the church murder case (part one)

Father Frank was quite well-known in U-town, but I had never met him before, and he was both taller and younger than I expected. He held out his hand when he greeted us at the front door of his church, and it enveloped mine like a catcher's mitt.

"Miss Sleet," he said as my employer inclined her head in greeting. "And Mister..."

"Marshall O'Connor," I said.

He smiled. "Catholic?" he asked as he motioned us in.

I laughed. "Once upon a time."

"I'm hoping you didn't ask us here with the idea of saving our souls," my employer said.

Father Frank smiled as he escorted us through the empty church, but he didn't reply.

We had received a note from Father Frank that morning, saying that he would be in his office all afternoon and asking us to visit him at our earliest convenience. The note was addressed specifically to my employer, so it didn't seem that it was an official request to the u-town government.

The church was clearly quite old, with some fairly impressive statues, and there were stained glass windows which might have been quite beautiful if they had been cleaned recently.

Father Frank's office was small and plain, clearly a working office. He waited for my employer to sit, then he and I sat as well.

"I am, I confess, wondering why you invited me to come here," my employer said.

"I'm hoping I can ask you a couple of questions," he replied, his hands clasped on the desk in front of him.

"That would be fine. Our time is not infinite, but we try to be accommodating."

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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