From Smoky Mountain Meltdown
We are pleased to have with us today Jack, the K-9 Officer with Gatlinburg Police Department. Please note that all cross-specie translations are done by Charles (Chuck) Weaver, who by virtue of an accidental gunshot to the brain during childhood is able to hear animals talking to one another.
So what have you been doing since the last big case?
It's been both a busy and tragic few months between March and September.
Annie Murphy Malone married Gatlinburg Chief of Police, Max Lamont. To be honest, he moved in with Annie in March, but they didn't make it legal until June.
How did you become involved in this case?
I try to shun the word "owner" with regard to people and their animals. I lean more toward "partnership" or even "guardian." Jill and I have been with Annie for a full year now. Anything that happens to her affects us. We feel that we are her guardians, rather than the other way around.
Tell us about this case.
Annie was so happy with Max. Even though they're in their thirties, they were like a couple of love-struck teenagers. Then in July, Friday the 13th to be exact, Max was shot in the back and killed by a paid assassin. He was working with some undercover operatives in Atlanta to get to a few of the drug bosses. He must have gotten too close, so they hired someone to kill him. Annie was more than determined, she was driven to find his killer.
We had a stroke of good luck when Darien Hatcher, Atlanta Detective, left his job and came to Gatlinburg. He told us he didn't know who was straight and who was corrupt in the department. He joined our search.
Was there ever a time during this case that you doubted those that you normally trust?
It was never a matter of trust with regard to George Reynolds. Truthfully, I never liked the guy. He came into Annie's Tin Roof Cafe every morning for his breakfast before going to work as a patrol office. My training is extensive, I could smell his interest in Annie. Pheromones--you know what those are, dontcha? I would liked to have neutered the guy with one, well-placed bite.
How dangerous was it to solve this case?
Deadly. My friend, Jill, actually went undercover with one of the middle men in the drug cartel. She pretended to be a stray cat to get inside his headquarters, listened to his conversations and poked through his files. Her dangerous duty pin-pointed the actual shooter. She heard the deal being made to kill Annie next. If Annie hadn't bent over at that strategic moment in time, she would be lying next to Max in the ground. One of my buddies, a Pit Bull, was killed.
Did working on this case affect you emotionally?
If not for my rigorous training, I would have come totally unglued.
How did this case affect your personal life?
(Jack did his best imitation of a quiet canine laugh and punched Chuck in the ribs. Chuck laughed out loud, then translated). She looks like she swallowed a watermelon. She's got Max Junior growin' in her tummy. Don't know how he's gonna get outta there.
Sharleen Johnson has been writing for several years and has published novels in three different genres, including historical, cozy mystery and romantic suspense. She and her husband live in Ooltewah, TN, a fast growing suburb of Chattanooga. She enjoys gardening, genealogy and casino blackjack. Her books are available in print through amazon.com and in ebook format from both the Kindle and Nook. Please visit her Facebook page (Sharleen Johnson Rhinock); website (sharleenjohnson.com); and her blog page (sharleenjohnson.blogspot.com) for the latest news on upcoming books. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.