Triple Threat [A Taylor Madison Mystery]
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by Elizabeth Dearl
Category: Mystery/Crime EPIC eBook Award Winner
Description: Triplets, a tornado, and twisted lies add up to trouble for Taylor Madison as Perdue's townfolk gather for Hank Barton's funeral. Why do the three identical sisters dislike each other so much? Why did Hank put such an odd codicil in his will? Throw in swaggering new deputy, a citizen's police academy, and an amateur tornado hunter, and Taylor find herself longing for the comparative peace of big city life!
eBook Publisher: Hard Shell Word Factory, 2005
eBookwise Release Date: May 2005
31 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [382 KB]
Reading time: 238-333 min.
"Ms. Dearl offers a double dose of engaging mystery in Triple Threat. In Buyer's Remorse, Taylor Madison charges to the rescue when her friend gets a steal of a deal as she buys a house at auction. Stealthy footsteps and a mournful ghost soon convince them that the deal is too good to be true. Triple Threat revolves around a man's dying wish to reconcile his grown triplets: Lily, Rose, and Iris. A simple provision in his Will sparks a complicated dance of personalities and intrigues as old secrets threaten the sisters' bequests. Triple Threat offers many a chuckle on its blithe trip through the cobwebs of human behavior. I had some difficulty putting the book down, but no matter. I'll get the laundry done another day. For readers in search of light entertainment, both intriguing and amusing, Triple Threat is a winner."--Jeanette Cottrell, Reviewer, eBook Reviews Weekly
"Triple Threat, like Dearl's previous Taylor Madison mysteries, Diamondback and Twice Dead, is completely absorbing. I cannot praise the characterization and writing style enough. The author blends her personal expertise in forensics, investigative procedures and police work with a uniquely witty dialogue and description to produce a tantalizing blend of intrigue, romance and excitement that's truly unforgettable. If you haven't yet read a Taylor Madison mystery, do yourself a favor and pick one up now."--Maureen McMahon, author of Shadows in the Mist
"Using Taylor as narrator, but with plenty of dialogue so that one quickly forgets the first person point of view dominates, Elizabeth Dearl writes with an easy tone and dry humor about a town full of life-like characters. In fact, the town could almost be considered a character in itself. The plots in both these stories are many layered. It doesn't matter whether or not you guess the solution to the mysteries, though you may change your mind several times. The enjoyment of them lies in who, how, and why, rather than in what. Triple Threat offers two entertaining cozy mysteries in one. Why not take advantage of this good deal? And if you haven't read the earlier novels, I highly recommend them as well."--Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today
"IT'D BETTER BE rainin' buckets the day they put me in the ground. Sunshine just ain't fittin' for a funeral."
So Hank Barton had frequently proclaimed to his gaggle of elderly cronies as they sat around the potbellied stove at Hope Hardware, spitting tobacco juice in the general direction of the tarnished spittoon that hadn't seen a lick of brass polish since God was a little boy.
Squeezing Cal's hand, I blinked away both tears and rainwater as Hank's casket was lowered into the muddy hole.
"You got your wish, pal," I said softly. Hank had provided my first taste of Perdue hospitality the night I stumbled, half-frozen, into the tiny West Texas town after my car broke down out near the city limits sign. He'd not only revived me with hot coffee and kind words, he'd also given me a place to stay while I worked out the puzzle of my ancestry. I would never forget him.
Cal draped an arm across my shoulders, easing me further beneath the shelter of his blue umbrella. "A good man," he said.
Two slender women leaned against each other for support as they swayed toward the grave, identical faces crumpled in grief. One dropped a rose atop the descending coffin, the other a lily.
The gesture informed me which was which. I usually don't have any trouble telling Lily from her twin sister, Rose, but they had dressed alike for their father's funeral. They had even coordinated their hairdos. Rose, who usually allows her dark hair to tumble in waves about her shoulders, had today swept it up into a tight bun.
"It always tickled Hank to pieces when they wore matching outfits," Cal whispered.
"Really? Well, I guess that's why they did it today then. As a kind of parting gift."
The crowd was dispersing, trying to maintain balance as they picked their way across the slick grass. Cal took a firm grip on my arm and guided me in the direction of his patrol car. My black pumps, the only dressy shoes I owned, were now brown with mud and the sharp high heels kept sinking into the soggy ground. How did some women endure wearing such torture devices every day?
Lily Barton, for instance. Lily owned and operated The Little Nosegay, Perdue's flower shop, but her daily attire was more Rodeo Drive than West Texas. As Cal settled me into his cruiser's passenger seat, I watched her glide toward the waiting funeral parlor limousine with the grace and poise of a model traversing the runway at a fashion show.
Rose Joyce, née Barton, straggled along behind, clinging to her husband's arm as I had clung to Cal's. Like me, she was more accustomed to blue jeans and sneakers. Her shop, just around the corner from Lily's, was called Back In A Minute. I guess she was smart enough to know that naming the place Secondhand Rose's would jiggle the cute meter past its red zone. Houstonians would likely refer to her shop as a vintage clothing boutique, but Rose sneered at such pseudo-refinement, insisting she sold used clothing and that was that.
I saw my middle-aged neighbor, Dorothy Stenson, pause beside her sedan to shake rain from a black umbrella, her lips pursed as if she'd breakfasted on lemons.
"Dot's on the warpath," Cal said, following my gaze.
"What now?" Notice I wasn't surprised. Dorothy has worn a rut into that particular path.
Before he could answer, my chubby friend caught sight of us. Too ladylike to shout across the headstones, she pointed at herself, pointed at us, then made a cheerleader's L with one arm straight out, the other straight up.
Biting back a grin, I nodded understanding.
"What the hell was that all about?" Cal asked.
"She wants us to meet her at Lucy's."
Copyright © 2005 Elizabeth Dearl