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Poisoned Pen Press
When Comico Island becomes a too-popular tourist destination due to a high-powered, unscrupulous property manager, Sabrina Dunsweeney is elected by her fellow islanders to be the official ombudsman to deal with the burgeoning tourist influx. Her most pressing problems are the break-ins that seem inexplicably linked to an old rum-running ring, and the group of people calling themselves the Hummers who claim to hear the hum of the universe. When the head of the Hummers is murdered, Sabrina begins to suspect that the origin of the humming may have an earth-bound, deadly source.
She reached the edge of a clearing, and for a moment she thought she had found the Hummers.
Instead she saw Lima.
He was in full military crawl, snaking through the tall grass toward a patch of trees. Judging from the sounds emanating from within, this was where the Hummers were performing their rituals.
She was about to go after Lima, who had popped his head up to look around and then resumed his belly-crawl, when she noticed that there was someone else standing in the trees nearby. He was staring at Lima in open-mouthed disbelief.
Sabrina glanced back at Lima and acknowledged that he was a sight to inspire disbelief in about anyone. It wasn't every day that you saw an eighty-year-old clown doing a passable imitation of a low-crawl through the weeds for no apparent reason. Sabrina looked at the stranger, and realized that she recognized him. He was the bald, burly man who had given her the cold shoulder at the bar and then run into her last night. He was holding a camera, but his instincts must have failed him, because otherwise he would have been taking a picture of Lima. How else would anyone ever believe his story later?
Sabrina was contemplating her options when Calvin caught sight of a large, colorful butterfly and broke out in enthusiastic comment about it. The burly man looked around and saw her. His eyes widened, and then he turned and disappeared into the woods.
Lima stood up, and the marsh grass he had stuck into his red wig for camouflage wilted. "Will you quieten that dang bird down, everyone will hear us!" he roared.
There was sudden silence from the trees, and then a murmur of voices and a crashing of underbrush indicating someone was coming in their direction.
"Come on!" She gestured to Lima to hurry, but he shook his head and pointed in the opposite direction.
"I don't know what fun, scenic route you took to get here, but I plan to take the shortest trail back to the boat." His hearing aid must be malfunctioning again, because he was speaking in nothing less than a bellow.
The crashing was getting closer, and now someone was shouting. Sabrina abdicated her illusion of free will and bolted after Lima as he made for a nearby path. Unfortunately, with only one big shoe, Lima's gait was hampered and they were being overtaken.
"Hurry, hurry!" she panted, and Calvin chittered his agreement.
“Last one back to the dock is a rotten egg," Lima gasped as they reached the beach.
"Where are the dern kayaks?"
They looked around for them, but the outgoing tide had floated the kayaks out of their reach. Sabrina turned to go after them when a voice caught her up short.
"Sabrina, what in the world are you doing?"
Sabrina and Lima turned to see a group of puzzled Hummers standing on the beach.