Here’s an excerpt from a work in progress, Missing Brandy, publishing in a couple of months. In this scene, Fina’s sidekick, Cookie, is on surveillance in Brooklyn Heights.
Cookie was sick and tired of Jane’s snide remarks, of her feeble attempts to give anyone credit. And the way she treated Willoughby was pathetic. No question, he was a slob and his remarks were off the mark, but Jane didn’t have to be such a nut crusher. Like Fina’s mom used to say, there are people who take with every breath. Think about it, she and Fina were the only ones feeding Jane information. Same thing on the last case. No question, Jane Templeton was a taker.
There was no one better at surveillance than Cookie. She’d prove it, she had to. Maybe Jane had a point about fact gathering, even though she had haughty ways of making it. Next time Cookie interviewed anyone, she would assume nothing. She’d write down all the information and then some.
She found a spot partially concealed by shrubbery on the edge of the park. From there she could see up and down the block, Trisha Liam’s townhouse, the entrance to the promenade—everything. She’d changed into her faded green jumper and maroon tee shirt. Her father’s scratchy wool cap covered her blonde mop and shades covered her best feature, her eyes. Yes, she blended right into the scene. Good thing her friends couldn’t see her now, but face it, no one could and no one cared.
Mid morning on a spring day and Brooklyn Heights was sleepy. Not a soul around, not even a car whizzing by. Too early in the year for lawn mowers. She opened her kindle, ready to read Emma when out of the corner of her eye she saw movement, a group of runners loping toward the park. Slinking deeper into the bushes, she peered between the leaves and held her breath. There was something familiar about one of them. He wasn’t part of the group, she could tell. She’d seen him before, she knew she had. Ran faster than the rest. Long and thin, with a beak of a nose. Spooky. Dark curly hair fringing a hat that had Sherwin Williams written in black letters above the visor. She hadn’t seen runners wearing one of those in a long time. These days they usually wore baseball caps or ear warmers or nothing.
Cookie took out her notebook and began writing. Time, date, place. She described all the runners in the pack, but the tall, thin one in detail. She’d show that bloated blonde bunny. Painstakingly, and in enough words to choke a horse, she wrote down everything so Jane couldn’t fault her. The tall runner overtook the others, ran right past her toward the promenade just as a woman pushing a baby carriage crossed the street heading toward Trisha Liam’s house. The mother stopped midway down the block to do something with her toddler, tuck him in or give him a kiss or whatever, then walked on and disappeared round the bend. Once again, the street was empty. Cookie heard nothing except for the pounding of her heart.
Photo: Manhattan Bridge at Magic Hour. Credit: ChrisGoldNY (Flickr), Creative Commons.
Mystery and Thriller Writers: Promote Your Work
If you’d like a quick and different way to promote your work, send me (gagasue @ gmail dot com) part of a scene from your work in progress, along with a short bio, headshot, and image of the cover, if you have it.