Home > Silenced in the Sunflowers

Silenced in the Sunflowers
Author: Dale Mayer


About This Book


A new cozy mystery series from USA Today best-selling author Dale Mayer. Follow gardener and amateur sleuth Doreen Montgomery—and her amusing and mostly lovable cat, dog, and parrot—as they catch murderers and solve crimes in lovely Kelowna, British Columbia.

Riches to rags. … Hearts start to heal. … Friendships start to grow, … just not for everyone!

Doreen knows her relationship with the police captain has always been on thin ground. She has helped them solve a lot of cases, but she’s quadrupled their work and constantly gets in their way. So no one is more surprised than Doreen when the captain stops by and asks for a personal favor, concerning a cold case from his own childhood.

Slowly recovering from his injury, Corporal Mack Moreau learns that the captain has stopped by Doreen’s house, asking for a moment of her time. Curious, Mack’s even more stunned to hear the details about his captain’s visit. Mack wants to help, but investigating a case from forty years ago doesn’t leave much behind to go on.

Doreen knows that failing to solve a case has to happen sometime. But she’d do a lot to not have that happen here, not when the captain had personally asked for her help. So, with her critters in tow, Doreen is off and running, … leaving Mack watching—and worrying—in her wake.

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Chapter 1



Early September

It seemed like days had whipped past since that last chaotic scenario at Doreen’s house. Today she sat at the creek, a cup of coffee in her hand, Nick on one side and Mack on the other. She turned toward Mack. “How’s physio going?”

“Better. Apparently I escaped a pretty ugly shoulder injury.”

“Good.” She hesitated and then asked, “And how about the two guys who showed up here?”

“Rodney has stitches in a region no man should ever have stitches,” Mack stated, shuddering, “but should make a full recovery.”

“And the other man, Wilson?”

“He’ll have long welts for quite a few more days on his back and head,” Mack told her. “What I want to know is how you trained Thaddeus to drop bird poop on your attackers like that?”

She winced. “I didn’t train Thaddeus. He did that all on his own.”

Mack just shook his head, as he considered the bird.

Doreen watched Thaddeus, even now wandering in front of them on the pathway, standing on rocks, hopping off rocks, looking totally harmless. Meanwhile, Goliath and Mugs lay basking in the sun, also just being the heroes they were.

“You know what? I’ve seen these animals respond in more ways with you than I ever thought possible,” Mack stated. “Yet I had no idea they could do what they did this last time.”

“Neither did I,” she replied. “And I mean it. It’s all about loyalty. And, for whatever reason, I’ve been blessed to have their love and their loyalty. And I try hard to never do anything to damage that.”

At that, Nick patted her on the shoulder and stated, “Not just their love. A lot of people in town love you too.”

She gave him a sad smile. “But apparently a lot of people in town also don’t love me,” she admitted, “so it’s been a mixed blessing.”

Nick smiled. “Eventually you will find a lot of people on your side versus the other side.”

“I suppose,” she agreed. “It just takes time.”

The two brothers nodded.

“And I need to get the captain back on my side,” she added. “I’m not exactly sure how to do that though.”

“It’s not that he’s not on your side,” Mack argued cautiously. “He just needs you to stay out of our cases when it comes to the legal stuff, so that he can get a case nailed down and so that the criminals don’t walk because of problems with the collection of evidence.” He sent her a knowing look.

“Right,” she said, “all that legal stuff.”

“I get that the legal stuff isn’t a big deal for you,” Mack cautioned her, “but we don’t want to do all this work and have these guys go free.”

She nodded. “I could be very good for a few days,” she suggested. “Maybe he’ll forgive me then.”

“Nothing to forgive, just keep a low profile,” Mack stated.

“Right. I might do that.” Doreen studied Mack for a moment. “You’re off the rest of this week. How about we try paddleboarding again? If your physio allows it …” She turned toward Nick. “I don’t know where we’d get a board for you,” she added, “but, if you want to come with us, that would be awesome.”

“That sounds great.” Nick nodded, raising his coffee cup in agreement.

Mack faced her and asked, “So will you be off cases for a while now?”

“I hope so,” she said, “at least I really hope so.”

And, just when the guys were getting up to leave, a vehicle drove up, and she said, “Uh-oh.”

“What’s uh-oh?” Mack asked.

“That’s the captain’s vehicle.”

“Ooh.” Mack walked out to talk to him.

Doreen stepped out on the front porch and asked the captain, “Problems?”

“Not so much problems,” the captain began, “but I wondered if I could talk with you.”

She looked surprised and replied, “Absolutely.”

“Uhm,” the captain added, “and possibly alone, if I could.”

She looked over at Mack, who shrugged. “We were just leaving.” At that, Mack and Nick got into their vehicle. Mack made a sign for her to call him later.

She smiled and nodded and led the captain into her house. “Do you want a coffee?”

He hesitated and then nodded. “If you wouldn’t mind. I kind of …” He hesitated again.

“Am I in trouble?” she asked immediately.

He looked at her and then smiled. “No, you’re not. Yet, because of the trouble you do get into, I have a favor to ask.”

She frowned. “Okay, sure. What can I do for you?”

“It’s a cold case.”

She beamed. “I would love to work on another cold case.”

“It involves my cousin. He was killed several decades ago. In fact, he was shot in the garden.”

“In a garden?” she asked, liking the idea already, but careful to keep the smile off her face.

“Yeah, in the sunflowers,” he added.

“Ooh,” she replied, “the Silenced in the Sunflowers case.”

He slowly nodded. “I guess, if that’s how you want to look at it.”

She nodded. “That’s how I want to look at it. I need details, details.” Doreen clasped her hands together to keep from rubbing them with glee, as she shot him a look. “And you’ll forgive me if I solve this?”

He laughed. “Nothing to forgive. It’s because of your unique viewpoint and your way of coming at things that I’m here right now. If you can help me with this case,” the captain stated, “believe me. I’ll be in your debt.”

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