In this excerpt from An Accidental Life, Molly Atkinson hears startling news as she prepares for an evening at home.

As she unlocked the door and punched in the security alarm code, she called out to her cat, a recent addition to her life.  She could hear the meowing of the calico she had named Spice-Girl, and before she had even set her briefcase and bag onto the sofa table, the furry creature was rubbing against her legs, begging for attention.  “Hi, there, sweetie.  Hey, Spice-Girl!  Let’s get you something to eat.”  She picked up the furry ball of warmth, proceeding into the kitchen.  She talked softly to the cat while she filled her bowl and then scratched gently between the ears while the cat began to eat.

She opened the door of the fridge, studying the contents and groaning with dissatisfaction at what she saw there.  Someday, I’m going to get organized!  Wouldn’t it be lovely to come home and find little containers of frozen entrees that I can microwave for dinner?

Her laughter filled the empty space as she moved toward the phone.  Calling for take-out was a quick solution.  She could watch the news and sip a little wine while she waited.  Within seconds, she had placed her order from her favorite Chinese restaurant.

She surfed through several channels before settling on the ABC network offering and watched the suave newscaster headlining the stories for the evening.   Something caught her attention…. “And, again, as in the other unsolved cases in apartment complexes throughout the city, the identity of the killer remains unknown…Residents in the small condominium complex recall seeing a stranger on the grounds a few days prior to the murder, but have been unable to provide any additional clues to his identity…”


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