Authors: Dianne Harman
MURDERED IN ARGENTINA
(A Jack Trout Cozy Mystery - Book 1)
Copyright © 2016 Dianne Harman
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form without written permission except for the use of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
Website, Interior & Cover design by Vivek Rajan (
Rewire Your DNA
Paperback ISBN: 978-1535077255
I so appreciate you, my readers, for your loyal support. My late-blooming career as a bestselling author has been an incredible journey, and if anyone would have ever told me I’d write and publish twenty cozy mysteries at this stage of my life, I simply would not have believed them. Funny where life takes you! I’ve never had more fun, and my mind is constantly spinning about what the characters are going to do next! As I’ve mentioned before, the books seem to write themselves, because the characters tell me where the story is going. I’m as surprised as you are when I find out whodunit!
This book is a spinoff of my earlier book, Murder in Cuba. So many people wrote to me about how much they enjoyed the characters of Jack Trout and his wife, Carola, and yes, they are real people, that I decided to do a Jack Trout Cozy Mystery Series. My husband and I recently spent some time in Chile and Argentina with Jack and Carola. The men fished while Carola and I enjoyed wonderful meals, saw the sights, and went shopping. I fell in love with the small town of San Martin de Los Andes, and was determined to write a book that took place in that locale. Jack was my husband’s fishing guide, and the trip was very successful in my husband’s eyes. He tends to judge the worth of a trip by how many fish are caught! Jack arranges fly fishing trips all around the world, and you can learn more about him at his website:
Please join me in a big shout out to the two people I rely on to make my books look good and become best sellers! First there is Vivek, who does all the formatting of the books as well as designing the covers, which I think are always spectacular! Secondly, I can’t imagine writing a book without the insightful advice my husband, Tom, gives me. He always keeps me from putting the wrong character in the wrong place. As always, thanks to both of you!
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t compliment Kelly, my boxer dog, for digging up only one azalea bush this month. That may be a record in itself, and thankfully chewing on the furniture doesn’t seem to interest her as much as it did in the past. Trust me, this is very good news!
Again, thanks for taking the time to read this book and as always, I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed the write!
In closing, if you’re interested in reading psychological suspense books, I invite you to read my award-winning Coyote Series. Here’s the link:
I'm giving away seven free autographed paperbacks. Find out more at
Table of Contents
“What about me?” Lisa Martin screamed at her husband. “You care more about those stupid fishing things you collect than you do about me.”
“Lisa, baby, that’s not true. It’s just a hobby of mine. You’re all I really care about,” Ray Martin, the wealthy president of Moving Graphics said as he walked over to Lisa and put his arms around her. “When I inherited Dad’s antique fly fishing rod, reel, and flies, I thought it would be fun to see if I could find some more.”
“Right,” Lisa said, trying to cry, but finding it difficult because of the number of botox treatments she’d had in addition to the facelifts she’d undergone, all in an effort to try and keep life’s facial lines at bay. “I wish we’d never come to Chile and Argentina, and I sure don’t know what I’m going to do for the next few days in this dinky little town in the middle of a South American nowhere, while you’re out fishing with your hand-picked business cronies.”
“Lisa, you know this is a payoff for some of my senior staff employees for the great job they’ve done this year. And as for what you can do,” he said sarcastically, removing his arms from his wife’s unreturned hug, “why, you can do what you always do. Spend my money. I’m sure there are plenty of places in nearby San Martin de Los Andes that would love to have the money you so freely spread around. I’ve heard leather items are a pretty good buy here, so just how many purses do you intend to buy?”
“I hate you, Ray!” she screamed. “I’ve hated you for a long time. The only reason I’ve stayed in this rotten marriage is because you’re somebody important in the business world. You’re a lot better at that than you are at being a husband,” she yelled as she slammed the door of their room behind her and walked down the hall to the bar located in the great room.
Those were the last words they ever spoke to each other.
The black Toyota SUV made steady progress as it negotiated the steep and twisting road that led towards the top of the Andes mountain range in South America. One of the tallest mountain ranges in the world, it runs for over a thousand miles in a north south direction and separates the countries of Chile and Argentina.
There were four occupants in the vehicle that was about to leave Chile and enter Argentina. Jack Trout, a well-known fly fishing guide based in the Mt. Shasta area of Northern California, was driving the SUV. During the spring and summer months, Jack could be found almost every day on famous California trout fishing rivers and streams guiding clients who wanted to have a premium fly fishing experience. However, when the winter months approached, Jack, and his wife, Carola, headed for Chile and Argentina where the weather was warm and inviting, and where Carola had lived until she’d married Jack. Those two countries have world class fly fishing rivers and clients from around the globe routinely booked trips with Jack while he was guiding there.
