by Evelyn David
Zoned for Murder was published last week. It's our first mystery in the Sound Shore Times Mystery series.
Former Newsweek reporter Maggie Brooks has two kids, a dead husband, a mortgage to pay, and a lot of competition when she tries to get back into the shrinking newspaper business. Landing a job with a local paper, she's bored to tears covering bake sales and Little League games. But when a developer tries to build an outlet mall in a neighboring town, what starts out as potentially a great clip for her resume, suddenly turns dangerous and ugly. Someone will do anything to block the mall's construction. Dirty money, nasty politics, and shady land deals abound as Maggie pursues the scoop that might jumpstart her career. When murder is added to the mix, she realizes that meeting her deadline might be the last thing she ever does. Read Maggie's byline as she rebuilds her career, dips her toes into a shark-filled dating pool, and investigates a small New York town Zoned for Murder.
from Zoned for Murder:
Thinking back on it later, I realized that the explosion didn't happen at the exact moment I took the photo, but at the time it seemed liked it.
The warehouse floor erupted into a cloud of smoke and flames. Lumber was burning. I could smell the odor of gasoline. And worst of all, I realized that I wasn't alone in the loft.
Someone shoved me. I fell forward against the railing, my upper torso hanging over the rail. I could feel, but didn't see, somebody rush by me, leaping off the stairs. By the time I righted myself, the wooden staircase was obscured by smoke and no longer a safe escape route. It crossed my mind
that no one except my attacker knew I was in the loft. Sean probably thought I'd left by now.
My camera was still hanging around my neck but I'd managed to drop my purse, with my cell phone inside, somewhere. I wasn't sure if it had gone over the railing or if it was on the loft floor somewhere. It was getting harder to see as the smoke rose, along with my panic.
I retreated to the back of the loft area. I'd remembered a small window in the metal wall. Someone had thought to put it in to allow some natural light and ventilation. The window wouldn't offer me much more than a source of fresh air; it had to be a 30-foot drop from the window to the parking lot below.
The window was jammed shut. I grabbed one of the large buckets of paint and threw it against the glass. The first time it bounced off the window, leaving only a few cracks. The second time the frame gave way and the whole window fell out.
"That'll work too." I stuck my head out the window. I was seeing the back parking area. It was empty. I could hear sirens, but all the action, if there was any, seemed to be happening at the front of the building. I needed to get someone's attention.
All at once I could hear my cell phone ringing. I held my breath, got down on my hands and knees, and followed the sound. By the grace of God and Verizon, I found my purse lying near the top of the stairs. I grabbed it and rushed back to the window.
Caller ID indicated God was using Gene to do his bidding. Not exactly an angel, but I was in no position to be picky. The connection was not the best but I could make out his angry words.
"What's taking you so long? I don't care what your excuse is, if you're not here in ten minutes, you're fired. I'm on a deadline!"
"Yeah, me too. Could you call 911 and tell them your ace reporter is stuck in the loft of Sean O'Neal's burning warehouse?"
Zoned for Murder - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
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