An Appalachian Crime Story
Private Investigator Helen Hartsock returns home to the Appalachian Mountains.
Searching for a missing person hardly anyone misses.
She finds Martha Phelps: a woman with a mysterious past and fiercely loyal friends.
And a deep knowledge of the secrets the mountains hold.
Will Helen get answers, or regret asking in the first place?
Originally appeared in Mystery, Crime, and Mayhem: Private Eyes, Knotted Road Press, 2020.
An excerpt from The Definition of Crime:
A Mystery Almost No One Cares to Solve
Helen was determined to follow the path to wherever Rodney Blevins ended his days, no matter how it twisted or turned. Almost as determined as his family, even if no one else seemed to care.
She pretended to read and watched Martha load everything into one washer while everyone else was still busy sorting into two, sometimes three machines. All typical behavior for this crew.
But instead of standing around and chatting with her friends, Martha stared right at Helen.
Then she walked over and sat beside her, which was worse.
“Figured I should introduce myself,” Martha said, her voice quiet but a bit rough, as if she’d shouted a lot in her life. “Since we seem to have noticed each other for several days in a row now.”