Mr. Murder (Sally Harrington Novels)

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9780778321774: Mr. Murder (Sally Harrington Novels)

While dealing with her new lover and the reappearance of an old flame, anchorwoman Sally Harrington is immersed in a murder investigation when a jet-setting millionaire turns up dead after their interview and his death is linked to an attack on one of her old acquaintances.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Laura Van Wormer is a former book editor who divides her time between Manhattan and Meriden, Connecticut. Mr. Murder is her twelfth novel and the sixth that features Sally Harrington.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

"He's in," a giant of a man said. "Delafield's paying him six bucks an hour under the table as a handyman."

"Ripping people off right up to the last," the man muttered, rolling his leather chair back from his desk. "No great loss to mankind. What about the house?"

"Got it. Everything's set."

"And the cameras?"

"But if you're taking her."

"Who said I was taking her?" The giant looked confused. "So what are you going to do with her?"

"The question is," the man said, "what are you going to do with her after I'm through with her."

The giant seemed to falter somewhat. "You mean"you mean kill her?"

"Why the hell would I step in to save her life if I was going to kill her?" he half sneered. "Look, I want a couple of days with her and then I'm gone. But I'll want tapes." His eyes narrowed. "What? What is it now?"

"This is costing a fortune."

The man shrugged. "I can't take the American accounts anyway. Spend it all, I don't care, just get it done." The man smiled a little, looking down, examining the nails of his right hand, one after the other. "I just have this last piano recital with my kid I want to see tonight and then I'll be ready to go. Tomorrow."

"Tomorrow," the giant repeated, scratching behind his ear a minute. "I guess we can do it."

The man looked up. "See that you do." "But what if she doesn't come?" "Oh, she'll come," the man said with some certainty. "But what if she doesn't?"

He waved his hand through the air. "So I'll do her another favor. What does it matter?" He frowned. "What the hell is the matter with you? This should be kid's play for you."

"I know, but."

"I pay you a goddamn fortune," the man suddenly yelled, slamming his desk with his fists and jumping to his feet, "and I'm giving you a goddamn fortune, so what is your problem? Just do what I tell you!" He paused, breathing heavily. "Got it?"

The giant looked unsure, but said yes, he understood, and took the cue to leave the office, closing the door behind him.

The man walked briskly around his desk and crossed the office to lock the door. Then he went over to open the doors of an ornately carved mahogany wardrobe, revealing an entertainment center. He walked back around his desk to sit down and pulled open a drawer, removing a remote control, a box of tissues and a bottle of body oil. Slamming the drawer shut, he turned on the TV and DVD player.

"Good evening," the attractive young woman said on the screen, "and welcome to DBS News Magazine. I'm Sally Harrington, sitting in for a vacationing Alexandra Waring." As the woman continued to talk, the man undid his belt, unzipped his pants and adjusted the opening of his boxer shorts. Eyes glittering, attention focused on the screen, he pumped oil into his right hand, grabbed a wad of tissues with his left and sat back in his chair.

"I hate to be the bearer of less than good news," my studio producer, Haydn Cooke, says, appearing in the doorway,

"but I wondered if you had seen this."

I glance at our chief film editor, Clem, who sighs and drops his hands from the console to wait. This is our third interruption since we sat down, but this is what happens in television when you are a producer for DBS News in New York.

I look at the papers Haydn hands to me to read:

Harrington Hammered In Hometown

Since my name happens to be Sally Harrington, I read on:

Everybody with a television set has by now seen the great white hope for DBS News in the shapely form of the blue-eyed, almost-blond Sally Harrington. You know the one. The sensational witness from the Mafia Boss Murder Trial that audiences found so compelling the network decided to launch an early

morning newscast to showcase her? Unfortunately for DBS, however, a bitter debate has broken out in Harrington's hometown of Castleford, Connecticut" a debate that has pitted residents who believe Ms. Harrington worthy of emulation against those residents who believe her worthy of deportation.

I read on to an editorial that has evidently run in the Herald-American:

The Castleford Women's Club recently awarded its highest honor to part-time resident and DBS News maven Sally Harrington "for her extraordinary professional achievements, outstanding contribution to the community and overall excellence as a role model." While the Herald American (as her former employer) is also proud of Ms. Harrington's professional achievements, we must question the motive behind the organization's selection. Given the highly publicized trials and tribulations of Ms. Harrington's personal life, one can only shudder at what kind of role model the Women's Club would consider unsavory. Scribbling a big check to the club from a recently inflated bank account does not, in our opinion, constitute a good role model.

I am left almost breathless by the attack. My old boss, Al Royce, and I have always rubbed each other the wrong way, but I served him and the paper well. Certainly I have done nothing to warrant this kind of viciousness. At least I don't think so.

I lower the paper and cover my eyes with my left hand for a moment. Given the highly publicized trials and tribulations of Ms. Harrington's personal life, one can only shudder at what kind of role model the Women's Club would consider unsavory.

Well, let's see now, what could be considered unsavory about my personal life: I broke up with a Castleford favorite to take up with a slick New York insider; a tape of him and me having sex was distributed all over town; the defense attorney in The Mafia Boss Murder Trial set me up to come across as a nymphomaniac, making me an instant media sensation; and, finally, that slick New York insider was involved in a very messy and very public divorce trial into which my name was dragged.

"Sounds like sour grapes to me," Haydn says sympathetically. Of course Haydn's still pretty new and probably isn't yet familiar with my unsavory personal life.

I drop my hand. I have a feeling if Haydn's skin was not black, I might see that he is blushing on my behalf. He's a good guy. "When I graduated from high school," I explain, "the Women's Club gave me a renewable scholarship for four straight years. I couldn't have made college work without it."

"I'm with you," Haydn assures me. "Mine was from our Rotary Club."

"So then my mother tells me that after a hundred years the club can't meet in the cultural center anymore," I continue, "because the air-conditioning is shot and a lot of the older women can't breathe without it. So fixing the air-conditioning seemed like the least I could do."

I look down at the wire service release again"one can only shudder at what kind of role model the Women's Club would consider unsavory. I check my watch and look at Clem. "Can you give me five minutes?"

"Sure," he says, turning back to the console. "I've got the Puget Sound piece to finish, anyway."

I leave editing and walk down the short hallway into the central newsroom. "Sally." an assistant begins.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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