352 pages July 2022
Kindle $4.99, paperback $16.95
The star of author Todd Borg’s twentieth Tahoe murder mystery is not his ex-SFPD cop—turned PI—Owen McKenna, nor McKenna’s 170-lb Great Dane, Spot, or even the erudite Sheriff’s Sgt. Diamond Martinez, an old friend of McKenna’s.
The star is orphan Camille Dexter, an eight-year-old skateboard wizard who rolls through the sometimes gritty story steeling herself, dodging peril and impressing adults. And by the way, she’s deaf.
McKenna discovers Camille outside a Lake Tahoe hotel when he’s on the way to a meeting. Her grandfather has dropped her off, telling her he will return soon. He doesn’t.
Charles Dexter’s body is discovered crushed under a fallen pine tree. A chain saw is found near the body, and initially the police surmise that Dexter was the victim of a logging accident. Or was it suicide? Or murder? Regardless, McKenna has a deaf eight-year-old on his hands.
While police investigate, McKenna calls on his long-time girlfriend Street Casey for help with Camille. She puts the girl up for the night and introduces her to her golden retriever, Blondie.
Unable to find any of Camille’s family—or Charles’—a police sergeant suggests that it might not be in the girl’s best interest to turn her over to social services right away. Casey agrees to keep the girl with her—temporarily—until Camille has time to grasp the drastic changes in her life. Camille had been living with Dexter in a beat-up camper that police find abandoned near the grandfather’s body. She tells police they moved from place to place as he found work. Continue Reading →