Could that be a corpse floating in the swimming pool? A retired private investigator and his wife are in town attempting to catch a tuna! But they end up fishing for something much bigger: the type that has two legs and is intent on murder! The local police detective does not appreciate a PI encroaching on his territory. At the LaGrange mansion, big trouble is brewing!
WILLY WATT got out of the driver's side of his large sedan, slammed the door, lumbered to the back of it. The trunk door made a snapping sound as he briskly opened it with his key.
He set his and his wife's bags out onto the sidewalk.
He'd brought a small duffle for himself.
She'd brought three suitcases, a vanity case and several boxes.
The balmy Florida day was hot and humid. Willy felt sweat running down his neck, rubbed the back of his hand across his forehead. "Thought you said it was going to be cool here this time of year. Maybe you'd better change travel clubs!" he yelled across the top of the old, massive sedan at his wife, Mattie.
Matching his temperament, she slammed her door as she got out of the car, walked to the sidewalk, stopped and stared at the little white wood-frame house.
It was her cousin Ann's. Ann had coaxed them to stay in it for two months, "For a nice, quiet vacation on the beach while I'm Away!" she'd said.
It was a great deal, "Just give me enough to cover the utilities and some groceries so I can get everything ready for you when you get here," Ann had said over the phone.
"What have you got to complain about--I told you we'd be better off going to California this time of year," Mattie yelled back. "But would you listen? No!"
He felt the muscles in his shoulders pull tight as he picked up two of her heavy bags and started toward the house.
"California's too expensive. I'm retired on a few stock dividends from my private eye days, remember?"
"You never let me forget. This is too expensive. That's too expensive. What's not too expensive with you?"
She walked ahead, smelled a sweet fragrance as she passed the climbing roses near the front door, opened the screen door, got a key out of her purse, opened the house door.
"Yuck! It smells like wet moss in here--and it's hot," he said, setting the bags down on the carpet.
He flipped on the light switch.
"What's up with you? It's October! Yeah--October on the northern Florida coast is a little damp! Flip on the air condi- tioner and quit complaining."
He looked around for the A/C switch.
"You should be so lucky, to have a wife like me. Look in the hall! That's usually where the thermostat is located," she said, turning on the TV.
"Okay. Okay. I found it. Turn down that TV--I'm try- ing to think."
"Really? What are you trying to think about? Let me guess, you're trying to think what Ann might have left in the fridge for you to eat."
"I'm trying to think where I left my fishing rod."
"You put it in the trunk of the car before we left Chi- cago," she said. "Already--you're going fishing? We just got here."
"Let's go catch a couple for dinner. It'll be fun."
"Don't forget to bring in the rest of the bags--then go find our fishing stuff. I'm going to the bathroom and freshen up. I smell like a four-week-old Matzo ball," she said. "Better put on some shorts--and a T-shirt--and your tennies."
"That's what I'm going to do," he said, digging around in his bag for his shorts.
He changed clothes, made a few trips to the car, brought back the rest of the bags, fought his way past the screen door and set the bags in the living room. Then he got the two deep-sea fishing poles and two tackle boxes from the car trunk. As he stood on the stoop looking in through the screen door, waiting for Mattie, he heard the weather report on the TV. "Get a move on! We have just enough time to catch some fish before a storm hits!"
When she came out in red shorts, yellow T-shirt, knee- length white socks and tennies, he thought she looked like a typical tourist. Her golden hair was in disarray. She was run- ning a comb through it, trying to do something with it.