There will be free book prizes and surprises!
Now, here's the weekendly excerpt from At Large, soon to be published for the first time in ebook form by Pearlsong Press, Josephine Fuller discovers the body of Francesca Etheridge, the woman who broke up her marriage. The police grill Jo about an ice, missing from the murder victim's climbing gear. Back in her apartment Jo decides to put her nervous energy to work:
Finding Francesca like that had riled me up so that I couldn't sit still. It was impossible to return to sorting things. I decided to take some of the boxes of Nina's things down to the basement and bring up some of my things that had been sitting patiently for years waiting for me to settle down. A little heavy lifting would probably calm my nerves, or at the very least exhaust me so I could collapse.
The storage room occupied the end of the building, and took some space away from Mulligan's apartment and Maxine's daughter Hope's apartment which faced it across the hall. As I came down the stairs into the basement, I could hear Groucho, the macaw, warming up with some preparatory shrill cries. It must be intolerable when he let loose a major shriek in Hope's small, windowless apartment.
I put the boxes down and opened the storage room door, feeling around for the string that would turn on the overhead light bulb. The room was crowded with some furniture that Nina had stored there. A table and three stacked chairs pressed up against the stacks of boxes that held all my earthly possessions. Nina had kindly stored them for me, at first when I was following Griff around the world and lately since I'd been traveling on the job for Mrs. Madrone.
An oddly angled shadow sprang into view when the light bulb went on. I realized with a sinking feeling at the pit of my stomach what it was. The cardboard packing box just inside my door had my name in black felt marker with the word "BOOKS" below it. An ice axe, its leather harness trailing, was embedded in the front of the box right below the label, its claw end half buried in the corrugated cardboard, and a thin layer of dried blood coating the edges of the point of penetration.