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The Last Word (A Books by the Bay Mystery)

The Last Word (A Books by the Bay Mystery)

Titel: The Last Word (A Books by the Bay Mystery)
Autoren: Ellery Adams
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    Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

    This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

    THE LAST WORD

    A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author

    PRINTING HISTORY
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / December 2011
    Copyright © 2011 by Ellery Adams.

    All rights reserved.
    No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
    For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.

    ISBN : 978-1-101-55919-2

    BERKLEY® PRIME CRIME
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY ® PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group
(USA) Inc.

    http://us.penguingroup.com

This book is dedicated to teachers everywhere,
but especially to John Bowden, Gilbert Tippy, Jonathan
Stapleton, Jan Chock, Frank Brogan, and Roger Erickson.

    These men inspired and challenged me from an early age.
I wouldn’t have had the courage to become an author
without their guidance. Thank you.

Chapter 1
    Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.
    —CHARLES DICKENS

    “A ll houses have secrets.”
    Olivia Limoges was surprised to hear such an enigmatic statement from her contractor, but there wasn’t a hint of humor on Clyde Butler’s weathered face. Perhaps the seasoned builder was merely trying to make a point to the eager first-time homebuyer who stood nearby, one arm wrapped possessively around the porch post.
    Harris Williams gazed toward the front door of the aged bungalow with a look of pure devotion, and Olivia could tell he was already visualizing himself living there.
    “Regardless of what you’ve discovered, Clyde, I don’t think you can talk Harris out of purchasing this place,” Olivia stated with amusement. “He’s clearly fallen in love.”
    Captain Haviland, Olivia’s standard poodle, sniffed around the foundation of the 1930s home and then trotted around the corner, conducting a canine version of a house inspection.
    Wearing a hopeful grin, Harris watched the poodle until Haviland disappeared from view, and then picked at a flake of peeling paint with his fingernail. “Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but I can feel that this place has history. That’s important to me. There’s more character in this rusty nail than in all the other places I’ve seen put together.”
    Olivia surveyed the facade of the two-bedroom bungalow. It had whitewashed brick walls and rows of large windows with black shutters. Olivia’s favorite feature was the wide and welcoming front porch. Leaves had gathered in between the railings and there were rents and holes in the screen door, but the slate steps felt solid under her feet. She’d been inside with Harris a few days ago and had liked the house. Harris was right.

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