the vampire murder case (part forty-six)

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"How do you fill out a crossword puzzle?" my employer continued calmly. "Say the clue for 1 Across is 'not skimpy,' in five letters. Well, one way to figure that out is to start with some obvious possibilities, like ample, broad, vasty, bulky, massy, and large. Fill them in, one by one, in pencil, and see what you can figure out for 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 Down. At a certain point, it will start to fall into place, and then you check what that gives you for the other words across. Sooner or later, it will all fit.

"So, we have a blackmailer and someone with a dangerous secret. What if he was blackmailing her?"

"He never–" Åsa began.

"Silence!" Dr. Lee snapped. "You do not get to speak. No matter what, no matter who murdered who, you swore a false membership oath." She turned to Neil. "Bind and gag her."

Neil nodded at one of the Jinx by the door and she went out. Dr. Lee turned to my employer, but she said calmly, "I'll wait."

It was at this point that I began to wonder if Åsa was planning something. Her head was hanging again, but I wasn't convinced that she was as defeated as she appeared. There was no way she could hope to get to the door, let alone through it, but I wondered about the window. It was three stories straight down to the sidewalk, but that could have looked like a good option to her right then, whether or not she was the sort of creature who could survive a fall like that.

I started to move slowly in that direction, toward the window, and I was nearly there when the woman came back in with a pile of colored cloths which I realized were bandannas.

Neil looked up, at the woman coming in, and Åsa suddenly leaped for the window.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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