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Murder In The Air

She dialed the number she knew by heart, then had to grip her ringing cell phone to still the tremor in her hand.
“Homicide. Molina.”

The sound of Sol’s voice set off a roman candle deep inside her. She struggled to concentrate on the matter at hand. “Hello, Sol. It’s Lydia. Lydia Krause. I – ”

“Lydia!” Warmth crept into his voice, and she knew he was smiling, damn him! Those green eyes lit up, no doubt, like lanterns. “Hi there. I’ve been meaning to call you for some time. How have you been?”

Lydia glanced in the direction of the crowd gaping at the newly-exposed human remains.

“I’m fine, but this isn’t a social call.”


How he’d managed to convey disbelief, amusement, and raw sexuality in one syllable was quite a feat.

“There’s a dead body – ”

“You mean at Twin Lakes?” Sol groaned. “Tell me you’re not caught up in another murder case, Lydia Krause.”

She grinned, glad to have caught him on the hop. It took a hell of a lot to surprise Detective Lieutenant Sol Molina.
“It’s on the new property we acquired for a miniature golf course and putting green. The demolition crew was razing the house, and they uncovered the remains of a body. Whoever it was died quite some time ago.”

“I’m coming right away. What’s that noise I hear?”

Lydia glanced at the backhoe moving to where the rest of the machinery was parked. “A backhoe.”

“Tell them to shut off all machinery and to keep away from the site of discovery and the corpse now!! Death may have occurred fifty years ago, but if it’s a homicide, the case remains open until solved.”

Lydia strode back to the group of men still hovering about the remains. The foreman crouched close to the body, his hand stretched out to touch the skull.

“Get away from there!” she ordered.

He stared at her and remained where he was. Furious, Lydia shouted, “I said get away from there! The police are coming and they want this area cleared.” She returned his glare. “And have the backhoe driver turn off his machine.”

The foreman finally took heed. “Aye, aye, ma’am,” he said mockingly, in an attempt to save face, and fell in behind George, Benny, and the contractor as they climbed up to ground level.

Her mission accomplished, Lydia ignored the foreman as he’d ignored her earlier. Of course he disregarded what she’d said until she got in his face, she thought cynically. She was a woman. But to be fair, she’d shown little interest in the demolition until they’d discovered the corpse.

Benny and George flanked her on either side.

“Feeling okay, Lydia?” Benny asked, his kind leathery face wrinkled in concern.

“Want some iced tea? Caroline left me with a gallon of the stuff.”

Lydia was about to refuse his offer, when she realized her knees were a bit shaky. It wasn’t every day one encountered a body, even one that had been dead for half a century.

“Sure, Benny. Thanks. I’m kind of thirsty.”

She sipped as George retrieved her folding chair, which she’d left under a tree. “Thank you, George.” She sank gratefully into her seat. Above her, the two men exchanged worried glances.

“I’m fine,” Lydia insisted. “No need for you guys to fuss over me.”

“This isn’t fussing.” George shook his head in dismay. “Fussing’s what’s going to happen when the residents hear work on our new rec area has been stopped and why.”