Read A Wedding and a Killing Online
Authors: Lauren Carr
Tags: #mystery, #police procedural, #cozy, #whodunit, #crime
A Mac Faraday Mystery
A WEDDING AND A KILLING: Book Information
All Rights Reserved © 2014 by Lauren Carr
Published by Acorn Book Services
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author.
For information call: 304-995-1295
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Designed by Acorn Book Services
Publication Managed by Acorn Book Services
Cover designed by Todd Aune
Candle Cover Image provided by [email protected]
Published in the United States of America
To My Brothers and Sisters in Christ
Table of Contents
A WEDDING AND A KILLING: Book Information
Cast of Characters
(in order of appearance)
Murder victim in New York.
Mrs. Tuyon Weber:
Fairbanks’ next door neighbor.
Spencer police chief. Son of the late police chief, Patrick O’Callaghan. Mac Faraday’s best friend and half-brother.
Paralegal for Ben Fleming. First and current love of David O’Callaghan. Suffering from epilepsy, she has Molly, a service dog trained to sense and warn of seizures.
White German Shepherd. Chelsea Adams’ service dog.
Garrett County prosecuting attorney. He’s one of the good guys.
Senator Catherine Fleming:
Ben Fleming’s wife. United States Senator from Maryland.
Retired homicide detective. On the day his divorce became final, he inherited $270 million and an estate on Deep Creek Lake from his birth mother, Robin Spencer.
Former editor and research assistant to world-famous mystery author Robin Spencer. She is now Mac Faraday’s lady love.
German shepherd. One-hundred pounds of fur, claws, and teeth. The only K-9 dishonorably discharged from the United States Army. Don’t ask them why. It’s classified and they refuse to talk about it.
Mac Faraday’s late birth mother and world-famous mystery author. As an unwed and pregnant teenager, she gave him up for adoption. Her ancestors founded Spencer, Maryland, located on the shore of Deep Creek Lake, a resort area in Western Maryland.
Police Chief Patrick O’Callaghan:
David’s late father. Spencer’s legendary police chief. The love of Robin Spencer’s life and Mac Faraday’s birth father.
Deputy Chief Arthur Bogart (Bogie)
: Spencer’s Deputy Police Chief. David’s godfather. Don’t let his gray hair and weathered face fool you.
Reverend Deborah Hess:
Pastor at Spencer Church, located on the shore of Deep Creek Lake. Over a hundred years old, the church was started by the Mac Faraday’s ancestors.
Chief Trustee at Spencer Church. Murder victim.
Caretaker for Spencer Church. Lives in caretaker’s cottage next door.
Office Manager at Spencer Church.
Chip Van Dorn:
Trustee at Spencer Church. Business manager at Thorpe Sporting Goods and Boat Rentals in McHenry, which has been in business for fifty years.
Officer Nathan Brewster:
Spencer Police Officer.
Ruth’s teenaged daughter.
Helga’s husband. Owner of Thorpe Sporting Goods and Boat Rentals.
: Trustee at Spencer Church. Owner of Carmine’s Pizza.
: Desk Sergeant at Spencer Police Department.
Mac Faraday’s lawyer.
Eugene Newton’s widow and murder suspect. She bought twenty gallons of gasoline, a pig, and booked a cruise to Hawaii the day after her husband’s murder.
Member of Spencer’s town council. Marilyn Newton calls him Twerpie. He wants David O’Callaghan fired.
Jason Fairbanks’ father.
Jason Fairbanks’ mother.
County Prosecutor in upstate New York where Jason Fairbanks was murdered.
Sheriff Quinton Nichols:
Sheriff who investigated Jason Fairbanks’ murder in New York.
FBI Special Agent.
Jason Fairbanks’ mistress.
Deputy Guy Stacey:
Sheriff’s Deputy in New York. Did things go too far when he decided to take the law into his own hands?
Fire and swords are slow engines of destruction, compared to the tongue of a Gossip.
