Weddings can be murder! Murder Takes the Cake is the sequel to Murder Off the Books. Private Detective Mac Sullivan and his furry sidekick, Whiskey, are back for more mystery, romance, and fast food. For a taste of the "cake," read the excerpt below:
Time seemed to pause, then Mac sensed, rather than heard, the initial crack. Instinctively, he ducked behind the open car door, but his reflexes weren't quite as fast as they used to be. Damn middle age. He could feel the flesh on his right arm burning, knew the wetness soaking his clothes and dripping down his hand was blood.
More bullets slapped into the car door, breaking the window and showering him with cubes of safety glass.
"Get down." He hissed a warning to Merrell, but was much too late. Amid a third volley of bullets, Mac saw the Boston cop was face down on the asphalt, hand still in his pocket reaching for his wad of cash.
A bullet ricocheted off the door, striking the floorboard only a few inches from Mac's hip. He needed to be somewhere else and quick. The bullet rounds continued. The shooter had to have more than one weapon or he'd reloaded.
Mac reached for his gun, tucked in a holster next to his left shoulder. The well-practiced movement was almost impossible. His right arm ached. His shooting hand was slippery with blood and felt strange…weak. He looked to make sure he was actually holding his gun.
The motel dumpster, twenty feet away, would offer more protection than an ancient Cadillac door. He decided to chance it.
A hail of bullets erupted as soon as he started running. One bullet bounced off the asphalt uncomfortably close to his left foot. He was three feet from the dumpster when he crouched and pivoted to return fire. The shooter was well hidden. Mac knew better than just to point and shoot. He needed to verify his target. If he could see the muzzle flash, he'd consider firing.
He never got that chance. Another rounds of shots and suddenly he found himself flat on his back, fur in his mouth, a 120-pound wolfhound as his personal bulletproof vest.
Squealing tires signaled the all-clear.
"Get off." He attempted to push Whiskey off his chest, but the dog refused to budge.
"It's okay, girl." He tried to soothe the dog, running his left hand along her back. The quivering furry body told him she wasn't convinced, although she appeared to be unhurt. A few more not-so-gentle pushes and Whiskey reluctantly gave up her perch.
Mac tried to sit up and failed. He'd twisted a muscle in his back when he fell; the muscles in his lower back had seized up. He rolled to his side and crawled next to the dumpster. Leaning against the cold metal, he propped himself upright gingerly and took inventory.
His arm throbbed. His favorite jacket was sliced open and damp with blood, probably ruined. With his left hand, he fished a handkerchief from his pocket and wrapped the makeshift bandage around his upper arm. Conclusion–battered, but he'd live. Whiskey whined and Mac realized she was pacing the space between him and Merrell. For a moment he'd forgotten about Merrell.
Gritting his teeth against the pain in his back, Mac reholstered his gun and crawled over to the body sprawled twenty feet away, across two parking spaces. Judging from the exit wound that had taken off the back of the man's skull, Mac knew there wasn't much point in feeling for a pulse, but he did anyway. There was none.
He could hear sirens in the distance. Somebody had called the cops, but they were too scared to come out to the parking lot to help. He couldn’t blame them. Flying bullets don't usually encourage heroics. Not from strangers.
Mac reached into Merrell's pocket and withdrew the wad of cash. He shoved twenty back in so the cops wouldn't think it was a robbery. He'd make sure Merrell's kids got the money, like he promised.
The ache in his arm was increasing; winning the competition with the pain in his lower back. His gunshot wound now had his full, undivided attention. Mental exhaustion was also beginning to take a toll. Or maybe he was going into shock. Mac leaned against the Cadillac's wheel and waited with his nervous dog for the cops to arrive. He had to figure out just how much explaining he was willing to do. It went without saying that Whiskey would go along with whatever version of the truth he told the police. Partners did that sort of thing.
Murder Takes the Cake by Evelyn David
Buy the Kindle version at Amazon
Buy the iPad version at the Apple iBookstore
Buy the e-Pub version at The Digital Bookshop
2nd Edition Trade paperback version coming this Fall from Wolfmont Publishing. Limited quanity of autographed 1st edition copies are available now at The Digital Bookshop. For more information click here.