Teaser Tuesday: A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder by Julie Anne Lindsey
I dashed my coffee with cinnamon and grabbed a little wooden stir paddle. Bernie’s blog was right. There was trouble at the clubhouse. I pressed the cup to my lips and inhaled tendrils of bitter steam. My eyes slid shut while I counted to ten and organized my thoughts. What exactly were residents receiving in email? Whatever it was, it hadn’t come from me and I doubted it came from the clubhouse system. Could they be lying? How many complaints were there?
A long shadow overtook me.
My lids popped open, and I jumped to attention, stuffing swollen feet back into their luxurious torture devices.
The shadow had a stiff-looking man in his midthirties at the end of it. “Mia Connors?” His voice was deep with a hint of Southern charm.
Hmm. White dress shirt. Shiny shoes. “Are you a cop or a salesman?” I squinted through foggy glasses and set my coffee aside. “I met with our software rep last week, and we’re all up-to-date on licensing, so I guess cop.” Cops wore uniforms and carried twenty extra pounds but, for some inexplicable reason, most men liked being mistaken for one. He was definitely new to Horseshoe Falls. Resident? Guest?
He frowned. “I look like a cop?”
I wasn’t expecting the frown. I gave him another long look. The light bulb flickered on in my scrambled brain. “Oh.” I dug into my handbag, searching for my business cards. “Are you looking for some technical assistance?” I stage-winked. Detailed internet research was my specialty. If the information existed, I could find, compile and deliver it with great discretion. For a reasonable fee.
“Sure. Online. I can clean up anything you need or get details on anything you want.”
He tented his brows.
I backpedaled. “Research is a passion of mine.”
He shifted foot to foot and stretched a hand in my direction. “Before you say anything else and this conversation takes a whole new turn, I need to introduce myself. I’m Jake Archer. I’m the new Horseshoe Falls Head of Security.”
“You’re not wearing a uniform.” I gave him another once-over. “Why are you in a suit?”
“It’s my first day. I’d hoped to make an impression. Disappointed?”
Disgusted with my lack of insight. Of course he was the new guy. Bernie described him on her blog. Handsome. Sullen. “I thought you’d be more brooding.”
He slouched forward and looked at me with narrow eyes. Like I wasn’t making any sense. Which I wasn’t.
I pinched my lips between my teeth. “I mean, someone said you were brooding. Not me.” I flailed mentally. “Not brooding.” Swarms of staffers rushed past us. The meeting was over.
A nervous laugh bubbled up, and I tamped it down. “I meant serious. You’re very serious. Probably in cop mode. Security mode? I’m sure you’re not at all brooding. I’ve got to go.” Ugh. I turned away, stuffing napkins and sugar packets into my bag for later. I’d finish mixing my coffee behind the safety of my office door.
He followed me down the narrow hall toward the line of employee offices, easily matching his pace to mine. “Anything you want to tell me?”
“I sometimes help people erase things they don’t want online. I also help them with research. I thought you were approaching me for my help.”
“Why’d you assume I was a cop?”
“Or a salesman.” I slowed my pace, relieved to reach my office door. “It was just a guess. You know, like when you go to a restaurant or a party and someone catches your attention, so you make up what you think they’re saying, what they do for a living and why they’re there. Then you get closer to see if you’re right.”
Jake blinked. “No.”
Of course not. Normal people didn’t do that kind of thing. Socially awkward girls with insane imaginations did. “Well, anyway. This is my office.” I turned my back to the door, hoping he wouldn’t follow me inside. “I’ve got work to do if I want to get the system’s problems worked out before we’re all fired, and I’m having a rough day anyway so…”
He didn’t make a move to leave.
My heart stammered. Why was he grilling me like this? I couldn’t take confrontation. I babbled. I behaved stupidly. I filled quiet moments with my personal brand of crazy.
Two seconds later, I caved. “First, some jack—someone took my parking space, and now I have to fix whatever has happened to the email system or lose my job.” I exhaled deeply. “You should go.”
His scrutinizing blue eyes pierced me to the door. “Why do I make you nervous?”
I tugged at the neckline of my dress to circulate the suffocating air and chomped on the inside of both cheeks. You’re too close. Asking a whole heck of a lot of questions and way too close. My fingers curled at my side. I shut my eyes and cried out to the Universe, Help!
“Nothing else you want to tell me?”
I rolled the back of my head against the office door. “Uh-uh.”
A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder, The Geek Girl Mysteries, book 1
IT manager Mia Connors is up to her tortoiseshell glasses in technical drama when a glitch in the Horseshoe Falls email system disrupts security and sends errant messages to residents of the gated community. The snafu’s timing couldn’t be worse—Renaissance Faire season is in full swing and Mia’s family’s business relies on her presence.
Mia doesn’t have time to hunt down a computer hacker. Her best friend has disappeared, and she finds another of her friends murdered—in her office. When the hunky new head of Horseshoe Falls security identifies Mia as the prime suspect, her anxiety level registers on the Richter scale.
Eager to clear her name, Mia moves into action to locate her missing buddy and find out who killed their friend. But her quick tongue gets her into trouble with more than the new head of security. When Mia begins receiving threats, the killer makes it clear that he’s closer than she’d ever imagined.
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Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.
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