One Flew Over the Crow's Nest

One Flew Over the Crow's Nest

Ken Casper

August 2013 $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-329-0

Book 3 of The Jason Crow West Texas Mystery Series

 
Our PriceUS$14.95
Code978-1-61194-329-0
 
Save wishlist

Synopsis | Reviews | Excerpt

Back Cover Blurb

Someone killed Jason's father with a Victorian hat pin.
Just like the ones owned by Jason's mother.

Jason Crow, rancher, winemaker, Vietnam veteran, and expert crime solver finds himself deep in family intrigue after his biological father is found stabbed to death in a dark Coyote Springs's alley. Brayton Spites was a ruthless and unscrupulous businessman; a womanizer with a string of unacknowledged children across their Texas county; and a heartless father to his only legitimate son, Jason's half-brother, Harden. When Spites is murdered, the real question is not who killed him, but what took so long?

Unfortunately, the suspects include Julia—Jason's grieving and emotionally fragile mother—who never stopped loving Spites; Harden and Jason's half-brother, Kelvin; and Brayton's alcoholic widow, Dolly. And then there's Neldona Chance, a prostitute whom Brayton attacked shortly before he was murdered.

Jason's investigation moves even closer to home when the bodies of two young women are found on the Crow ranch. Like Spites, they were stabbed with a vintage hatpin. Tempers reach a breaking point when the sheriff arrives to arrest Julia.

Jason will have to save his mother from the twisted legacy of a man who could destroy their family even in death.


Reviews

Coming soon!


Excerpt

Chapter One

Saturday, September 15, 1984

"THEY JUST FOUND Brayton Spites over on the east side of town," Burker announced a moment before hanging up the phone. "Dead."

I was sitting behind the big pecan desk in my father's old office on the second floor of the carriage house. Across from me, sharing a pot of coffee, were Zack Merchant and Clyde Burker. Zack, my business partner for more than fifteen years and friend for longer than that, was there almost every morning. The assistant police chief's presence was less common.

I put down my cup. "Foul play?"

"Don't know yet, but not too many people drop dead in dark alleys away from home. Since you're the head of Code Blue, you want to come along as an observer?"

"Do I have time to make a phone call?"

"He's not going anywhere." Burker tossed back the last of his coffee. "I'll wait downstairs." He placed the mug on the side table, rose ponderously to his feet, strode from the room and descended the outside stairs.

"Sorry to leave you in the lurch," I told Zack. "I was hoping we could get the new windows installed this morning." Our current Restoration, Inc. project was a 1920s Palladian mansion in Cottonwood, the oldest residential district in Coyote Springs.

"Monday will be soon enough," Zack replied. "Take whatever time you need. What about our get-together with Ned and the boys this afternoon? Do you want me to call it off?"

"That's not until three. Leave it for now. With Brayton out of the picture . . . it could change things. Besides, I don't want to disappoint the boys, if I can avoid it."

Zack paused a moment. "If you need anything . . . If there's anything I can do to help—"

"I appreciate it. Thanks."

He left. I locked the outside door behind him, returned to the office and phoned home. My wife, Michiko, answered on the second ring.

"Where's Mom?" I asked.

"She's sleeping in this morning. I don't expect her to make an appearance for at least another hour. Why? What's up?"

"Brayton Spites is dead. He was found a little while ago in an alley on the east side of town."

"Oh, Jason, I'm sorry. How did it happen?"

"I don't know any of the details yet. Burker's invited me to check out the scene with him, so I'm not sure exactly when I'll get home, but it'll be as soon as I can."

"I assume you want to be the one to break the news to your mom. What about Lou?" Michiko asked.

"I don't know." I hesitated. I wasn't normally so indecisive. "I guess you can tell her, or I can do it when I get home. I'll leave it up to you."

"Jason, are you all right?"

"I'm fine. I'll see you as soon as I can."

"I love you."

"I love you too." I hung up.

Brayton Spites is dead.

Not knowing what kind of ground conditions I might encounter at the death scene, I retrieved my brass-handled walking stick from the hall closet, locked up—something we'd rarely done when my father was alive—and took the outside elevator to the ground floor. Burker was slouched against the front fender of his police car smoking a small brown cigarette. When he saw me, he crushed it underfoot, ambled around to the driver's seat, and started the engine. I arranged my hollow legs under the dashboard and was still buckling the seat belt when he pulled out of the courtyard onto the side street.

