Series: Mackenzie Michaels Mysteries #1
Published by: AltPublish
Release Date: 6-1-21
Contributors: William Gensburger
Pages: 275
ISBN13: 978-1-7332459-4-4

A series of murders in Corpus Christi leaves residents uneasy. All the victims were shot in the back of the head. But when a prominent financial genius is also found murdered, and not in the same way, celebrity detective Mackenzie ‘Maxie’ Michaels and her partner Kobe Jameson, must race to find the person responsible before more murders occur. As they uncover clues, the mystery deepens, dragging in powerful people, and threatening to erupt in a full-on war. 

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The pretty detective was late, not that it mattered—the corpse, which had been face down in the alley for quite some time, wasn’t going anywhere. Although she had known since seven in the morning, despite the break in the rain and an abundance of cabs, she arrived after the last reporter on the scene. This annoyed her more than anything else; her car was in the shop—new brakes—leaving her no way to get here. 

Maxie preferred to be at crime scenes before the reporters arrived. It gave the image of professionalism; she was a firm believer in professionalism. It also allowed her a chance to examine the scene free of distractions, even before the medical examiner. Clues were to be found everywhere. From the position of the body, items around, skin mottling, as well as the attire of the victim, all were clues that could be useful in her first look.

The city was Corpus Christi, Texas, the name a literal translation meaning: the body of Christ, which, she considered as she approached, ironic, given this body, along with others she encountered, would experience no resurrection.  Worse, this was the fifteenth body of the year, and it was only April. Usually Corpus Christi had between five and ten murders a year. This was, she considered, a spate of killings, and out of the norm, a very ominous sign.

Her partner, Kobe Jameson, a thirty-something Jamaican man with a smoothly shaved head and equally smooth, dark skin, was already on the scene. He nodded at her as she approached. Kobe had been her right hand for the past six years; she relied on him to keep her—as she liked to call it—balanced, especially during the heat of the cases when things happened quickly, as tempers boiled over. Kobe had a keen eye, a knack for following leads, and, more critical to Maxie, a sense of humor. In this line of work, you need a sense of humor, she thought, or the life gets sucked right out of you. Burnout rates were high.

The camera crews were finishing up their background shots. Reporters, like birds on a phone line, she considered, all looking the same, moving the same, similar gestures. All were trying to be relevant in their moment of fame.

Her full name was MacKenzie Michaels, but everyone called her ‘Maxie.’ Tall, slender, shoulder-length light-brown hair with a hinting of added color, usually auburn. She was thirty-eight, attractive, with a contagious smile, an even more infectious laugh; a seasoned detective with many cases under her belt—not just cases, but solved cases, something that earned her praise from the higher-ups, giving her a degree of autonomy and political clout. Everyone wanted to be close to Maxie. Maxie was the standard to which they aspired.

Today, she wore a linen skirt, collared blouse, with her trademark pale blue silk scarf. Maxie always believed in looking her best, part of the charm captivating the public, the paparazzi, along with the local celebrities. Because you deal in homicides for a living doesn’t mean you can’t look good, she thought.