Christmas in the Wylder County Jail
Adelaide Willowby is having a bad day. It’s a week before Christmas and she has just kicked out the love of her life. Her sister and her daughter are barely speaking to her, one of her best girls is getting married, and ownership of the Wylder County Social Club is in jeopardy. Now she has landed in jail—for murder.
Russ Holt has relied on alcohol to quiet the ghosts from his past for far too long. His latest bender has caused him to let down both Addie and his son, and he knows something has to change. When a stranger in town is found dead and Miss Adelaide is arrested for murder, Russ smells a rat.
Can he battle his demons, hunt down the real killer, and win back the woman he loved?
Addie frown, narrowing her gaze as she sought to recall. "It's...not clear...I was arguing with Clancy...and as I turned to go he grabbed my arm and I dropped my bag and bent to pick up my things...then nothing. Try as I may, I can't remember anything more." She returned to the bars, wrapping her hands around them. "Russell, why can't I remember?"
Russ rocked back on his heels head. “Who’s the other man? This Charles?”
“I don't know him. Seems Clancy called him a business partner. A lawyer from Cheyenne.” She squeezed the bars, her knuckles turning white from the force. “Much as I’d have liked to, I know I didn't kill Clancy. I couldn’t.”
“Adelaide, we know you wouldn't do such a thing.” Eef said from across the room. “I’ve burned the letter, no one will know anything of it.”
Russ frowned, stroking his moustache. “Charles. He got dark hair, wearing a suit with a top hat in gray?”
“Yes I...think so.” Addie nodded.
“He's out at the train derailment hunting bankers from New York or somewhere.” He added, wishing there were no bars so he could take her in his arms. Wishing a lot of damn things. “Don't know what he might've found or not, but I’ll head out that way and see about some answers.” It would be a start.
“I assume he’s Clancy's lawyer....I don't know. The letter called him a business partner and investor. But now with Clancy dead...” Addie met his gaze and for a moment he thought she might weep, but nope, not Addie. “What are you gonna do?”
Russ put one of his hands over hers, surprised she didn’t draw hers away. “Don't you worry, keep things quiet.”
“What’re you going to do?” She pulled in a sharp breath, and he was pretty sure he heard her voice crack.
He gave her a wink. “Gonna hunt out the fox in the hen house for starters.”