A Fatal Chapter

A Fatal Chapter by Lorna Barrett Read Free Book Online

Book: A Fatal Chapter by Lorna Barrett Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lorna Barrett
terrific—at just about everything she does.”
    Tricia pushed back her chair and stood. “I’m sorry you have to leave so soon.”
    “Who says I do?”
    “Me. It’s been a traumatic day. All I want to do is settle back in my easy chair with a good book and forget about real life for a few hours.”
    “It might do you good to experience more of real life—at least the good part of it.”
    “I have plenty of good things in my life.”
    As though on cue, Miss Marple said,
    They both laughed.
    Christopher pushed back his chair and stood. “Can I at least kiss you good-bye?”
    He leaned forward and brushed a light kiss against her cheek anyway.
    “So sue me.” Watching where he stepped, as Miss Marple seemed about to trip him, Christopher headed for the door. “Thanks for the dinner and the conversation. Can I come by tomorrow night?”
    “Okay, see you then,” he said, and let himself out, closing the door.
    “That man,” Tricia grated.
” Miss Marpleagreed.

    Tricia read far into the night—much later than she’d intended, and it wasn’t as though she needed to finish Agatha Christie’s
Death in the Air
since she’d read the book at least three times before. But she’d known that the troubling thoughts of the day were bound to haunt her unless she was good and tired before she turned off her bedside light.
    Without a treadmill, Tricia was forced to take a brisk early-morning walk around the village. Thanks to a new pedometer, she’d figured out several routes to get in her usual four-mile walk, and she enjoyed admiring the neat homes and gardens—at least when it wasn’t raining. She’d miss that when winter came again, but decided that walking outside was far more enjoyable than the tedium of the treadmill.
    It was nearly seven thirty when Tricia returned to her temporary home, and she had just enough time to shower, change, and eat a yogurt breakfast before she turned the plastic CLOSED sign to OPEN andunlocked the front door. Once she did, the Stoneham Chamber of Commerce was officially open for business.
    No sooner had she sat down at her desk when Bob Kelly entered. As far as she knew, Bob hadn’t darkened the Chamber’s new office before then.
    “To what do I owe the pleasure?” Tricia asked, knowing full well why Bob had come to visit.
    He let his gaze follow the contours of the room that had once acted as the home’s living room. He took in the four desks. “The Chamber never needed more than one employee when I ran it,” he groused.
    “Membership is up over a hundred percent since January,” Tricia said, keeping her tone even. “And as you know, I’m not taking a salary.”
    “What will they do when you go back to running your store?”
    “Perhaps they’ll hire someone else. If membership continues to rise, they’ll be well able to afford it.”
    Bob glowered and quickly changed the subject. “Everyone around the village is talking about poor Pete Renquist—and how
found him.”
    “I wish I’d found him a few minutes sooner. It might have made all the difference in the world,” Tricia said sincerely.
    “Pete and I worked together a lot over the years,” Bob bragged. That was certainly stretching the truth. Under Bob’s leadership, Michele Fowler, manager of the Dog-Eared Page, had pushed the Chamber to team up with the Historical Society on establishing the cemetery ghost walks. That hadn’t happened until Angelica had come on board. Bob’s agenda hadn’t included anything that didn’t bring attention to his projects and his realty company. He’d rebuffed Michele’s suggestion because it offered no monetary value to the Chamber or Bob personally.
    “Did he say anything to you before he died?” Bob asked, his tone neutral.
    Tricia studied his face. Now, why would he ask that? Russ had said Pete’s death was suspicious. Could Bob have been responsible?
    Bob was a lot of things, but Tricia had never

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