FREE Today, Friday, February 26, 2016, the kindle version of the first short story in the Cat Collier Mystery series at http://tinyurl.com/zmv3jeq
Here is an excerpt:
January Black Ice
A Cat Collier Mystery
Carol Ann Kauffman
“Name, please,” asked the unknown polite man in the wrinkled suit at the front desk of the Palazzo Castellano Hotel in the heart of beautiful downtown Heaton Valley, Ohio. I looked for a nametag. These guys always seem more agreeable when you called them by name. No nametag.
“Mary Catherine Collier.”
“Oh, the obituary writer for the Herald?”
“I thought you’d be…older.” He squinted at me as if I were out of focus.
“I’m here to see Mr. Bittmor,” I answered as quietly as I could, not for his sake but because of my pounding headache.
“Do you have an appointment?” He scanned an appointment calendar in front of him. “Collier…Collier.”
“Would I be here so damn early in the morning on this cold, gray, snow-clogged, icy, miserable day if I didn’t?” I seriously considered leaping over the counter and choking him. Not a death-grip, mind you. I’m not a violent person. Just a little squeeze.
“Shall I take that as a yes?” he asked.
“Yes,” I smiled instead of choking him, a much better option I thought, mainly because I still might need his help in the event the cantankerous, old Mr. Detrick Bittmor became less than cooperative.
“Ahh, yes, here you are. ‘Cat’. Mr. Bittmor will see you in the lounge, madam.” He pointed toward the bar. Now what decent, self-respecting bar is open at seven-thirty in the morning? And who the hell is madam?
“Madam?” I squealed. “Just what do you think I’m delivery this morning, buddy?” I tried to pull in my bristles, but it wasn’t working. I needed sleep. I needed warmth.
“I have no idea, madam. I’ll bring you some coffee as soon as I ring Mr. Bittmor’s suite.”
“Coffee. Good. What happened to Fred? I liked Fred.”
“Thank you, ur…”
“Rodney,” he answered with a nod and the teeniest smile, making old, sour, wrinkly Rodney appear slightly less creepy, for the moment.
“Thank you, Rodney.” I strolled into the lounge, found the only table with sufficient light, pulled out my notebook and pen, and patiently waited…for the coffee, not so much for Bittmor.