Excerpt from False Impressions, as narrated by character Megan Scott:
I’d just hauled out the vacuum when the doorbell rang. I ignored it. I figured it was a pesky salesperson. But after the fourth ring, my patience ran out. I slammed the button on the intercom in the hallway and shouted, “Yes?”
“Madame Thomas Scott?” A male voice echoed in the foyer downstairs.
Who would use such an unusual version of my name? “Who is this?”
“I am Detective Lieutenant Moreau of the Sûreté du Québec.” I perceived a heavy French-Canadian accent this time. “I would like to see you about a grave personal matter.”
A grave personal matter?
A lump suddenly materialized in the pit of my stomach. I buzzed him in and opened the door to my apartment. My heart pounded as two men in plainclothes soon stepped out of the elevator, each wearing a badge on a chain around his neck. As they neared, I recognized the insignia as that of the Québec Provincial Police force, or QPP, as the English-speaking population knew it.
“Bonjour, Madame Scott. I am Detective Lieutenant Jean Moreau. This is Detective Sergeant Claude Duchaine. May we come in?”
“Of course.” I caught the scent of cigarette smoke on Moreau’s clothes as he breezed past me into the living room. A tweed jacket, a lilac shirt, and a tie that looked as if it had been used to wipe off paintbrushes gave the impression he’d selected his clothes in the dark. While strands of mousy-brown hair made a futile attempt to cover the top of his head, a thick mustache filled the narrow space between thin lips and a pointy nose. Sporting a black attaché case, he could have passed for a fifty-year-old salesman peddling insurance door-to-door.
Duchaine stood at least four inches taller and that much wider than Moreau. A buttoned jacket strained to contain his beefy physique. His brown hair was cropped short, tinged blond on top, and balanced out a square jaw. I placed him at about thirty-five.
“Please sit down,” I said, indicating one of two black leather sofas.
“Non, merci, Madame Scott,” Moreau answered for both of them, his dark eyes peering at me from under eyebrows as bushy as his mustache. “But perhaps you would like to sit down.”
I looked at their faces, grim with purpose. A sudden weakness hit my knees and I sunk into the sofa.
“We regret to inform you…” Moreau paused. “Your husband, Thomas Scott, is dead.”
Read the interview with Sandra Nikolai.
Sandra Nikolai held careers in sales, finance, and high tech before destiny allowed her to pursue her lifelong dream. Sandra is the author of False Impressions, the first book in a mystery series featuring Megan Scott and Michael Elliott. She is currently working on Fatal Whispers, book #2 in the series. Sandra is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
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