Authors: Barbara Levenson
Tags: #Mystery: Cozy - Lawyer - Romance - Vermont
|Barbara Levenson - Mary Magruder Katz 03 - Outrageous October|
|Mary Magruder Katz |
|Tags:||Mystery: Cozy - Lawyer - Romance - Vermont|
Mystery: Cozy - Lawyer - Romance - Vermontttt
Copyright 2012 by Barbara Levenson
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance ;to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved.
ISBN 13: 9781480093669
eBook ISBN: 978-1-62346-900-9
Also by Barbara Levenson
Justice In June
This book is dedicated to the hard working strong Vermonters who populate the lovely villages of the Upper Valley.
Carolyn Brousseau was feeling sorry for herself. She had taken to her bed with a messy sick cold. Damn the changing Vermont weather. She should have found a warm hideaway after her husband died; maybe Florida or Arizona. But leaving her friends and charity work here in High Pines weighed on her psyche and seemed more than she could handle at her age.
She was supposed to be in Burlington at the symphony board meeting, a trip she always looked forward to. Instead she was alone with her stopped-up head and wheezing chest and only her Golden Retriever for company. Bridey was as old as Carolyn, ten in dog years and not any more energetic then her mistress.
She knew she needed to sleep but the Nyquil wasn’t working. She poured a tumbler of brandy from the bottle on her nightstand and downed it in one gulp. Soon she was snoring in a sickly fog. Wind howled through her open windows as a new cold front approached.
A loud bang awakened her. She tried to sit up bracing herself on one elbow. She thought she heard rustling sounds. She wasn’t sure where they were coming from in her brandy induced haze. From the open windows or inside the room? She felt a shiver run through her body.
“Bridey, come here girl,” she called.
The flash of light blinded her for a moment. It dawned on her that it came from a flashlight. Then she heard a familiar voice.
“You’re not supposed to be here. Thought you’d be up in Burlington giving away some of that money you never earned,” the voice said.
“What – what are you doing here?” Carolyn stuttered, still fighting the fog in her brain.
“I’m here to get what’s mine,” the voice answered.
“Where’s Bridey?” Carolyn was now fully awake. The chill she felt now was one of fear.
“We took care of Bridey, just like we’ll take care of you.”
That was the moment Carolyn saw the shiny metal of the gun caught in the glimmer of the flashlight. She rolled to the far side of the bed and tried to roll to the floor, but the flash of the gun was the last thing Carolyn Brousseau ever saw. .
THE VALLEY NEWS SOCIALITE FOUND MURDERED
High Pines, Vermont
Local socialite and longtime resident, Carolyn Brousseau, was found dead in her home in the River Road area. She was discovered by her handyman, Al Shields.
Mr. Shields arrived at the Brousseau home early yesterday morning to plow the early winter snow that fell during the night. He saw no signs of life and did not see or hear Mrs. Brousseau’s Golden Retriever. Several windows were open. He entered the house to check on the owner and discovered her body in the master bedroom.
Mrs. Brousseau was the widow of Maurice Brousseau, owner of Maurice Woolen Mill. The mill closed three years ago. She is survived by one son, Thomas, believed to reside in Boston. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Sheriff Jimmy Parsons is in charge of the investigation. “We are asking the public to report any suspicious activity observed in the area. There were no signs of a break-in, but few people in the area lock their doors or cars even though we have repeatedly warned them to lock up,” the Sheriff said. Sheriff Parsons refused to reveal any details regarding the cause of death or evidence recovered, but stated that it was clear that Mrs. Brousseau had been murdered.
Al Shields was reached by telephone, but was reluctant to speak at length. “I am still quite shocked. I was able to tell the police that Mrs. Brousseau’s 2001 white Lincoln Town Car was not in its usual place. Her Golden Retriever was nowhere on the property. “That dog is a real barker and should have alerted her to any strangers,” according to Mr. Shields, The Brousseaus were active in several charities in the state including the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and the Upper Valley Humane Society, but were known to be silent benefactors, keeping a low profile. Mrs. Brousseau traveled extensively and was often not in residence in her High Pines home.
Francie Wallace, former housekeeper in the Brousseau home, declined to be interviewed but did state that she left the employ of the family shortly after the mill closed. Mrs. Wallace’s husband was employed at the Maurice Mill for many years. He committed suicide in 2002.
Anyone having information that would aid the police is asked to contact Sheriff Parsons at the main station in White River Junction, or the Vermont State Police in Montpelier.
One Year Later, Miami, Florida
It was the first day of October and I had an important court date. I’m always awake early when a trial is on my mind. My bungalow in Coral Gables was dark as I moved out of bed pushing Sam, my German Shepherd, onto the feet of my gorgeous Latin boyfriend Carlos.
