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The First R.A. Huber Novel

R. A. Huber, having recently established her own sleuthing business, is hired by Sally, glamorous young wife of millionaire Richard Worthington III, to find the person responsible for the attempts to kill her.  The case takes Huber to the Worthington mansion, where she finds herself amid an intriguing murder mystery.  Everyone in the household is a suspect.  Can the private eye solve the perplexing murder before the killer strikes again?


Reaching Checkmate is available in paperback and hardcover at
www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com 

Paperback: 200 pages ISBN: 1593300999
Hardcover: 200 pages ISBN: 1593301146
Publisher: Aventine Press (October 2003)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
Subject: Murder Mystery
List Price - Paperback: US $12.95
List Price - Hardcover: US $26.95

Excerpt from Chapter 1

Ready to lock up and leave, I headed for the door, which flew open, and I almost collided with a young woman.

She was an attractive blonde, Marilyn Monroe-type, expensively dressed in a navy blue suit. The woman was clearly frightened, distressed or angry, maybe all three.

With a scrutinizing glance around the office, her eyes came to rest on my Staunton Rosewood chessboard set up with the chessmen at one end of the desk.

Then she looked at me and said, "I need to see R.A. Huber, please."

I replied, "I am R.A. Huber," and, motioning her into the ‘client-chair,’ I seated myself behind the desk. She just stared at me.

I said, "You did not expect a woman, and an old one at that!"

"Well, no," she replied.

"Being an old lady has advantages in this line of business."

"How is that?"

"For one thing, people tend to underestimate me. I am good at solving puzzles or problems, and being older gives me the advantage of lots of life experience. Having an orderly mind helps me with the solving of mysteries. I am also stronger than I look!"

She glanced at the chess set once more, and, pointing to it she asked, "Why do you keep this at your office? I mean, you’re a detective, not a psychiatrist or something."

I replied, "I am definitely only a private detective, and I don’t invite clients to play! I enjoy a game of solitaire form of chess; it stimulates the brain."

The young woman said, "Where are you from?"

I have lived most of my adult life in this country. When I realize people still detect an accent, I tend to get annoyed. Mostly with myself, that is.

I answered, "I am originally from Switzerland. I didn’t come straight off the boat, however. And, no, I don’t yodel!"

She did not laugh at my joke.

I continued, "My knowledge of several languages might come in handy if a case takes me outside of the United States."

She studied me thoughtfully for a moment and then asked, "Do you carry a gun?"

"I have a permit." I added, "You have not given me your name."

"Oh, sorry. My name is Sally Worthington," she said.

"Is that Ms, Mrs., or Miss?"

"It’s Mrs., but you really did not answer my question. Do you carry a gun?"

"No, not usually."

"Why not?"

"I like to dress chic, and carrying one in my purse won’t do me much good!"

Clearly absorbed with her own problems, she did not seem to find this comment funny either and after a pause said, "I don’t think I want to hire you."

I retorted, "Mrs. Worthington, you have that all wrong. It is not a matter of whether you will hire me; it is a matter of whether or not I will take your case. I am informing you right up front that I will not concern myself with divorce, petty theft or lost dog cases."

"You are rather arrogant!"

"Not really. I just like to pick and choose what work I will do. You see, I have the luxury of not having to make a living from my detective business. If a case interests me, no trip to Europe or elsewhere is planned, and if I am not busy with other cases at that moment, I will take it on."

A shrewd look came into her eyes. Then she asked, "Do you mean you don’t charge for your services?"

I countered, "No, I am not a charity!"

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