Roundup Crew | Diana Orgain - Part 2

Murder at Yappy Hour (Roundup Crew Mystery Series: Book One) Sneak Peek – Chapter One

From Murder at Yappy Hour  Chapter One   “What do you mean, you fired her?” I said into my cell phone as I brushed sand from the beach towel. It was at least the fourth time I’d had the same conversation with my great-uncle Ernest. Grunkly-E we called him, which morphed into Grunkly, but on occasion turned into Grouchy or Grumpy. He was one of the reasons I’d recently relocated to Pacific Cove. He and my sister, Rachel, not to mention the fact that my stint as a financial advisor in New York had come to an abrupt end after the market had crashed. It was time to hit the reset button on my life. What I needed most was some fresh seaside air, and when I’d learned that the Soleado Mexican Riviera Cruise Line had opened a new port in town, the position of bookkeeper/purser practically shouted out my name. “Well, Maggie, she was real mean. She wanted me to walk around and stuff,” Grunkly said. A few months back, Grunkly suffered a mild heart attack. He’d been hospitalized and on the verge of “the great beyond” as he called it, but he’d battled back from the heart attack and the case of pneu‐ monia he’d contracted. Actually, at his age of eighty-four, the doctors all considered it a miraculous recovery. Now our biggest obstacle was finding him a day nurse that he liked, or rather, wouldn’t fire at the drop of a hat. “You’re supposed to walk around! Breathe some fresh air. That’s how you’re going to get better.” “I’m already better. Plus, she didn’t like Benny....

Murder at Yappy Hour (Roundup Crew Mystery Series: Book One) Sneak Peek – Chapter Three Continued

Did you miss Chapter One? Did you miss Chapter Two? Did you miss part one of Chapter Three? From Murder at Yappy Hour  Chapter Three Continued…   “Jen said she was going to send an ambulance. Maybe they can give her oxygen or something when they get here,” Yolanda said. I raised my head. “I’m fine.” Yolanda’s hand fluttered to her chest. “No, you’re not. We’ve had a big shock and you nearly passed out.” I glanced at Officer Brooks and caught him studying me. I self consciously smoothed down my wet hair. A smile played around his eyes, and he said, “You’re Rachel’s sister?” I nodded. “Where is she?” he asked. “Have you called her and told her about Dan?” I swallowed past the dry spot in my throat. “No,” I muttered. He nodded. “Okay, good. Let’s keep it that way for a bit. This is a small town and I want to be able to control the information for as long as I can.” He gave Yolanda a meaningful look. “Let me notify the next of kin before word gets out, okay?” Yolanda stroked her collarbone, a strange expression on her face. As if she didn’t know whether she should be offended at being called the town gossip or take it as a compliment. She seemed to decide on taking it as a compliment, because she reached out and squeezed Officer Macho’s forearm. “You can count on me,” she said. I stood and crossed behind the bar, hoping to put some distance between them and myself. “I’m going to pour myself a drink now.” Officer Brooks raised...

Murder at Yappy Hour (Roundup Crew Mystery Series: Book One) Sneak Peek – Chapter Three

Did you miss Chapter One? Did you miss Chapter Two? From Murder at Yappy Hour  Chapter Three   A commotion was building outside in the bar area. Beepo was yapping relentlessly, Yolanda was alternating between calm, soothing tones that I guessed were directed at Beepo and a high-pitched, nervous tone that I figured was directed at the baritone voice that was cutting in and out. Obviously, the police had arrived. I cringed. I had to get myself together. Why had I called the police before figuring out Rachel’s involvement? I turned my face into the stream of water and drank unabashedly from the faucet. The water did nothing to relieve my nausea. And what the hell was I going to do about the letter? How many copies were out there? Fortunately, the guy hadn’t cc’d anyone on the letter, but he had to have a copy on his computer. If he’d threatened closing down Rachel’s bar, I could only imagine how angry she’d be. But even still . . . she would have challenged him . . . or hired a lawyer . . . or something, but she wouldn’t have bashed him in the head with her best bottle of merlot! I ran the water through my hair, then turned off the faucet and straightened. I evaluated myself in the mirror. Not only did I look like a drowned rat, but the color had completely drained from my face. Worse still, I looked like I had something to hide. Prying open the door, I peeked out into the corridor. The body was still sprawled across the sienna-colored terra...

