Excerpt From “A Dangerous Harbor” by R.P. Dahlke

Bleary-eyed and sleep deprived after a long overnighter into Mexico, solo sailor and SFPD police detective, Katrina Hunter, thinks the mermaid twenty yards behind her thirty-two foot Westsail is nothing more than a sailor’s hallucination But everything she knows about floaters convinces her to turn her boat around for another look.

Now, alone and isolated in the Mexican port’s police station for six hours she’s convinced that reporting the body of a floater to authorities was a mistake. Even the arrival of a handsome, if somewhat dour, Mexican/Italian investigator, does nothing to dispel her growing anxiety that she’s about to be charged with the murder.

Chief Inspector, Raul Vignaroli, is as surprised by the attractive solo-sailor as he is to find that she’s a respected member of the San Francisco police force, and after some well-placed phone calls he’s sure that he’s found the perfect partner to help him solve a murder, if not the cure for his broken heart.


Baja Naval was expecting her. It was a good working marina and she was looking forward to the respite. Scrub the boat, get the teak work done and leave Mexico and its troublesome problems behind. She nodded thankfully to the sergeant. She could almost taste the late afternoon sun, the fragrance of tacos frying in local stalls. Oh, and there was the fish market. Maybe she could persuade the sergeant to stop long enough for her to pick up some fresh fish, or better yet, some fish tacos. Her stomach rumbled at the thought.

She was still thinking about those wonderful fried fish tacos as the double doors of the police station slammed open with such force that the ceiling fan stuttered in its lazy rotation. Two policemen marched in, dragging a listless prisoner between them.

A thick, sun bleached blond head of hair flopped over half-closed eyes, the buttonholes missing their mark on a faded Hawaiian shirt.

Katy judged him another drunk American giving Mexicans cause to believe everything about privileged yanks with their big wallets and bad manners.

He was a good foot taller than the two Mexican officers, but with his hands manacled behind his back, it was obvious that he wasn’t going to give them any trouble. But before Katy could dodge around him for the exit, he raised his head and a startling pair of aquamarine eyes met hers.

He straightened his back, wincing at the angle of his cuffed wrists. “What the… Whisper?”

Suddenly, the sound of the ceiling fan was terribly loud. Blood pounded in her ears, her mouth went dry, her palms were damp and her feet were nailed to the floor. In a knee jerk reaction, she hissed, “Don’t call me that!”

Then realizing her mistake she backed up and bumped into Inspector Vignaroli

His brief nod to his sergeant indicated there would be a detour in the prisoner’s march for the holding cells in back and Katy’s ride to Marina Baja Naval and freedom.”


RP Dahlke. Best selling Kindle e-book mysteries/womensleuths with the Dead Red mystery series http://tinyurl.com/6hdg3bf about a woman crop-duster. This newest mystery, A Dangerous Harbor is the result of her years sailing aboard her 47ft. Hylas in Mexico.
now only $.99 on Amazon/Kindle:http://amzn.to/uWzIUl


One Response to “Excerpt From “A Dangerous Harbor” by R.P. Dahlke”

  1. Sheila Deeth Says:

    Nice excerpt–makes me want to read more

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