Dead Man Docking
Author: Mary Daheim
Judith and Renie's dreams of R&R on a deluxe cruise ship are dry–docked when murder occurs at a pre–
launch party. But the stabbing death of cruise line owner Magglio Cruz is only the first in a trio of
homicides as the cousins prowl the steep streets of San Francisco.They're in good –– and bad ––
company, however. Fellow travelers Rick and Rhoda St. George may be pleasantly plastered, but their
eyes aren't blurred to motive, method and mayhem. Along with the ships' Art Deco decor, the St.
Georges' breezy 1930's presence (accompanied by their wheezing dog, Asthma) makes Judith and Renie
feel as if they're living in a time warp.Of course the cousins will be lucky to be living at all by the time they
sort through the suspects...
Judith McMonigle Flynn winced, flinched, and grimaced asshe held the phone as far as possible from her
ear. CousinRenie was screaming obscenities at the other end and throwingin an occasional death threat.
Unable to listen any longer, Judithsevered the connection.A minute later, she was swallowing two aspirin
when thephone rang again. Reluctantly, Judith answered."What happened?" Renie asked in a more
normal voice. "Wegot cut off.""I hung up," Judith replied. "Your ranting gave me aheadache.""You have a
headache?" Renie shot back, her words climbingseveral decibels. "How about me? I've never been fired
before inmy life.""Cruz Cruises didn't exactly fire you," Judith pointed out. "Moving their corporate offices
to San Francisco means you can'thave your usual hands-on control of their design work.You'vestill got
plenty of clients. And," she warned, "if you start yellingagain I'll hang up again."Renie, known to the
professional world as Serena Jones ofCaJones Graphic Design, snarled into the phone. "Okay, okay.But
they were a big source of my income with all those cruisemagazines and hefty brochures and other
promos that requireartwork. I'm calling Bill's brother Bub and telling him to sue thepants off of Cruz
Cruises. It won't cost me a dime, because Bub'ssuch a good guy when it comes to family. If Magglio
Cruz lookshim up in Martindale-Gobble or whatever the ABA referencebook is called, he'll see Bub has
really impressive credentials."Judith was aware that Bub Jones -- whose real name wasMillard -- had had
a very successful career as the senior partnerin a large local law firm. Bub was also a man of integrity,
despitehis one eccentricity, which was wearing wigs to cover his baldness.Bub owned an office wig, a
golf wig, a party wig, a trialwig, and a picnic wig.At home, he wore a baseball cap Renie hadgiven him as
a Christmas present many years earlier. The capbore the words WISH YOU WERE HAIR."Good luck,"
Judith said to Renie.Setting the phone down on the kitchen counter, Judith gazedout through the window
above the sink. It was raining, typicalPacific Northwest March weather. It had been raining since
Novemberwith only an occasional glimpse of sun and one brief Januarysnowfall to break the monotony.
Even a native like Judithyearned for a clear day.Her dark eyes roamed to the reservation book she kept
nextto the computer. Only two of Hillside Manor B&B's six roomswould be occupied on this Wednesday
night. There were threereservations for Thursday, but all of the rooms were booked through the weekend,
thanks to St. Patrick's Day falling on Monday.The rest of next week looked thin. Maybe she could
taketime out to get her hair dyed.Joe Flynn wandered into the kitchen, seeking a coffee refill.Judith ran
her fingers though her silver-streaked tresses. "I'mthinking about having some blond highlights put in at
ChezSteve's Salon.Would you like that?""As opposed to this last dye job that makes you look like
askunk?" Joe nodded. "Yes, you'd look terrific with a touch ofshimmering gold." He kissed her forehead.
"What gave you thatidea?""It worked wonders for Kristin," she said, referring to theirdaughter-in-law, who
had somehow resolved a personal crisis theprevious June by changing her hair color. "Maybe," Judith
wenton, "it'll pep me up. I'm running on fumes these days."Judith had started to turn gray in her late
teens, just as hermother had done. She'd dyed her hair for years, but after her firsthusband, Dan
McMonigle, died, she'd let the black grow out,and had been silver-haired since her forties.Years passed
beforeRenie finally convinced...
Mary Richardson Daheim is a Seattle native with a degree in communications from the University of
Washington. Realizing at an early age that getting published in books with real covers might elude her for
years, she worked on daily newspapers and in public relations to help avoid her creditors. She is married
to David Daheim, a humanities professor emeritus, and lives in her hometown in a century-old house not
unlike Hillside Manor, except for the body count. Daheim is also the author of the Alpine mystery series
and the mother of three daughters.