While growing up, going to libraries felt like an adventure filled with mystery and wonder to Debra. The hushed tones invoked secrets, and the dusty, sometimes moldy scent of paper smelled like perfume. Leaving the library with just a single book never happened. Years later, her love of reading turned to passion for writing. Debra’s an award-winning artist who lives in southern Arizona where the average summer temperatures are truly hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.

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One widow, one killer–who will die first?
Gutsy, grieving Anna is determined to find who murdered her husband. Hampered by agonizing loneliness, her obsessive-compulsive mother, and her over-controlling father, she defies convention and the law to investigate on her own. When she runs up against a handsome police detective who’s determined to save Anna from herself, she has to step up her rogue search for the killer before time, and dwindling leads, runs out.

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“Mother, what are you doing here?”
Anna stood at the edge of the foyer
with her arms folded tightly across her stomach, panicking as she watched her
mother straighten the photographs lining the top of the antique sideboard. Lee
stood behind Anna. He would be witnessing firsthand one of Margo Wright’s
obsessive sprees. Anna didn’t need to get any closer to know that each frame
would be spaced evenly apart and facing in exactly the same direction,
depending on which way the light was coming through the windows. If there were
reflections on the frames’ glass, then she’d turn them enough to eliminate that
glare. Anna didn’t have any pictures hung on the walls out of deference to her
mother’s difficulty.
Without looking up or stopping her
straightening, Margo said, “A city dispatcher called and said that someone
broke into your house. I came to help you pack.” She brushed her hands together
as she rushed to the kitchen sink, squirted soap into her palm, and scrubbed
her hands under a fast stream of water.
“Mother,” Anna said as she walked
farther into the family room, “I was going to call you this morning to tell you
what happened—”
“Don’t bother!” Margo shouted, slapping
the water faucet off. Anna recoiled at her tone. Her mother tore off a single
paper towel and dried her hands without looking at Anna. The trash can had a
sensor. With a wave of her hand, the lid opened, and she dropped the used towel
inside. In a softer voice, Margo said, “Dirty frames. When was the last time
they were cleaned?”
“Um . . .” Anna glanced over
her shoulder at Lee. He was still standing in the foyer near the hallway
leading to the bedrooms. It didn’t seem like the right time for him to meet her
mother at the moment. She couldn’t blame him. “I let Ella go.”
“What? You fired your maid? Of course she fired her maid; she just said
that.” Margo tapped the cabinet door handle, and then the next one, and then
the next one, alternating hands as she went through the kitchen. After she
finished, she washed her hands again. “I’ll send Vicky over after she gets
through today.” She tore off another paper towel and dried her hands.
Anna certainly didn’t want to have a
nurse come over and clean her house. “Mother, you don’t have to—”
“Don’t argue with
me,” Margo snapped. Anna stiffened and hugged herself tighter. She could tell
by the outbursts and repetitive motions that her mother’s problems were getting
worse. Margo threw the paper towel away before heading into the family room.
“How did you get in?”
Anna asked quietly.
“The security boy let
me in—what the hell is that?” Margo pointed at the wall by the foyer. Anna
stood still, knowing she’d seen the bullet holes. Lee was gone. He must’ve
ducked into the closest doorway. Margo then spotted the hole in the chair. “He
shot at you? Why didn’t you tell me?”


Anna froze as her
mother turned to her with her green eyes shining with unshed tears. “My baby,”
she cried, sweeping Anna into a viselike hug. “Are you hurt? Are you shot? My


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