Murder in the AirToday was a terrible day. It started out with the funeral of my neighbor, Daniel Korman, and went downhill from there. Days earlier we’d celebrated Daniel’s 85th birthday with a party at the mansion where I work. His death saddened me and left me with the odd sense that something was wrong. Daniel had been in perfect health, though something lay heavy on his heart. The week before his party, he’d stopped by to ask if I thought it wise to open a can of worms that had been buried for many years. He left before I could offer an opinion. From the little he said, I gathered he was referring to the 70-year-old remains of the teenaged boy unearthed when the demolition crew demolished the house behind us, on property we’d acquired for the Twin Lakes’ putting green and second clubhouse.

After the funeral, I went to the shiva at the home of Daniel’s youngest, his beloved daughter Polly. I overheard his three children and a nephew arguing. Polly was convinced her father had been murdered. The others thought she was overwrought and sadly mistaken. I didn’t know what to believe. Polly was often overly-emotional. But Daniel’s other two children were hungry for their father’s money.

When I stopped by to visit Eve, Daniel’s fiancée, she asked me to look through his computer in hopes of discovering what might have been troubling him. Among his documents, in a file labeled “suspects.” were three paragraphs, each headed with two initials. Eve figured out the letters stood for Daniel’s childhood friends. Ron Morgenstern, who lived at Twin Lakes, and Mick Diminio, a big shot politician, had been at Daniel’s birthday party. The third, Billy Evans, was dead. Next to the computer was a framed pencil drawing of Daniel as a teenager. The paper was yellowed with age. Curious, I asked Eve who the artist was. She said he was Timmy John Desmond, a friend of Daniel’s when they were in high school. He’d come from the south to live with relatives on Long Island. One day he disappeared and no one ever saw him again.

Sol, my homicide detective boyfriend, called to invite me to dinner. We arranged to meet at a nearby Greek restaurant at seven. Great! This gave me enough me to stop and chat with Ron Morgenstern. He was very jovial at first, telling me about the days when he, Daniel, Mick, and Billy played together as kids. When I asked him if he knew what had happened to Timmy John Desmond, Ron’s demeanor changed. He suddenly resented my questions and asked me to leave. Now I was pretty sure that Timmy John Desmond was the body they’d unearthed. What’s more, I was beginning to believe that Daniel thought Mick, Ron, and the deceased Billy had murdered him.

Sol arrived at the restaurant only fifteen minutes late. We ordered and, since we were both famished, hardly spoke as we devoured our Greek salads topped with grilled chicken. As we waited for our coffee, Sol told me they had a tentative ID for the body—a fifteen-year-old boy named Timothy Desmond who had been reported missing and never been found.

“Poor Timmy John!” I exclaimed. A mistake, I knew, the moment I saw Sol’s thunderous expression.

“What did you say?” he demanded.

There was nothing for me to do but tell him about my day—how Polly insisted her father had been murdered and what I found on Daniel’s computer. Sol hated when I got involved in one of his murder cases. He nearly blew a gasket when I mentioned Mick Diminio’s name. But the worst came when I admitted to having paid a visit to Ron Morgenstern.

“You should have called me! I’m the homicide detective, remember?”

I tried to apologize, but he wasn’t having any of it. He got to his feet, his anger barely under control. “Come on, we’ll leaving. I’m following you home.”

You can read more about Lydia in Murder in the Air, the second book in the “Twin Lakes” mystery series, published by Untreed Reads. The first book in the series is A Murderer Among Us. Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Meet the author
A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and books for kids. Her latest mystery, Murder a la Christie, is out with Oak Tree Press. Untreed Reads has brought out a new e-edition of her first Twin Lakes mystery, A Murderer Among Us–a Suspense Magazine Best Indie–and will bring out a new e-edition of the sequel, Murder in the Air, in April. Her ghost mystery, Giving Up the Ghost, and her romantic suspense, Dangerous Relations, are out with Uncial Press. All of her mysteries take place on Long Island, where she lives.

Marilyn loves traveling, reading, knitting, doing Sudoku, and visiting with her granddaughter, Olivia, on FaceTime. She is co-founder and past president of the Long Island chapter of Sisters in Crime.

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