RIVER CITY DEAD by Nancy G. West / Traditional / Cozy Mystery / Released 2017 by Henery Press
Excerpt from Chapter One
Not every city has a river running through it. And not many women plan a rendezvous at a San Antonio River Walk hotel during Fiesta Week after years of self-imposed celibacy. I was about to make history.
Sam and I were meeting at Casa Prima Hotel. Hopefully our first days and nights together in River City would be more fiesta than fiasco. And we could avoid dealing with crime.
To calm the jumping beans in my stomach, I decided to make a quick detour to Barnes and Noble and headed toward Loop 410. If SAPD called Sam away, I’d need something to read. He assured me they wouldn’t contact him, but sometimes they had to rely on an experienced homicide detective for a difficult case.
Barnes and Noble was packed. After a lengthy search through half the store, I found aisles brimming with romance novels. I didn’t relish being caught scouring this area. In my Flash-News column, “Stay Young with Aggie,” I answered readers’ questions about everything from fitness to relationships. As an “expert,” I wasn’t supposed to need help.
It wasn’t as though I was innocent. I became painfully experienced after Lester the Louse seduced me when I was barely eighteen, impregnated me and vanished like mist. But stories of other people’s romances might be enlightening.
Slipping down an unoccupied aisle, I reached for a title that caught my eye, A Well-Spent Night. A bare-chested, muscled Scottish hunk wearing a plaid kilt bulged from the cover. I squinted at the title, which upon closer inspection actually read, A Well-Spent Knight. Worked either way. I flipped pages to the middle, found what I was looking for and started reading. There was a lot of heavy breathing and rippling biceps, but it never said why the guy wore a kilt or how he got it off. I’d wondered about that. Historical romance might not be the thing.
Another cover caught my eye with the title The Long Hard Ride. A shirtless muscle-bound cowboy stood spread-legged front and center while a steer romped around behind him. I snatched the book off the shelf.
From the corner of my eye, I saw a young sales girl eyeing me. Was my face flushing?
“Can I help you?” About twenty-five with swinging hair and a pouty mouth, she looked sexy, bored, and all-knowing.
I whipped the novel under the arm laden with my shoulder purse. “Imagine that. You even have westerns. So many choices.” I doused her with my superior bank-teller expression. “I doubt if any of these books are really that good.”
Some urge compelled me to jabber. “I don’t think he could ride a steer dressed like that.”
The new-fangled phone jangled in my purse. Digging to retrieve it, I dropped the books. The sales girl swiveled over and scooped them up. “I’ll keep these at the counter while you search for more.” She cocked a corner of her sulky mouth and walked away. I fumbled to flip open my Motorola StarTrac.
“Where are you?” It was Sam, using his professional detective voice.
“I just needed a few things. Have you seen the…our room?”
“You need to get down here, Aggie. We have problems. I’ll meet you in the lobby.” He hung up.