the vampire murder case (part forty-four)

This story started here.

We were in Spence's room, and he was lying on his bed, naked, with his throat cut. It was not pleasant to look at, though it was far from the first dead body I had ever seen. I found myself thinking that I hadn't particularly liked Spence anyway, but this was unfair, since I hadn't really known him at all.

"A knife was used," Dr. Lee observed. "It's not here, but we found it in Lloyd's room, along with some bloody clothes. But no Lloyd."

My employer nodded. "The appearance is that it was a killing driven by jealousy. Lloyd, upset that Spence had succeeded where he had failed, murdered his rival, and then ran for it."

"Your tone tells me that you're not buying that explanation. Neither am I."

"Do you have another?"

She nodded. "I do. I think I may have made a mistake."

"In what way?" my employer asked.

"Ashford must have known, after my ultimatum, that he wouldn't be able to get Åsa to come to him anymore. So, what did he do? He sent that Mindy girl to us. She was betraying him, so I'd tend to believe her, and I offered her sanctuary. So, she was inside our home, and able to act on Ashford's orders."

Jan nodded. "That's good thinking. You're wrong, that's not what happened, but it's a good thought."

Dr. Lee was about to ask a question, but Neil knocked and came in.

"Success?" Jan Sleet asked.

He nodded. "Yes."

She turned quickly to Dr. Lee. "May I run this?"

"Do you know the answer?"

"Yes. I know all of the answers, or at least I will in a few minutes."

The Jinx leader nodded. "Alright."

"Neil, I need to do one thing, with your help. Dr. Lee will accompany us. Then, while she and I are doing that, please bring the following people to Dr. Lee's office: Christy, Åsa, Nikolai, Mindy, and Rex, and Fifteen if he's here. Don't let any of them talk to anyone alone after they talk to you, and don't let any of them know about..." She waved a hand, and he nodded.

"Got it," he said as he turned to the door, the two women following him out.

As I stood there, suddenly alone with the dead body, I reflected (and not for the first time) that sometimes it was difficult to tell which my employer enjoyed more: solving mysteries, or keeping me in the dark until the last possible minute.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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