PW01 - Died On The Vine

PW01 - Died On The Vine by Joyce Harmon Read Free Book Online

Book: PW01 - Died On The Vine by Joyce Harmon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joyce Harmon
Tags: Mystery Cozy, mystery amateur sleuth, wine fiction
grinned. I picked up the kitten, which caused an anxious whine from his new mother.
    “You are going to keep him, aren’t you?” Julia asked.
    “I suppose so. McCavity’s nose will be out of joint, but still. Poor little guy, he’s been through a lot.” I gave him a good ear massage and then restored him to Polly’s custody.
    We went back to the kitchen. I put out some more cat food on the counter, and added kitten food to the grocery list on the refrigerator door. Then we sat back down to our cooling cups of coffee, and I finished telling Julia the story of how I found Obie Winslow.”
    Julia’s eyes were shining when I finished. “Cissy, you’re going to have to investigate this case.”
    “Me! That’s what the sheriff’s department is for! What do I know about investigations?”
    “You heard what Dawson said. The police might not do much more investigating, if the prosecutors think they can get a conviction with what they have. Budgets are tight, why spend time looking for a murderer when they could just charge Jack?”
    I shivered. I haven’t felt this vulnerable since they came to tell me Jimmy was dead.
    “But I don’t know anything about investigations,” I protested.
    “Sure you do. You were already investigating Winslow. Now, all my mystery reading has taught me that the best way to solve a murder is to study the victim. So you’re already ahead of the game. Just investigate Winslow and find out who would want him dead.”
    I was dubious. “It can’t be that easy.”
    “Oh, I didn’t say it was easy. But I don’t see why it can’t be done.” Julia stood up, now briskly all business. “The first thing for you to do is study the information you got from the library and from those computer people. That ought to give you some ideas on where to start. I’ll check back tomorrow and we’ll establish a schedule.”
    She leaned down and gave my shoulder a quick squeeze. “And don’t worry. We’ll figure this out.”
    And she bustled out.
    It occurred to me that “my” investigation had quickly become “our” investigation. But I suppose that was good. Right now I needed an infusion of energy and optimism, which Julia certainly had in abundance.
    I stood up and went looking for Jack.
     
     

 
     
    FIVE
    The next morning I was in my office when Julia came over. My office is in the base of the tower, so I have windows on three sides. Between the windows are shelves and shelves, and then more shelves. On one side is a large built-in work surface, with a slide-out drawer for the computer keyboard. In the middle of the room, an old sofa in a faded plaid faced the wood stove. I had installed heavy-duty low pile carpeting to allow me to roll around easily on my ergonomic five-legged chair.
    It may never make a spread in a decorating magazine, but I think my office is beautiful. A room full of books, a fire, a sofa, a dog – what’s not to like? I had papers spread over the work surface. Polly was on the sofa with her new friend.
    Was I making progress? I liked to think so.
    Julia knocked on the doorframe. “Hi, guys.” She includes animals in her greetings. “I saw your note on the door and let myself in.”
    Beau pushed past her and went over to the sofa to check out the small moving object with Polly. Polly responded with a menacing growl deep in her throat.
    “No, actually that’s good,” Julia said. “She’s protecting her puppy. Nothing like maternal instinct. Beau, come.”
    Beau reported to Julia’s side and gazed lovingly into her eyes, awaiting further instructions.
    “Down,” she commanded, pointing to the floor. Beau subsided onto the floor like the obedience champion he is. I was sick with envy. “Stay,” was the next command.
    Then she turned back to me and continued the conversation. “A long down/stay will do him good. Now, what have you come up with? Have you started your research on Winslow?”
    “Actually, it occurred to me that the research might already be

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