Scoop

Scoop

3.9 107
by Kit Frazier
     
 

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Cauley MacKinnon is staring down the barrel of twenty-eighth birthday, certain the only things standing between her and certain doom are instinct, pure dumb luck and a kick-ass hairdresser. Starting over after a truly bad marriage and armed with a freshly minted journalism degree, Cauley is disappointed to find that the only job she can get in her hometown of

Overview

Cauley MacKinnon is staring down the barrel of twenty-eighth birthday, certain the only things standing between her and certain doom are instinct, pure dumb luck and a kick-ass hairdresser. Starting over after a truly bad marriage and armed with a freshly minted journalism degree, Cauley is disappointed to find that the only job she can get in her hometown of Austin is as an obituary writer - something that only happens to interns who've been very good, or reporters who've been very bad.

Somehow, Cauley's managed to do both. While on the hunt for a story that will get her off the Death Page, Cauley's life takes a turn for the worse when hapless childhood friend, Scott Barnes, threatens suicide and barricades himself in a dilapidated old shed where he phones Cauley for help. Cauley is soon devastated when she discovers Barnes dead at his computer with an empty bottle of bourbon and a computer-generated suicide note. Soon, Cauley is up to her eyelashes in dead bodies and everyone wants to know what Barnes said in the shed - the last time anyone saw him alive.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940011294303
Publisher:
Kit Frazier
Publication date:
05/01/2011
Sold by:
Smashwords
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
19,051
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I ducked under the crime scene tape the way I always do, like I
know exactly what I'm doing, but this time I was a little more
careful on account of the black-clad SWAT guys drawing down
around the perimeter. Sometimes I think the only things standing
between me and certain doom are instinct, pure dumb luck,
and a kick-ass hairdresser.

"Little early, aren't you, Cauley?" Jim Cantu was lounging
against his cruiser looking like a Hispanic Marlboro Man as he
surveyed the rugged limestone hills and gnarled oaks at the back
of the Barnes' ranch. "What we got here is your basic suicide
threat," he continued, squinting into the hot Central Texas sun.
"Don't obituaries get written after somebody's turned up a
corpse?"

"This isn't for the Sentinel," I said, swatting dirt from the seat
of my jeans. "Scooter called me this morning and said he wanted
to talk." 

"Doesn't matter. No media behind the line," he said, nodding
toward the SWAT guys. "You're lucky you didn't get shot."

"Calling me media is pure charity on your part," I said. "And I
almost never get shot."

Cantu grinned down at me as I settled in beside him. Every
now and then, Cantu cuts me a break because once upon a time,
he'd been a rookie beat cop when my dad was a detective, and he
sometimes steps in where my dad left off.

Cantu and I stood, staring at the tumble of weathered planks
that comprised the shed where Scott "Scooter" Barnes had holed
up, presumably sucking on the business end of a shotgun.

This wasn't the earth-shattering incident it might seem elsewhere
in the world. Here, you don't ask ifyou have any crazy
people in the family; you ask which side they're on. In Texas, we
believe our own myths, and the wet heat of summer presses
heavily on already fanciful minds.

Crossing his arms, Cantu looked at the bruise that was blooming
on my forehead. "All right, blondie, I give. What happened to
your head?"

"Banged it on a big piece of wood," I said. Despite a raging
hangover, I'd climbed a crosstie fence to get past the police line. I
was hot and sweaty, and I had enough dirt under my nails to repot
a geranium. Plus, now I had a bump on my head and a hole in
my jeans, which showed a big patch of Wal-Mart underwear.
These things almost never happen when you're wearing nice
undies.

"Hurricane Cauley." Cantu shook his head. "You want off
obits? Go chase a real story. I hear El Patron's on the move." 

I had to stop myself from growling. Cantu knew I'd sell my
great aunt Kat's china for a story that would get me off the obituary
page, and while I'd been assigned to do some of the research
on El Patron-the latest South American syndicate to set up shop
in Central Texas-the News Boys on the City Desk got the byline
on the story. For the most part, I spend my days rewriting death
notices, and if I'm lucky, I occasionally get to do legwork for the
real reporters.

