The Angered: Meet the Characters of Magnolia Bluff

They have three thoughts on their mind. Pray for Daphne. Hunt down the perpetrators of the crime. And strike back.

Caroline McCluskey is angry.

She’s not alone.

A member of their writing round table has been attacked.


No one knows for sure.

By whom?

A stranger in the night.

And now she’s lying in the hospital.

Will she make it?



Who knows?

In The Dog Gone Diamond Dilemma, book 12 of the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles, a series of petty crimes has suddenly gotten worse.

And a friend is hurt.

She may be dying.

The members of the round table have all gathered at the hospital.

They have three thoughts on their mind.

Pray for Daphne.

Hunt down the perpetrators of the crime.

And strike back.


The blast of cold air that swept inside as Police Chief Jager left, spurred Caroline into action. She locked the inner and outside doors of the library and flicked the light switches on her way to her office to grab her purse and heavy coat. She slapped on her beret and headed downstairs to the employee parking lot behind the building. Sitting in her SUV, waiting for the defroster and windshield wipers to do their job, she thought about her husband Robert. Before he and Tommy Jager had gone into battle, Robert asked his friend to take care of his wife if anything ever happened to him. Jager promised he would and had been a loyal friend. Too bad he had fallen in love with his best friend’s wife.

Caroline slowly backed out of her parking space and entered Main Street on her way to the hospital. She still felt guilty about hurting Jager and resented her husband’s request to Jager, a fellow soldier.

It started in her stomach. Caroline’s boiling anger moved up through her esophagus. She slammed her gloved fist on the steering wheel. Words she thought she’d never utter to her deceased husband rushed to be heard. Now, Jager was worried about her friend Daphne, too.

Robert McCluskey, if you weren’t already dead, I’d kick your ass. How dare you sic your comrade at arms on me. He’s hurting, and it’s all my fault. No, you don’t, old girl. It’s Jager’s fault. I never led him on.

I know he knows me. He knows I’ll make it my job to find the idiot who thinks he can attack one of my friends. He didn’t tell me to let him do his job. That’s a first. Perhaps, he’s moving on, too.

The snow created a mystical aura over the city. Total quietness surrounded Caroline except for the crunch of her tires, struggling to maintain their hold on the fresh flakes cascading on her beloved Magnolia Bluff. They resembled a shower of glitter from the reflection of the antique street lights lining Main Street. Unfortunately, this snow will turn to ice by tomorrow morning, she thought.

Caroline pulled into the visitor parking area outside the hospital’s emergency entrance, opened her car door, and climbed out of the SUV. Pausing at the curb, she shivered. Someone is watching me, she thought as she carefully walked to the glow of lights shining above the entrance.

Once inside, Caroline discarded all thoughts about her husband and Jager. Her only concern was for her friend. All of the MBWA members occupied the red leather chairs in one corner of the waiting room. Graham Huston, Harry Thurgood, Ember Cole, LouEllen Mueller, Madison Jackson, and Michael Kurelek waited silently. Their somber faces reflected Caroline’s own emotions and angst: Why would anyone want to hurt Daphne? Surely, it was a random act.

Graham Huston left his chair and met Caroline. His brown eyes were dark with concern. He helped the librarian remove her coat and escorted her to an empty chair next to LouEllen.

Caroline had never before seen LouEllen wearing a black-knitted cap. Some of her blonde curls refused to the smothered. The electric cold air caused them to stand at odd angles, which mirrored the angry furrowed brows on LouEllen’s face. She hugged Caroline. “We were all worried about you when we couldn’t reach you.”

“I’m so sorry. I turned off my phone so that I could write with no interruptions.” Caroline turned to the others in the room. “Have you heard anything from the doctor?” Caroline asked.

“Not yet,” Magnolia answered.

“They called in a plastic surgeon to fix her face,” Graham said.

Magnolia scowled at the newspaper editor. “Couldn’t you say that with a little more empathy?”

Graham shook his head but didn’t respond to Magnolia’s criticism.

Daphne’s injuries are serious. Those two always outdo each other to get the last word. Graham is indeed worried if he didn’t have a snarky remark handy.

“It’s not going to help Daphne’s recovery if we snap at each other,” the good reverend said. “I think we ought to pray for the surgeon and the medical team as well as Daphne.”

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