Title: Yuletide Slaying
Author: Paty Jager
Genre: Murder Mystery
Book 7 of the Shandra Higheagle Mystery series
Family, Revenge, Murder
When Shandra Higheagle’s dog brings her a dead body in a sleigh full of presents, her world is turned upside down. The man is a John Doe and within twenty-four hours another body is found.
Detective Ryan Greer receives a call that has them both looking over their shoulders. A vengeful brother of a gang member who died in a gang war is out for Ryan’s blood. Shandra’s dreams and Ryan’s fellow officers may not be enough to keep them alive to share Christmas.
A quick glance up the street revealed the volunteers bustling about getting the carnival games ready at the school grounds. Not a good direction to lead a sleigh holding what appeared to be a dead man. Best to find out if he was still alive. She led Sheba down the street alongside the clinic and up to the emergency door. She pressed the buzzer and waited, scanning the area between the clinic and where she’d found Sheba. Whoever injured this man was out there somewhere. A chill chased up her back.
The doors swished open. Relief washed through her at the sight of Chandler Treat, the emergency nurse. His brother was engaged to one of Shandra’s friends. And he’d tended to her before when someone had tried to run her down in the grocery store parking lot.
“Shandra, good to see you.” He glanced at Sheba. “This isn’t a vet clinic.” He smiled and laughed at his own joke.
“I- She-.” Words weren’t coming, so she stepped aside and waved to the body in the sleigh.
The nurse’s dark face lightened a shade. “Where did you get that?” He stepped by her and grabbed the body’s wrist, placing his fingers between the cuff of the winter coat and the thick mitten on the man’s hand.
The wide-eyed look and slight shake of Chandler’s head told her the man wouldn’t see another Christmas.
“Where did you find him?” He keyed in numbers and the emergency doors opened again. “Lead that dog in here so we can get the man out of the sleigh.”
“Shouldn’t you call the police before you do that?” Even though she didn’t want to be connected to another dead body, she knew the police needed to see the evidence before the body was moved.
“Good idea.” Once they were all inside the clinic, Chandler picked up a phone and dialed.
Shandra wrapped the leash around her hand and then unwound it. Sheba pressed against her, all playfulness gone as her large brown eyes with droopy lids stared at her.
“Yeah, you heard me right. I got a dead body, in a sleigh, in the emergency room.” Chandler hung up the phone.
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 25+ novels and over a dozen novellas and short stories of murder mystery, western historical romance, and action adventure. She has a RomCon Reader’s Choice Award for her Action Adventure and received the EPPIE Award for Best Contemporary Romance. Her first mystery, Double Duplicity, was a finalist in the Chanticleer Mayhem and Mystery Award and is a runner-up in the RONE Award Mystery category. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”
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