. Not the athletic kind, either. Holy cow. Were they silk? Couldn’t be. Who wore silk socks?
“According to RJ, my tech guy, the phones are supposed to interface with my computers. I don’t understand all that. Anyway, please get up. RJ will be here shortly, and he can sort everything out.”
“Nonsense. Why pay for a service call when I’m here?”
“Listen, Mister Cuddy. I—”
“Pete.” He scooted around and wiggled the wire that went into the wall jack. Then he reached up between the desk and the wall and did something I couldn’t see.
“Okay. Pick up the phone and see if there’s a dial tone now.”
I did. “Dial tone.” I felt like an idiot. Never mind the jack was the first thing I’d checked. I’m not totally inept. When he’d reached up, he must have fixed whatever was wrong.
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?