Century End Part Three – a Tracy Gayle Mystery by Trish Hubschman #WordPressWednesday

Century End Part Three – a Tracy Gayle Mystery by Trish Hubschman #WordPressWednesday

Century end Part Three

A Tracy Gayle Mystery

By Trish Hubschman

June 2022

 

Tracy Gayle

 

“Who’s Michael McAllister?” I asked Johnson. We were at Gayle Investigations. Johnson was the head sleuth now. “McAllister’s was the first headstone I took a pic of. He died in 1988.  His wife, Catherine, died two years later.” After I dropped Daphne back at her office, I sent Johnson the pics I took on my phone and asked him to check out the people buried there. I especially wanted to know their causes of death.

There was a spiral notebook on the desk in front of Johnson. He liked keeping written notes. He didn’t look down at it when answering my question. “McAllister was the head of a major building firm in the 1970s and 80s. His son, Jared, runs the company now. McAllister senior bought Century End in 1975.”
That surprised me. “Why on earth had McAllister purchased the town?”   I asked, but wasn’t expecting a response. “If he’d had any big plans for rebuilding or expansion of it, it hadn’t happened.”

Johnson shook his head. “Maybe there hadn’t been any specific plans.  Maybe he was trying to stop the townspeople from rebuilding. Who knows?”

Another thought hit me. “What does Max Hanson have to do with Mike McAllister?”

Johnson flipped a few pages in the notebook. “I don’t see any connection between them, Gayle, except that they’re buried in the same cemetery. “

Think fast, I told myself. “My friend, Jackie, Hanson’s niece, said her uncle resented McAllister. “Johnson steepled his fingers. “Did she or he say why?”

I shook my head. “Jackie was a child in the seventies and going by things she overheard.” I tried another approach. “What about carbon monoxide poisoning?” I asked. . “How many of those people buried at the church died from it?”

He didn’t miss a beat. “None!” he fired back. It’s not listed on any of the death certificates as cause.” He was looking down at his notes as he spoke. “Lung cancer seemed prevalent, as in McAllister’s case, and heart or respiratory failure.” I nodded. “And there were also the unexpected accidents, like in his wife’s case. She fell down the stairs and broke her neck.” Johnson looked up and slammed the notebook shut. “

I was doing some calculations in my head. “Then can we say, carbon monoxide was a rumor started to get people to leave the town?”  But who would have done that and why? McAllister had nothing to gain by a rumored like that. He might have cleared out the town of people, but no one would buy into it again.”

Johnson flipped his hand at me. “Or how about your friend’s uncle, maybe he started this rumor to keep McAllister   from making financial gain on the town and it backfired for all of them.:

Sighing heavily, I slumped back in the visitors chaired. “What am I going to tell Danny? He wants to buy this town for some reason. Is it a safe deal or not?”

Johnson gave me a smile. “No deal is safe, Gayle, but you’re not talking financially, I assume, but safety.” I nodded. “My advice is to keep digging and find out what you can. Knowledge is always the best approach.”

 

Danny called me that night. I was in bed with a book open on my lap. “Those pics you sent were kind of creepy and sad,” he said. “It doesn’t look anything like the bustling coal miner’s town I remember from when I was a kid.”

I caught that last line. Something I didn’t know about my love that I should know.  “Danny, tell me about your connection with Century End.”

He chuckled. “Sorry, babe, guess I forgot to mention it. Mom used to have a friend out there. We went there sometimes to visit. Other times the lady and her husband came out to us.”

My mind was working fast. “Is your mother’s friend still alive:”

I heard the swish of his hair. “Have no idea. Haven’t seen her in years. I don’t even remember her name.”

“What do you remember about her or Century End and how far back are we talking?”

He thought about it. “’I’d say we stopped going there around the mid-sixties, but mom’s friend and her husband visited us into the seventies.””

I was following him. “When was the last time you saw this couple?”

Danny chuckled. “At her husband’s funeral. I took mom East for it about ten years ago.”

My adrenaline was pumping. “Is the husband buried in the church graveyard at Century End?”

Again, the swoosh of his hair. “Nope! I don’t remember the name of the town, but it wasn’t C.E. I remember the lady saying to mom that her husband wanted nothing to do with that place after they’d been, and these are her exact words, ‘run out of town’.”

That seemed to have been the game plan! “Danny, can you see if you can get the lady’s name?” I said. “If she’s still around, maybe I can pay her a visit.”

 

 

Trish Hubschman is the author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series, Tidalwave, Stiff Competition, Ratings Game and uneasy Tides. Tracy is hired by rock musician, Danny Tide, to find out who set fire to his band’s summer tour bus. In doing this, more diabolical things arise, mystery, murder, romance.

Trish is a graduate of Long Island University’s Southampton Campus and has a Bachelor’s degree in English-Writing. She is deafblind and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Kevin, and their dog, henry.

Her website is www.dldbooks.com/Hubschman/

 

5 Comments

  1. Patricia Hubschman Reply
    August 3, 2022

    Looks like Tracy is sniffing again, but she’s good at that and enjoys her job.

  2. I really enjoyed this extract, Patty.

    1. Hi, Robbie.
      I’m so glad you did. Thanks for letting Trish and me know you liked it.
      Trish’s books are quite good. There’s only one problem with them. Once I start reading, I’m sucked in and must solve the case before I can put them down. LOL.

      1. That sounds like a good problem to have

        1. Well, I can think of much worse things. LOLL>

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