Husom applied the Page 69 Test to Secret in Whitetail Lake, the latest Winnebago County mystery, and reported the following:
In Secret in Whitetail Lake, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department recovers an old Dodge Charger from the bottom of a deep lake, containing the bodies of two teenagers who went missing over thirty years before. Page 69 is not a fast-paced action scene in the book, but gives a little insight into Sergeant Corinne “Corky” Aleckson’s dedication to uncovering the truth for the victims in the cases she’s working on. And the closer relationship she longs for with Detective Elton “Smoke” Dawes. Corky has returned to the lake that evening, puzzling over how the Charger ended up on that side of the lake, since there’s not a road near there. She’s joined by Smoke Dawes and they mull over the possible circumstances, not knowing they’ll soon be thrown into a cold-case homicide investigation. This is the calm before the storm. Corky is the first one speaking.Visit Christine Husom's website.
“Yeah, I keep looking up there, where the car came down. It must have been moving at a pretty fast clip and gone airborne, or it would have gotten caught up in the brush at the edge of the lake.”
“Speed is a decided factor. Actually, those cattails may have helped slow it down so it didn’t end up further out in the lake. And we come back to the big questions we talked about earlier. Why they went down the hill in the first place and why no one heard them, or noticed the tracks they may have left.”
“I’ll have to ask Mother if she and my dad ever partied hardy there.”
Smoke rubbed his hand over his five o’clock shadow. “Maybe one time, if that. Your mom, dad, and I all had parents who kept track of us, and they’d surely have known if we’d been to a beer party.”
I nodded. “So what made you stop here tonight?”
“I’d just finished up at the office and spotted you when I drove by. As nosy as I am, I thought I’d see what you were up to. Although I’d pretty much figured it out.”
“I’m curious about the ME’s report. I wonder if they can tell if Toby and Wendy died in the crash, or drowned afterwards.”
“You’d think. They weren’t buckled in and I think there’d be evidence of blunt force trauma. I’m hoping they got knocked out so they didn’t know they were drowning.”
I shivered at the thought. “You reminded me of why I don’t like driving on the ice in the winter, even when it should be perfectly safe. There is always that minute chance...” I paused and smiled, “Especially if you burn your fish house down. That must melt the ice beneath it.”
Smoke leaned in close to me, and I smelled cinnamon, probably from an herbal tea on his breath. “I wonder how many times that whole fiasco with Wendy is going to come up during this investigation?”
I resisted the temptation to close the small gap between our faces and kiss him. It was an exercise in self-control. I held onto the hope that someday he would realize that whatever barriers he thought prevented us from having an intimate relationship were not insurmountable. My grandma had told me that Smoke and I were intimate all right, just without the fun part. A little sad, and true.
The Page 69 Test: The Iced Princess.