Jack Mackerel and the Case of the Perished Pianist
©2018 by S. Seifritz
“The keys belonged to my husband. I believe they were what the killer was after.”
“What makes you think that?”
“I was up in my room the night Philip was killed — Tuesday night. I’d had a little too much wine for dinner and the three hours after, and I was trying to keep my bed from spinning out of the room. Around 10:00 I heard Philip arguing with someone downstairs. I heard a man yelling, ‘Give me the keys!’ I heard Philip threaten to call the police. And then I heard a thump, and Philip was moaning. And then another thump, and he was quiet.”
“Why didn’t you call the cops?”
“I was frightened. I thought he’d kill me too. That and I passed out. The cleaning woman found him in the morning before I came to. He’s been hit over the head with a marble bust of Beethoven.”
“So why’d the police finger you as his killer.”
“The cleaning woman told them she’d heard me threaten to kill him.”
“Actually, I believe my exact words were, ‘Sometimes I’d like to take that damn bust of Beethoven and bash Philip’s brains in.’”
“I see. A case of semantics.”
“So, you think your husband’s killer was after a set of keys, possibly to a safety deposit box. What do you think is in this safety deposit box?”
“A cool mill. During his argument the night he was killed, I heard him say something about a million dollars in reference to the keys.”
“Hadn’t your husband ever heard of a bank?”
“Yes, but he’d also heard of taxes. Philip didn’t like to share. He liked to hide his money from Uncle Sam whenever possible. Anyway, the way I see it, we never did get divorced so that money is mine now, and since I didn’t kill my husband, there’s not enough evidence to convict me, so I’d like to collect my money and start fresh — maybe start a mink farm.”
“Ah, the American dream. All right, doll, I’ll take your case. I’ve always been a sucker for a beautiful woman with a gun.”
She pulled an envelope from her purse and pushed it across my desk. Here’s some cash to get you started and a number where you can reach me. However, if there’s anything else you need — and I mean anything — just give me a ring.”
It seemed a little premature for her to be talking about marriage before her husband’s body was cold, but then again, according to her, Philip Dare had been cold for a long time.
“I’ll find your missing keys, but you gotta make it worth my while.”
She stood up and leaned over my desk so that I could admire the looseness of her dress.
I wasn’t scared. I was pretty sure I could take her in a fight.
She sashayed over to the door, and before leaving, she turned, licked her lips, and winked. And then she was gone.
I went back to polishing my revolver.
Did Suzanne Dare actually kill her husband? Can Jack find the keys? How much polishing can his revolver take? To be continued tomorrow!