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  • Writer's picturePaige H. Perry

Trial By Sabotage - Sneak Peek

Updated: May 17, 2022

Check out this fun new sneak peek features Joe and Anna from Book #1 of The Hartman and Malone Mystery Series, Trial By Sabotage!

“Well, I saw a go-kart place a few miles back,” Joe said.

“You want to drive go-karts?” Alex asked. “At a time like this?”

Joe shrugged. “I figured we could all use a little destressing time. Might be fun?”

Alex grumbled under his breath but didn’t argue.

“I don’t like go-karts!” Claire said.

“That’s because you can’t drive!” Anna said.

“I can too drive,” Claire said with a pout.

Joe turned to glance at her before shaking his head and turning back to face the road.

“Our earlier experience and all the mud still in your hair would say otherwise,” he said.

“I can’t believe you are making me do this,” Claire said when she spotted the go-kart track.

“Oh, come on, Claire,” Anna said.

Anna began walking backward in front of her friend and forced a smile on her face.

“This will be fun!”

“Yeah,” Claire said. “The last time you said that we were seven and I ended up with a broken arm, remember?”

“You’re exaggerating.”

“Uh, no, I’m not,” Claire said. “Mom kept the cast. There are pictures. It was my birthday for crying out loud!”

“Well, I promise not to break your arm this time.”

“Yeah, looking at how fast those things are going around the track, I’ll wind up with a broken neck this time.”

Anna stopped and put her arm around her friend’s shoulder.

“You can drive as fast or as slow as you want to,” Anna said. “I promise you won’t get hurt.”

“Whatever,” Claire said.

Claire jerked out from underneath Anna’s arm and grinned at her.

“I’m not going to just let you beat me.”

Anna laughed until tears rolled down her cheeks.

“What’s so funny?”

“You think you can beat me!”

Claire glared at her and put her hands on her hips as Anna tried to catch her breath.

“If you didn’t cheat all the time!”

“I don’t cheat,” Anna said.

Anna threw her hands up and looked at Alex for support. When their eyes met, he sighed, and Anna could tell that his anger was dissolving.

“Yes,” he said. “You cheat.”

Joe started to laugh, and Anna glared at him and punched him in the arm.


Alex’s eyes followed Anna’s go-kart around the track for what seemed like the hundredth time. Claire’s quiet sigh from beside him broke the cycle. Rolling her eyes when he looked at her, Claire turned to the track, pursed her lips, and then dove back into the game she was playing on her phone.

Trying to stay attentive to Anna’s interests, Alex checked the time on his watch, noted how slow the past three hours had passed, and averted his eyes back to the track.

Three laps into what Alex hoped would be their last race, his ears caught the sound of gravel behind him. He turned, relieved to see Bryant and Marie pulling into the parking lot. Claire put her phone in her pocket and watched them approach.

“Who’s winning?” Marie asked.

“God, I’ve lost track,” Alex said. “They both keep saying they are tied, and they need one more race for a tie-breaker.”

“Please make them stop,” Claire said.

“Where did you come from?” Marie said, noticing Claire for the first time. “And, why are you covered in mud.”

“It’s a long story,” Claire said.

Before she could go into more detail, all their eyes snapped to the racetrack as Joe’s front tire caught Anna’s back tire, causing her to spin out of control. He sped by as her kart rolled to a stop. He crossed the finish line as her kart sat on the track backward.

Anna ripped her helmet off and yelled at him, “You cheated!”

“Oh, please,” Joe said with an amused grin. “You know you jumped the line when we started.”

“Only because you jumped it the last race,” Anna said.

Read the full story for free today!

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