Read Shot Girl Online

Authors: Karen E. Olson

Tags: #Police Procedural, #Detective and Mystery Stories, #Journalists, #Mystery & Detective, #Seymour; Annie (Fictitious Character), #New Haven (Conn.), #General, #Mystery Fiction, #Women Sleuths, #Divorced Men, #Women Journalists, #Fiction

Shot Girl

BOOK: Shot Girl
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Table of Contents
 
Praise for Karen E. Olson’s Annie Seymour Mysteries
Dead of the Day
"Like an alchemist, Karen E. Olson blends together wildly disparate elements into pure gold.
Dead of the Day
is a delightful dance with the devil—dangerous, dark, and romantic."
—Reed Farrel Coleman, Shamus Award-winning author of
The James Deans
"Karen E. Olson knows this beat like the back of her hand. I really enjoyed
Dead of the Day
."
—Michael Connelly
"Dead of the Day
takes the Annie Seymour series to truly impressive territory. Absolutely everything a first-rate crime novel should be."—Lee Child
 
Secondhand Smoke
"Annie Seymour, a New Haven journalist who’s not quite as cynical as she thinks she is, is the real thing, an engaging and memorable character with the kind of complicated loyalties that make a series worth reading. Karen E. Olson is the real thing, too, a natural story-teller with a lucid style and a wonderful sense of place."
—Laura Lippman,
New York Times
bestselling author
"Olson’s second mystery hits the mark with setting, plot, and character. . . . Her lovably imperfect heroine charms, and the antics of her coworkers and the residents of ’da neighborhood’ will keep you intrigued and amused. Four stars."—
Romantic Times
"Humor, plenty of motives, and strong character development make this a fast, fun read."
—Monsters and Critics
"Humor enlivens this first-person account. . . . This remains a series with considerable potential."—
Booklist
"Olson’s characters are her own, and her fast-paced plot and great ending make it a perfect read for patrons who like a bit of humor in their mysteries."

Library Journal
 
"Authentic urban atmosphere, generous wit, and winning characters lift Olson’s second outing. . . . Readers are sure to look forward to Annie’s further adventures."

Publishers Weekly
 
"Annie is a believable heroine whose sassy exploits and muddled love life should make for more exciting adventures." —
Kirkus Reviews
 
Sacred Cows
"A boilermaker of a first novel. . . . Olson writes with great good humor, but
Sacred Cows
is also a roughhouse tale. Her appealing and intrepid protagonist and well-constructed plot make this book one of the best debut novels of the year."—
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
 
"In this just-the-facts-ma’am journalism procedural, Karen E. Olson plunges readers into the salty-tongued world of cynical reporter sleuth Annie Seymour. . . . [The story] spins from sinister to slapstick and back in the breadth of a page. Engaging."
—Denise Hamilton, bestselling author of
Savage Garden
 
"A sharply written and beautifully plotted story."

Chicago Tribune
 
"Olson writes with a light touch that is the perfect complement for this charming mystery."

Chicago Sun-Times
ALSO BY KAREN E. OLSON
Sacred Cows
Secondhand Smoke
Dead of the Day
OBSIDIAN
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published by Obsidian, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, November 2008
Copyright © Karen E. Olson, 2008
eISBN : 978-0-451-22549-8
All rights reserved
OBSIDIAN and logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

http://us.penguingroup.com

To Liz Medcalf and Kerri Pedersen
Best friends, great journalists
Acknowledgments
I have to thank my editor, Kristen Weber, whose enthusiasm is so validating. I can always count on my agent, Jack Scovil, for his sage advice and droll sense of humor.
Big thanks to John Ferraro and Peter Dalpe, who allowed me to steal memories of their years studying journalism at Southern Connecticut State University, and to Patrick Dilger and Joe Musante in Southern’s Office of Public Affairs.
To all my journalist friends who are still in the trenches.
To my fellow First Offenders: Alison Gaylin, Jeff Shelby, and Lori Armstrong. Words can’t express how I feel about you guys. And to all the FOFOs: You have made this such a great ride.
First readers Liz Medcalf, Liz Cipollina, and Angelo Pompano, who critique with a great eye even though we’re good friends. Mary-Ann Tirone Smith for her friendship; it means the world to me.
To Ranger Wray at the West Rock Nature Center for his patient answers about Judges Cave. There are no community gardens at the nature center like the ones on these pages.
To the drivers of the M bus on my daily commute.
To all my readers who’ve e-mailed to tell me how much they love Annie and her world.
The "dancing man" is for Jackie Russell.
And a very special thanks to Jan and Stu Hecht of the former Book Vault for their amazing support. It was a dark day when those doors closed.
I’ve made up some locations in this book, namely the Rouge Lounge and West Rock School. So don’t go crazy trying to figure out exactly where they are. They don’t exist.
Last but not least, again, thanks to my husband, Chris, and daughter, Julia, for their unwavering support, love, and hugs. They make all of this so much sweeter.
Chapter 1
He looked better dead than alive. Can’t say that about many people.
He seemed to be merely resting on his stomach on the sidewalk amid some cigarette butts and a broken martini glass, like he’d just lain down for a quick nap but hadn’t yet fallen asleep. His arms were twisted underneath him, his knees slightly bent in different directions, and his head was turned to one side; a green olive looked like a growth off the top of his nose.
It creeped me out. But it was like one of those train wrecks people are always talking about—I couldn’t stop staring. And as I looked more closely, I noticed what was conspicuously missing.
I tore my eyes away and glanced up and down the sidewalk and across the street, ignoring the police cars, cops, and throngs of people lined up outside the yellow crime-scene tape. I’d managed to stay just inside the tape as the young uniform unrolled it around me. In the pandemonium, no one noticed.
I sidled up to the blond cop in the heavy tweed jacket, a poor choice for a hot summer night. "I heard the gunshots, but where’s the blood?"
Detective Tom Behr was listening to me—I knew that only because we had a history and I’d learned how to read his body language, in more ways than one—but he was looking at the body, wondering what the hell had happened here.
"You heard the shots?" Tom frowned; he still didn’t look at me.
"I was inside, like everyone else."
I saw his eyebrows rise slightly, the only show of surprise, as he studied the outside of the building in front of us. It was a nondescript reddish brown brick, with a long green and white awning covering a roped-off entranceway.
Anyone could get into the Rouge Lounge, but it liked to give the impression that it was exclusive.
A chuckle escaped Tom’s throat as he read the sign over the door: ALL-MALE REVUE, TONITE ONLY, LADIES ONLY.
BOOK: Shot Girl
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