Book Title: POLITICS IS MURDER
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Series: McKinley Mysteries, Book 4
Published by: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.
ISBN (e-book): 978-1-988064-57-4
ISBN (paperback 4 x 6): 978-1-988353-28-9
ISBN (paperback 5 x 8): 978-1-988064-45-1
There's no time for a debate…
Sean and Sara’s popularity as a murder-solving duo has gained momentum. But it’s not until it comes time for a local television interview that they meet Reanne Mable and end up finding themselves involved with a high-profile investigation.
Reanne is the sister-in-law of Albany’s Mayor Davenport and his daughter, Halie, has gone missing from her university campus. With a desire to keep the matter out of the media spotlight, Davenport turns to Sean and Sara to find her. But with the police already investigating the matter, taking this case would pit them against their friends from the police department, including their former sergeant Jimmy Voigt.
As time moves on, though, the fate of the girl is not up for a vote, and the McKinleys set out to find out what really happened. With the mayor taking the heat for a recently passed zoning bylaw, is an enraged small business owner behind Halie’s disappearance? Or did she simply grow tired of living in her father’s limelight and run away?
To get the answers, Sean and Sara will need to use all the resources at their disposal and may have to call upon their good friend Jimmy for help, after all.
Links & Goodreads:
What to expect from the McKinley Mysteries:
Romance. Humor. Murder. Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward? How about a dash of humor and romance? If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way.
This is the perfect book series for fans of Hart to Hart, Castle, Colombo, Monk, Rockford Files, Psych, and Magnum PI.
Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning.
WHAT’S UNDER THE HOOD
THE SHOWROOM WAS ELEGANTLY ARRANGED with cars displayed on circular platforms and the sitting area consisted of plush, leather couches accented with modern coffee tables.
Sean’s eyes went directly to a silver sports model and he ran his hand along the side.
He admired the sleek body line, and the leather interior. What had most of his attention were the gullwing doors, which opened up, like the DeLorean in Back to the Future.
“Excuse me, may I help you with something?”
Sean pried his attention from the vehicle to meet the eyes of an inquisitive salesman, no older than twenty-five.
“Good day, I’m Sean.” He extended his hand.
The salesman shook it and introduced himself. “Chris.” He took a few well-paced steps and spun to look at Sean again. “I see you’re interested in the SLS AMG GT. Amazing car. Its good looks and body line are only matched by its superior handling. Have you ever owned a Mercedes before?”
“This would be my first one.”
“Well, you’d discover it would be a lovely treat.”
The salesman’s tone of voice carried the implication it might be out of Sean’s financial reach. Chris was saying, and not too subtly, that this model wasn’t for the middle-income earner, but it was geared to those with a strong financial portfolio.
Sean suppressed smirking at the thought that the salesman, who seemed to deem himself superior, didn’t recognize the cut of suit Sean wore. He slipped a hand into a pant pocket, the jacket lifting over his arm, draping in the fine manner expected of the designer. Beneath his jacket, he wore a matching vest, the fabric, a navy blue with white pinstripe.
Chris grinned smugly at Sean, and while the salesman attempted to establish a level of camaraderie through eye contact, he failed. Instead of finding offense to the situation, Sean found amusement.
“Does it get good fuel mileage?” he asked.
“Comparable, for its class.”
“Yet it stands on its own.”
“Yes, as do all Mercedes.”
Chris pointed to another vehicle nearby. “Now, I’m not sure if you’ve seen our CLA Class, but it boasts Mercedes excellence at an economical price point.”
“Actually,” Sean bobbed his head toward the car in front of him. “I would like to take this one for a test drive. I assume that will not be a problem.”
Sara, who had been quiet up until now, laced her arm through Sean’s. “You fell in love already?”
“This is the one, darling, and this fine gentleman is going to hook us up for a test drive.”
Chris straightened his tie at the knot, lingering there awkwardly. He gestured toward a line of glass-partitioned offices, directing them to one in the middle. “We’ll need to complete a financial background first, but then the keys will be in your hands. I’ll also need to come along, company policy, as I’m sure you can imagine.” He pressed his lips and took off toward the office.
