Saturday, March 4, 2017

An Excerpt from “Jamaica Dead” (A Laura & Gerry Mystery, Book 5) by Karen Vaughan


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“Several things and all very puzzling.”
“Let me have it.”
“Okay, you asked for it.” The younger man was the youngest forensic pathologist for the Commonwealth of Jamaica, and he carried himself with a bit of swagger.  He always said that dealing with dead people made him appre-ciate life and looked at everything with a warped sense of humor.  Older policemen found it hard to understand his attitude or his way of doing things. Complaints that he was feisty ran rampant, but they all agreed he was a damn good coroner and overlooked the lack of decorum at times.  Still, Townsend gave him a look that spoke volumes.
“Just sayin’ Mon.”
“The victim had a large amount of ganja in his system laced with, and you’re really going to choke on this one sir, Ecstasy.”
“Really, the party drug. You’re right I wasn’t aware Jamaica had a problem with the drug. Here I thought we were all about the weed. Tell me more.”
Emile looked at Townsend with a new respect.
“What? Did you think I was such a tight ass?”
“Well, it did cross my mind mon.”
“Ok carry on Doctor.”
“It wasn’t enough to kill the guy, but it did make him vomit.”
“Yes, I heard another tourist wore it too, poor girl. Tell me is there any evi-dence that he had been beaten?”
“Strangely sir none at all.”
“Just checking so was he set on fire.”
“Not in the typical way sir but I hate to think there is something strange going on.”
“What’s your take on this doctor?
“I am hesitant to suggest that Mr. Mitchell’s death was a result of voodoo.”
Townsend looked around to make sure there weren’t ears about then looked at the medical examiner.  “You’re not shitting me are ya?”
“Me? Absolutely not, but I know about this stuff its nasty man it’s the Obeah of Eshu.  The worst kind of hex out there.”
“How do you know this are you moonlighting as a witch doctor Emile?’
“Hell no Mon, this be bad crap, me wouldn’t touch this dope with a ten-foot pole. Emile broke into the patois he used on the streets as a kid.  He recov-ered and stated that his great grandma had practiced, but something bad had happened, and she stopped. His grandma told him stories of spell castings for financial ruin, loss of love or beauty. One night some girl was raped and badly. She was only twelve Inspector, and she ended up dying.  Her mama came to Grandma G as her daughter called her and asked for Eshu. She said the legal system was too good for him and he needed to have the law of the spirits take care of this.  It was one of those cases where it was suitable to use the spell.“
“What’s the difference in this case?”
“Well, you’re the big man on this one.  Has anyone complained of being raped?” Any unsolved murders involving tourists?”
“No, so far this poor fella is the only victim.”
“Then, in this case, someone went overboard shooting him would have been kinder and more appropriate.”
“Hmmm wonder why someone wanted him to look like Freddy Krueger after the fire.”
“Well, I hope we find him or her –I don’t think we want a serial voodooist running amok.”
“Please tell me that was a joke doctor!”
“Sorry, sir didn’t mean to be irreverent.”
“So are you 100% certain this was caused by voodoo?”
“Not one hundred but I know someone who could verify it.”
“Who?”
“My mama.”
“Your mother knows voodoo?”
“Yes and enough to know that it’s eshu. Simply put inspector this man burned from the inside out and there were no accelerants.”
“I’m going to have to pass the request by the higher ups on this one. I want to be totally sure that this is for real and that we don’t get caught saying it’s something it’s not.  Does your mother have credentials?”
“Yes Inspector she is a forensic anthropologist, and she has researched the occult and the black arts and its effects on ancient civilizations; everything from prehistoric ages to the Mayans and Africans. “
“Sounds good enough for me. I’ll run this by my superiors and get back to you.  Thanks for bringing this er um oddity. Meanwhile, I have to go back to that resort and get more answers from his widow and the other witnesses.”
“You don’t look to pleased Inspector. A trip to paradise, all the pretty la-dies in bikinis.”
“I hate tourists!” Inspector Townsend growled and walked out of the autopsy suite.
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YOU CAN FIND “JAMAICA DEAD” 
(A LAURA & GERRY MYSTERY, BOOK 5) 
BY KAREN VAUGHAN AT:

AMAZON – FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

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