Thursday Sampler: A Murderer Among Us by Marilyn Levinson

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In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a new series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Thursday’s Sampler is an excerpt from A Murderer Among Us by Marilyn Levinson. If you’re looking for a great and charming mystery set in a retirement community, this is the novel you want to read. As one reviewer said: Marilyn has written a fast paced story with realistic characters, several potential murderers and a red herring to cloud the picture to boot.

The Story

Newly retired Lydia Krause moves to the upscale, over-55 community of Twin Lakes, where she publicly exposes the community’s financial advisor, Marshall Weill, as a convicted embezzler.

The next morning, Weill’s wife is found dead, mowed down by Lydia’s car. Sexy Lieutenant Detective Sol Molina views Lydia as Suspect Number One, spurring her on to prove her innocence and to find the murderer.

Another resident dies, and Lydia barely escapes with her life. As she falls for Sol Molina, copes with one daughter’s adulterous affair and the other’s upcoming wedding, Lydia paves a new life for herself and reveals the murderer among the Twin Lakes’ residents.

The Excerpt

Marilyn Levinson
Marilyn Levinson

“Mrs. Krause, I’d like you to tell me everything you did, from the time you left for Bingo last night until now.”

Lydia stared incredulously at the police lieutenant sitting at her kitchen table while outside the crew of CSIs scrutinized her car and the taped-off area of her driveway.  She could only imagine what her gawking neighbors must be thinking.

“What does it matter what I’ve been doing?   I called the police to report that someone vandalized my car.”

Unperturbed, Lieutenant Detective Solomon Molina looked up from his note taking.  He was good looking, Lydia noted.  Dark rather than fair.  Nice, even features set off by a full head of salt and pepper hair.  She  judged him to be a few years younger than her fifty-eight years.

“We have reason to believe your car was involved in a serious accident involving a pedestrian.”

Ice water coursed through her veins, momentarily rendering her incapable of speech.   “Oh, how awful!”  Images flit across her mind, turning her horror to fury.

“I think I know who’s responsible, Lieutenant, though I’m shocked that even he would harm an innocent person to get back at me.”  She swallowed.  “Was the pedestrian badly injured?  Will he or she be all right?”

“Who do you think took your car, Mrs. Krause?”

“Warren Mannes, a convicted embezzler.  Last night in the clubhouse, my neighbor introduced him as Marshall Weill.  When Peg said he was the homeowners’ association’s financial advisor, I told him I knew who he was and expressed my outrage that he was handling other people’s money.”

“Did this exchange take place in public?”

Lydia paused, recalling the shocked expression on residents’ faces, the awful exchange with Mannes’s wife before she fled to the ladies’ room.  “Oh, it was very public.”

“Were you angry?”

“Furious.  The thief stole the life savings of several of his clients.   I didn’t want a repeat at Twin Lakes.”

Molina’s green eyes, bright as emeralds, studied her.  “Were you or someone close to you one of his victims?”

Lydia grimaced.  “My youngest sister, Allison.”

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