Home Sweet Home
A Tracy Gayle mystery
By Trish Hubschman
“Judy Crenshaw’s house was robbed,” I told Danny as he pushed through the swinging door into the kitchen. We were at my Long Island house. Danny was on medical leave from rock and roll for a few months.
He narrowed his eyes. “That’s the lady from across the street, isn’t it?” he asked, tossing his thumb over his shoulder. I pointed at him and nodded. “Rough deal,” he said, pulling out the chair at the table and sitting down. “We’ve been here a few months now. I don’t remember seeing her.”
I shook my head. “You haven’t seen her. Judy’s been in Florida since last October or so. She only got back a couple of days ago. I haven’t seen her yet though. Johnson just called and gave me the scoop,” I said. Apparently, her daughter, Vicky’s been stopping by and checking on her mother’s house to make sure all is well.”
Danny pondered that for a moment. “I haven’t seen any cars in the driveway across the street, so if Vicky’s been around, I haven’t seen her,” he said. I nodded.
He was right. I hadn’t seen anyone at Judy’s house, Vicky or otherwise, since Danny and I had been back. I shrugged. “Maybe she comes at night to check on the place. She does work during the day, you know,’ I said. “The point is, Judy’s place was robbed shortly before she returned from Florida.” I held up my hand. “I know, timing sounds odd, but the police are trying to get to the bottom of it.’
Danny flipped his hand at me. “And what’s your part in it? Why did Johnson call you?” he narrowed his eyes. “Heck, what does a Homicide cop have to do with a house break-in anyway?”
I laughed uncomfortably. My close friend and old boyfriend, Police Detective Doug Johnson, and my best friend and fiancé, Rock Musician Danny Tide, weren’t exactly buddies. “Johnson’s retiring in a few months,” I said. Danny already knew that much. I raised one shoulder. “Well, he’s been moved to a different department at work till his leave day comes through, to safer and less stressful police duty, you might say.”
Danny nodded. “Okay, that makes sense. But what do you have to do with this if he’s on the case?” Judy knows Johnson’s a Homicide cop, even if he’s not right now, “I said. “He’s worried that if he appears on her front steps asking about the break-in, she might get nervous. Nobody died,” I added. Danny nodded again. “So, he asked me to, I guess you might say, have a professional chat with her. She’ll probably be more comfortable talking to me.” Personally, I didn’t consider Judy Crenshaw a friend. She was just a neighbor. But I was sure Johnson was right on target with this one. “And I admit, I am curious too.”
Danny was quiet, then finally slapped his hands down on the table. “Ok, I’m following. What next? How’d the thief get into the house?”
I didn’t miss a beat. That I had the answer too. “Sliding glass door in back. It was forced.”
“Do the cops have any theory who the perp might be?’ Danny asked.
It was a very good question. “They’re toying with the idea that either the housekeeper/cleaning woman or the landscaper did it,” I replied, scowling. Neither of those ideas sat well with me and I didn’t know why.
Danny held up his finger. “The housekeeper would have a key I would think, and why would a landscaper be on duty this time of year?
I laughed. “He still had to clear the snow at Judy’s, even if she wasn’t home. Vicky came by from time to time, remember?” I pushed back my chair. “Well, if I’m going to find out anything about this case, I better get started,” I said. “Want to go across the street with me?”
Danny shook his head. “Nope. I want to spend some time in the basement with my guitar. Got a new idea for a new composition.”
I rose and went around to his side of the table. I leaned over and kissed his forehead. “Well, don’t overdo.” I straightened up and went to the swinging door. I turned back. “Oh, I forgot to tell you. We’re having dinner at Scotty’s’ tonight with Johnson and his girlfriend.”
Danny made a face. He didn’t feel comfortable with Johnson’s lady friend, Tiffany Jones. She was an ex-prostitute; I don’t know why it bothered him so much. Tiffany was nice enough. “Is her son going to be there?” he asked.
I shook my head. “Andrew’s only ten. He’s too young to be in a pub. I think Kim’s watching him tonight.”
Danny’s eyes brightened. “Can I hang out with them?’ he asked. Kim was Johnson’s daughter, and Danny adored her.
I laughed and shook my head. “No, Mr. Tide. You’re having dinner with the old folks tonight.” With that, I pushed through the swinging door.
To Be Continued
About the Author…
Trish Hubschman is the author of the Tracy Gayle mystery series: Tidalwave, Stiff Competition and Ratings Game. Tracy is a Long Island private detective. Her sidekick, Danny Tide, is the leader of the rock band, Tidal wave. Tracy is hired to find out who set fire to Danny’s tour bus. While doing this, more dangerous things develop.
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, author Kevin Hubschman, and their dog, henry.
Her website is www.dldbooks.com/Hubschman/