Corned Beef Murder: Book Two in The Darling Deli Series

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Book: Corned Beef Murder: Book Two in The Darling Deli Series by Patti Benning Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patti Benning
Tags: Fiction
shouted through the door and she didn’t answer me.”
    “Look, I’ll phone it in, but you shouldn’t worry too much. I haven’t seen anything unusual since I’ve been here. I’m sure your friend is fine,” he said. Feeling like she wanted to either scream or cry, Moira turned and slowly made her way back to her car. Martha wasn’t fine. She would have answered the door if she had heard Moira, she was sure of it. I won’t let her end up like Emilia , she told herself. I need to find her brother—he might take me seriously.
    Once she got to her car, she picked up her cell phone and called David. She hadn’t heard from him since the night before, which meant that he probably hadn’t found anything important, but he seemed to be good at tracking people down. If anyone could put her in contact with Martha’s one remaining family member, he could.
    “Do you think you could get me her brother’s phone number?” she asked once she had filled him in on the events of the last few hours. “His name is James Washburn. He didn’t seem that helpful the last time I talked to him, but now that his sister is missing, he might take me seriously. I need him to help me find her.”
    “Just a second,” came the detective’s voice. “It should be no problem to find him… there, perfect. Are you ready?” He repeated the number for her while she scribbled it down on one of the napkins that always seemed to be floating around her car.
    “Do you want me to head towards town?” he asked. “I’ll help you look for her.”
    “Thank you so much,” she said. “The more people looking for her, the better. Can you meet me at the deli in just under an hour?”
    “Sure thing,” he said. He paused, then added, “Please be careful, Moira.”
    When she hung up with David and tried to call James, she was disappointed to find that he wasn’t answering his phone either. For a crazy second she wondered if he was in danger too—could someone be targeting the entire Washburn family for some reason? He’s probably busy, or just not answering because he doesn’t know my number, she told herself.
    She sat in the car for a few minutes, trying to decide what to do next. Eventually she settled on going over to the hotel where Martha had mentioned her brother was staying. When she pulled into the parking lot, she was surprised to find that the hotel was in fact a shady little roadside motel, with half of the neon ‘vacancy’ lights broken. The way James dressed, she had been expecting that he would stay somewhere nicer. Maybe he just liked to save money whenever he could; to Moira, that sounded like a very reasonable way to live.
    She wasn’t sure what room he was in, but she thought that whoever was working at the front desk might be willing to tell her if she explained the situation. She had only taken a couple of steps away from her car when she noticed something that made her freeze mid-step. Parked in front of the door at the very end was an old red car with one droopy headlight—a car that perfectly matched the description that Martha had given her earlier in the day.


    David quickly cleared his workstation, shoving pages of research and photos into his leather bag. There was one stop that he had to make before going to help Moira. For her sake, he hoped that his suspicions weren’t true. She was such a trusting woman, even though she had ample reason not to be.
    The shoe store was empty besides the confused clerk David brushed past on his way in. Unfolding a piece of paper that he had shoved in his pocket before leaving his office, he began picking up the shoes and comparing their treads to the photos that were on the paper. After a moment, he took out his camera phone and snapped a few more pictures, this time of the shoe itself. Leaving the befuddled clerk behind, he rushed out the door and slipped behind the wheel. He hoped that Dante was at the deli today; he had some questions for the young

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