"I really don't need those flapjacks," he confessed. He'd stopped by the carriage house this morning on his way to a charity pancake breakfast at the coliseum for Primavera, Coyote Springs' Therapeutic Riding Association. In spite of periodic crash diets, his belly had gotten bigger over the years.

I grunted, my mind on the dead man. Why was Brayton Spites dead? Who killed him? What repercussions would his death have?

When we reached the intersection with San Jacinto Boulevard, Burker activated the police car's overhead light, briefly tapped the siren, hooked a left turn, and joined the Saturday morning northbound traffic.

"Are condolences in order?" he asked, eyes straight ahead.

He knew, as did half the town, that Brayton Spikes was my biological father.

"I appreciate the sentiment, Clyde, but the answer is no. The man I call my father died sixteen years ago."

This time his silence telegraphed understanding.

"I was working radio dispatch for Code Blue last night," I told him a minute later, "and called in a suspected drug deal going down on East 14th Street. Anything come of it?"

"That's one of the reasons I stopped by this morning. We picked up a guy with eight hits of crack on him. Enough for felony charges. This time they'll stick."

"Had him before?"

"Yeah, but he always managed to wiggle through. With your people to testify, we've got him dead to rights. Good work."

<

Code Blue had no police powers, but its members were trained observers. Their testimony had helped convict several bad guys. Burker again activated his siren and proceeded through the red signal light at 1st Street.

"I wondered how long it would be before something happened to him." Flipping on the flashing lights once more, the deputy police chief veered around northbound traffic.

"You think somebody killed him?" I asked.

"Figure the odds. Brayton Spites wasn't exactly the most popular guy in town the last few years. I don't think there'll be a big crowd mourning his passing."

At 8th Street, Burker turned east, drove two blocks, and pulled up in front of a narrow three-story, native-stone building. Kemper House was a somber anomaly for the area. It was intended originally to be part of a row of commercial structures, but the developer had miscalculated. The business district hadn't expanded in that direction, so none of the adjoining buildings had materialized, leaving it a kind of strange oblong tower among low, frame residences of shingle and stucco.

While I extricated myself from the passenger seat of the police car, Burker stood on the cracked gray sidewalk and took in the surroundings. I followed him up the narrow path to the recessed entrance, where a uniformed policeman met us. "He's in the alley, Chief."

"I know that."

The front door was up one low step. I didn't need my walking stick to mount it, but I always felt more confident with it in my hand. Burker preceded me through the ground floor of the turn-of-the-century building. Zack and I had restored it ten years before. Our work had held up well, I noted. The plaster walls were uncracked. The tin ceiling could use a fresh coat of white paint, although I had to admit the faded cream color lent a patina of age that gave it charm. Cyrus Kemper said at the time he wanted to refurbish the upstairs rooms too, but he'd never called us back. Apparently the investment business hadn't grown as expected, or at least not enough to justify the expense.

Patrol cars blocked both ends of the narrow alley, which explained why Burker hadn't tried to go that way.

"Over here, Chief," a man in street clothes called out. "Hello, Mr. Crow. Didn't expect to see you here. Figured you'd be at the Primavera thing."

"Maybe this afternoon," I told him.

When had people started addressing me as Mr. Crow instead of Jason? It came as a shock when I realized it was happening a year or two earlier. "I guess that means I'm getting old," I told my wife.

"Not old," Michiko assured me, "distinguished."

I laughed.

Cyrus stood near the alley door, wearing an old double-breasted gray suit that made his lean body look broad, his six-foot frame almost imposing. Thin gray hair was combed straight across a shiny pate. I noted he looked all of his seventy years. His greeting was friendly but remote, a reaction I'd seen before in the face of death—and mutilation.

The plainclothes cop led us to a spot about twenty yards to the right. "Kemper found him under a pile of boxes when he came to work this morning. Says he touched him only to confirm he was dead, didn't disturb anything else. Called us immediately."

"Is it a homicide?" Burker asked.

"Can't tell. No blood or anything. He could have suffered a heart attack or stroke, I suppose."

I stood by while one of Burker's men, wearing rubber gloves, searched the victim's pockets. Car keys, a stick of chewing gum, wallet with driver's license, credit cards, a twenty-dollar bill, and cigars in a personalized case. A diamond ring blinked on the dead man's right pinkie finger. A gold Rolex watch decorated his left wrist. The question roaming around in my brain was what had Brayton been doing in this part of town in the middle of the night.

"I'm surprised he wasn't picked clean in this neighborhood," Burker commented.

"Don't forget he was buried under the boxes," the cop pointed out.

