Hello Margaret. Thank you for this opportunity to tell readers about my latest novel, The Limping Dog. This is my 10th, and the sixth with our mutual publisher, Whiskey Creek Press.
Unlike my other novels, all of which have been set in
Pennsylvania, The Limping Dog takes place on the rugged and beautiful New England coast. The setting was inspired by a journey I made some years ago to the wonderful Cape Ann region of . Massachusetts
Delia “Dee” Cutter, a reporter, comes home after a failed romance to find her father accused of having stolen the secret to an innovative computer system. Gavin Cutter, an eccentric artist, has no interest in computers and the situation might have been laughable if not for a series of mysterious events.
Cutter had been among a small group of witnesses to the crash of a sailing ship onto a reef. The first aboard the wreck, he rescued a dog—the only living creature on the vessel. Ron Myers, wealthy owner of a growing computer firm, and the crew were gone without a trace.
Myers is alleged to have developed a radical new microprocessor system. Some believe it lost with its creator. Others believe it exists and have devious plans to profit from the invention.
When TJ Flood, an insurance investigator and former policeman with a hidden past, questions Cutter and other witnesses he discovers a sheriff’s deputy denies knowledge of a woman the others say was also present.
Dee is attracted to Flood and they team up to investigate.
Flood watched her, ignoring his own food. The sun coming through the windows behind him made a glowing aura around her. Despite the delicious aroma of the food, Flood was oblivious to hunger, the sight of her all the sustenance he desired for the moment.
Noticing, she blushed. “Aren’t you going to eat?” she asked, putting a napkin to her lips.
A clock gonged eight somewhere in another room
Embarrassed, Flood reached for his fork, mumbling, “Sorry. I didn’t mean to stare. I was just wondering…”
“I don’t know a thing about you.”
She touched him with one of those delightful smiles that told him his gauche behavior was forgiven. “What do you want to know?”
She laughed. “That’s a lot to ask over breakfast.”
It was his turn to smile. “You did invite me. And the day is young.”
“We were discussing business.”
“I hoped we might get beyond that.”
“Your eggs are getting cold,” she told him, then added, “We still might.”
Optimistic, Flood attacked his food.
“It is a lot of money,”
Dee said after a moment. “Don’t you think it’s odd she’d offer all that money when it wasn’t even her dog?”
Flood nodded. “To us. I guess not to her. Like I said, she’s supposed to have a real soft spot for animals and people who treat them right.”
“Who is this Mrs. Myers anyway? What’s she like?”
“I’ve never met her. All I know is what my supervisor told me. She’s old money—a ton of it. From what I hear, her and her husband are—were—total opposites. They met in college. She was a latter-day flower child—peace, love and all that, including acid-tripping in her younger years. Her husband was the total nerd in school, a computer whiz.”
“Opposites attract, so they say.”
“Yeah. Anyway, her father, Nathaniel Haviland, approved of the match. Maybe he thought marriage to a suit and tie conservative would put her on an even keel. Whatever his reasons, Haviland put up the money for Ronald Myers—that’s the husband—to start his company. Myers Dynamics has become one of the biggest computer firms in
New England. Sandra narrowed her eccentricities to animals and causes related to them. They had no kids but, from all reports, the marriage was otherwise normal.”
“Until the husband decides to go sailing and disappears with his crew. Sounds like a story to me.”
“I’m a reporter.”
“Ah, so I learn something about you. Where?”
“Never mind. Go on.”
“A small daily upstate. Come on, did she have him offed?”
“You’ve been watching too much television,” Flood said with a laugh. “For what? I told you, she had all the money. Daddy left her everything, including controlling interest in Ronald’s company.”
“Maybe he didn’t like that, or got tired of all her pets. Maybe he ran off with his mistress.”
“And took the crew along?” Flood shook his head. “There was no mistress as far as we know. His going sailing is puzzling, though.”
“The Sandra Haviland was the old man’s boat…”
“It was named for her?”
Flood shook his head. “Her mother. Nathaniel used to race it when he was young, practically lived aboard later. Ronald Myers, on the other hand, hated sailing. They say he got sea sick walking across a bridge.”
“Then there is something…”
“Strange? Yes. That he went sailing. Yes, that he and the crew disappeared into thin air. But not about Sandra Haviland Myers wanting to give your father the claim. There’s something else I didn’t get to explain to him last night.”