Murder in Musicland

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Categories: Suspense/Thriller/Mystery/Crime
Publisher: Hard Shell Word Factory | Date published: 04/01/1999


Ordinarily, there isn't much business for a private investigator in Branson, Missouri. Especially a fifty-five year old retired police officer. But business is about to pick up! July in the Ozarks is brutal, especially around the Table Rock area. The air is a mixture of hot and steamy an on that particular night after fighting the killer tourist traffic, I went into my kitchen, mixed a stiff gin and tonic, and stepped out onto the deck. A cool breeze drifted off the water and brushed gently over my face. The moon, nearly full, danced over Lake Taneycomo with shimmering brightness. Two days until the fourth of July and I had my own show right here. I strolled over to the end of the deck and faced the orange neon glow doming the business district. The stars were big, bright, and kissed the lake. I sipped away, trying to remember why I'd moved down here into country music heaven. Late night shadows can play tricks. I could have sworn there was movement in the mimosa bushes. One ones beside my driveway, down toward the road. But the breeze wasn't strong enough to move its branches. Or was it? Funny I'd never noticed that before. I laughed at my skittishness. I edged back where I could enjoy the dancing moon and listened to the water lapping softly against the shoreline. Sometimes I take things for granted, especially at night. Like not looking where I'm stepping on my own deck. A whiff of stale beer and tobacco drifted past. I wasn't alone. Turning around, I tripped over a silhouette sitting in my chaise. I'm not given to panic so I backed up, swallowed hard, and stifled a yelp. Startled out of a sound sleep, the dark figure bolted upright and pointed his weapon at me. In the moonlight, I couldn't exactly make out the caliber, but I know the outline of a gun-barrel when I see one. Especially when it's stuck in my face....