Mountain Ice (David Dean Mysteries) (Chapter 1, page 1 of 15)

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"You have to admit it's strange," Cynthia Dean said. "The woman looked half frightened to death and the young boy with her never said a word. They were anything but typical tourists." She looked up at her husband from her position scotched down on the parlor floor and resumed sorting Christmas ornaments, packing them away as methodically as if she were returning them to the store.

"Besides, she signed the register as 'Edith Jones' but her credit card said 'Edith Shipton.'"

"Did the charge go through?" David Dean asked as he sat down next to her. He had been outside, atop a ladder, removing Christmas lights when the two checked in to Bird Song, the Dean's bed and breakfast.

"Yes. It was a platinum card."

"Good. That means she's got some bucks. That's all we have to be concerned about. We collect the money, the customer gets to relax, enjoy this gorgeous mountain scenery and eat your fresh blueberry muffins. End of our responsibility."

But Cynthia wouldn't let go. "If she's so rich, why did she only book one room for herself and the boy? Don't you think that's strange? He looks to be about twelve years old. And she doesn't seem the least interested in skiing or any outdoor activity."

"She's probably coming here to meet a hot date and wants privacy. Give the woman a break."

"A liaison with her son along?" Cynthia answered.

Dean rolled his eyes in mock exasperation. "I'll talk to her and find out what's going on."

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