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Heart Trouble

Cover of Heart Trouble

Heart Trouble

Callahan Garrity Series, Book 5
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Former cop, currently co-owner of the House Mouse housecleaning service, and freelance p.i., Callahan Garrity raises eyebrows when she accepts an assignment from the most hated woman in Atlanta -- a...More
Former cop, currently co-owner of the House Mouse housecleaning service, and freelance p.i., Callahan Garrity raises eyebrows when she accepts an assignment from the most hated woman in Atlanta -- a...More
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Description-
  • Former cop, currently co-owner of the House Mouse housecleaning service, and freelance p.i., Callahan Garrity raises eyebrows when she accepts an assignment from the most hated woman in Atlanta -- a wealthy white socialite who killed a young black girl in a drunken hit-and-run and was punished with no more than a slap on the wrist. Even Callahan's "Mice" are grumbling.

    But when a roadside murder turns up the heat on the racial tensions that have been simmering dangerously since Whitney Albright Dobbs received her laughably light sentence, Callahan realizes she'll have to pull out all the stops to trap a mean, mad killer -- for the sake of justice and a city that's threatening to explode.

Excerpts-
  • Call This Fatback?

    Miss Sister Easterbrooks held the plastic-wrapped slab of pork up close to her Coke-bottle-thick glasses. The milky brown eyes took a long, educated look. She sniffed disdainfully. "Don't look like fatback. Don't smell like it neither."

    Her sister, Miss Baby Easterbrooks, nodded in agreement and clucked her tongue. "Couldn't find no pig knuckles at all. Sorry. That's what. The Auburn Avenue Curb Market got all cleaned up and fancy. Too good for itself, that's what I say."

    "I know that's right," Sister said. "Can't make no mess of greens with fatback smells like a shower curtain."

    Baby and Sister are technically employees of The House Mouse, our cleaning business. "Older than dirt" was the only age either one would admit to, although we guessed they were closing in on eighty. Baby is as close to deafness as Sister is to blindness, but the two of them manage to clean maybe one house a week, working as a team.

    They had been carping about the downfall of the Auburn Avenue Curb Market ever since the Atlanta institution on the corner of Auburn and Butler was renovated a few years ago. Health inspectors had demanded sneeze guards and hairnets and plastic gloves. Soul had been sacrificed for sanitation, and Baby and Sister were still mourning the loss of their favorite vendors. They would have no truck with meat they couldn't view up close and personal.

    Baby recited the menu as she unloaded the grocery sacks.

    "Fried chicken. Collard greens. Sweet potatoes. Biscuits. Apple cobbler. Now, Callahan, it ain't fancy, but your mama, she'll be ready for some home cooking. Ain't that right?"

    It was Edna's coming home dinner. She'd gotten a bad cold in September, and it had lingered and worsened until her racking cough had led me to bundle her into the car and deliver her, wheezy protests and all, to our family doctor. An hour later she was admitted to Piedmont Hospital, diagnosed as having pneumonia, and put on oxygen and intravenous antibiotics.

    I still shudder when I think of the way she looked in that hospital bed. My larger-than-life mother shrunken with illness and fatigue, blue-tinted hair matted to her head, her face the color of unwashed sheets, eyes ringed with dark circles, tubes everywhere.

    Edna had had a double mastectomy years ago, but I was a kid then, and my father was still alive, and with the invincibility of youth, I thought of her hospital stay and recuperation back then as a minor inconvenience to the family. Five years ago I had my own brush with the C word: a lump on my right breast, followed by a lumpectomy and the happy news that my cancer was early and noninvasive. Since then I've tried to be a good little girl. I eat my broccoli and cauliflower, drink bottled water, cross my fingers at mammogram time, and try to avoid stepping on the cracks in the sidewalk.

    My mother had been smoking three packs of cigarettes a day since her early teens. Nothing anyone said or did could detach those long slender fingers from her filter tips.

    Now it was all I could do to stand by the bed and hold her hand while Jeanne Payne, our family doctor, ranted at her about her smoking.

    I'd known Jeanne since we were in Girl Scouts together. She could probably still fit in her Brownie uniform. Five foot two, slender, with thick, wavy dark hair, she somehow managed to cut an imposing figure in her white lab coat. Maybe it was the bifocals she wore on the bridge of her nose. Or the fact that she'd finished Emory Medical School at twenty-six, first in her class, youngest, brightest, shortest.

    "You've got a spot on your right lung, Edna," she said, getting right to the point. "Your pulmonary capacity is roughly that of a tubercular ninety-year-old coal miner. All your...

About the Author-
  • Kathy Hogan Trocheck is the author of ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series. A former reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, she is also the author of Little Bitty Lies and the Edgar®- and Macavity-nominated Savannah Blues, under the name Mary Kay Andrews.

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    HarperCollins
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Heart Trouble
Heart Trouble
Callahan Garrity Series, Book 5
Kathy Hogan Trocheck
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Callahan Garrity Series, Book 5
Kathy Hogan Trocheck
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