Throughout this month, I’ll be posting the entire Chapter 1 of Tax Cut, book 2 in the Jersey Shore Mystery Series, on this website. I previously posted the first few paragraphs. Here is a little more of the unedited version (final edits are forthcoming, so please excuse any errors in this text!)
It was late January when I received a text message that would start a snowball effect down a trail of darkness and corruption. The message was from my friend, Kathy Norcia, the municipal clerk of Madisen Township, New Jersey. Kathy and I met after a hurricane had nearly destroyed the town where I worked and I opened a temporary headquarters in her municipal building. We instantly hit it off and kept in touch over the past year. Her message said, Hey Chelsey, I got gossip!
I hit reply and I typed, What’s up?
Meet me for happy hour tonight? she typed back.
Sure, I responded.
I’ll tell you what I heard tonight, she replied.
My curiosity was going to have to wait. Kathy and I decided to meet at Savoy’s Bar and Grill, a local pub that was close to both our homes. My parents had agreed to babysit. I was a single mom. My daughter, Mandy, was almost two years old, and quite a handful. She was in a full-blown temper tantrum when my parents arrived, banging her curly blonde head on the floor. My dog, Snickers, was barking at her. It was chaos at my house.
“What happened?” my mother asked.
“I won’t give her the remote control,” I explained, “because last week, she managed to order 300 dollars worth of pay-per-view when I wasn’t looking.”
“Huh! You’d better call the cable company and get the charges reversed,” my dad said in a failed attempt to be helpful.
“Already did that, Dad,” I told him.