I rested both hands on my walking stick which I'd planted squarely in front of me. "If it was natural causes, he could have dislodged them in his death struggle. If it was homicide—" which, given the man and the circumstances, I thought more likely "—his attacker could have pulled them down to cover the body. The M.E. should be able to enlighten us."

"If he ever gets here," Burker complained.

"Something strike you as odd?" I asked

Burker regarded me warily. "Twenty bucks?"

"Did Spites impress you as a man who would have only twenty dollars on him?"

"The short answer is no, but there are ranchers around here who have enough money to pay the national debt, and they wear patched jeans and torn shirts. I'd be inclined to bring some of them in for vagrancy if I didn't know better."

I frowned and shook my head. "We're talking about Brayton Spites, not Billy Joe Elgin."

The policeman bending over the body looked up and laughed. "Got you there, Chief."

"Shut up," Burker snapped. "Where's the damned M.E.?"

"Right here," a deep baritone responded from our left. Amos Herschel, a tall, gangly man with jet-black hair, bushy eyebrows, and thick-lens glasses, went directly to the body and knelt beside it. "Clyde Burker, unlike you, I'm not damned. I've been saved. Got a baptismal certificate home to prove it." He crouched more closely over the body, examined the dead man's eyes, checked the hands.

"How long's he been dead?" Burker asked.

The medical examiner applied pressure to one wrist. "Rigor is well established. I'd guess about six hours. Be able to tell you more precisely when I get him on the table."

"Cause of death?"

"Don't know yet, Clyde. Nothing obvious."

"I can see that," Burker snarled. "Believe it or not, even I can see the obvious."

"Sometimes," the M.E. retorted calmly.

I suppressed a smile. Clyde Burker and Amos Herschel had been sniping at each other for as long as I could remember.

"I'll let you know when I do." Herschel waved to the two attendants he'd brought with him, gave them explicit instructions on how to proceed, then supervised them as they transferred the rigid corpse to a stretcher.

"When?" Burker demanded.

"Probably in the morning, but don't call me. I'll call you."

"Call me first. I'll make all the appropriate press announcements."

"You mean, this time I get to make all the inappropriate ones?"

Burker's jaw clamped tight. Several months before he'd informed the press that a victim, found hanging from a barn rafter, had committed suicide. Later, the autopsy established that the man was dead when he was hanged, the victim of a karate chop. Burker made an arrest shortly thereafter, but it didn't remove the egg from his face. He glared now at Herschel's back as he accompanied the body through the building to the waiting ambulance in front.

I treaded over to the pile of cardboard boxes that littered the alley.

"Hey, Chief," I called to Burker, who broke away from several uniformed policemen. I used my walking stick to point to an object on the ground, a small, simple gold-clasp earring.

"Bag it," Burker ordered a young man in civilian clothes wearing surgical gloves. "Do you see the other one?"

He ordered a search. His men combed slowly and meticulously through the litter and garbage strewn haphazardly about. Photos were taken before and after things were moved.

"Looks like there's just the one," the detective finally concluded.

"These days there's no telling if there should even be two," Burker commented.

"Or if it belongs to a man or woman," I added.

"Oh, for the days when women wore the earrings and men wore the pants." Burker assigned one of his men to drive me back to the carriage house in a patrol car.

"Can I ask a favor?" I said. "Let me break the news to Lou and Harden."

"And your mother?" he added, then paused. "Sometimes it's easier coming from a stranger."

I shook my head. "I'll do it."

He shrugged in reluctant agreement.

"Will you keep me informed of what you find?" I asked.

Burker considered the question for a moment. "Yeah, I will. Condolences aside, I'm sorry about this."

I nodded. Now I had to break the news to my aunt Lou, Brayton's sister, and my mother, who, I suspected, had never stopped loving the dead man. I had turned and was about to make my way to my ride, when another cop called out to Burker.

"Found something else, boss." In his gloved hand he held up a small glassine bag containing what could have passed for broken pieces of aspirin. "Looks like someone dropped their crack."

Chapter Two

THE COP DROPPED me off at the carriage house. Zack's truck was gone, so I didn't bother going upstairs. I transferred directly to my old Ford pickup.

My mind raced and wandered on my drive home. Could Brayton have gotten involved in dealing drugs? One of life's ironies was that the man who'd cheated, stolen, and been responsible for people's deaths had been adamant in his rejection of drugs. It had caused the final rift between him and his son Harden, whom most people still referred to as Bubba. The only explanation for a change of heart, it seemed to me, was the root of all evil.

