Author Name: C. T. Collier
Book Title: Planted
Book Genre: Traditional Mystery
Release Date: July 8, 2016
Synopsis: It’s Monday of spring break when Professor Lyssa Pennington’s backyard garden project unearths a loaded revolver. With no record of violence at their address and no related cold case, the Tompkins Falls police have no interest. But the Penningtons and a friend with the State Police believe there a body somewhere. Whose? Where? And who pulled the trigger?
Excerpt: Lyssa’s fingers trembled as she worked out the knot. She loosened the drawstring half an inch, but a sense of impending doom stopped her. Enough.
She handed Bree the pouch. “If it’s something really awful, just stop, please.” She rose from the chair and took a few steps outside the circle of eager faces.
“You mean like a dead mouse?” Bree flipped the leather sack from one hand to the other.
Richie snorted, and Dick elbowed him with a grin.
Lyssa wrapped her arms around her middle and tapped her foot.
Bree explored the outside of the pouch with her fingers. “It feels hard, like metal.” She fully loosened the drawstring and peered inside. “Holy cannoli.”
“What?” Lyssa asked.
“What is it?” Dick said.
“What’d they bury?” Richie’s eager voice asked.
Bree drew out a handgun, gripping the wood handle with her thumb and two fingers.
“Oh my gosh.” Lyssa’s head and heart pounded. “Put it back. We’re done with this.” She started toward Bree, but Dick shifted on his feet and tightened the circle, blocking her access.
“Revolver,” Dick said. “It’s in good shape for something that’s been buried as long as that tree’s been there.”
“Buried is right,” Bree said with a short laugh. “It was wrapped in—what? —three layers like a mummy inside that metal box.”
Lyssa shivered and sank onto the arm of the nearest chair. “How can you joke?”
“Can I see, Dad?”
“Ask Mrs. Pennington.”
“No.” Lyssa scowled at Dick.
“I’ve shown Richie how to handle a firearm, and we’ve shot together at the rifle range.”
“Come on, Lyssa.” Bree rose to her feet and struck a pose, one fist on her hip, the gun resting on her other palm. “You’ll be very careful, right, Richie?”
“No worries.” Richie took the gun reverently from Bree, his eyes bright with curiosity.
“Son, remember it might be loaded.”