I live in Florida, and I know there aren’t many upsides to a hurricane. This story tackles what maybe are the less obvious.
Murder at Eagle’s Nest by Pat Duggan released in December in the Cozy Mystery genre.
Murder at Eagle’s Nest is a gentle mystery novel set in a peaceful vacation resort in Apalachicola on Florida’s Forgotten Coast. The area is still reeling after Hurricane Michael made landfall only thirty-five miles to the west, on Mexico Beach. It uncovers fraud, driven by greed and arrogance. However, everything changes when a body is discovered. The police detective brought in from Tallahassee, quickly enlists the help of two women staying at the resort, who have unusual insight. They ultimately uncover critical evidence, which unmasks the perpetrator.
Esther invited them inside and turned to the waiting Randy and Freddy. Angelo stepped forward to make the introductions, “Good morning, thank you for meeting with us. I am Angelo Rossi, I think you know Bernice Brown the Treasurer, and this is Hazel Davies the newest owner at Eagle’s Nest. “He turned to Hazel and said, “This is Freddy Beaner,” who nodded in acknowledgement, “And I am assuming you are Randy Jacket.”
Randy stepped forward, “Yes of course, please, everyone, take a seat.” Ignoring any niceties, he turned to Angelo and said, “I understand you had asked to see us regarding the financial statements. I realize a condo association is a little different from other businesses, because it has to operate under Florida State law as a non-profit organization, but we will try to help you understand what is going on. Which expenses are you concerned about?”
Angelo did not appreciate being talked down to by Randy, but he swallowed hard and held his Italian temper, at least for the moment. He explained, “Let me give you a little background first. I own and operate a multi-million dollar business back home and Hazel here, was an auditor for a prestigious accounting firm back in Seattle before she retired.” He paused to let this piece of information sink in. Randy looked a little startled and Freddy, swallowed hard. Angelo continued, “Hazel and I looked at the financial statements, such as they are, yesterday. We had two sets of accounts, one provided to Bernice by Esther each month, and one to me from you, Freddy. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that a comparison of the monthly figures revealed that they were totally different!”
Earlier, Hazel, Angelo and Bernice had discussed their strategy for the meeting. As Bernice had already raised questions in the past and had basically been ‘blown off,’ as unreasonable or unnecessary, they were already prepared for confrontation. They had decided not to lay all their cards on the table initially, in case it shut down even the pretense of cooperation. Instead they hoped to obtain more information.
Randy’s response was predictably defensive, “Impossible, you must have made a mistake.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Originally from Manchester, England but moved to the U.S. over 30 years ago. I have an accounting background in both countries. Several years ago, I discovered an interest in writing. My two previous books, Finding God in an RV and The Power Within, document my spiritual journey. However, as a longtime lover of murder mysteries, with a passion to follow plots and figure out the perpetrator, it was time for a new direction. I decided to ‘try my hand’ at weaving my own story, and true to my character, I had to tie up all the loose ends. Murder at Eagles Nest is my first mystery novel, and I am already working on the next mystery for my amateur detectives, Hazel and Anna to solve.
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