Rumors had been circulating for several years now that Brayton was broke, that the stagflation of the previous decade had wiped him out. The cynics in town put forth the notion that he'd married Dolly Dodge last year in order to tap into her wealth. Whether it was true was still undecided. He hadn't declared bankruptcy, but he hadn't traded in his six-year-old Cadillac for a new one, either.

My immediate concern, however, was my mother. What would her reaction be to the news of the death of the man who'd fathered me? If Brayton Spites had ever felt any genuine affection for her, he'd hidden it well. On the contrary, he'd seemed oblivious to the heartache he caused her. His sudden marriage to Dolly, once Mom's best friend, had hurt my mother more than anything else he'd done, including abandoning her when she realized she was pregnant with me. The situation was complicated and would undoubtedly become messy, so for the time being, I made a conscious effort to shift my thoughts to other questions.

I turned at the stone pillars that marked the main entrance gate onto the ranch road that led home. In my rearview mirror, I watched the rooster tail of chalky-white dust my old truck kicked up. For the last two years we'd received about fifty percent more than our normal rainfall. As a result West Texas had bloomed. The adage here was that the next drought started after the last rain. This year precipitation had been more typical, which meant we could use more.

I pulled up under the carport by the back door of the house and got out. Michiko was waiting for me. We normally greeted each other with a peck on the cheek or other small show of affection. This time she gave me a hug. I saw the concern in her almond eyes. She'd asked me on the phone if I was all right. In truth I wasn't sure what I felt. Not sorrow in the conventional sense. More like relief. Brayton Spites might have been my biological father, but he'd never been a parent. He was an element of my life I would gladly put behind me. Not so for my mother.

"Where's Mom?" I asked.

"The light in her room came on a couple of minutes ago," Michiko replied. My mother lived on the other side of the pool in a two-bedroom mother-in-law cottage I'd built for her right after I'd moved out here following my father's death. "It won't be long now before she comes over."

"And Lou?" My aunt occupied the second bedroom in the cottage.

"True to form," Michiko said with fondness, "she's been up for hours. I told her about Brayton."

"How did she take it?"

"About what you'd expect—nodded, asked a couple questions I couldn't answer, and got on with her work. I told her you'd fill her in on what you knew. She's tough, keeps everything locked up inside, but she'll be all right."

I opened the door, stepped aside, and let Michiko precede me into the big country kitchen, then kissed her again on the cheek.

Brayton's sister was removing glasses from the dishwasher. She glanced up at me while Michiko closed the door behind us.

"Lou, I'm sorry," I said. "I know you and Brayton didn't see eye-to-eye, but he was still your brother."

She gave me one of her sad smiles. "What's done is done. He held a greater presence in your life these last years than in mine."

"A shadow in it, yes, but he's never been a part of it. You and Brayton, on the other hand, grew up together. There must have been a time when you were close."

She made a gesture that was half nod and half shrug. "A long time ago. Too long to matter to him, because when I needed him most he wasn't there for me."

"I'm sorry," I repeated, the words, as always, inadequate.

"After Hector died," she rambled on, "I'd hoped Brayton and I could have a reconciliation. I was willing to forgive him until . . ." She took a big breath, and I realized she wasn't as calm as I'd thought. "Then, when Kern . . . when my son died, and my brother completely ignored his death, ignored me . . . I knew whatever bond we might once have had between us was permanently broken." She opened a cabinet door, seemed to forget why, and closed it. "He threw away the right to my affection. I mourned losing him then. I won't now. You've been more of a family to me than he was. Am I bothered by his death? I suppose so. The truth is, I feel more empty than depressed."

What a son of a bitch that man had been. I earnestly prayed nurture outweighed nature, that physical genes didn't carry moral diseases.

Nearly four decades ago, Brayton had disowned his sister when she married Hector Flores, a Mexican laborer who could barely speak English. She moved south of the border with him when he developed an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis. After he died, she returned to Coyote Springs with their son, Kern. Sixteen years ago, shortly after my father was murdered, Kern was killed in what appeared to be a motorcycle accident. Brayton never even sent a card.

Michiko put her arm around the aging woman. "If you want some time off—"

"It's better for me to keep busy doing what I do. Besides, Julia is going to need me. I made a fresh pot of coffee." She grabbed three mugs from the cabinet over the coffee machine with one hand and the full carafe with the other. We migrated to the table in the breakfast nook.

"What happened last night?" Michiko asked me.

"I don't know much more than what I told you on the phone." I took my usual place facing the bay window. "Brayton was found in an alley over on the east side. No indications of violence."

