No Laughing Matter

Hey, it’s Rey today.  The Boss is out on t.p. patrol.  The woman has an obsession about it, I tell ya (so what if there’s hardly any to be had?)—get over it.

Cousin Jilly and Linda and I are sitting on the lanai.  We’ve been fortunate so far re the virus, but then we’re being diligent about staying in touch with the latest news.  Ensure you do, too.

So life doesn’t become too grim or overwhelming, we’re finding diversions—Linda’s blogging and JJ’s grooming the pets in the shade.  I’m reading some of the Boss’ Nancy Drew books to pass time.

In case you’re looking for a bit of a distraction, I thought I’d share an excerpt, or teaser, from our upcoming case HA-HA-HA-HA (whadya think—all caps or no?).

Stay safe and healthy everyone—we will get through this.

Take it away, JJ!

“So much for an early night,” Linda grumbled, waving farewell to Ald and Sallo, who’d arrived fifteen minutes after we’d called Ald. 

Both men had been wearing 50s-style polyester black-and-red bowling shirts.  Funny, who’d have guessed either HPD homicide detective was a bowler?  As Rey would say, ya truly do learn something new every day.

Pets on our heels, it was fifteen minutes after midnight when we finally locked up and trooped upstairs. 

“So GRP’s getting close and personal.”  I parked my butt on the edge of Rey’s queen-size upholstered storage bed.  

Leaning into the far wall, Linda frowned and appeared pensive.  “I wonder whose blood he used.” 

“I suspect we’ll learn soon enough,” I said wearily. 

“Do you think they’ll find anything incriminating?”

“That dude won’t have left any evidence or DNA,” Rey responded, removing a folded oversized T-shirt from one of two marquetry-motif nightstands.  She started undressing.  “Guess we can open an official case file, starting with the photos we took earlier.”

“And the details Ald said he’d provide tomorrow,” Linda added.

Limited details,” I emphasized.  “He’s not going to share all.”

“It should be enough to begin some serious private-eyeing.”

“Think we should get a security system, like Hives suggested?” my cousin asked, tossing a crimson lace bra across the room.  It landed at the base of a variegated solid-marble and brushed-brass floor mirror (an “awesome mega-discounted sale piece”).

“Given our line of work, yes.”  I flopped back and stared at a ceiling in dire need of paint.  Bonzo landed beside me, his face—with whiskers wildly twitching—inches from mine.  “Let’s do it first thing.”

Linda glanced at her ice-pink Coach watch.  “I’m bed-bound.  Nighty-night ladies.”

“Who can sleep?” Rey asked dryly, slipping the T-shirt advertising a local rib joint over her head.

“Count sheep.”

“More like count cadavers,” she said with a cynical smile.

Standing, I waved goodnight and tread to my room where I found Button already on the bed.  With a pat to her head, I slipped into a V-back chemise and pulled aside the covers.  A twinge—gut instinct—impelled me to check the agency website.  The laptop, conveniently perched on a recently purchased diamond-patterned nightstand (Rey’s “sales bug” was contagious), found its way onto my lap. 

Sure enough, a message from GRP had arrived in the Inbox.

Need help with house renos?  Climbing ladders is no big deal and I’m pretty good with tools.  You’ve seen my etching work.  Let me know and I’ll pop by.  Your new playmate.  GrimReaperPeeper.  Or, as you’ve so fondly dubbed me, GRP.

I drew a deep breath and gazed around the dim bedroom.  Obviously GRP was watching.  And it appeared he was listening, too.