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Book Two: Death of an Island Tart

A Kadence MacBride Mystery


   Following a breakup of 268 days, 12 hours and 23 minutes, Kadence flew to the Caribbean to win back her boyfriend Terrence only to find him engaged. But when Terrence was suspected of his fiancée’s murder, Kadence agreed to help clear his name.

   To solve the murder, they’ll battle the legacy of the island’s slave past and the islander’s resentment towards them as affluent African-Americans. Could their search for the murderer help them find their way back to each other?



March 17, 2002

   There comes a time in every woman’s life when she has to go get her man. My time was now. That’s what put me on a jet, somewhere over the Caribbean, in this hootchie-momma outfit I’d let my friend Charlene talk me into. Everything I normally let hang out was trussed up like a turkey, and the things I always kept covered were out there swinging in the breeze.

   Clothes may make the man, but they changed the woman. I’m a thirty-something African-American with junk in my trunk and a chest that women went under the knife for. I always dressed to downplay that. I wanted folks judging me for my mind, not my body.

   In this stuff, every time I stood, my chest ended up in some man’s face. And when I walked, my butt swished like a Whirlpool on agitate.

   Clothes may change the woman, but they made the man lose his mind. They got me to the front of the security line and into first-class on a coach ticket. Terrence didn’t have a prayer.

   The island’s airport was jammed with people leaving, not coming, so I sailed through customs. Some harmless flirting with the rental car agent got me a complimentary upgrade to a red convertible.

   Although the Ministry of Tourism’s announcement admitted to a few isolated pockets of civil unrest, they claimed the authorities had everything well in hand. No need for tourists to leave the island. Only unrest I saw was some folks dancing around a pile of smoldering tires. Still, a long line of cars snaked their way to the airport. Good thing I didn’t need to fly out that night.

   I hesitated at Terrence’s door. I was the one who’d messed up. What would he think when he saw me? I knew what I wanted him to think. Like Charlene said, ‘This outfit was the ribbon on a package designed to be unwrapped.’ Let the unwrapping begin.

   I knocked. When the door opened, Terrence wasn’t the one standing there.

   The chick’s skirt was smaller than the handkerchief my daddy carried on Sunday, and her breasts threatened to pop out that training bra she wore for a top. With cornrows down to her waist, she looked like a sister. I could tell, underneath her tan, she was whiter than Wonder Bread.

   “You must be Kadence,” she said.

   “No, I must be pissed. Who are you?”

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