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Rosstrum Publishing

Rosstrum Publishing is a division of The Border Company, LLC


8 Strawberry Bank Rd.

Suite 20

Nashua, New Hampshire



      .After my jog, I’d had two coffees and three donuts and then a shower and I was feeling pretty good. If I could relieve Mrs. Maxine P. of a few greenbacks, I’d feel even better. Naturally I’d have to work for it, but I sure did need it.

      It was 11:30 when I got to Brown’s, and it wasn’t too crowded. I wandered around looking at some of their displays. New books by David Baldacci and Stephen King. Money goes to money. Maybe I should have been a writer instead of a detective. After I’d been there a while, I spied a woman I was sure was Maxine. Just as I’d imagined, she was mid-thirty something and her hair was tied in a severe bun that stretched her forehead back and left a sheer field of plain that reached down to her glasses. She was very thin and she reminded me of a teacher I’d had, the evil Miss McNulty. She was taking books from a cart and putting them on a display. I edged towards her. She looked at me above her glasses just like my harridan of a teacher had done. I almost ran. But, as I said, I really needed the money.
      “Hi,” I said, “Are you Maxine?” Smooth private eye.

        “I’m Mizz Pitts. Can I help you?”
      So much for my intuition. Before I could say anything, a woman in a red sweater swished over.
     “I can help him, Lena,” Red Sweater said. And to me, “You called about that text-book on forensics?”
     “Yes,” I said. It was all I could think to say. I followed her in between two wall-high book shelves and she took a book down and handed it to me.
     “Mr. Lawless,” she said. “I recognize you from the papers. I’m Maxine Preston. I’m sorry about all this.” She pointed at the book she was holding and back towards Lena. “Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but I’m sure my sister was murdered. Could we talk for just five minutes?”
     She was as shapely as Mizz Pitts was plain. I’d let her talk as much as she wanted. Study the movement of her sweater. I liked to know about my clients.
     “Sure,” I said.
     “We can’t talk here. There’s a pet shop two blocks down towards the center. I can meet you there in five minutes.” I must have looked hesitant. “I have money with me,” she added in a whisper. I nodded and left the bookstore.



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