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Trading Faces
Michaeline Della Fera
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Cecce DeLuca is not your typical P.I. Her passion for justice is only surpassed by her passion for food. Lottery money won by her mother, Sophia, provides the opportunity for Cecce, her mother, and Cecce’s best friend, Ginny Townsend, to visit a health spa in Arizona, where instead of relaxation, they meet face-to-face with murder and uncover a deadly secret.

At the end of the hall, she stopped and peered up the long stairwell. Her knee throbbed and her ankle hurt even worse, but she knew she had no choice. She grabbed the banister and began a slow but steady climb up the stairs. About midway up, she stopped to take a breath. She was only half way, and already she felt her breath coming in long gasps. This must be what climbing Mount Everest was like.

Using the banister as a pulley, she yanked herself up, step-by-step, until she reached the top. She stopped to catch her breath while sticking her head around the corner. She stayed that way a minute or two, like a deer caught in a car’s headlights. Spotting no one, she leaned her back against the wall and began inching down the hall, much like a combat soldier. She was beginning to feel more positive about the evening. Why was she such a worrywart? No one even knew she was here.

The walls of the hallway were painted white and had a myriad of large, black scuff marks marring the sides. There were no pictures or identifying memorabilia of any type. She still had no idea what was going on or what this building was.

She continued her slow, step-by-step movement until she reached two swinging doors with an opening about the size of a small window at the top. They reminded her of the doors leading to the operating room she had seen on ER. Slowly, she pushed the left side open and seeing no one, entered. She found herself in a large alcove with no windows, but there was a door several yards in front of her. Clutching her pack close to her chest, she pushed open the door and stepped inside and gasped.

She was in an operating room. In the middle of the room was a table with a large overhead light. Machines, on either side of the table, blinked constantly. She couldn’t name any of them, but some she recognized from ER. From the blinking red and green lights, she guessed they were on. On the right side of the operating table was a smaller table draped with a large white cloth that held several implements she guessed were surgical instruments, or some very interesting instruments of torture. At this thought, she began to sweat and her heart began beating a very rapid pattern in her chest. She recognized the tachycardia-like rhythm and now wished that she had let her mother and Ginny come along. What if someone caught her here? She had no backup.

"May I help you?" the man about the size of a linebacker asked.

He was dressed in a black tee shirt, black pants and shoes. He looked as if he hadn’t shaved for several weeks and even though his black hair was thinning, he looked about thirty-five and in fabulous shape. He definitely worked out every day. "Huh?" she finally managed to mumble.

"You appear to be lost. No one is supposed to be here without authorization. And I don’t know you." His eyes darted back and forth from her to the door and the material around his pectorals strained as he kept clenching and unclenching his fists.

The beating in her heart intensified and Cecce thought that the area around it felt like the waves crashing against the coast during a Nor’easter. She wondered how long her chest wall could withstand the strain. This six foot, several inches tall man standing in front of her was clearly trying to restrain himself, and Cecce’s knees began to wobble when she noticed the blood pulsating in his neck. She wondered how long she had before he lost it completely.

She backed up one step and when he moved a step closer, she stopped. "I’m lost," she finally mumbled. "I was supposed to meet the director. I have an appointment." She tried to smile but knew her face was frozen in fear-mode.

"You’re the one who was here last night. You look the same as on the tapes." He broke into a grin as he pointed at the camera almost hidden high in the corner of the room before he took a step closer to her.

Michaeline is a freelance writer living in rural New Hampshire. In between caring for her four cats and being dragged around the neighborhood every morning by her ninety pound chocolate lab, Andy, she is a correspondent for The Telegraph (Nashua, NH). Michaeline is an ex-educator and small business owner and now devotes most of her time to writing.

“When a mysterious man shoots and wounds Private Investigator Cecce DeLuca, only to disappear without a trace, Cecce wants answers. Her lottery-winning mother, however, wants Cecce to mend at a plush Tucson spa. These two threads begin the intricate weave that is the satisfying read Michaeline Della Fera offers mystery fans in Trading Faces. The writing is crisp, the characters fun and funny, and the plot keeps readers guessing until the end.”-- Larry Maness, The Jake Eaton Series

“Trading Faces takes you into the world of Cecce DeLuca, slightly overweight female PI. After a close encounter with death in New Hampshire she's off to Arizona, only to find herself involved in a murder, and she's sure the same man she kept seeing in New Hampshire is also now in Arizona--but why? Follow Cecce through a twisted murder right up to the surprising ending. Michaeline Della Fera creates a fascinating story with slightly unusual characters, that keeps you guessing until the last page.”-- Beverley Bateman, Fade To Black and Death Comes In Red

Fiction Books :: Mystery & Detective Books :: Hard-Boiled Books

ISBN: 1590886550
ISBN(13-digit): 9781590886557
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 254
Paper Weight (lb): 10.8

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