Thursday, February 19, 2015


The following is a short excerpt from THE EARTHQUAKE LADY, third book in the Gideon Marshall Mystery Series, due out within a few weeks. The first two, BE CAREFUL, DR. RENNER and THE STITCHER FILE are both available as e-books on all readers and as nice paperbacks from amazon. These mysteries would make an ideal gift, or read, for anyone from Iowa, or anyone with any ties to a small, liberal arts, college, or especially for someone with interest in geology. Oh, and quite a bit of THE EARTHQUAKE LADY takes places in Oklahoma, so anyone from that state needs all three of these books!

“I reviewed this latest information with my captain,” he says, once comfortably settled on the couch with coffee—dark Italian; no decaf in this house. “We’ve talked about arming you, but the final decision on that is still up in the air.”
Duh. Whatever in the hell were they thinking in the first place, or maybe it was only Burkholder thinking, or not thinking, when that idea surfaced? As a potential expert witness, do I need protection? And if I do, is that not their job instead of mine? And who might be the one I need protection from? Some person who haunts the corridors of Halliburton Hall and shoots unhappy profs?
“We’d still like to send you to Oklahoma, if you’re willing to go.” He gives us what I’ve already started calling “the Burkholder pause” and “Burkholder look.”
So Broderick Burkholder and his immediate supervisor have been in communication over a Saturday afternoon and possibly into evening as a result of my comments about the material in a bar-coded plastic bag. My appreciation for DCI personnel just kicked up a notch. They’re taking this investigation seriously enough to now, after four months with no legitimate leads that they’ve been willing to divulge, start in on the most tenuous of possibilities. In my opinion, they probably should have started with the least likely suspects first, beginning, perhaps, with Norden Jamaison, corporate attorney for Stevens Oil and personal attorney, if not bodyguard, for Delmar Stevens himself. I’m not quite ready to add Charlie Weatherford to the suspect list, at least in front of a detective from DCI, especially one who follows up on a bag of dirt by driving down here from Des Moines on a Sunday morning..
“But,” Burkholder continues; “my personal advice is to take the class, officially, get that permit, and acquire protection anyway.” He pauses, working on his coffee, looking around the room, his eyes ending their journey on Mykala. “And I have that same advice for you, too, Mrs. Marshall.”
“You’re recommending that I buy a gun and carry it around in my purse?” Mykala gets right to the point in rather plain language.
“Most women who carry pistols in their purses can never get them out quickly enough to use them when they need them.”
He and Mykala are on two completely different mental tracks.
“Do you have a specific recommendation?”
That question from her comes as a little bit of a surprise. I can’t tell whether she’s serious, and curious, or simply baiting him. Either way, it works.
“For women of your size and build,” he says; “I recommend the Glock 42. It’s a .380 auto, small enough to handle easily, fits in your purse just fine if that’s where you want to carry it, but it’s probably a good idea to figure out some other way to carry it if you believe you’ll be in danger.”
Officer Burkholder has sized up my wife’s “size and build” and matched her up with a Glock 42, .380 auto, whatever in the hell that is.
“And where, and how, do I learn to kill someone with this little Glock 42?” She asks. Now I know she’s baiting him, but I’m also curious about the answer.

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