Kate Policani, author of The Lustre, is hosting this fantastic blog-in! Today, I’m sharing an excerpt from my latest release, Check Out Time. Buy Check Out Time on Amazon, and remember to “like” my author page on Facebook.
Check Out Time: Retail is Murder
A Mystery novel by Rosa Sophia
Naomi Vogler blames herself for her mother’s tragic death, continually reliving the accident in her nightmares. When she reconnects with her estranged father, he invites her to live with him in a little town called Witchfire. A simple job stocking shelves overnight at a local grocery store seems a perfect distraction. But when the manager of the store is found dead in the boiler room, Naomi’s boring job becomes something much more complicated. No matter how she looks at it, one thing is certain: retail is murder.
Harmless admirer, or worse . . . ?
“Somebody busted my car window.”
“What?” Roy exclaimed.
“I don’t know why or what happened; I guess they were trying to find something to steal.” Even as she said this, Naomi was staring into the car windows. The stereo was still there. This struck her as odd, because she had recently installed a brand new system. Even her CD collection remained, which she had left on the passenger seat.
“I’ll get the tow truck and be there in a few minutes,” Roy said. “Will you be okay?”
“Yeah. Oliver said he would hang out with me until you got here.”
“All right. See you soon.”
Naomi hung up her cell phone and slipped it into her pocket. “I can’t believe this,” she mumbled brokenly. “I just got this thing fixed and somebody broke into it. It must have happened when hardly anyone was here. We wouldn’t have heard anything from inside. My God—I can’t believe nobody heard the window break.”
Oliver walked over to the car and peeked in the window. “If you broke into a car, wouldn’t you try to steal an expensive stereo system?” he asked, echoing Naomi’s thoughts.
She shrugged. “Maybe it was just before the cops got here last night. Maybe whoever it was saw them and freaked out.”
“Can you think of anything else you might have taken with you to work?”
Naomi thought for a moment. “Not really. Except . . . .”
“The photo album I was going to show you.” The night had been so busy, she had forgotten about it.
“Oh!” Oliver exclaimed. “Your vacation pictures.” Oliver looked into the back seat.
“Where’s the album?”
Naomi spent the next few minutes looking under some things in the back seat, searching underneath the seats and even checking the trunk, but she didn’t find the photo album. She thought of the man in the blue shirt. She thought of the date she had made for Saturday night. Naomi gulped. “Oh my God,” she mumbled. “The album’s gone.”
“Did you forget to bring it?” Oliver asked nervously.
Naomi slammed the back door. Some pieces of glass fell from the remains of the driver’s side window. “No, I distinctly remember putting it on the seat next to me when I got in the car,” Naomi stammered. “Whoever broke into my car must have stolen my photo album! Don’t you see what this means?”
“Oh, shit.” Oliver didn’t want to say it, but he was thinking it. Maybe she really does have a stalker.