Sir Richard Steele , Irish Writer and Politician
Catskill Mountains, New York: Seven Years Ago
In most homes, such an announcement from a ten-year-old girl of her father’s arrival would cause sounds of joy. The mother would smile in anticipation. The children would maybe squeal in delight.
In contrast, upon seeing her father’s red Jaguar pull into the driveway and make its way to the garage, Holly Fairbanks shrieked and ran into the foyer to help her mother, who almost fell in her haste to carry a heavy suitcase down the stairs.
“What are we going to do?” Holly fought the tears that were making their way to her eyes.
Scarlett Fairbanks shoved the suitcase at her daughter. “Go out through the French doors and around the house. Make sure your father doesn’t see you. Get in the car and don’t come back in. No matter what happens.” She thrust a cell phone into her daughter’s hand. “If anything happens and I don’t make it out, call Madame X. Her phone number is the only contact on this phone. Tell her what happened and she’ll help you.”
They both turned to the kitchen door at the sound of the garage door opening on the other side.
“Hurry,” Scarlett hissed while pushing her daughter toward the French doors leading to the spacious backyard at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains. “Go now. Go!”
Scurrying as fast as she could, Holly went outside and dragged the suitcase behind the shrubbery to the driveway where their SUV was parked.
Scarlett smoothed her long chestnut-colored hair with her hand and sucked in a deep breath to calm her frazzled nerves.
Calm. I must remain calm. It’s almost over.
Trying to appear as casual as possible, she made her way into the kitchen where her purse rested on the table in the breakfast nook. Reaching into the front compartment, she rested her hand on the thirty-two caliber semi-automatic that had been delivered to her home only five days before. The surge of confidence the touch of the cold metal gave her was surprising.
The kitchen door flew open.
“There you are.” Jason Fairbanks slammed it shut.
For a split second, she wondered if he was even capable of closing a door without slamming it. But when she laid her eyes on him, her wonder gave way to another question.
Jason Fairbanks looked like he had taken a shower in his slacks and sports coat. His shirt stuck to his body. His hair was caked flat to his head and his face looked pained.
She opened her mouth to ask what had happened. Then, concluding that the reminder of what was obviously an unpleasant experience would only contribute to his bad mood, she opted to say nothing.
He tossed his valise onto the counter on his way to the refrigerator. As was his custom, he yanked open the door and took out a beer.
Glancing at the clock, she noted the time was three-thirty. Even if he was Reese Fairbanks’ son, he was expected to at least make the appearance of working until five o’clock at the bank which the Fairbanks family owned. “You’re home early. Something happen?”
Like a rattlesnake striking its prey, he whirled around and grabbed her by the throat. “Yes, something happened. You want to make something of it?”
She grasped her hand around the gun’s grip.
He knows! How does he know? I’ve been so careful.
Her eyes wide, she fought to inhale air past his grip on her throat.
“You’ve been talking to Portia.”
She tried to gasp out her denial.
“Having a good laugh?” His dark eyes, the whites yellowed from years of drinking, were rimmed in red. His breath reeked of whiskey and cigarettes. His body smelled of expensive men’s cologne.
So that’s it! Portia. His latest mistress—until she left him. He thought he had gotten his revenge. Obviously not.
Oh, how Scarlett yearned for when she had the courage to fight back. “No!” she forced out. “I haven’t.”
“Liar!” He released his grip on her throat and slapped her with the back of his hand.
She flew sideways against the wall. In spite of the force that sent her flying, she maintained her grip on the gun so that it went with her. When she bounced off the wall, fury built up over years of pain and humiliation came together. Instantly, she found her footing and the courage to grab the gun with both hands and aim it at her abuser.
“What’s that?” Jason laughed at the sight of his wife standing before him on both feet with a gun aimed directly at his chest.
“It’s called a gun.” Swallowing the blood that she felt oozing into her mouth from the fat lip, she pulled back on the hammer. “You’re never going to lay a hand on me or our daughter ever again.”
“Really?” He stepped toward her. “And how are you going to stop me? Shoot me?”