The Seventh R.A. Huber Novel
Alice Zogg’s seventh mystery novel, REVAMP CAMP, featuring R. A. Huber and her fiery assistant Andi, is set near the idyllic town of Solvang in Central California. After Mr. Hawk enrolls his daughter Emily at a rehab facility for juvenile delinquents, he is unable to get in touch with her, and his concern prompts him to hire R. A. Huber to investigate. Huber sends Andi to pose as a troubled youth in need of treatment. Before long, the young woman is thrown into an atmosphere of mayhem, eventually resulting in murder. When Huber fails to get news from Andi, she becomes alarmed and figures out a way to access the camp for herself. Together, the two uncover the deep-rooted secrets that lurk beneath the surface of Revamp Camp and entrap the killer, placing Andi’s life in danger.
Revamp Camp is available in paperback, hardcover, and e-book format at
www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com
Publisher: Aventine Press (August 2010)
Hardcover ISBN number: 1-59330-676-8
Paperback ISBN number: 1-59330-675-X
List Price – Hardcover US$27.50
List Price – Paperback US$14.95
Excert from Chapter 6
To Andi’s surprise, it was not the leader of the camp that came to fetch her, but a tough-looking woman in her thirties, who kept her ash blond hair cut short and straight, wore jeans, a t-shirt and what looked like hiking boots.
Mrs. White made the introduction, “This is our new camper, Andi.” And indicating the woman, “Meet Matron, Heather Sotto. Ms. Sotto will screen you and then show you to your assigned space in the dormitory.”
Andi stood up and was at eye level with the matron, which meant their height was even at 5’ 9”, but Ms. Sotto was about 40 pounds heavier.
The matron looked Andi over and said, “If you follow the rules, we’ll get along just fine, but if you mess with me, you’ll live to regret it. Is that clear?”
“Come along, then.”
Andi followed her out of the office, down a corridor and up a flight of stairs. Sotto pointed to the end of the hallway and said, “Over there is the boys’ dormitory and scrub room. Those quarters are off limits to you. Understood?”
Andi looked her in the eyes and was certain that the matron dared her to have a peek at the boys’ quarters. She replied, “Yes, ma’am.”
“And you have no business on the entire opposite wing either. Those are the rooms of Mr. and Mrs. White as well as Roberta Ralston’s.”
They entered something that looked like a locker room in a gym. There were showers along one wall, toilet stalls and sinks off another, a row of lockers against the third, and a large metal table in the center of the room.
Ms. Sotto said, “We’re in the girls’ scrub room. This is where you’re going to take showers, get changed, and use the toilet.” She came to a halt in the center of the place and ordered, “Put all your stuff on the table.”
Andi complied, and the matron proceeded to take everything out of the touring bag. There were several pairs of pants and tops, sneakers plus a pair of flats, socks, underwear, an extra bra, and pajamas, as well as Andi’s toilet articles. The matron took all the items out, examining each thoroughly before placing it on the table. She studied each object in the small makeup bag and went to the trouble of feeling along the seams of every garment. When she had taken out the last piece of clothing, she turned the empty bag inside out. Then she scrutinized the two helmets and seemed particularly intrigued with the old one.
She finally said, “You rode in on a bike?”
“Sure did; on my Harley.”
“So what’s the relic for?”
“That was Daddy’s helmet. I take it along wherever I go.”
“Your father is dead?”
Andi nodded again.
After a pause the matron said, “We usually don’t allow any needless items, but I’ll let you keep the extra helmet. Take all your stuff except toilet articles and pajamas and put them in locker number eight.”
The lockers were large and resembled mini-closets with a row of hangers and a small shelf. Andi stowed everything away in her assigned locker and closed it. Then she turned around and said, “Where are the padlocks?”
“There aren’t any. The campers don’t keep valuables, so there’s nothing to steal.”
“Now I need you to strip.”
“Take your clothes off.”
Ms. Sotto examined each piece of clothing thoroughly as Andi disrobed. She paid particular attention to the leather jacket, removing items such as goggles, gloves, and a pair of regular sunglasses from its pockets and then meticulously went through the lining, feeling for any possible bumps or irregularities. Since Andi’s front jeans pockets had previously been emptied in the administrative office, only some loose Kleenex, and a chap stick was rolling out of a back pocket when the matron turned it inside out. Despite a detailed search and padding down of the cowboy boots, there was nothing to be found there, and the socks, panties and bra all passed muster.
Then the woman eased her hands into surgical gloves and said, “Spread your legs.”
Andi was already embarrassed enough to have to stand around naked in front of a stranger, but what happened in the next second overwhelmed her with humiliation and anger.
She yelled, “What the hell are you lookin’ for?”
“Concealed drugs, of course.”
"In my vagina? Holy Krewe!”
In an instant the search was over, and the matron said, “You can get dressed now, and then I’ll take you to the dorm.”