April at the Antique Alley HTML version

April At The Antique Alley
A Xara Smith Mystery By Bill McGrath
Copyright 2008 Bill McGrath
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My birthday is the twenty-fifth of April, and what Jill suggested my birthday
present to myself should be was to refurnish my house. She and I had searched
online, then through several catalogs, and then in person at many new furniture
stores but still had not found anything decent that I might possibly be able to
afford. The furniture was either nice, or affordable, but definitely not both. It was
for that reason that Jill and I found ourselves in the uptown area of nearby Dallas
which is populated by many used furniture stores.
Right there on Routh street is a small knot of businesses in an old part of
town that the locals call the Antique Alley but I had my doubts that everything here
was actually old enough to qualify as a real antique. On the up side though we had
found several old pieces that were very nice and quite affordable. Of course each
piece needed a little TLC first, and I never was exactly a craft person. Jill though
had convinced me that we should buy a couple of pieces, haul them back to my
house/office in Irving, Texas, and see how much fun we could have refinishing
My name is Xara Smith and I will be turning thirty-one later this month. I
run my own business which is a detective agency specializing in discrete
investigations. At first owning my own business was a struggle but I had
completed a rather lucrative case earlier this year so the business was doing better.
In any case I much prefer being my own boss to working for someone else. I am
my only real employee but my friend Jill Stepho has weaseled her way into my last
two cases so I guess it is fair to call her my partner. I had just come off three tough
cases in a row and was now looking forward to a couple of weeks where I did