I’m Jack Clary, the on-call driver for the ex-First-Lady of Massachusetts.
I know what you’re thinking, but Ms. Binney isn’t stuck up or anything. It’s just that her lupus makes her unsafe behind the wheel.
She’s a lot more interesting than anyone else I’ve worked for. Her friend Tate—well, he’s more than a friend, really—is a lawyer, and he’s always saying he won’t bail her out of jail the next time. So I was really nervous when he showed up at the police station where I was waiting for Ms. Binney to be released. After he had a word with the officer at the desk, he came over to sit next to me.
“I tried to stop her,” I said. Tate was a good guy, for a lawyer, but he wouldn’t hesitate to destroy me if he thought I’d endangered Ms. Binney. “You know how Detective Peterson sets her off.”
“I get that much,” he said flatly. “She was visiting friends at the nursing home, and Detective Peterson must have stopped by to see his uncle.”
I hoped he wasn’t manipulating me into confessing something he could use against me. “Betty and Josie told Peterson someone had been stealing their most expensive yarns, and he lectured them about wasting police time, implying that they were senile and had imagined the thefts. Ms. Binney let him know that, on his very best day, he wouldn’t be half as sharp as they were on their very worst days.”
“Sounds like her. What I don’t understand, though, is how the crochet hook I made Helen ended up impaled in Peterson’s arm.”
“It was totally an accident.” Although I doubted Tate would see it that way. “She baited the thief by talking loudly about how valuable the hook was. She set it down and pretended to forget about it until a recently hired orderly pocketed it.”
Tate closed his eyes and leaned back. “I’m not going to like the rest, but go ahead. Better to get it over with.”
“The good news is that Ms. Binney is definitely feeling more spry these days. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been able to catch the thief out in the hallway and grapple with him to reclaim the hook.”
“You should have been a lawyer.” Tate said, but it didn’t sound like a compliment.
“Peterson thought he finally had his chance to arrest Ms. Binney. The orderly saw the detective coming after them and suddenly let go of the crochet hook. The sudden release caused her to start falling backwards. She managed to twist around and fall forward into Detective Peterson who’d been rushing up behind her. When she grabbed his arm to break her fall, their combined momentum brought them together like two cars crashing head-on, and she stuck him with the hook.”
“With enough force that it broke in half?” Tate made it sound even worse than it was.
“She felt really bad about that. She said you’d used one of your favorite pieces of wood to make it.”
“I guess I should be grateful she appreciates my sacrifices,” he said dryly.
“It’s going to be okay. Peterson only needed two stitches, and it hasn’t worked out so well in the past when he tried to blame Ms. Binney for anything.”
“I’ve already confirmed that he’s not pressing charges.”
“See?” I said. “It all worked out. The yarn thief is in jail and Ms. Binney isn’t.”
“She’s not going to have time to get into any trouble after this,” I said. “The community garden’s starting up soon, and that will keep her busy.”
“Yeah,” Tate said. “What could possibly go wrong when Helen switches from using a blunt crochet hook to wielding razor-sharp trowels, hoes and pitchforks?”
A Dawn of Death is the fourth book in the Helen Binney mystery series, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing, March 2016.
Helen Binney’s never felt better! Her lupus is in remission, and she’s taking up gardening for its health benefits. Only her first day at the community garden is anything but relaxing when she finds a woman’s body, lying beside a bulldozer that belonged to the dead woman. Was the early-morning death an accident, as the police believe, or did it have something to do with a dispute over title to the garden’s land?
Helen finds out that the victim was a real estate developer, but she wasn’t the only one with an eye on the property. Could she have been killed by one of the gardeners to prevent the land from being sold? Perhaps the outspoken, Harley-riding, ex-military town clerk…or a rival developer? Helen’s handsome friend/lawyer Tate warns her to stay out of the investigation, but she’s feeling invincible and can’t resist asking a few questions. If she’s not careful, though, there might be another death at dawn.
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About the author
Gin Jones overcame a deeply ingrained habit of thinking and writing like a lawyer in order to write fiction. In her spare time, Gin makes quilts, grows garlic and serves on the board of directors for the XLH Network. Visit Gin at ginjones.com.
Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a digital copy of A Dawn of Death. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end March 25, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!
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