Pate County, Georgia has a lot of secrets. Mama Kalie knows most of them. The ageless psychic and midwife learns things from The Sight, as she calls her gift – but also from people who trust her with their darkest secrets. But even she doesn’t know who killed Reverend Jimmy Lee Hightower. Or does she?

Detective Cleveland Mock, investigating Hightower’s murder, is skeptical of Mama Kalie’s abilities. But Pate County Sheriff Ed Meaney finally convinces him they should talk to the mysterious old seer. In this excerpt from The Moaning Bench, Mama Kalie has just invited Mock and Meaney to have a seat on the ancient sofa in her tiny house.


They sat side by side on the couch, which was far more comfortable than it looked.

She made a little half smile with her lips closed. “Y’all here for a readin or a blessin?”

Mock grinned. “Why don’t you tell us, Mama Kalie?” he said slowly. “You’re in the knowing business, aren’t you?”

She stared at him a long moment. Those dark old eyes danced and sparkled. Then she gave a cackle and fell over sideways, slapping her thigh. It took him a second to realize she was laughing. “The knowin business.” She sat back up. “That’s a good one.” She laughed again. Meaney laughed with her. “Y’all here for help on Jimmy Lee, ain’tcha?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Meaney said. “We was hoping you would talk with us a little bit.”

“It a be a dollar,” she said.

“Ma’am, we’re police officers,” Mock said patiently. “We don’t have to pay for information.”

Mama Kalie cackled again. This time she nearly doubled over in mirth. When she finally got her breath back, she said, “You do when you git it from me.”

Meaney handed her a single from his wallet.

Mock said, “How did you get my home phone number?”

She pointed a gnarled forefinger at him. “Like you said, I’m in the knowin business.


From The Moaning Bench © 2016