The Police Chief: Meet the Characters of Magnolia Bluff

Puppies are being stolen. People are dying violent deaths. The police chief faces a mystery that Sherlock Holmes would have trouble solving.

Tommy Jager should have the easiest job in town.

He’s police chief of Magnolia Bluff.

It’s a small town.

It’s a quaint town.

Usually quiet.

Easy-going.

Good folks.

Salt of the earth kind of folks.

Tommy knows everybody in town.

He’s heard their problems.

He’s watched them battle their troubles.

He helps when he can.

The ladies think he’s handsome.

But he has little time for romance.

Tommy can’t figure out what’s going on in Magnolia Bluff?

Puppies are being stolen.

People are dying.

The deaths are violent.

In Dewey Decimal Dilemma, book 7 of the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles, the police chief face a mystery that even Sherlock Holmes would have trouble solving.

*

Linda Pirtle

Bright orange and red leaves rustled down the sidewalk and across the street in front of the library. They swirled around her legs in a frenzied dance. A sudden chill tiptoed up and down Caroline’s spine. She shivered. The scene caused her to think of Ray Bradbury’s dark fantasy novel Something Wicked This Way Comes.

“I’m not a character in his novel, and for that matter, neither is Magnolia Bluff,” she reminded herself and continued her leisurely stroll to the library. As always, Caroline paused in front of the building’s stately exterior and mentally thanked philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for his gift to the community.

“Uh-oh,” she whispered.

One of the massive oak double doors stood ajar.

She felt her heartbeat pounding in her chest. It seemed to say, Don’t go in there. Call the police. Caroline fumbled through her large Louis Vuitton and pulled out her cell and dialed.

Instead of the local dispatcher Cecelia Waters answering the call, she heard the voice of Police Chief Tommy Jager. “What’s your emergency?”

“I don’t know, but I need you now.”

“Is that you, Caroline?”

“Yes. Hurry,” she said, voice trembling.

“Where are you?”

“In front of the library. Something’s not right. The front door is ajar.”

“Stay where you are. I’m on my way.”

In less than two minutes, Caroline watched his cruiser skid

around the corner. The Chief slammed on the brakes. The tall, uniformed man with a military buzz haircut and a chiseled face wearing dark glasses climbed out of his car and walked to her. He was a welcome and comforting sight indeed. “You’re as white as a sheet,” Tommy said, placing his left arm around her shoulders and pulling her close. “Take some deep breaths. That will help calm your nerves.”

*

“Would you mind walking through the library with me and look for anything that may be out of place or missing?”

Caroline smiled. “Of course.” She reached for the doorknob, but Tommy pulled her hand away.

“Don’t touch anything. I’ll have forensics from Austin come Monday to examine everything.”

“It’s a good thing the library is closed then. But, you know they’ll find my fingerprints all over the place.”

Tommy nodded. “As well as those of any patrons who were in the library yesterday.” He gently used his elbow to push the door open enough to allow entry. “Take your time,” he said. “I want you to go down every aisle and look in every nook and cranny.”

“Even downstairs?”

“Even downstairs,” he echoed, unsnapping the strap that held his gun in its holster and resting his hand on top of it. He followed Caroline through each section of the library. As she walked, she talked. He decided it was her way of keeping up her courage, much like some kids who whistle when they’re scared.

“Do you know who invented the Dewey Decimal system?” she asked.

Tommy smiled and thought, Okay, I’ll play this guessing game with you. “Well,” he drawled, “I bet his last name wasn’t decimal.”

Caroline laughed. “And you’d be correct.” She stopped at the elevator. “We can either ride the elevator or take the stairs to the reserve section in the basement.”

“Stairs will be okay,” he responded. “But first, I’ll check both restrooms. You go on up and wait for me.”

Caroline shrugged her shoulders. “Okay.” She headed for the elevator and pushed the button. So, if someone came in the back door, and Tommy had to turn the deadbolt to enter the foyer from inside the library, how did the intruder manage to open the front door? More importantly, why? To draw attention from a passerby?

Tommy heard the creaking of the elevator as it descended. The whoosh of the doors was immediately followed by a scream from Caroline. He ran to her. She lay prone in front of the slowclosing door.

A crumpled body lay on the floor of the elevator car. “Damn,” he muttered and reached inside and pushed the emergency stop button. He felt the carotid artery for a pulse. “Thank God, Pauline will be happy to know her husband is alive even though someone sure wanted him dead.” He looked down at Caroline. “No wonder she fainted. Poor thing’s known enough death already. Robert was all she had. And now she’s alone. Afghanistan made sure of that.”

Please click HERE to find Dewey Decimal Dilemma on Amazon.

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