Excerpt from Hearse of a Different Color by Tim Cockey, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Hearse of a Different Color

A Novel

by Tim Cockey

Hearse of a Different Color by Tim Cockey X
Hearse of a Different Color by Tim Cockey
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2001, 320 pages

    Feb 2002, 416 pages


  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"Why did you move the body?" the older cop asked me, shining his flashlight on the front steps. Only the slightest trace of blood remained.

"It's cold out," I said. "It was still sleeting. She wasn't wearing a coat." I didn't have a good answer.

"The crime scene has been breached," the skinny guy said.

I scratched my head. "How do you know it's a crime scene? Nobody here heard any shots."

A general mumbling of assent from the assembled chorus just inside the door backed me up on this point. The two cops exchanged a look.

"We're going to have to question everyone here," the skinny cop said. "I hope you didn't let anybody leave."

His partner looked past me at the milling guests. "Why are they drinking?"

I shrugged. "It's the holidays."

"No more drinks, please. Gather them up."

While I collected everyone's glasses, the two cops moved inside and took a look at the victim. It seemed like a pretty indifferent look, but I suppose I give some ho-hum once-overs at corpses myself. The skinny cop gestured toward the parlor.

"What's in there?"

"Another body," I told him.

"Man or woman?"


"How'd he die?"

"Heart attack."


"Not tonight, if that's what you're asking."

"You got some sort of table, Mr. Sewell?" the older cop asked. "And a chair?"

I fetched a card table from upstairs and set it up for him. I rolled in my own chair from my office. Command post. The skinny cop pulled the blanket back down so that the waitress's face was showing, then he had everyone line up and walk slowly past her to take a good hard look at her before then stepping over to the card table to be questioned by his partner. The dead doctor's family was still upstairs with Billie. I decided to wait until all of the guests had been interviewed and allowed to leave-out the side door to avoid further "breaching" of the so-called crime scene - before letting the police know about the others. The two cops were as unhappy with this information as they had been with the body's being moved.

"What are they doing upstairs?" the gruff cop demanded.

I indicated the parlor. "That's their loved one in there. It's been upsetting enough for them even before the arrival of our mystery guest. I was giving them a little peace."

"We have to talk to them too."

"Of course you do."

The gruff cop glared at me. Fetch.

The rest of the investigating unit was arriving, everybody grumbling the same thing about the body having been moved. The person with the yellow crime-scene tape wasn't sure if she should even bother. The photographer took a few pictures of the sidewalk and the front steps then came inside and snapped off a dozen portraits of the waitress. The medical examiner arrived, and after some poking and prodding, announced that the waitress had been dead between two to five hours. "Fresh kill" was how he put it. I went up to Billie's living room to fetch the dead doctor's family. I led them back downstairs where they each took a turn looking down at the face of the dead woman. No one recognized her.

"Her name is Helen," the skinny cop said. "Does the name Helen mean anything to anyone?"

"Her face launched a thousand ships," the widow said wearily, then turned and went into the parlor to be with her husband. She was joined by her brother-in-law. The daughter detached herself from her husband's arm and stepped over to me. Her eyes were puffy from crying. Even so, I could tell that she had her father's eyes. Unfortunately she had his jaw too. And perhaps even at one point the nose, though I suspected she had had this doctored sometime back. The woman was handsome at best. She wore her straw-colored hair coifed into a perfect bowl. Good skin. Pearl earrings and matching necklace. A well-maintained Guilford housewife. She took my hand-my fingers really-and pinched lightly.

Reprinted from Hearse of A Different Color by Tim Cockey by permission of Hyperion Books. Copyright © 2001 by Tim Cockey. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced without permission.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    by Jabari Asim
    The captivating historical novel Yonder turns an intimate lens towards the tragedy and survivorship ...
  • Book Jacket: After Sappho
    After Sappho
    by Selby Wynn Schwartz

    "Someone will remember us, I say, even in another time."
    —Sappho, fragment ...

  • Book Jacket: City Under One Roof
    City Under One Roof
    by Iris Yamashita
    When a disembodied arm and leg wash ashore in Point Mettier, Alaska, most residents assume they ...
  • Book Jacket: We Deserve Monuments
    We Deserve Monuments
    by Jas Hammonds
    Jas Hammonds' debut young adult novel We Deserve Monuments provides a fresh look at the coming-of-...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Mitford Affair
by Marie Benedict
An explosive novel of history's most notorious sisters, one of whom will have to choose: her country or her family?

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    by Wendell Steavenson

    A young woman struggles to break free of her upper-class upbringing amid the whirlwind years of the sexual revolution.

  • Book Jacket

    Wade in the Water
    by Nyani Nkrumah

    A gripping debut novel of female power and vulnerability, race, and class set in a small Mississippi town in the early 1980s.

  • Book Jacket

    The Nazi Conspiracy
    by Brad Meltzer & Josh Mensch

    From two bestselling authors, the true story of the plot to kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill.


Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

Who Said...

Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.