Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and those who are like mothers to us.
I'm sharing snippets from the 4th Alex O'Hara cozy mystery, The Case of the Wedding Wrecker. If you haven't read the previous Alex O'Hara mysteries, I should point out it takes place in West Michigan, along the Lake Michigan shore. The Dutch settled in Michigan starting in the 1830s, most heavily on the west side of the state. My Dutch relatives settled in the area north of Detroit. I had fun using family names for some of my characters.
This snippet immediately follows last week's. It ended with Todd's mother saying, “There’s a witness.”
BTW, since this is a work in progress, suggestions are always welcome.
Wait. A witness?
A commotion at the entrance made me turn around. Pieter and Hans Bogardus walked in. Rather, Pieter shuffled, using a cane. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of weeks. His usual spry step was gone, replaced by a halting gate. He appeared almost gaunt, his normally sharp blue eyes clouded. Hans held his arm then helped him sit in the wooden chair next to the dispatch desk before approaching us.
“Frank, Tony, Maria, Lexie.” He nodded to each of us, shaking hands with Pop, Tony, and Maria.
And a bit more . . .
And a bit more . . .
I’d grown up playing at the Pops’ office, next door to his dad’s law office. He’d gone off to college then law school while I was still the kid in pigtails. I guess he didn’t know I’d changed my name.
Hans clasped my hand with both of his. “I should’ve said Alex. Dad talks about you all the time. How are you holding up?”
I shrugged. Everything was catching up with me. Nick’s arrest. Todd’s worry about his mother. Her accusations. I needed to talk to Nick. I knew he couldn’t have killed Mike Amerson. But I needed to hear him deny it.
“I have to talk to Nick,” I told Hans.
“Is there an office I can use to talk to my clients?” he asked Jenny.
She ushered us around the corner into a bare room. The sign on the door said, “Interview Room.” Hah. Interrogation Room was more like it. She and Hans grabbed chairs to add to the three already in the room. Belatedly, Pop and Tony helped.
After everyone was seated, Hans said, “Tell me what you know.” He looked to me to start.
“Not much of anything,” I said. “Dawg—Deputy Dawson arrested Nick at the altar, in front of God and everybody and hauled him off in handcuffs.” Tears streamed down my cheeks, and my throat closed up. I knew if I talked any more, I’d blubber. Damn it.
Maria put her arm around my shoulders and handed me a tissue.
Hans looked at Tony. “Pardon my attire.” He indicated his denim overalls over a white T-shirt. “I was working in the yard when you called my dad. He said Nick was arrested for murder?”
Tony nodded. “That’s as much as we know. The deputy out front, the one who brought us in here—Jenny—she won’t talk. Says she can’t.”
“All right. You all wait here. I’ll find Chief Hoesen.”
As soon as he left, Maria said, “What a nice young man.”
“I’d rather have Pieter,” Tony groused. “Look at him. Couldn’t even change his clothes.”