But getting something on El Patron could fix that for me.
Organized crime was nothing new in Texas, but El Patron crossed
the city limits into Looneyville when they shoved a heavy-duty
Firestone around some poor bastard's shoulders and burned him
alive. Talk about a front-page scoop.

"Yeah, well, El Patron will have to wait," I said, and winced as
one of the SWAT guys with an orange-stocked sniper rifle disappeared
into a thicket of sage. "Did you have to call the Jump-Out
Boys?" I said, staring at the rest of the SWAT team, which was
scattered among bushes and perched in the gnarled forks of live
oaks.

"Had to," Cantu said. "I got dinner duty tonight."

"You called SWAT because it's your turn to cook?" I said,
thinking of Cantu's three kids, who could make a sane person call
SWAT on a good day. "You know Scooter would never hurt anybody."

"And he won't hurt anybody. Captain's called a negotiator."

"We don't need a negotiator. Let me talk to him."

"You talked to him last time."

"Hey," I said. "That thing with the goats was not my fault." 

Cantu snorted. "You busted in the back of that pet store and
scared los cabras so bad they passed out cold."

"They were those weird fainting goats," I said, staring at the
shed. I shook my head. "Exotic animals. I don't know why Scooter
can't sell dogs and cats like a normal person."

"He's not a normal person. He's a serial suicide. This is the
second time he's threatened to bite a bullet this month. It's standard
procedure to call SWAT and I shoulda never let you talk me
out of it the first time."

I started to say that serial suicide was an oxymoron and that
Scooter had issues, what with his wife leaving him and all, when I
sucked in a breath and stopped dead in my tracks. "Who is that?"

Near the fence line, a lone man loomed, speaking into a cell
phone as he surveyed the scene. I'd practically grown up in the
West Side substation, and I knew all the precinct cops and most

Meet the Author

Kit Frazier is an award-winning humor and mystery writer, and was chosen Barnes & Noble Author of the Month and Mystery Guild Pick of the Month. She lives on a ranch in Central Texas, where the west is still as wild as the women.

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Scoop 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 107 reviews.
TheDownloader More than 1 year ago
This was a fun book to read, with an interesting plot. I liked the characterizations, and as a free download, it was really one of the good ones. Lots of action and Cauley is no shrinking violet. I finished the book at 4:30 a.m., this morning, so I'd say it really keeps your interest.
salabat More than 1 year ago
For me, a good book is one you think about for a few days after you finish it. This book is one of those. Last night I woke up and I thinking about the events in this book! I really enjoyed it! The only disappointment was seeing that the sequel is not available on Nook! I was ready to buy it!
1dachsmom More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend. Can't believe this was a free book. I couldn't put it down. Don't miss it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just loved the book. Sooo much fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The main caracter is a total mess, she gets into and out more gawd awful situations than you can imagine. Well written; can't wait for the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading SCOOP, it is a little long. Some parts drag but it is a good story. I recommend it.
Maaike Everts More than 1 year ago
Plot was decent and the main character likeable - pretty entertaining but no lasting impression.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very nice light read. Very well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want a light, silly book you'll enjoy this. The mystery part of the story was good - didn't figure it out right away. Overall the constant bad things that happen to the lead character get a little ridiculous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
- interesting story line with moments of humor. Definitely have to buy the next book in the series. Hope to see more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book and worth the read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting, funny, suspensful
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grat nd fun story to read...couldn't put it down and immediatlly read the second and now can't wait for the third book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cauley MacKinnon writes obits and wants to be a reporter on the Metro side of the paper. With her friends, police, a hot FBI agent and the mafia she manages to get into trouble but does solve the mystery. Who will be the guy she ends up with? This book and the sequil are good fun reads. There are some sex scenes, not many, so it is not appropiate for under 16. Cauley MacKinnon is to Austin, TX as Stephany Plum is to Trenton, NJ. Looking forward to more books in this series.