The SUV was fully tricked out with leather seats, GPS, air conditioning, and a specially designed outside storage rack used to secure the different fly rods he and his clients used. Carola was sitting in the back seat which she shared with Jack’s fly fishing client, Ray Martin. Ray’s wife, Lisa, a non-fisher person, was the fourth occupant of the SUV and was sitting in the front seat next to Jack.
“Lisa, what did you like best about Chile?” Carola asked as she leaned forward to speak with Lisa from her position in the back seat.
“I think the penguins on the island of Chiloe, although I sure didn’t like that thirty-minute ferry boat ride or the length of time it took us to drive around on the island. As you know, I can’t sit in a car longer than an hour and a half. That was way too long. Speaking of which, I hope we’ll be getting out of the car soon. My time limit is about up.”
“Lisa, relax. Jack’s doing a great job driving. There’s simply no way to get to the Argentine border crossing other than by taking this road. Luckily for us it’s a nice smooth well-maintained road. I have to say this for the government of Chile, they really do a great job of maintaining the roads and infrastructure in their country,” Ray said.
“I told you we should have just flown to Buenos Aires and then taken a commuter flight to San Martin de Los Andes. That’s what the other people in the group that work for you did, and we should have too. They didn’t have to put up with this long drive, but no, you wanted to fish in Chile, so now we have to take this horrible drive to Argentina.”
“That’s true, but look at it this way. They missed out on seeing the penguins,” Ray said grinning. “Carola, I still think it’s incredible those little guys ride either the Humboldt or the Magellan currents for thousands of miles just to get to that little island off the coast of Chile. The boat guide said some start their journey from the coast of Peru and others come all the way from Antarctica, and lo and behold, they make it to the island every year at the same time.
“From what we were told, once they arrive at the island, they mate, raise their young and then go back to where they came from, only to have another generation do it all over again the next year. I find it absolutely amazing. I’m so glad you suggested we take a day off from fly fishing and drive down to Chiloe Island to see the little guys. Like I said, it was truly amazing. Fortunately, I got some great photos which I’m sure my driver’s daughter, Chloe, will love to see. He tells me she wants to be a penguin psychologist. She’s only six years old and, for whatever reason, she’s fascinated by penguins. She takes ten or fifteen stuffed toy penguins with her to bed every night.”
“Lisa,” Jack said, “you’re going to get a chance to stretch your legs in just a couple of minutes. The border checkpoint for people that are leaving Chile is just ahead. Carola and I’ve passed through this checkpoint more times than I care to count, but let me warn you about one thing. Nothing is in English. No one speaks English. Carola’s still a citizen of Chile and speaks fluent Spanish, so let her do all the talking. When we get inside the building, hand your passport to her. She’ll take care of getting us through immigration, and as the registered owner of the SUV, she’ll take care of the paperwork required to take the SUV out of the country.”
“I don’t trust anyone with my passport,” Lisa said as she covered her mouth and sneezed. “Darn it. I’m sure I’m allergic to that dumb cat you’ve got in the carrier in the back. That’s why I have to sit in the front seat. That and I get carsick if the drive is very long, and I can’t stand cats anyway.”
“Lisa, the cat stays,” Jack said in a firm tone of voice. “Carola and I brought Cayo back with us from Cuba in a private plane owned by one of my clients that I guided on a bonefishing trip in Cuba. That little cat pretty much saved my life when I was in Cuba, so you can consider that subject closed. Cayo is definitely staying, and I really don’t want to hear any more about him. Now, get your passport ready to give to Carola. Believe me, if you try to go through this checkpoint on your own, you’ll never be able to get out of Chile.
“After we clear the checkpoint maintained by the Chilean government, we’ll drive down the road for just a few hundred yards, and then we’ll be in Argentina. That’s when we get to the second border checkpoint, the one maintained by Argentina. Because both of you are American citizens, you’ll have to show the Argentine border guards your receipts for the reciprocity fee all Americans have to pay before they can enter Argentina. While you’re getting your passport out, you might as well get out the receipts showing you and Ray paid the required reciprocity fee.”
“Good,” Carola said as all four of them got out of the car at the Chilean checkpoint. “We’re in luck. Looks like there are only a couple of other people here.” She looked at Ray and Lisa and commented, “Sometimes we’ve had to stand in line for hours to get through this checkpoint.”
Once they were in the small building, Carola turned to them and said, “I’ll take your passports now.”
Lisa hung onto hers, clearly reluctant to give it to Carola.