Murder at 30,000 Feet- Week 5

You and Marshal Durland step away from the woman in the sun hat. Why didn’t she consider taking the silly thing off when there wasn’t a sunbeam in sight and the brim kept whacking people in the face? It doesn’t make sense, but the way this trip is going, it’s par for the course.

“That got us nothing.” The marshal massages the back of his neck.

“Let’s talk to Trey and Melani.” You shrug. “Maybe they can shine a little light on the situation.”

Couples Of The Year - Interracial Couples - YouTube
Trey and Melani Hyatt

You start toward the pair of lovebirds. Melani boops Trey on the nose, and he grabs her finger and kisses it.

Your stomach threatens to toss the hoagie you had in the airport terminal. This should be a real treat.

Marshal Durland rolls his shoulders until they pop. “Got a minute to answer some questions?”

“Sure.” Trey nods. “Anything we can do to help.”

“I don’t know how much help we can be.” Melani tilts her chin. “We were here in our seats the whole time.”

“Did you notice anyone head toward the back of the plane after the murdered man?” the marshal asks.

“We didn’t see anyone get up.” Trey glances at Melani. “Did we babe?”

“Nobody.”

If that were true, how did Jeff Archer get to the restroom unnoticed? You glance at the rows behind the couple. Both Jeff and the killer must have been sitting behind Trey and Melani.

The marshal presses on in his questioning, but your mind wanders.

What if Jessica had something to do with the killing? Something in your gut tells you that the flight attendant and Angie Garret are connected. Both women have ties to Claire Wilson from the photograph the victim carried. Both had a history with domestic violence of some form or other.

Jessica had access to the entire airplane. Had she been accounted for the whole trip up to the point of discovering Jeff Archer?

There were three rows of passengers left to question, then Mara and the cowboy. But Griz had been sitting next to you, sound asleep. And in those handcuffs, Mara couldn’t be stealthy if she tried. Not to mention the fact, she was under the marshal’s thumb until he dropped her off with the authorities in Sydney.

Was it possible Archer had been killed before boarding? Marshal Durland said the body was still warm when he investigated. How long did bodies stay warm?

You pull out your phone and enter the question in your Safari app. Hopefully, Homeland Security doesn’t flag you or put you on a list for such a suspicious question.

The answer appears on your screen. Twelve hours for a body to turn completely cool to the touch. And you’d been in the air two hours before finding him. Technically, he could have died hours before take-off. Your shoulders droop. But if that’s true, the killer could be long gone.

You mind replays the image of Jeff Archer’s body and the gash across his throat. It wouldn’t have taken long to cut and run. You cringe probably not the best terminology. Had Griz been in your row before you boarded? You think back. Yes. He was already seated when you stuffed your carry-on in the overhead bin.

Had he seen something?

Had he done something?

“Anything else?” Trey rubs his hands on his cargo shorts.

The marshals brows raise as he shakes his head. “That should be it.”

The couple ease into their seats, unbothered by the close quarters.

“You sure spaced out there for a minute.” The marshal slides his notebook back into his pocket.

“Did I miss anything important?”

“Not a blessed thing.” The marshal puffs out a sigh. “Get any bright ideas while you were out in la-la land?”

“You know, dead bodies don’t go cold for twelve hours. The murder may have happened before boarding. We should check the restroom again. See if the lock on the door was tampered with. Something. There has to be a clue we’re missing.”

“Worth a shot.” Marshal Durland unfastens the top button of his shirt. And you head for the back of the plane and the compartment housing Jeff Archer’s body.

Clue #3 If the murderer is on the airplane, he or she would be sitting behind Trey and Melani, but the time frame just got wider.

Thanks for sticking with me! Stay tuned for another installment next Friday!

Top Three Thursday- Romantic Suspense Authors

Since romantic suspense is one of my favorite genres, I thought I’d share some of my favorite authors with you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Along with each author, I’ll include a link to my favorite book they wrote.

3. Patricia Bradley

I love the perfect balance between romance and suspense that Ms. Bradley brings to the table. She’s got so much skill and her stories suck me from the first sentence.

2. Terri Blackstock

Not only are Terri Blackstock’s stories intriguing in the extreme, they deal with difficult topics and make me reevaluate life and my relationship with God and others. I can’t recommend the Restoration Series enough. It’s wonderful on so many levels.

  1. Colleen Coble

How Ms. Coble can come up with so many unique story ideas baffles me, but each one has such exciting twists that I can honestly say I’ve never been disappointed by one of her books. Check her out! You’ll thank me later.

Who are your favorites? What good books have you read lately?