Read Plunder: A Faye Longchamp Mystery #7 (Faye Longchamp Series) Online

Authors: Mary Anna Evans

Tags: #FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths

Plunder: A Faye Longchamp Mystery #7 (Faye Longchamp Series)

BOOK: Plunder: A Faye Longchamp Mystery #7 (Faye Longchamp Series)
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Plunder

A Faye Longchamp Mystery

Mary Anna Evans

www.maryannaevans.com

Poisoned Pen Press

Copyright © 2012 by Mary Anna Evans
First Edition 2012
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2011933454
ISBN: 9781590589298 Hardcover
ISBN: 9781590589311 Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781615952748 epub
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book.
The historical characters and events portrayed in this book are inventions of the author or used fictitiously.
Poisoned Pen Press
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[email protected]

Contents

Contents
Dedication
Acknowledgments
Episode 1 of “The Podcast I Never Intend to Broadcast”, Part 1
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Episode 1 of “The Podcast I Never Intend to Broadcast,” Part 2
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Episode 2 of “The Podcast I Never Intend to Broadcast,” Part 1
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Episode 2 of “The Podcast I Never Intend to Broadcast,” Part 2
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Episode 3 of “The Podcast I Never Intend to Broadcast,” Part 1
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Episode 3 of “The Podcast I Never Intend to Broadcast,” Part 2
Chapter Nineteen
Chapter Twenty
Chapter Twenty-one
Chapter Twenty-two
Chapter Twenty-three
Episode 4 of “The Podcast I Never Intend to Broadcast,” Part 1
Chapter Twenty-four
Chapter Twenty-five
Chapter Twenty-six
Chapter Twenty-seven
Chapter Twenty-eight
Chapter Twenty-nine
Chapter Thirty
Chapter Thirty-one
Chapter Thirty-two
Chapter Thirty-three
Episode 4 of “The Podcast I Never Intend to Broadcast,” Part 2
Guide to the Incurably Curious—
A Matter of Perspective:
More from this Author
Contact Us

Dedication

To little Andrew and Avery

Acknowledgments

I’d like to thank everyone who reviewed
Plunder
in manuscript form: Rachel Broughten, Erin Garmon, Michael Garmon, Mary Anna Hovey, Leonard Beeghley, Kelly Bergdoll, and Bruce Bergdoll.
I’d also like to thank these folks for their expertise on fishing, boating, local color, and Louisiana legal issues, as well as for their helpfulness and hospitality: Cheryl Landry, Kenny Tamm, Janice Buras, Cynthia LeBreton, Jane Scheuermann, and Karen Jahn.
These people helped immeasurably in making
Plunder
as accurate as possible. Any errors, obfuscations, or mild blurrings of reality are completely mine.

Episode 1 of “The Podcast I Never Intend to Broadcast”, Part 1

by Amande Marie Landreneau

How long have I been stealing my grandmother’s stories? I’ve been doing it longer than I’ve been telling my own stories, that’s for sure, and I’ve been doing that for most of my sixteen years.
I don’t remember falling in love with books. I just remember the boat rocking beneath my bed as Grandmère read me fairy tales. And I don’t remember learning to read. It was a gradual thing, as if the letters on the pages of my picture books slowly came into focus, day by day, materializing out of the fog as my grandmother spoke.
Some days, my naptime came and went without a book in sight, because Grandmère knew more stories than the Brothers Grimm. Her people—our people—have always lived here in the deep delta country, way below New Orleans in the between-land where the Mississippi pours itself into the Gulf. If there’s a story floating around about ship captains or long-lost lovers or endangered children or voodoo priestesses, and if my grandmother didn’t tell it to me, then it isn’t true. Or, at least, it didn’t happen anywhere near here.
Young children like their worlds to be just so—it’s less scary that way—so it bothered me that some of the stories she told me came out of thin air. All stories should be captured in books, or so it seemed to me.
To fix that problem, I wrote my first story in the margins of a coloring book, one word on each page:
Ship. Gold. Thief. Kidnap.
(Quite a word for a preschooler, don’t you think?)
Run. Home.
All my stories end safe at home, just like that one. My social worker thinks this is significant. Well, duh. My mother ran away when I was six months old, and I’ve always lived on a houseboat that could’ve theoretically floated away some school day while I was learning things and playing kickball on the playground.
After I wrote that immortal coloring-book tale, Grandmère bought me a spiral-bound notebook. The blank pages made me happy, since I didn’t like writing books with pictures that didn’t match my story. Actually, I was tired of picture books in general. The drawings never matched what I saw in my head, and they took up space that could’ve been used for more words.
I love words. They mean what they say, and they never change. You can trust them. (I’m not even going to bother you with my social worker’s interpretation of those last two sentences. You know what she thinks they mean.)
Sally the Social Worker says that recent events may put me in foster care a while. Frankly, I’d rather just get started taking care of myself. I think I’d be pretty good at it, and I’m not sure I trust anyone else to do the job. Still, there are days when I feel like a little girl whose home floated away in the last hurricane.
When I need something to hold onto, I’ve always reached for the two silver coins I found buried in mud, back when I was a little kid messing around the islands in my boat. I would hold them, one in each hand, and think, “These must be worth something. If the houseboat and everything else goes back to the bank, I can sell these. With a silver coin in each hand, I’ll never starve.”
Those coins are gone now, stolen. I really need to go looking for more silver coins.
Until then, I’ll sit here, alone with my cheap digital recorder, and I’ll tell it my grandmother’s stories. Nothing else makes me feel quite so safe.

Chapter One

The Gulf of Mexico lapped at Faye Longchamp’s toes, as flawlessly blue as the water that wrapped around her home on Joyeuse Island. The waves splashed on her bare feet, blood-warm, just as they did on her own beach. The scent of salt water was as familiar as the soap smell on her husband’s neck.
Strictly speaking, she wasn’t really looking at the Gulf of Mexico. Faye wasn’t sure how to name this water. In south Louisiana, the land just drifts to sea. The water at Faye’s feet was connected to a bunch of canals and island-dotted estuaries and grassy coves that extended south and west until they eventually connected to Barataria Bay, and
it
was connected to the Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of its name, this water smelled like the gulf breezes that blew in her bedroom window every morning.
Faye had never traveled much. There had simply been no money. Starting her own archaeological consulting firm had held the promise of frequent business trips, paid for by someone else. What could be better than seeing the world and being paid to do it?
This first out-of-state consulting trip had brought her here to south Louisiana, five hundred miles from her front door…to a place that looked and felt pretty much like home. Maybe someday she’d land a client who wanted to send her someplace exotic, but not this time.
This client had just called with a change in assignment, and Faye was still trying to wrap her brain around it. Everything had changed in the days since the
Deepwater Horizon
rig exploded and sank, though none of those changes were visible to the naked eye. Yet.
BOOK: Plunder: A Faye Longchamp Mystery #7 (Faye Longchamp Series)
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