Murder at Yappy Hour (Roundup Crew Mystery Series: Book One) Sneak Peek – Chapter Two Continued

Did you miss Chapter One? Did you miss part one of Chapter Two? From Murder at Yappy Hour  Chapter Two Continued…   “All right, you come talk to 9-1-1,” I said. She reluctantly came around the bar, still clutching the dog, who growled at me as they approached. “Hush now, Beepo.” She took the phone from me. “Jen? It’s Yolanda. Maggie’s going to check for a pulse. It’s Dan, you know? I came over early to meet with Rachel . . . no, I don’t know where she is.” I approached the man on the floor. Next to his bloody bashed head was an oversized bottle of wine. Dear God! Someone had clobbered him in the head and the blow had killed him. What kind of person would do something like that? I knelt beside him and closed his eyes with my fingers, sighing at the loss of life. He was definitely dead, there was no need to take a pulse, but I grabbed his wrist anyway. When I lifted his arm slightly I saw a paper on the floor, trapped under the man’s coat. What was this? I grabbed the slip of paper and saw Rachel’s name on it. It was probably nothing and yet my stomach seemed to fill with dread. I glanced toward Yolanda; she was still chatting with the operator. Almost without thinking, I shoved the paper into my pocket. Yolanda looked up. “Anything?” she asked, sounding almost hopeful. I shook my head. “Just the police then, Jen. We don’t need an ambulance,” Yolanda said. “Oh, you send one anyway?” She was silent for a...

Murder at Yappy Hour (Roundup Crew Mystery Series: Book One) Sneak Peek – Chapter Two

Did you miss Chapter One? From Murder at Yappy Hour  Chapter Two   Every neuron in my brain fired off at once, urging me to turn tail immediately and run out the front door. But the neurons didn’t seem to connect to any of my limbs, because I remained frozen like a statue, hoping the woman wouldn’t notice me. She was slim, wearing a short skirt and stilettos. And, of course, she spotted me immediately. A small dog appeared from behind her and began to bark, running toward me, its tiny nails scratching along the terra cotta floor. The woman let out a shriek and waved her arms around in a panic. “Rachel! Oh my God, oh my God, Rachel. It’s Dan! I think he’s dead!” She stepped over the body and came rushing at me in the dark. She grabbed my hands, the pink Meat and Greet bag swinging between us. “Thank God, you’re here,” she said. Then suddenly, she shrieked even louder and released my hands as if stung. “You’re not Rachel!” “I’m Maggie. Her sister.” It was a common mistake. Rachel and I had the same athletic build, were the same height, and had the same heart-shaped face. Physically we were very similar, but the resemblance ended there. “Oh! Oh.” The woman shook her head trying to make sense of what I’d just said, but it seemed too great a task, because she started shrieking again in hysterics. “It’s Dan Walters. He’s dead. I’m sure of it. I think he’s dead.” Dan? The manager at DelVecchio’s? Something tickled at the back of my brain. Rachel and...

Murder at Yappy Hour (Roundup Crew Mystery Series: Book One) Sneak Peek – Chapter One Continued

Did you miss Part 1 of Chapter One? From Murder at Yappy Hour  Chapter One Continued…   I walked on toward the Meat and Greet and entered the small butcher shop, a bell going off as I stepped on the welcome mat. A voice called out from the back. “I’ll be right with you.” “No problem,” I called back, marveling at the selection on display. There was a large butcher counter filled with prime cuts, and in front of the counter was a delectable-looking collection of gourmet cheeses and chutneys. I noticed a small rack of greeting cards and picked one up. It was a hand-painted watercolor rendition of the beach. Another was a watercolor version of the town square. The sundial was depicted in various cards. Some cards were of parts of the cove itself that I had yet to visit, but most were studies of sea creatures. My favorites were a close-up of a starfish, and another of a jellyfish, its luminescent colors splashed across the card. They were all done by the same artist, someone named Coral. Something stirred inside me. Years ago, when life was simple, I’d loved to paint. I probably was never as gifted or dedicated as Coral — whoever she was—but maybe it would be a nice pastime again. Life had been so busy in New York that I’d felt I’d almost lost myself; maybe painting would help me put some pieces back together. “Thanks for waiting.” A middle-age woman in a butchers coat appeared from the back of the shop and hustled to her place behind the counter. She had unruly...