The Body in the Pool
Book One of the Dismember Killer Series
Ensconced in the leather easy chair in the front room, Tess flicked on Universal Sports for her daily dose of resting entertainment, when her cell phone bing-bonged. Woohoo, a text. It was the most exciting thing that had happened in hours. Butch lifted his head from the couch pillow when Tess got up. “It’s okay boy, grabbing my phone. This doesn’t count against my time.” The dog snorted and placed his head back down.
How’s my favorite bored housewife?
Tom? Why would Tom be texting in the middle of the work day? Is Spence hurt?
Tess waited impatiently, one hand on her belly, one hand holding the phone in front of her face, willing it to bing-bong again.
No, no. He’s fine.
Tess let out a relieved sigh. The next text came almost on top of the previous.
I’m sorry. I wondered how you were doing. Spence said you were bored.
I am. Dying here with nothing to do but watch my belly grow. And watch downhill, moguls, bobsledding, luge, and everything else covered in winter sports – Tom didn’t need to know all that. Her daytime TV addiction could remain her little secret.
You’re friends with Matt Sugden’s wife right?
Tess settled back into her chair and put the footrest up. Matt Sugden. Did she know that name? Matt Sugden.
Can’t place the name. Sorry.
Tess relaxed back and watched Lindsey Vonn ski. All that snow was making her feel cold. Maybe a hot tea.
On the next commercial break, she headed for the kitchen. She filled the kettle and set it on a burner to heat while she rummaged in the tea drawer. Spence insisted she had too many options in there but the right blend of tea complimented different dishes. And some should be served with honey and milk and nothing else. She opened the cupboard above the drawer and reached for a mug. She slid a few out of the way, looking for her favorite over-sized mug, the one the right size for both her hands to wrap round.
In the back, her eye caught sight of a rarely used travel mug with an M on the side that ran the whole height of the mug. She picked it up. Of course. Matt and Magda, Mid-Town Marina, 2015. She did know Matt Sugden. That god awful sunrise wedding in the marina in April. It poured rain the whole time. She pulled her phone from her robe pocket and texted Tom.
Oops, pregnancy brain. I do know him. He married one of my friends from culinary school a couple of years ago. Does that help?
Tess filled her mug with hot water and a healthy dollop of honey while she waited for a response.
Have you talked to her lately? Thought about calling and catching up?
What the heck was Tom up to?
I’ll call but only if you tell me what’s really going on.
No response came. Tess began to think she pushed her luck too far. She scrolled through her contacts list. Magda wasn’t even in this phone. Tess left her tea to steep and headed for the office. One of these days, hopefully before the baby came, Spence was going to finish turning their old office into a nursery. For now, boxes covered the floor, filled the closet, and covered most of Spence’s desk. Tess weaved around them all. Her butler’s secretaire was impeccably organized. She pulled out the third drawer on the left and grabbed her phone directory. She recorded every number, email, and address that she deleted from her phone into this book. Flipping to the M section, she found Magda DuPree/Sugden. Tess smiled to herself, there was something to be said for being a little OCD, and slipped the book into her pocket with the phone.
She stopped by the bathroom and then fetched her tea and resumed winter sports from her easy chair. Maybe she would call Magda anyway. Couldn’t hurt to catch up with an old friend. And Tess had nothing better to do.