Soldier on the Porch

Third book in the Elizabeth Pepperhawk/Avivah Rosen Viet Nam veterans mystery series.

If only the hospital hadn’t exploded. Two men wouldn’t be dead. Ex-Army Nurse Elizabeth Pepperhawk wouldn’t be in trouble for coming to work intoxicated. Pepper’s friend and fellow Vietnam veteran, Avivah Rosen, wouldn’t be face to face with her worst nightmare. When civilian life collapses around them, Pepper, Avivah, and their friend Benny, organize their own private squad and go on patrol. That way lies murder.

* * * * *

“How much have you had to drink?”

Pepper put her hand in front of her mouth and breathed into it. “Why? Can you smell it?”

“Yes.”

“Oh, bother. Do you think The Deer smelled it?”

“Let’s just say, when she got close to you, her face looked as if she’d sucked a lemon.”

Pepper picked up a bottle of a liquid cleaner and opened it. Gagging fumes filled the small room. “This should cover the smell. I can spill it on my uniform and say I got doused when the window exploded.” Slowly and deliberately, she capped the bottle and put it back on the shelf. “More than my uniform is toast, isn’t it?”

Avivah leaned against the locked door. “I think so.”

“I had a couple of small drinks with supper. Three at the most. Hours ago, and it wasn’t like I was drinking on an empty stomach. The alcohol should have worn off by now.” Pepper looked at the floor. “Well, aren’t you going to say it?”

“Say what?”

“I told you so. About drinking.”

“I don’t think anything I could say would be worse than what Personnel will do to you.”

Pepper stood tall. Okay, so she’d messed up. There had to be a way to work the system “Let’s get this over with.”

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