Wednesday, April 2, 2014

That Touch of Ink (A Mad for Mod Mystery) by Diane Vallere Excerpt

That Touch of Ink (A Mad for Mod Mystery) by Diane Vallere Excerpt

When interior decorator Madison Night receives a five thousand dollar bill in the mail, she knows it's a message from her past. But when she discovers a corpse while trying to learn of the bill's value, Madison suspects her former lover wants more than a reconciliation. His actions belie his intentions, and even a gallon of daisy yellow paint can't hide the writing on the wall. Madison follows a circuit of rare dollars and common sense and discovers a counterfeit operation, a jealous lover, and the true value of her independence.

Excerpt (from first page):

The money arrived on a Tuesday. Five thousand dollars, wrapped in a sheet of newsprint. It wasn’t a stack of carefully counted bills. It wasn’t a check. Nobody owed me money. But the fact that this sum of five thousand dollars came with the rest of the mail, in the form of one bill, made the situation all the worse. Only one person in the world would send me a five thousand dollar bill.

Brad Turlington. The man I thought I knew better than anyone I’d ever known in my life, until the day I learned he was a stranger.

The five thousand dollar bill was in good shape inside a clear plastic sandwich baggie. I flattened it out with the side of my hand. Under the bill, a phone number was scrawled across the newsprint. The familiar area code did little to soothe my mounting anxiety. It was the same area code I’d had when I lived in Philadelphia, before I’d moved to Dallas. I looked at the envelope. It was addressed to me, Madison Night. The address was mine, the handwriting his, the postmark Dallas. If it’s true that money talks, then I didn’t like what this five thousand dollar bill told me: Brad was alive, he knew my price, and he had found me.

To my untrained eye, it looked like Monopoly money. I set it on my dining room table and stared at it like it was going to do tricks, though the mere act of arriving in the mail, uninsured, in a plain white envelope should have been trick enough. The fact that it delivered a message from a ghost was the cherry on top of the sundae. Or the straw that broke the camel’s back. Sometimes, when you’re trying to justify your past to your present, it’s hard to tell.

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