Twenty-Five Years Ago Today
Should we dig for the truth when Pandora's Box is a coffin of buried secrets? For twenty-five years, Diana Ferguson's killer has gotten away with murder. When rookie obit writer and newsroom editorial assistant Kris Langley investigates the cold case of the artistic young cocktail waitress who was obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology, not only does she fall in love with Diana's sexy nephew, but she must also fight to stay off the obituary page herself. A unique blend of literary mystery, cozy mystery, and romantic suspense. Get in on the secret - join thousands of readers in discovering who killed Diana Ferguson.
Cheryl came up behind Kris. Her voice sounded sad and tired. "Please don't tell my mother too much, even if you're making progress. I don't want to raise her hopes."
Kris glanced back at Irene, who hunched on the couch, turning the locket over in her hand. "I'll be careful with what I say. My aunt would've been eager, too."
"How was your cousin killed?"
"She was strangled, kidnapped by a neighbor while walking alone. We were twelve."
Cheryl heaved a sigh. "I'm sorry. I remember reading about that. It happened locally, didn't it?"
"I know you're a terrific writer. I couldn't have been happier with the business story. I'm just concerned about my mother."
"I understand," Kris said. "I won't let you down."
She trudged out to her car and brushed off her windshield. She waited behind the steering wheel as the defroster warmed the interior. Not knowing Diana's whereabouts must have tormented Irene. Kris's family had agonized over Nicole's disappearance. As one day blended into the next, Nicole had seemed further and further away.
Finding her was worse.
Kris had learned a new phrase that May, a litany that surged back into her mind, drumming to the beat of the windshield wipers. If only.
If only it hadn't rained the afternoon Nicole had disappeared.
If only she hadn't climbed into the car with Randolph Coltraine.
If only Aunt Susan had been home when Nicole called for a ride.
Kris swallowed the metallic taste in her mouth. If only I didn't trick her.
She chose the long route home, driving fast. She hadn't driven in New York and had forgotten the thrill of a climbing speedometer. Her first week back, she'd landed a speeding ticket.
Kris skidded onto the Fremont State College campus, her tires kicking up tufts of snow. She passed dorms, tennis courts and the library before parking in front of the deserted baseball field. White trees cast shapeless shadows across the broad expanse of snow.
A chunk of ice slid off the roof, hitting the front window. Kris jumped, her hand to her heart.
"No one's out there," she murmured, gazing into the woods. "Not now."
Beyond those trees, Diana had lain dead.
Police had crowded the scene, their search over.
Middle-aged reporter Dex Wagner had scribbled in his notebook.
Twenty-five years ago today.
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Character Interview With Newsroom Sleuth Kris Langley
1. How did you wind up working for the Fremont Daily News?
I thought it would be exciting to live in New York after graduation, but my administrative assistant job didn’t fulfill me and all the noise of the city just made me even more unsettled. I fell into journalism after I moved back to New England. The paper was looking for an editorial assistant and obit writer to work the night shift. These hours were perfect for me as I have insomnia and get to bed late anyway.
2. How did you go from writing obits to investigating a murder?
One of my tasks at the newspaper is compiling the 25 Years Ago Today column. One day while researching my column, I came across the 25-year-old cold case of Diana Ferguson. I was disturbed to see that the case had been unsolved all these years. I decided to snoop around a bit, and as a result, met Diana’s sister and mother. That made Diana even more real to me, and I felt compelled to do what I could to bring justice for her family.
3. What was it about Diana Ferguson’s case that made you sit up and take notice?
My cousin Nicole was murdered when we were kids and I’ve always blamed myself for that. Thanks to me, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Finding Diana’s killer was a way of redeeming myself from my past mistakes. I was also intrigued by Diana. She worked as a cocktail waitress in a bar and didn’t have a lot of ambition. Her father’s death had devastated her and it was like part of herself died with him. As a hobby, she painted haunting scenes of Greek mythology. I wanted to know what Diana’s paintings meant and whether they might provide a clue to the murder.
4. You and Eric Soares, Diana's nephew, had a lot of chemistry. What attracted you to him?
I love that he's a high school music teacher and is a great role model for kids. He's loyal to his family and a nice guy. Not to mention he looks hot in his leather jacket and I love watching him perform with his band! But Eric and I have a lot of obstacles to overcome...
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