the rock band mystery (part six)

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"I'm Somerset," the other man said, "Lead guitar. And I am very excited to be part of a mystery solved by the famous Jan Sleet, the great detective. But this will not be one of her incredible triumphs, because it's a stupid and obvious crime, and even I know who did it." He looked at starling and winked, but she ignored him. He was smaller than Mac, a bit taller than Pete, with rimless glasses and long, straight hair. "I do think–"

"Pete," I said, "please tell me what happened."

He sighed. "We'd been playing for a couple of hours." He held out his cigarette so starling could take a puff. "We decided to take a break. Lenore went out for a smoke, and Mac went down to the corner to get a couple of sixes. There's only one bathroom, back in the other rehearsal room. Barney was practicing back there, but he's used to people coming through to use the bathroom. Somerset went first, then he came back–"

"And I should mention, for the record," Somerset said, stretching elaborately, "that Barney was alive when I was there. I'd like to see Miss Sherlock Holmes prove–"

"Please proceed, Pete," I said. I was finding Somerset really annoying.

"I think we will all agree that Barney was alive when Somerset came back," Pete said, "since the doors were open and we could still hear him playing."

"Can I go now?" Somerset asked.

"No," starling said.

"Then Katherine went back to use the bathroom," Pete continued. "I was waiting to go after her. While she was in the bathroom, there was a gunshot."

"If she was in the bathroom," Mac said.

"When we got back there," Pete said, "right after the shot, she was standing by the bathroom door–"

"–with a gun in her hand, pulling up her pants," Somerset added.

"Keep it clean," I said, and he made a face.

"I heard the gunshot, very close," starling said suddenly. "I pulled my gun and stepped out of the bathroom. I was more concerned with survival than modesty, but I did not shoot him."

Mac was sitting with a big paper bag between his legs, and he reached in to pull out a can of beer. Lenore caught his eye and he handed one to her. Nobody else asked for one.

I held out my hand to starling. "Let me examine your gun."


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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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