I strode across the parking lot of Navisone Electronics, trying to look as confident as I would have been just a few short months ago. At five feet two and 112 pounds, it was hard to look powerful, but I did my best.
Except for my dog, everything I cared about was gone. I’m dead broke. Friendless. Alone. My former business partner had seen to that. I couldn’t bring poor Maureen back to life, but I sold everything I owned to make the rest right. Completely innocent, yet I’m still a pariah in the industry.
I smoothed the lapels of my dated navy-blue Armani blazer. Too old to be stylish but too new to claim vintage status, it was a last vestige of my former life in Chicago. I was wearing it for luck today. Luck, and because it was the nicest thing left in my closet. Today, I needed every detail to be perfect.
As I psyched myself up for what was coming next, I savored the tang of the Atlantic Ocean and the glint of the sun on the nearby cranberry bog, just turning crimson. The scene was classic Cape Cod, except for the large manufacturing plant that stood like a mirage on the edge of the one small ornamental bog left as part of the landscaping. This area had once been all cranberry bogs as far as you could see. Now it was the Cranberry Industrial Park. Still, it felt like home.
And if I couldn’t get a job in my hometown, my life was over.
Well, okay. So maybe my whole life didn’t depend on the outcome of this interview. Just my work, the part I still cared about.
I had one hour to put my life back in order. One last chance. Starting now.
I smiled at the receptionist as I crossed the lobby.
She looked up, returning my smile.
I said, “Hi. I’m Carrie Harding. I have an appointment to see Bob Navisone. Would you tell him I’m here, please?”
She stopped smiling. “I’ll tell him.”
Inside, I cringed, but I kept my smile in place. She must have recognized my name from the news. No wonder she was so cold. Most people were, now.
I was innocent. But of course, they never put that on the front page.
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This is where I blog (at random intervals) with my friend Mary Beth Gale, author of A Class in Murder.
And look--on the left side of this photo.you can see-through the trees to the Cranberry Industrial Park where The Cranberry Bog Murder is set .
Specializing in manufacturing, business, supply chain and technology