Deadly operative Boxers hunts evil… in Caerphilly?! Blame John Gilstrap and Donna Andrews, but don’t forget Mystery Writers of America, whose 70th anniversary provided the excuse for this dangerously charming mash-up.
“Father Dom! What are you still doing here?”
Dom D’Angelo looked up from the grant application that had been consuming his day. He smiled when he saw Mama Alexander filling his doorway. He tilted his old-school cantilevered desk lamp down a few inches so he could get a better view. Then he leaned slightly to the left for a visual angle past the stacks of papers that littered his desk.
Mama did not look happy. Born a highly-classified number of years ago, Florence Alexander was known throughout Fisherman’s Cove simply as Mama, and the honorific pretty much explained her role as everyone’s maternal overseer. While he, Dom, was the official psychologist for the children of Resurrection House, Mama was the home’s official soul.
Dom sensed that he was in trouble. “Am I supposed to be somewhere else?”
She planted her fists on her ample hips, her ultimate posture of frustration. “Caerphilly?”
Dom scowled. “What about Caerphilly?” He knew it to be a town not all that far from Fisherman’s Cove, but that was the extent of it.
“You’re supposed to be there.”
Dom raised his hands in an extended shrug. “I need more than that. Why am I supposed to be in Caerphilly?”
“The Ladies Interfaith Social Services Council. You were supposed to give a fundraising speech today on Rez House.”
“This is the first I’m hearing about it.”
“I texted you from Venice’s phone.” Venice (pronounced Ven-EE-chay) was Mama’s daughter, and a computer whiz of epic talents.
“I didn’t get a text message from you or from Venice,” Dom said.
“But you responded to it.”
Something wasn’t right here. “Are you sure you sent it to me?”
“Absolutely,” Mama said. There was an angry edge to her voice. “I even remember the number.” She rattled it off from memory. She was the very smart tree from which Venice’s apple didn’t fall far.
Dom shook his head. “That’s not my number.”
“Then whose is it?”
It did sound familiar. He pulled his own phone from his pocket and tapped in the number Mama had recited. “Uh-oh,” he said.
[Uh-oh is right...]