"Natural causes?"

"I don't imagine he took very good care of himself," I said. "So I guess anything's possible. From what I've heard, he's been drinking more than usual this past year or so."

"Who's been drinking?" my mother asked from the back door. I was annoyed when I realized I hadn't heard her enter. "What are you doing home, Jason? I thought you were working today, installing new windows in the Curtis house. Or is it the Winslow place?"

"Carver," I answered, surprised she remembered. She rarely showed any interest in Restoration, Inc. projects.

"That trashy place. Best thing for it would be a box of matches." It was an opinion she'd expressed about several of our commissions. "So why aren't you there?" she persisted.

"Mom, sit down, please. There's something I need to talk to you about."

"Oh, dear, sounds serious. Can I get a cup of coffee first?"

Lou was pouring her one. No cream or sugar. She placed it carefully on the table in front of my mother.

"Now, what is this matter you need to discuss with me?"

I moved over to sit next to her. It was, I think, her first hint that something serious was coming. "Mom, they found Brayton Spites in an alley over on the east side of town this morning."

"Found him? What do you mean? Found him? Did Dolly report him missing?" She huffed, a woman of long-suffering patience. "If she'd informed me beforehand that she was contemplating marrying him, I would have advised her against it. I could have told her what to expect. Well, now she knows."

"Mom, he died last night. Brayton Spites is dead."

Her eyes went wide, which didn't surprise me, nor the terror I saw in them before they glazed over into a blind stare. "Dead drunk, you mean? He never could hold his liquor. Never had a reason to try until he married that bitch." She was blathering, doing what she could to avoid reality. I'd seen it before. She'd heard what I'd said, what I'd meant. She simply wasn't ready to accept it yet.

"Mom, he's dead. The medical examiner should be able to tell us the cause of death late this afternoon, tomorrow at the latest."

She shook her head. "No. It's not true. You're afraid he'll come to me. Make a scandal. You warned him off once before. You thought I didn't know, but I did. He told me you threatened to kill him if he kept visiting me."

A slight exaggerating. I hadn't threatened to kill him. I'd merely promised to make his life miserable if he didn't stay away. He must have believed me, because he'd stopped coming around.

"So he left," my mother said bitterly, her voice rising in pitch and volume. "It's your fault. From the very beginning it's been your fault, and now you're trying to scare me by telling me he's dead. He isn't dead. He can't be. He isn't."

"Mom—"

"He isn't dead," she yelled. "It's a lie." Without warning she swept her hand across the table. The full mugs went flying. Their hot contents arced in the air and splattered on the polished wood surface, the wall opposite the table, and the ceramic tile floor. Lou and Michiko jumped out of the way.

"Mom, please calm down," I implored her.

"You're lying," she screamed. "You're lying. He's not dead."

She bolted to her feet. The chair bounced against the wainscoting and rebounded, catching her behind the knees. She collapsed, wide-eyed, onto the seat, finding herself in the same position she'd been in two seconds earlier.

I worried she might be hurt. If she was, it hadn't registered on her yet. Once more she sprang up, stared down at the flooded tabletop, and seemed confused about how it had gotten that way.

"Mrs. Crow," Michiko implored, "please calm yourself."

Lou ran to the sink and came back with a roll of paper towels. "Let me dry off the table."

"If you'll just calm down," Michiko said patiently. "We can talk—"

"Stay away from me. You hate me. I know you do. You think it's my fault—"

"Mrs. Crow, I don't know what you're talking about."

"What happened . . . over there . . . to Jason. You blame me."

We'd been through this before, my mother's obsession that the Lord had cut off my legs because of her sins. The notion was . . . insane.

"Julia," Lou said patiently as she proceeded to wipe the tabletop, "sit down. I'll get you a pill and a fresh cup of coffee. You've had a shock. You're upset. Everybody understands that."

Michiko grabbed a mop from the mud room and started swabbing the floor.

"I didn't know it would happen like this. I swear—" Tears began flowing from my mother's eyes. It was an old refrain.

"Mom, what are you talking about?" I had to fight to keep the despair from my voice.

"Who killed him?"

"Killed who?"

"Your father."

Michiko crooked a brow at me. I was walking through a minefield. Was Mom talking about Theodore Crow or Brayton Spites? I'd never expected Dad to be murdered, and I realized for the first time, I probably never expected Brayton Spites to die a natural death.

"You know who killed Dad," I replied. "He's in prison and will be there for the rest of his life. As for Brayton, we don't know exactly what happened to him yet."

