Book Excerpt from "Concrete Evidence: A Fixer Upper Mystery"
Mac had been walking the perimeter, checking the walls and windows. He stopped when he reached the mattress. “No. I’m pretty sure whoever once crashed here is long gone.”
“There aren’t any closets up here,” Wade observed, and aimed his powerful Maglite around the room. “Just the dumbwaiter.”
We all stared at the small cupboard door on the far wall. “Did you look inside?”
“I tried,” Wade said. “It must be locked. But, look, if you really care about some ratty old sheets, we can check the basement. Maybe they tossed them down the chute.”
Mac nodded. “Yeah, maybe.”
I stared at him for a long moment. “Are you okay? This is kind of weird.”
He shrugged. “As long as whoever was crashing here is gone now, I’m fine. But we’ve got to get that mattress out of here. I don’t even want to think about what it might’ve been used for.”
I grimaced at the possibilities.
“Johnny and I’ll drag it downstairs before we leave today.” Sean looked at the mattress again and frowned. “As soon as I find a hazmat suit.”
“Thanks,” Mac said. “I’ll be glad to help.”
I made a note on my tablet about the mattress. And since we were up there anyway, I got my guys to open the windows and check the condition of the shingles on the third-floor exterior. I couldn’t see the gables clearly enough from the ground, so I would normally wait until the scaffolding was in place. But this was a quick and easy way to get a general idea of what, if any, damage would need repair. Also this window faced the front of the house and featured a decorative cutout wooden panel on a narrow overhang. Wade wanted to get a closer look at it.