Susan Russo Anderson
In the Face of Her Holiness
In this excerpt from Missing Brandy, Fina’s second standalone, Fina and her nemesis are riffling through the pages of a suspect’s address book. Fina took the book from the suspect’s bedroom because she, Fina, is not above evidence tampering when her need is great.
She stared at me, sweat beading above her upper lip.
“And you accuse me of tampering?” My stomach was churning. Was it because of her embarrassment or my triumph? I reached into my pocket and held up the address book.
“Yes, I do!” I thought she was going to throw her fork at me. Instead, she grabbed Phillipa’s book from my fist and began riffling through the pages.
“Where are your gloves?” I asked.
“Screw the gloves.”
We gathered around the book. There weren’t many entries, and I felt a stab somewhere near my heart. It was grief and something else. Guilt. But guilt and grief get mixed up inside me sometimes—they’re from the same brown paper bag, as my gran used to say.
I felt sorry for Phillipa—sorry because we were disregarding her privacy, sorry because she hadn’t many friends judging from the few scribbles we found, sorry because she was such an innocent, even after her corruption. Like most single moms, every breath she took was for her child. She’d tried so hard, and she never had a chance. And here I was, in the face of her holiness, traipsing through her freedom.
Photo: Missing Brandy. Cover Design: Avalon Graphics