Weeping Widows

I find it hard to identify with grieving widows.  It was especially difficult to sympathize with Mrs. Carl Coldwell III.  She sailed into my agency, Undercover Operations, with an expression blacker than a widow’s wardrobe.

“It’s an insult,” she sniffed after she’d explained her case.  “And I won’t stand for it.”

Mrs. Coldwell had donated a large sum to the Lakeside Museum in memory of her husband’s forty years as treasurer of their Executive Board.  Three days later the museum received another bequest, from an unnamed donor, to the tune of twice as much money.

An insult many of us could live with, but the Widow Coldwell saw it as a last straw in the haystack full of secrets Carl had kept from her.

“I found a receipt in with his papers for an expensive pearl necklace,” she told me.  “And now the new Executive Treasurer has discovered funds are missing from various museum accounts. Over a million dollars in the last ten years alone.  Well, it’s not to be found in any bank account of mine.”  Her voice rose on the personal pronoun.  “Spent on some young slut, I have no doubt.” She raised one hand to her perfectly coiffed gray hair.  “A slut who now thinks she can flaunt her wealth by making this tainted contribution, yet remain anonymous.”

She wanted me to find the woman–apparently the embezzled funds were of secondary importance to her.

To read the rest of this story of one of the other Evelyn A. Archer mini-mysteries, download from your favorite e-book store today.

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