Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders View larger

Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders (paperback) by M. S. Spencer

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  • Milo Everhart is waiting out the rain in a pub when she is captivated by the handsome man next to her. Blocking the road to romance are two mysterious corpses who turn up in the tower of her Torpedo Factory Art Center. As if that weren't enough, a second crisis erupts—a proposal to gut her beloved art center.
     
    Tristram Brodie, hard-driving lawyer and former Marine, is focused on his plan to convert the Torpedo Factory into a box store. He is drawn to the beautiful Milo, but their mutual attraction will be frustrated by both the murders and his intentions. As they edge closer to love, they must find a way to overcome not only their differences but also the still-fresh memory of her late husband.

    Rating: Hot
    Page Count: 268
    Word Count: 66830
    978-1-5092-0876-0 Paperback
    978-1-5092-0877-7 Digital

    Excerpt

    Archie Chisholm, a fixture for thirty years at the Torpedo Factory, nodded silently. His face and body were simultaneously ageless and nondescript. He’d kept his gray hair in a crew cut for as long as Milo could remember, and he wore the same khaki chinos and flannel shirt every day, season in, season out. Gray eyes set deep were usually hooded, cloaking his expression. Several of the artists insisted he never actually left the building. Some claimed he was born in it. As it stood, he knew every nook and cranny of the place, every artist who had ever had a studio there, every event, public or private, that occurred there. He treated the Torpedo Factory like a baby, nursing it along through crisis after crisis in its checkered history, defending it against all enemies. Milo felt privileged that he would even suggest leaving it in her hands.

    She looked up to see him patiently waiting in the corridor. Of course, he wouldn’t. He’s making sure I’m cleanly out of here. She packed her stuff, locked the studio, and followed him down the stairs. They walked through the cavernous main hall of the former munitions plant. Walkways on each of three floors followed the contours of the building. Studios lined the walks and snaked in and out of corridors in a maze of cubbyholes. She caught herself thinking Tristram might be right—the rooms could easily be remodeled to be more accessible and provide more exhibit space. Why, that back stairway to the Friends’ office couldOh shit.

    “Archie, you go on. Luisa left something for me up in the tower. I’d better get it tonight or there will be hell to pay.”

    Archie waved and walked on without turning around. Milo took the stairs two at a time to the third floor. The serpentine halls and studios were unlit, and she shook off the sensation of menace smoldering in the gloom. For heaven’s sake, Milo, don’t be a sissy. Everyone’s gone home. She opened the door that led up to the tower office used by the Friends of the Torpedo Factory. Wide windows opened onto the waterfront from the stairwell. As she watched, the lamps on the boardwalk dimmed, leaving only the tiny lights twinkling along the ornate iron railings of the sternwheeler named the Cherry Blossom. The cabin cruisers and launches in the marina bobbed at their moorings, lifeless except for an open powerboat at the far end. A lantern danced in its stern, flickering on and off like a tiny buoy. No light shone from the rest of the buildings, not even the Chart House. That’s right, it closes early on Monday.

    She reached the fire door and pulled out her key. The little room, only about ten by ten, lay in darkness. Usually the city lights let a bit of illumination into the room, but someone had pulled the blinds across the bay windows that looked south and north. She tripped over some stacked chairs and bumped into the worktable that filled the middle of the room. Backing up, she fumbled for the switch, flipped it, and screamed.

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Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders (paperback)

Artful Dodging: The Torpedo Factory Murders (paperback)

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