Murder by Magic
By Edward Lodi
"She attempted to pull herself up. Forty years ago she might have been able to do so, but at her present age she found that, without proper leverage, she didn't have the strength. She tried anyhow, several times--straining, lifting herself off the rubble pile an inch or two, only to lose her grip and fall back--until she'd ripped her nails and bloodied her hands." In the course of her investigations as a self-styled detective Lena Lombardi has on occasion found herself--figuratively--in some rather tight spots. But this time the deep hole she's fallen into is real. And there's no one nearby to help her out--no one except the three angry pursuers who, she has reason to believe, are out to kill her. It started innocently enough: Lena, trying to help out a friend suspected of murder. But was it murder? Peter Gilbert's body showed no signs of foul play. He simply froze to death. If it was murder, it could only have been done by magic. Or so it seemed. And then there was the so-called Hickman Secret. Was that connected with the two deaths? Yes--the first death was followed by a second. And no doubt about it, this one was murder. So the joke was on Lena. She was quite sure she knew the identity of the killer. She even had evidence of sorts. But what good would it do her--or her friend--if she ended up dead herself, like a rat in a hole?