The Lawyer: Meet the Characters of Magnolia Bluff
July 7, 2022
Attorney Stanton Lauderbach is hired to defend the reputation of a lady preacher who may or may not be accused on murder.
Two-bit cops don’t frighten him.
He knows how to play the game.
He’s played it before.
In Death Wears A Crimson Hat, Book 1 in the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles, Attorney Stanton Lauderbach is hired to defend the reputation of a lady preacher who may or may not be accused on murder.
He doesn’t try to make fools of small town cops.
He lets them make fools of themselves.
And the lawyer loves every minute of it.
May the best team win.
There was a knock, and a man stuck his head in. Detective Reece Sovern turned around and said, “What are you doing here, Stanton?”
“I’m here to talk to Reverend Cole. I’m her legal counsel.”
“You’re what?” Sovern demanded.
“I didn’t hire you,” Ember said.
“No, you didn’t, Ms. Cole. A friend hired me on your behalf in case you needed legal advice.” Stanton Lauderbach nodded towards Sovern, to emphasize his point, and continued, “Stanton Lauderbach, Esquire at your service, and it looks as though I got here just in time.”
“Look Stanton, the Reverend and I are just having a chat. I’m not arresting her.”
“But she is a person of interest. Is she not?”
Reece Sovern took his glasses off and ran his hand over his face. “Yes, the Reverend is a person of interest.”
“Then I arrived just in time.” Lauderbach sat in the chair next to Sovern. “Continue, Reece.”
Sovern put his glasses back on, took in a deep breath, and exhaled. “Ms. Cole, did you know that your friend, Harry Thurgood, paid Mary Lou Fight a visit yesterday, and, according to her husband, threatened her?”
Lauderbach held up his hand to stop Ember from replying. “And what does that have to do with Ms. Cole? Shouldn’t you be discussing Mr. Thurgood’s alleged threat with him?”
Ember looked from Sovern, to the lawyer, and then back to the police investigator.
Sovern stood. “You want to make this difficult, don’t you, Stanton?”
“Just doing my job.”
“Yeah, right. Well, I’ll leave you two to whatever business you have. Ms. Cole. Stanton.”
The police investigator left, and Ember took in the man sitting before her. He was immaculately dressed in a three-piece charcoal gray suit. His dark hair was combed straight back from his high forehead, but stood out from his head, giving a very full appearance. He had an aquiline nose and thin lips. But what she found most impressive were his piercing, almost feral eyes. And his smile: genuine, but rather too genuine.
“Who hired you?”
“I’m not at liberty to say.”
“That was the condition your benefactor put on the arrangement.”
“I see. Why are you here?”
“To meet you and find out what Detective Sovern has asked you thus far.”
“And if I say no to your services?”
“If I may be direct…”
“You’d be a fool to do so. I’m the best in the county at this sort of thing.”
“Modest, aren’t we?”
Lauderbach smiled. “No, I’m not. But I am the best, which is why Sovern left. He was fishing. Which is good for him and bad for you. He has no evidence you are involved. Let him come back when he has some. Now, what has he asked you about?”
Ember filled in the attorney on her interactions with Reece Sovern.
When she was finished, Stanton Lauderbach fished a card out of his suit coat pocket and handed it to her. He stood. “Call me, no matter the time, whenever someone official shows up.”
“Aren’t you going to ask if I’m innocent?”
Lauderbach smiled, and Ember could’ve sworn his eyes glowed. “My job is to defend you. Period. Guilt or innocence is up to judge and jury. Good day, Reverend Cole.”
Ember watched him leave, and then studied the chair in which he’d been sitting. She pursed her lips, then picked up her desk phone. “This is Harry’s doing,” she muttered, started punching in numbers, but stopped before she was finished.
Her eyes took in her Bible, and she returned the phone to the cradle. She mouthed the verse: Be welcoming to strangers; because, by doing so, some have entertained angels and didn’t realize it.
She sat back in her chair, and softly said, “Maybe Harry is an angel.”
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