“Darling, do you think it’s necessary to take it for a spin? If we don’t like it, we could just pick up another car, give this one to Jimmy, or use it for running errands.” Sara nonchalantly shrugged her shoulders.
Chris stopped walking and spun around. He blinked deliberately and his gaze went from Sean to Sara.
Sean could have lifted his wife at that moment and spun her around, for her amazing ability to read people.
Chris cleared his throat and blinked. “This way.” He was on the move again.
He dropped behind the desk and Sean sat across from him. Sara stood in the doorway, seemingly disinterested in the entire process.
Chris pulled out a pad of forms. “First, we’ll need to complete this. If you would be so kind as to fill in your information,” he ripped off the top sheet and extended it, with a pen, toward Sean, “then we’ll go from there.”
Sean played along, finding it interesting how one was treated when seen as not having enough to justify setting foot in the dealership. This was the class he was used to being grouped with, and, now that he had no need to subjugate himself to the treatment, he actually found it amusing. When the truth came out how wealthy he was, Chris would wither into the floor.
He started filling in the form and got as far as his name and a start on their address when a figure outside the glass caught his attention. It was an older man, dressed in a tailored suit, no doubt a designer cut. The man stopped beside Sara, taking her in, from the tip of her Jimmy Choo shoes, past her Louis Vuitton handbag, all the way up to the hat she wore.
“Excuse me, ma’am, but are you Sara McKinley?” he asked.
Sara smiled pleasantly. “I am.”
The man looked at her, into the office at Sean, and then over to Chris. “I’m Roman Bryant, the owner of this fine dealership. I trust that you’re getting all the assistance you need, Mr. McKinley.”
Roman kept his eyes on his employee as he maneuvered past Sara, into the office. His eyes went to the form in Sean’s hands, and his face reddened, his brows pulled downward, and Sean made out a pulse in his cheek.
He addressed the salesman. “What are you doing here?”
The question, fully directed at Chris, had the young man reaching for the knot of his tie again. “Standard policy, sir, they are…” he cleared his throat, “filling out the financial paperwork for the background.”
“You make all the customers fill out these forms?” Roman took the sheet from Sean with a pressed smile that communicated admiration and respect for him, and then he dropped the uncompleted form in front of Chris. “Do you have any idea who these people are?” Roman gestured to Sean and Sara with a wide sweep of his arms.
Chris’s face paled as he looked at Sean to Sara, back to Sean.
“I will take that as a no. These people get whatever they want, do you understand?” Roman turned pleasantly toward Sean. “What fine model garnered your attention?”
“He fell in love with the SLS AMG GT,” Sara chirped in.
“Let’s get you a set of keys, then, shall we?”
Chris bolted to his feet. “But, boss, company pol—”
“Rubbish. This is Sean and Sara McKinley. It might not hurt for you to listen to the news or read the papers.” He addressed Sean and Sara. “Please, forgive him for this misunderstanding.”
Sean glimpsed at Chris, who wouldn’t satisfy his desire for eye contact.
“McKinley.” The name slipped from Chris’s lips and then his eyes widened. He covered his mouth and dropped his hand nearly as quickly as it had made contact. “I am so sorry.”
“As you should be. We will discuss this matter later,” Roman said.
“You know what? I’ve changed my mind.” Sean hadn’t used the money to toy with people yet, but he realized he didn’t altogether hate the power that came with it.
“Changed your mind?” Panic draped across Roman’s features, followed by a flash of rage directed to his employee. “If there is anything we can do, please.”
“Well, there is, actually.” Sean casually placed his hands in his pockets again.
“Valentino.” The designer cut wasn’t missed by Roman.
“Correct.” Sean glimpsed at Chris, who had dropped back into his chair.
“Very nice. May I?” Roman asked, hand extended.
Sean nodded and Roman touched the sleeve, barely brushing the fabric with his fingertips. He lifted his head, leveling eyes with Sean.
“The test drive, please, let me arrange it for you. You can go right now.”
“No, I don’t think I’m in the mood for that anymore.”
“Please, Mr. McKinley.”
Sean went to Sara and wrapped his arm around her waist. He waited for the beats of a few seconds and then said, “We’ll just take it. Actually,” he glanced at Sara, “we’ll take two.”
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.
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