That’s Quite a Character – Alvin Ripley Room 103

That's Quite a Character

Alvin Ripley has high blood pressure, acid reflux, hemorrhoids and his hair is thinning at an alarming rate. He’s not even 60, but he sometimes feels like he’s falling apart. Why? He blames Marice Houston, one of his deputy marshals. Alvin is the head of the Kansas City, Missouri Federal Marshal’s office and she works for him. We first meet them both in Room 103, a romantic suspense novel set in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Marice seems to find trouble just by waking up in the morning. There is always something going on that she feels compelled to deal with, and not always by the book. Disturbance at the college football game? She’s in the middle of it, taking out a rude drunk. Explosion on the college campus? Her hair and jacket are singed. Car bomb in the underground garage – of course, it nearly takes her out. Shoot outs, near drownings, car chases, transporting dangerous federal prisoners….

Is it any wonder that he goes off on her? This is one of my favorite scenes from Room 303, the third book in the Marice Houston Mysteries Series (Not yet published). Marice happens to be back in Pittsburg and there’s an incident. She goes with the police to investigate and the office they are in blows up. Her quick thinking gets everyone out before the bomb goes off.


room 103 front cover


On the way to the motel, Marice’s phone rang. She cringed. It as her boss, Alvin Ripley.

“Houston! What the hell is going on down there? Why haven’t you called? No, don’t tell me. You’re in the thick of it, getting shot at and blown up.”

“Not shot.”

“Jesus H. Christ, Houston. You didn’t get your man shot again, did you?”

“No, Todd’s date got shot. She’s critical. Then her office blew up.”

“Were you there?”

“What do you think?”

“Your ass on fire?”


“Well, it will be if you don’t stop f**king around and get to the bottom of this!”

“Is that an order, sir?”

“That’s a don’t f**k this up, Houston! I swear to god, trouble comes looking for you. I never met a woman so good at finding ways to let someone kill her off. Were you born under a bad sign? Cursed at birth? Did you piss off your fairy godmother?”

She didn’t reply. Al was in full rant mode. He wasn’t going to stop anytime soon. If she said a word, he was likely to rip her a new asshole.

“Help me out here, Marice. How do you get into all this shit? You Super Girl now, or something? Is your super power, f**king shit up?”

“No, sir.”

“Good answer. To that end, the not f**king it up, that is. I’m sending help.”

“Have the police asked for our help?”

“Someone tried to blow up my favorite deputy. I don’t give a hickey in in a high wind if they want us there or not. I can stomp in wearing jackboots and f**k all their shit up. Do I need to do that?”

“No, sir.”

“Good. Make no mistake, I will do what it takes to keep you safe. I made a promise to that man of yours. If that means I put you riding a desk for the next slice of forever, I can make that happen. I like you, Houston. F**k knows why, you’re a pain in my hemorrhoids. But I will slap you on a desk so fast, it will make your head spin.”

“Thank you for the help. I’m sure Detective Scrivener will appreciate it.”

“Appreciate what?” Darla asked, flashing her a look. She could hear just enough of Al’s rant to know he was furious.

“He’s sending help. He’s also threatening to take over the case.”

“Let him. Things are too damn exciting with you around.”

“Praise be, one of you has a lick of sense. Where can we find you?”

“At Todd’s motel.”

“Might have known he’d be mixed up in this. Karma’s a bitch, Houston. You f**k with her, you’re going down.” He hung up.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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