A View to Die for by Richard Houston

Author Richard Houston

Richard is working on his third career. His first was as a carpenter and roofer for twenty years while working his way through college. With a BS in Math he spent the next twenty-five years as a successful software engineer by working on the Space Shuttle at both Vandenberg AFB, and Johnson Space Center. He then went on to start Master Mind SofTools where he developed software for fortune 500 companies.

After taking early retirement in 2007, he moved to Warsaw, Missouri and built a home on the water with a view to die for. Richard now devotes his time to raising his great-grand daughter and writing. He is currently working on the second novel in the Jacob Martin series.

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A View to Die for by Richard Houston

When Megan Carver is arrested after her fourth husband is found at the bottom of Truman Lake, the local DA and sheriff consider the case closed. Megan has a history of collecting on life insurance policies of her husbands, and the latest policy is worth a million dollars. A black-widow murder is what the media called it. All the evidence is against Megan. She was rumored to be having an affair with her husband’s missing partner and it looks like she killed them both to save her house. It didn’t look good for Megan – not until Jacob Martin and his golden retriever came to her rescue…


The cave itself looked more like an Anasazi cliff dwelling than the dark hole I had envisioned. It was simply a very large, deep depression in the limestone bluff. Fred had managed to make it to the cave before me – several times before me, in fact. He would run ahead, turn around and look at me as if to say, “Are you coming slowpoke?” then come back to see what was taking me so long.

That’s when I saw the footprints. A cold chill came over me and stopped me dead in my own tracks. We were not alone. The prints had to be fresh because they were as deep and visible as mine and Fred’s. There were none of the tell-tale marks of boots or tennis shoes. The stranger must be wearing street or dress shoes or the prints would have left grooves like my hiking boots. Fred stood at my side panting while I tried to listen for the intruder. “Quiet, boy,” I whispered. It did no good. I couldn’t hear anything besides Fred’s panting. Whoever had been here before us was gone now.

I followed the foot-prints to the cave. Other than a still damp spot next to the wall of the cliff where someone had recently relieved himself, there wasn’t much else to see. There were no signs of digging or anything – just the spot on the wall and ground. I went up to the wall and made my own contribution; not so much to mark my territory, but to gauge the height of the intruder. I figured he had to be less than six feet tall because his spot was several inches below mine. Of course, he could have been much more endowed than I, in which case all bets on height assessment were off.

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