A Plain Malice: An Appleseed Creek Mystery (Appleseed Creek Mystery Series Book 4)

A Plain Malice: An Appleseed Creek Mystery (Appleseed Creek Mystery Series Book 4) by Amanda Flower Read Free Book Online

Book: A Plain Malice: An Appleseed Creek Mystery (Appleseed Creek Mystery Series Book 4) by Amanda Flower Read Free Book Online
Authors: Amanda Flower
gripped the phone to my ear. “They still want to go on the tour?”
    “Let’s just say I talked them into it.” She sounded a little too pleased with herself in my opinion.
    I knew that smirk on the chief’s face would lead to trouble. “I wouldn’t know what to do.”
    “Humphrey, it’s not rocket science. You stand on the bus and tell them about our quaint little town and introduce them to the Amish farmers and convince them to buy buggy-shaped paperweights they don’t need. How hard can that be?”
    There has to be a way out of this. “I’m not a tour guide. I’m a computer geek.”
    “You’re not a detective either, bu t you like to pretend you are,” she said.
    I grimaced and knew the chief referred to the few time s I'd meddled in her investigations, sometimes with her blessing, sometimes without it. Her voice turned sharp. “You know more about the Amish living in this county than English folks who have lived here for generations. I need you.” She paused. “Do it for the Troyers. If the bus people stick around, I will have more suspects.”
    “Isn’t there someone else you can ask? There has to be a real travel agent in Knox County. Isn’t there an AAA office in Mount Vernon? Maybe you should call them.”
    “Don’t you want to help your boyfriend’s family? I’m surprised, Humphrey. This is your chance to be trapped on a bus with all those lovely suspects, perhaps even clear the good name of Troyer’s father.”
    Or be trapped on a bus with a murderer.
    “You want me to do that?” I asked. “You want me to i nvestigate while I’m on the bus?”
    “You might as well make use of you r time. I certainly can’t do it. They aren’t going to say anything incriminating in front of me or one of my officers. Remember everything they say and report back to me. This should be one of your easier assignments.”
    A light wind whipped across the pasture. The grass bent low in submission to it. I shivered. “What if they suspect I’m reporting back to you?”
    “Humphrey, you look like a human replica of Raggedy Ann. No one would suspect you of anything more devious than forgetting to say ‘thank you’ after someone passes you the salt.”
    I chewed on the Raggedy Ann comment and reflexively touched my hair to reassure myself it wasn’t yarn-like. “How many passengers are there?” I squeaked. “I didn’t count when they were here on the farm.”
    “ Fourteen. The bus seats thirty-five. See, I’m not even sticking you with a full bus.”
    “Thanks.” I pulled my car keys out of my jacket pocket and balance d them in my hand.
    Timothy arched his brows in question.
    “ Fifteen if you count the driver,” the chief said.
    Which I do . I thought of the irritable-looking man in the blue polo shirt.
    “Where are they staying?” My tone was resigned.
    “The Dutch Inn right here in Appleseed Creek.”
    That made sense since it was the largest inn in town. Hotel options were few in Knox County. There were a couple chain hotels in Mount Vernon or bed and breakfasts dotting the small towns, but none of the B&Bs were large enough to hold fourteen people plus a bus driver.
    “Listen to me .” The chief’s patience ran thin. “If you don’t do this, these people will leave and the only suspect left is Simon Troyer.” The threat hung in the air. Chief Rose had me, and we both knew it. “If you care about the Troyers as much as you claim to, you don’t have a choice.”
    I locked eyes with Timothy. His brow drooped in concern, and even though he was only twenty-seven, I saw the beginning of light wrinkles feathering out from the corners of his eyes caused by sun and worry. Like she said, I really didn’t have a choice. “I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”

    Chapter Five
    Leaving Grandfather Zook and Mabel at the Troyer farm to continue to search the grounds for evidence, Timothy drove me to the hospital.
    I straightened my seatbelt’s shoulder strap while Timothy turned onto

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