Carlos yelled and sat up. “Hey, it’s still dark out. What are you doing out of bed?”
He tried to pull me back next to him. I leaned over and kissed him lightly before stepping back into the reality of the work week ahead of me.
“This is the day I have to try your cousin’s case. You must have forgotten.”
I moved away quickly before I gave in and climbed back into bed. Then I would be totally late arriving at the office and at the courthouse.
As I threw on a long shirt belonging to Carlos, I thought back to the time before we bumped into each other, literally. It was only eight months ago that day in February when I went to the car wash and ended up being rear-ended by Carlos in his Corvette. I grinned as I thought about my first impression of him as a brash, rude, overly rich developer.
I fixed a pot of coffee for me and a special concoction of
for Carlos, who was up and in the shower having given up on my returning to our warm bed, or really my warm bed. Carlos has his own house in the tony suburb of Pinecrest. He built his mega mansion on spec, but no one had opted to plunk down mega bucks for his starter castle so he moved in himself. I like my little house so we take turns staying with each other.
I gave Sam his kibble, walked him, and returned to the house and a quick shower. Carlos opened the shower curtain, I could smell his aftershave that filled me with regret for not returning to bed.
“Why didn’t you join me in the shower?” He laughed and patted my behind. “See you later,” he called as he closed the curtain.
I couldn’t wait until later. I realized we had spent too many mornings being late to business appointments in the last few months.
I returned to the bedroom to don my official attorney outfit; navy suit, white blouse, and very high-heeled uncomfortable pumps.
It wasn’t even eight o’clock when I arrived at my office on Dixie Highway. I glanced at the sign outside my office as I hurried in, In the half light of day, the gold letters gleamed announcing MARY MAGRUDER KATZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY. I was enjoying my solo law practice and that was another thing that Carlos was responsible for.
I was engaged to and working for Franklin Fieldstone and his snooty civil law firm on the fateful day that Carlos and I made love for the first time. My only mistake regarding this happy occasion was that it occurred in my office at the Fieldstone firm. When Frank walked in on us, the engagement was over and so was my job. So now I was the sole attorney in my own practice and happier than I’ve ever been.
Catherine was already in the office booting up computers and listening to voice mail. Catherine is my amazing paralegal and guardian angel. She lives close to the office. She’s a single mom with two handsome school age sons. Her ex-husband walked out on her when the kids were babies.
I guessed she had ridden her bike to work. Beads of sweat covered her forehead. October in Miami shows no sign of heat abatement until at least the end of the month
“Are you sure you’re ready for trial? Are these all the files in Franco’s case?” Catherine asked as she arranged the few thin files in my briefcase.
“I’ve been ready since July. It’s the prosecutor who keeps asking for one continuance after another. Just because Franco is one of Carlos’s innumerable cousins doesn’t mean I’m not devoted to his case. He wouldn’t have to defend criminal charges if he hadn’t helped me get my car out of the Miami Police impound lot last June after the cops towed it away.”
“That’s what happens when you continue to park in those no parking spots. You never learn.”
“I can’t help it. I can’t leave clients waiting in court without an attorney. Parking is a bummer.”
“Not if you arrive on time or try being early for a change”
Catherine turned her back to answer the phone and I left the waiting room for the quiet of my office.
I went over Franco’s case in my mind. Franco’s profession is cars He knows everything about cars from fixing them to retrieving them from tow-away lots He spends most of his time repairing everybody’s car in his extended family whether they need it or not. His car knowledge was the reason he was facing trial Last June he helped get my SUV back after it was towed. It was late in the evening. He gave the attendant cash and the car was released. He also repurchased the parts that the attendant had stolen from my car.
When the police made their monthly visit to Franco’s house on a domestic call (Franco and wife, Lucinda, have a strange way of showing their love for each other) they served an arrest warrant charging him with bribing a city official and/or a police officer. This probably occurred because some officer had his eye on my Ford Explorer for himself and was pissed that the attendant let it go and pocketed the bucks Franco doled out.
Catherine came into my office with messages and e-mails to look at before I left for the courthouse. She frowned and fidgeted waiting for me to address the messages with her.
“Catherine, are you nervous because you think Franco will be convicted? I understand that your hot romance with Franco’s brother makes you concerned. Whatever happens to Franco won’t reflect on Marco. I know how much you care about Marco and his family. After all, you met him right here in this office when he helped us with some investigative work. I saw the sparks fly. What I can’t understand is why you don’t move in with him. I know he’s asked you.”
“I’m still kind of gun-shy after my marriage from hell. And I have my kids to think about. And Marco is very busy with his agency. Pit Bull Security is his life. Anyway, who are you to talk? You refuse to give up your house and move in with Carlos.”
“Okay we’re two independent girls. We might as well face it. We like the romance part, but not the forever part. I better get on the road or I’ll be late again.”