New Smyrna Swing
By DD Queens
Champagne Books: http://goo.gl/RYQ2Xc
After finding her ex dead on her terrazzo floor, it’s clear that PI Jenna Palmer must find the real killer, or end up in jail for the crime herself.
“Hey! What are you doing out of the car?” said one of the suits as he was bearing down on me. Actually, lose the scowl and he’d be pretty cute.
“I don’t like being cooped up like that,” I retorted. “What’s the problem?”
“I told you to stay in the car!” The man was actually shouting at me.
I drew myself up to my full five feet six inches in the wedgie flip-flops I’d rescued from my front step to look him square in the eye. Actually, that only put me at about chest high to him, so I tossed my head back and glared, knowing the head toss made my curls bounce becomingly. “You can’t tell me what to do! This is my property! It’s not my fault someone got killed here!”
“That ‘someone’ happens to be your ex-husband, ma’am, and right now you’re the only person we can definitively put at the scene of the crime.” Detective Suit glared at me, his baby blues boring right into me. Yum.
What? This man is yelling at me and I’m thinking “Yum”? Get ahold of yourself, Jenna.
The detective scowled. “What?”
Whoops. Had I said “Yum” out loud? “Um, nothing. I live here, remember? Of course I’m the one who found the body. Who else would? That doesn’t mean I had anything to do with it.”
“Well, we’ll see what the M.E. says, but if you didn’t do it yourself, you couldn’t have missed the killer by much. The body was still warm when we got here.”
“Oh, nice, real nice, Detective, uh—”
Of course that’s his name. Oops. I hoped that thought was silent. “Listen, Detective Johnson, I walked in from lunch—wait—” I dug into my front shorts pocket to retrieve my receipt as Detective Johnson flinched. “Jesus, buddy, relax. I’m just getting my receipt for lunch. Here, look.” I handed it to him, pointing to the time stamp. “1:49. I must have called 9-1-1 at what, around two o’clock? It took me seven or eight minutes to walk home, and I got the mail and read through it before I walked in. I called the minute I saw it.”
“Saw what?” the detective asked, those blue eyes narrowing.
“Duh.” I could not suppress an eye roll. “You know what.” Silence. “Are you really going to make me say it?”
Geez, this guy was pushy. “The body. Okay, I saw the body.”
He was still staring at me.
“What? Why are you looking at me like that?”
“It’s just interesting, that’s all.”
I was getting frustrated. “What? What is so interesting?”
“You referred to your ex-husband as ‘the body.’ That’s interesting. It’s certainly unusual. Most people refer to someone they know by their name, not as an object. Even if they’re dead.”
As if. What this guy didn’t know is I would never refer to my ex by name. Ever. I would never say his name again as long as I lived.