Presented by SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS

SPONTANEOUS CHOICES SHORTS features short serialized fiction by author Shannon Muir, that may be later released as part of e-book or print collections. In 2019, these serials will appear every second and fourth Thursday (and fifth Thursdays as they occur) beginning January 17, 2019. The story line featured over the next sixteen days is “A Spontaneous Kind of Mystery,” featuring the return of Marnie and Zane. This is part 7  of 16.

“Am I a suspect?” Marnie asked nervously.

“Not at this time. We just need your help, to see if you know anything that might help us solve this.”

Marnie agreed to come to the police station and meet with them. Immediately afterwards, she called her boss, Frankfurt Trenton, head of the medical device company where she worked in finance. She explained the situation to him.

“You absolutely must not go down without a lawyer,” Mr. Trenton insisted. “I shall make sure to connect you with one of my good friends to assist you. You have been through much in such a short time, young lady.”

Marnie knew that Mr. Trenton felt gratitude toward her for saving his daughter the prior Christmas – who also happened to be her cousin Blake’s on again/off again love interest – but also a bit of guilt for what Owen from the company’s own legal department had done in Marnie’s life not all that long ago. She decided to take him up on his offer.

So Marnie and attorney Karleen Graf arrived at the police station, prepared to learn what had taken place and why they wanted to talk to her. She’d expected to meet Donoven Raley, but instead found herself dealing with his partner, Detective Ralph Mynor.

“Did you know Suzette Deniel prior to last evening?” the police detective asked her.

“No. I’d been invited by my cousin Blake to meet her, and was also encouraged to bring friends. Apparently, the poetry reading is one of the biggest events at Suzette’s store, from what he told me.”

“Who were these friends?”

Marnie looked over at the attorney, wondering if she should give Zane and Sophia’s names to the police.

“May we please focus on my client first,” Karleen Graf told the officer. “Then we can see if additional details on the others are necessary.”

The police officer looked disgruntled but did not object.

“Did you witness anything suspicious while attending the poetry reading?”

“I don’t know if I’d call it suspicious, but I did see a couple examples of how Suzette does not get along with the bookstore next door. The woman who owns the bookstore next door came over asking to sell books at the reading, it sounded like she’d asked before, but Suzette has gotten tired of her asking. And one of the bookstore workers came in on his break to order a coffee, but wound up exchanging words with the guy making the coffee.”

This got the police detective’s attention.

“How did you happen to observe this?”

“Zane and I were behind him in line.”

“And who is this Zane? One of your friends?”

Marnie looked over at the attorney, who she knew had tried to avoid having her bring up the others one time before. She wondered what to do next.