After Gregson flushed his mystery lunch down the toilet, he walked into the hallway to join the book club, but before he got there, he noticed Teressa’s bedroom door halfway open.
She was totally naked, with a willowy body, bending over, perusing her panty drawer. She found a white thong with a red cross on it.
“She must belong to a religious cult,” Gregson muttered.
Then he decided to be honorable, and give the older women his attention. Someone had dimmed the lights, like the curtain of death had fallen on the living room.
Marilyn was lighting candles, as if she was going to perform a seance.
Melinda began reading Chapter 1, “The Murder,” in a mysterious and disturbing voice.
Sharon arranged a typewriter to look out the window. “Dan, you’re a real writer, so you can pretend to type.”
Dan learned long ago not to argue with older divorcees. They were ruthless at getting their own way. Ask their x-husbands—they usually had to beg in the streets for pocket change to stay alive, because the alimony checks wiped them out.
“Robin will be our murderer,” Suzanne said.
“In Chapter 1, the writer discovers that his partner is planning to kill him to collect the royalties on their successful string of murder mysteries. When he finds out, in Chapter 2 he plans to kill his partner first, by shooting him in the back. Did anybody read Chapter 3? No? Okay. We’ll assume he succeeds,” Melinda said.
Dan protested. “But that’s not what happens! You have to read Chapter 3. There’s a twist.”
“Quiet. We’re the ones acting out your story. You may be the writer, but we are in charge.”