Excerpt of “Front Page Fatality”
“Front Page Fatality” by LynDee Walker
Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke’s days can flip from macabre to comical with a beep of her police scanner. Then an ordinary accident story turns extraordinary when evidence goes missing, a prosecutor vanishes, and a sexy Mafia boss shows up with the headline tip of a lifetime. As Nichelle gets closer to the truth, her story gets more dangerous. Armed with a notebook, a hunch, and her favorite stilettos, Nichelle races to splash these shady dealings across the front page before this deadline becomes her last.
I paused outside Bob’s door, where Grant Parker was chatting with the features editor about the baseball season. I couldn’t remember ever having spoken more than a dozen words to Parker, an almost-professional pitcher who was regarded around Richmond as just slightly less than Zeus’ son, but the column he’d talked about in the meeting caught my attention.
I cleared my throat lightly and he turned his head, his bright green eyes widening a touch when they met mine. He was tall, but in my heels, I was almost nose-to-nose with him.
“What can I do for you, Miss Clarke?” He flashed the smile that made most women here channel their corset- bound ancestors and swoon—and sold a fair number of newspapers, too.
“I wanted to say thank you,” I said, shifting my file folder to the other arm. “For the column you’re doing today. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and it’s nice you’re writing about it. The sports section isn’t usually where you’d look for a breast cancer story. So thanks.”
“You’re so welcome.” His eyes dropped to the square- toed perfection of the shiny blue stilettos I’d shoved my feet into between my early morning body combat class and my mad dash to the meeting, then raised back to mine. “Nice of you to say so. I didn’t know you read my column.”
“I don’t.” I smiled. “But I will tomorrow.”
“I guess I’d better be on my A game, then.” He ran a hand through his already-messy blond hair and grinned at me again.
“I guess you’d better.” I took a step backward. “I’m told I can be tough to impress.”
“I do love a challenge.” He raised his eyebrows and twisted his mouth to one side.
“I bet you do.” I shook my head, making a mental note to call my mother as I turned and headed for my ivory cubicle, Parker and his too-perfect smile forgotten. Charles Bronson. Dead guys. The nagging feeling there was something beyond the obvious on the murdered dealers got stronger the more I thought about the scattered details I’d heard on the scanner.
My hand was already on the phone to call Aaron again when I snatched up the pink slip on my desk, but the mes- sage was from my friend Jenna. She was probably looking for my input on which restaurants had sufficiently-stocked bars for our every-other-Friday girls’ night, which I’d been looking forward to roughly since the opening gavel had banged on Monday morning.
Before I could pick up the phone to return her call, my favorite detective returned mine.
“Why didn’t the shooter take the drugs and the money in Noah Smith’s house? The dead dealer, from last month?” I asked, barely bothering to tell Aaron good morning. “And was the murder scene this morning the same?”
He sighed, and I felt my eyebrows go up. That would be a yes. I fumbled for a pen.
**About author, LynDee Walker:
LynDee Walker grew up in the land of stifling heat and amazing food most people call Texas, and wanted to be Lois Lane pretty much from the time she could say the words “press conference.” An award-winning journalist, she traded cops and deadlines for burp cloths and onesies when her oldest child was born. Writing the Headlines in Heels mysteries gives her the best of both worlds. Her debut novel, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, is an amazon new humor #1 bestseller. LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is working on her next novel. You can visit her online at www.lyndeewalker.com.
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