Underground in Ocean Alley (Book 11 of the Jolie series)

By Elaine L. Orr

Crime & mystery, New adult fiction

Paperback, eBook

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I glanced at the clock on the mantle above our fireplace. At roughly three-fifteen, Scoobie would arrive home after work in the hospital’s Radiology Department. I’d head next door to the Cozy Corner to put the two loaves of bread, already rising, into Aunt Madge’s oven.

Sandra's death would hit the hospital hard at any time, but especially now. In a tourist town like Ocean Alley, the hospital is busiest during the peak season. At the Jersey shore that's summer, so the hospital was gearing up.

Scoobie had mentioned the hospital inpatient census was especially low this winter. That meant less income and reduced hours for some staff. So far, Scoobie hadn't been affected. But some people grumbled, and Sandra had a gift for calm.

I took a few minutes to put lunch cutlery in the dishwasher and toss trucks and balls into the toy box at the far end of the living room. If someone had told me four years ago that Scoobie and I would not only be married but the parents of three-year old twins, I’d have scoffed at the idea. Or freaked out.

When we looked for a new house before the twins were born, we’d been thrilled to find the large Cape Cod cottage, on D Street next to the B&B, on the market. Our friend Lester Argrow, the most annoying real estate agent in Ocean Alley, knew we were looking and persuaded the couple who owned it to sell a year earlier than they planned.

He told us he’d informed them he foresaw a dip in home prices. Apparently he also implied Aunt Madge was ill, because when we moved in they pronounced her recovery “miraculous.” I never bothered to ask Lester what they meant.

The front door opened and Scoobie came into the kitchen and kissed my cheek. “Hello, Domestic Goddess.”

“Very Funny.” I kissed him on the lips. An afternoon kiss, not a bedtime kiss. “Kids are still sleeping.”

He grabbed a banana from a bowl on the kitchen table. “How’s Leah’s cold?”

“Much better, but I’m starting to think Lance might be coming down with it.”
He mimicked my mother’s tone of voice. “You need to get those children on a schedule.”

I threw the sponge at him.



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