Resort to Homicide, p.1Christine Chianti
Resort to Homicide
A MERRIFIELD MYSTERY NOVELLA
Resort to Homicide
Copyright ? 2016 by Robin DeMarco Enterprises, Inc.
Cover design ? 2016 by Golden Lark Publishing
Excerpt from Makeover for Murder Copyright ? 2016 by Robin DeMarco Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission. For information, please contact Golden Lark PublishingP.O. Box 1602Lockport, NY 14095-1602
This is a work of fiction. Names, character, places and incidents either are from the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual individuals, living or deceased, businesses, establishments or events is entirely coincidental.
Golden Lark Publishing
P.O. Box 1602Lockport, New York 14095-1602
Table of Contents
Excerpt and Special Free Download
About the Author
Connecting with the Author
Other Titles by Christine Chianti
Wind howled outside, and the lights flickered as we sat in the sitting room of Rim Runners' Resort after dinner. My brother, Luke, and his wife, Missy, had purchased the island that sat a quarter mile off of the coast of South Carolina, and had built their dream-an inclusive resort-on it. This weekend, they were hosting six couples, and me, as a sort of dry run before they opened their doors to paying customers.
I'd decided to take a vacation from my day-to-day job of writing mysteries, and spend some time with them before the arrival of their first child in September.
When I'd arrived at Rim Runners' just before dinner, Luke had quickly introduced me to everyone. Since I was the only one here solo I basically got to watch the other seven couples while my own thoughts bounced around in my head. This weekend was a big deal for Luke and Missy, so I sat quietly in a chair close to the love seat where they reclined talking to their guests. In an effort to keep myself from falling asleep before 8 p.m., I looked around the room refreshing my memory of the other guests' names.
On the small settee sat Kevin Adams. He was six-two, brown and brown, and was one of Luke's oldest friends. Next to him was his wife, Donna. She looked like the proverbial scared rabbit. I'd put her at five-five with blue eyes that were almost always as wide as saucers and blonde hair that fell loosely to her shoulders.
In the two wing back chairs on the far wall sat the Moreno's. Anthony Moreno was a tad under six foot, with black hair and deep blue eyes. He gave the sense of being somebody important. He was here with his much younger wife. I was pretty sure the raven haired Kim was no older than twenty-five compared to Tony's nearly sixty.
Mike and Michelle Carlton sat at the small table near the big window playing cards with Jim and Theresa Parker. Mike was a tall thin man, whose wire framed bifocals concealed too much of his face. His wife was a thin red haired beauty, who looked exuberant and flush. Theresa had the same hair color, and her green eyes were the same almond shape and color as Michelle's, but that's where the similarities ended. Theresa was short, I'd guess barely five-foot, and was pleasantly plump. Jim was of average height, five-ten, and topped with a thick mound of ash blond hair.
Scott Campbell was bellied up to the small bar. He was a short man with a round belly and very thin gray hair who had accompanied his wife Beth on the trip to Rim Runners'. Beth was about the same height as her husband, and looked very chic. She was thin with a very short boy-cut hair.
Greg Nelson, stood in the corner scowling on his cell phone. His six-four frame towered over his petite wife Tammy. She wasn't short, but at only five-four, he had her by a foot.
A short woman with a stern look on her face came to the entryway and beckoned someone to come over. Luke sighed and stood. When he noticed my expression, he said quietly, "She's Pam Walters. She handles the employees for the most part."
The lights flickered again, and everyone looked to the big window.
Luke strolled back in a moment later, chuckling slightly. "Well, looks like it's going to be an interesting weekend. The national weather bureau has upgraded Anna to a category three hurricane."
"Shouldn't we head to the mainland?" Donna asked in a squeaky voice.
Luke grabbed a cup of coffee at the bar, "No. The actual storm is over a hundred miles out to sea. We're just going to be getting a bit of rain and wind over the next thirty-six hours or so. Most likely there will be a bit of storm surge that'll hit, but it won't affect us. Besides, the waves are cresting over the bridge back to the mainland. It's safer to just stay put."
Three things happened at the same time.
Michelle checked her watch, Greg yelled, "I hate getting a text requesting an immediate return call only to get a voicemail!" and tossed his phone, and the lights went out.
"Great," Luke muttered. "Okay, folks, the resort has an emergency generator that should kick on in a moment." A flame flickered across the room, and grew, illuminating Luke, now carrying a candle. He walked around the room igniting other candles while most people went back to their conversations.
It took less than a minute before the entire room was bathed in the soft glow of candle light.
Luke stepped out of the room on the pretense of checking the status of the generator, which hadn't yet kicked on.
My sister-in-law sidled up beside me. "If it wasn't for everyone else, this would be very romantic."
I glared at her in the light. "It would take more than a bit of light for this to be romantic for me," I said very softly.
Missy reached out and touched my arm. "I'm sorry about Rob. He was a good man."
Even though it had been just over two years since my husband had been killed in action over in Afghanistan, the mention of his name brought back the memories.
I closed my eyes and tried to control my breathing while I stroked Scooter's back in an attempt to control my emotions. Luke and Missy had given me the Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppy as an early birthday gift shortly after I had arrived this evening. When the little ball of fur climbed into my lap, my heart had melted. It had taken only seconds for me to realize that Scooter was definitely going to be an important key to getting my life back on track. The sound of a door slamming jarred me back and had Scooter jumping off my lap.
"The bloody thing's not going to work. I'm going to have to head up to the control booth at the north point, and see if I can figure out what in heaven's name is going on," Luke stated. He paused, "Laura, would you come with me? I could use the help."
I shrugged, barely capable of forming words yet. "You're lucky you're my favorite brother. Let's go." I finally managed.
He poked my side, "Actually, I'm your only brother."
He was also the only family I had left.
We grabbed our raincoats from the pegs by the door, and lumbered out into the downpour.
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