Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Read an Excerpt From Almost a Touch by D.B. McNicol

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It was the perfect vacation for two good friends... until it wasn't. Death and jail would interfere.

Traveling from Bradford, Pennsylvania to Kalispell, Montana for two weeks of fishing and relaxation had all the earmarks of a great time. When things went awry, the local police were of little assistance. The body belonged to the Chief of Police of Bradford, PA. His associate was hustled into jail. Friends back home in Pennsylvania are furious and want answers. They are heading to Montana to get them.

EXCERPT FROM ALMOST A TOUCH [Book three in the Klondike Mystery Series]:

As Hank kept an eye on the trespasser, Alan continued with his questions. "Dave was shot. Do you have any idea what happened? I know it's early–"
The new deputy stuck his thumbs into his belt and scowled. "Who are you?"
"Sorry. Deputy Smythe, this is Alan Baumann, a close personal friend of the deceased."
Smythe's glower deepened. "We need to wait for the crime scene techs but it looks pretty straightforward. This was a suicide. Plain and simple." He crossed his arms and challenged anyone to argue with his finding.
Alan was speechless. His face turned red, and he sputtered out sounds, not words. Hank walked up just as Alan spit out "The HELL you say!"
"What did I miss?"
"This arrogant bastard is trying to say Dave committed suicide." He turned back to Smythe. "No way in hell would that ever happen."
The deputy shrugged, but a smirk let his true sentiment show.
Hank studied the deputy. "Don't I know you?" All he got in return was a shrug. "Sure I do. You're related to Georgina, Smitty. The owner of The Wagging Tail. Right?"
The deputy laughed but his face wasn't smiling. "My ditzy cousin. Yeah, we're related."
Hank nodded, recalling several stories he'd heard from both Smitty and Sandy during their high school years. He'd update Alan privately after they left.
But Alan wasn't ready to be distracted by small talk. "Fine, you know him. He's still a jerk. Dave would never kill himself and it ticks me off that any officer would even consider that a possibility."
Alan was close to a foot shorter than the deputy but that didn't deter him from getting up in his face. "You'd better find out what really happened and fast!"
"Are you threatening me?"
"If you don't do your job, then damn right I am!" Alan's face was scarlet and his breath was coming in short, hard puffs.
Smythe leaned down. "You think you're a tough little man, don't you? Your buddy is dead by his own hand and nothing you can say or do will ever change that. Capiche?"
Before he could straighten, Alan cocked his fist and punched him, knocking him flat. Hank chuckled while Deputy Finehorn outright laughed and muttered, "Serves him right. He's overdue to be taken down a peg."
Deputy Chasen sent a frown to Finehorn just as Smythe stood. Rubbing his face, he reached back and grabbed his handcuffs. "You're under arrest for assaulting an officer of the law." Alan took one step back as Smythe moved towards him with the open cuffs.
The other deputies protested. "It was just a gut reaction, Smythe. Give it a break."
"Hey man, he just lost a good friend. Chill."
"C'mon, do the decent thing. Relax."
Smythe ignored everyone, focussing in on his perceived enemy. Alan was nonplussed and extended his hands, obviously realizing this wasn't the time to argue.
Chasen sighed. "If you're determined to do this, skip the cuffs. Mr. Baumann isn't resisting arrest. You don't have to treat him like a criminal."
Smythe huffed, "But the truth is, he is. He sucker-punched me–"
Finehorn chimed in. "Give it a break, Smythe. You're being a dick and we all know it."
Hank was too stunned to say anything while his head swiveled from man to man as they argued.
Stuffing his cuffs away, Smythe motioned to Alan to walk ahead of him, asking Chasen, "You need me anymore? I can lock him in the car–"
With another large sigh, Chasen responded. "You're done here. Go do what you think you have to." Under his breath, he muttered, "Asshole." Shaking his head he turned to Hank. "I'm sorry about Mr. Baumann. Smythe can have a bit of a temper."
Hank had to laugh. "Evidently so does Alan."

Donna B. McNicol is a retired IT professional who started writing fiction after retirement. Her preferred genre is small town mysteries with a dash of romance but she has also tackled children's stories, fantasy and small town romance. In addition, her short stories have been included in several anthologies. She currently lives with her husband and their two dogs, Cooper a Goldendoodle, and Murphy a Collie/Goldendoodle mix, splitting their time between living in their home in Tennessee and traveling in their 5th wheel trailer.


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