Title: Gone Astray
Author: Terry Korth Fischer
A heart attack sends detective Rory Naysmith reeling. Too young to retire, he accepts a position in small-town Winterset, Nebraska. Handed an unsolved truck hijacking case, with the assistance of a rookie, Rory sets out to prove he is still able to go toe-to toe with younger men. When the body of a Vietnam veteran turns up, he dons his fedora and spit-shines his shoes. But before he can solve the murder, an older woman disappears, followed closely by a second hijacking. He doggedly works the cases, following a thread that ties the two crimes together. But can Rory find the mental and physical strength to up his game and bring the criminals to justice before disaster strikes and he loses his job?
I prefer to work alone," Rory said. "But in this case, I could use a hand."
"Can't do it, Naysmith. It's a small department, the holidays are coming on, the end of the year, take your pick." Mansfield went back to inspecting the reports, picking up a fresh one from the in-basket, dismissing Rory.
"I've only been in Winterset three days. I don't know the town or the people. The second set of feet will save time."
The chief paused. "Whining? The numbered streets run north to south, and the avenues run east to west." His lips twisted into a wry smile. "Okay, I'll let you have one officer. He's new. It will help me out more than it will help you. He can run errands. He's a native, and you can bring him along by showing him how a real man handles police work."
A rookie? Rory pulled on an earlobe. Not exactly what he'd had in mind.
"Make you look good." Mansfield winked. "Keep in mind that detecting isn't a two-person job. There's no budget for it. His time will be off the clock."
Rory was sure Mansfield had his own reputation in mind, but before he could lodge a protest or divert him, Sunny's voice burst through the intercom, rife with excitement. "Holy schmoley, Chief. We got a live dead one!" Her voice filled the chief's office. "You got Naysmith in there? He needs—"
Rory's heart jumped. Dead body?
Chief Mansfield grabbed the phone, cutting Sunny's voice off. "What ya got?"
While Mansfield listened, Rory checked the department cell at his hip. One call, Sunny. Crap. His first chance, and he'd almost missed it. His mind started to whirl.
The chief's hooded eyes turned to Rory. "I'll send him right out. Get Thacker on the horn. We'll need him to run Naysmith to the scene." He slammed the receiver down.
"It's the senior care home. The boys found a body in the vacant lot. They say you better take a look." His face lit with excitement. "This could be just what we need."
Rory felt his pulse ratchet up. "Who's Thacker? He the rookie you were talking about?"
Mansfield rose and began to pace behind the desk. "The boys responded to a call. Thought something looked funny and turned up a body in a pile of leaves. Sunny has the details. I want you out there."
"Thacker?" Rory asked, rising as well.
"Yeah, Thacker. No time to clear you for a city car. He can run you out and then stick around to assist."
"I'm on it, Chief."
Rory stopped at his office for his hat and the newspaper. He secured the door and entered the dispatch office to find Powell handling the duty desk and Sunny seated at her computer. On the bank of security monitors, he noticed a police unit pull into the back lot. "What ya got, Sunny?"
"I got Thacker waiting. I got the boys out at the care home with a dead body. And I got a headache."
"Right. I'll get the details from the lead officer."
He couldn't move fast enough.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
Detective Rory Naysmith is a reluctant hero who uses his brain before resorting to brawn. His dry humor and wry comebacks are an absolute hoot as he fights his way through crime in rural Nebraska.
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Terry Korth Fischer writes mystery and memoir. Her memoir, Omaha to Ogallala, was released in 2019. Her short stories have appeared in The Write Place at the Write Time, Spies & Heroes, and numerous anthologies. Transplanted from the Midwest, Terry lives in Houston with her husband and their two guard cats. She enjoys a good mystery, the heat and humidity, and long summer days. Visit her website at https://terrykorthfischer.com
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/terrykorthfischer
BLOG Website: https://www.terryiswriting.com