"He's not dead," my mother shouted. "Brayton is not dead. You're just trying to get even with me."

I wanted to ask her for what, but I didn't trust my voice.

"It's all a trick. He can't be dead." She picked up my mug, which happened to be the closest to her, and threw it at the bay window. Fortunately it missed the glass and hit the frame. Shards exploded like shrapnel in a wide arc. She picked up another mug and was about to fire it as well when Lou clamped her wrist.

"Julia," Lou snapped, "that's enough. Brayton is dead. He's gone. Accept it."

My mother let out a guttural scream and whirled her free hand in a fist toward Lou's face. I'd moved in and was close enough to raise my arm and block what would have been a roundhouse punch, but it was what happened next that caught me off guard. Mom started cursing and slapping me. My innate abhorrence of striking a woman overcame my instinct to defend myself. By the third slap, Michiko had wrapped her arms around my mother's waist and yanked her away. Mom was sobbing by then and ranting incoherently. Lou got in her face and ordered her to stop struggling. It was to no apparent avail, until suddenly Mom went limp. Michiko eased her to the arm chair that was my usual place.

I wished I could kneel at her feet and take her hands in mine, but that was not possible, so I dragged the closest chair over and sat, facing her, leaned forward, and propped my elbows on its arms. "You're going to be all right, Mom. You've had a shock. I'm sorry."

"Take this." Lou held out a pill. I recognized it. Valium. In her other hand Lou held a glass of water. "Take it," she repeated sternly. "Then we'll go to your room."

"I don't want to go to my room."

"Too bad," Lou shot back, an uncompromising edge in her voice I hadn't heard before, "because that's where you're going." My wife and I exchanged glances.

Disbelief at her friend's sharp tone, and maybe fear as well, had my mother's blue eyes bulging. She took the pill with shaky fingers, placed it on her tongue, clasped the glass with both hands, yet spilled water as she lifted it to her mouth.

"Here, let me help." Michiko assisted Lou in getting Mom to her feet.

"You're free of him now, Julia," Lou said softly in my mother's ear. "At long last you're free of him."

"I don't want to be free," Mom whined.

Lou didn't respond.

While she and Michiko half carried my mother to her cottage, I cleaned up the table and the window frame. I was about to use the mop Michiko had leaned into a corner of the counter when she returned. We worked together in silence for several minutes, she picking up things I couldn't bend to retrieve, I, using the long-handled dustpan and small broom, gathering up the debris of shattered china that lurked in every corner of the room.

"I think it might be time for your mother to go to Woodbridge for a little while," Michiko said as we put the cleaning implements away.

Woodbridge was the local psychiatric hospital. Mom had gone there for a "rest" twice. Both times she'd voluntarily committed herself. This time, I suspected, I might have to sign the papers. The thought hurt more deeply than the slaps she'd inflicted.

"Let's give her a chance to calm down," I said. "If then she wants to go there—"

"Jason, she's getting worse. We both know it. We were lucky this time. Lou had her medication handy. Bless that woman. I don't know where she gets her strength and patience, but if the three of us hadn't been here, there's no telling what harm your mother might have done to herself or someone else. Thank God, the kids aren't home." School had started three weeks ago.

It wasn't that I hadn't been thinking along the same lines, but the gap between contemplation and action, in addition to being a great leap, was also a one-way voyage. The relationship between my mother and me would never be the same after I had her committed.

"You're right," I said. "It may come to that, but not today."

"No," Michiko agreed. "Not today."

Please review these other products:

 
As The Crow Dies

Ken Casper

$14.95 May 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61194-008-4

Book One of the "Jason Crow" West Texas Mysteries

Our Price: US$14.95

click to see more

 
 
Taking a Stand
Ken Casper

December 2011 $13.95
978-1-61194-087-9

From the author of As the Crow Dies
Our Price: US$13.95

click to see more

 
 
Standing In The Shadows
Ken Casper

April 2012 $13.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-125-8

What she learns will change her life forever.
Our Price: US$13.95

click to see more

 
 
Crow's Feat
Ken Casper

July 2012 $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-164-7

Book 2 in The Jason Crow West Texas mystery series

Our Price: US$14.95

click to see more

 
 
Uncertain Fate
Ken Casper

October 2012 $12.95

ISBN: 978-1-61194-173-9

Book One of The Return to Caddo Lake trilogy

Our Price: US$12.95

click to see more

 
 
Standing Tall

Ken Casper

January 2013 $13.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-245-3

A Coyote Springs novel.


Our Price: US$13.95

click to see more