What's Going On Here?

The noir adventures of Franklin and Turner, two former English Majors who teamed up to pool their knowledge of TV crime dramas to solve Boston's toughest cases.

How Did this Happen?: About this Blog
Current Case: #002 The Fuschia Falcon


The Peppermint Red Herring

After a quick tip from one of our readers last week, I did a little research on this bogus-sounding jewel, the Peppermint Rhinestone. Rumored to have disappeared from somewhere in JP over the last few weeks, this little rock is causing a bit of a problem for some of the other local dicks. Similar deal, but not from the deMontesque household--some folks from France or somewhere, Montagne or something.

Two gems taken in the same neighborhood in a short period of time. It's starting to sound a bit like there's a cat burglar prowling. I had heard something about one a little while back, maybe our gonif is back in town? Seems a little more likely than our Usual Suspects--pretty sure Busey and Glenn Beck are both away for now.

Not wanting to be late for a meet with Alice, I headed out to her place. "Best place to start is at the scene," I remember reading in a book once. Although I take that with a grain of salt, this was the same book that told me not everything comes out of a Pulp novel holds water. I say the best place to start is the end, but I guess the beginning will do in a pinch. I pulled into the driveway of the deMontesque house and locked my heap up. The place was far from a dump, and the inside looked even better. It was one of those places over by Pond Street, those really slick stacks of bricks with gardens in the fronts and fences made from something other than chain link between the neighbors. I flashed my ticket at the man who answered the door and stepped inside before he could protest--or even read it.

Alice appeared within a moment and told the man not to worry about me. He looked even more bewildered, but she whisked me toward the back of the house before he could string a question together. The room she lead me to had books scattered all over the floor and cabinet doors left open. There was an empty shelf, and a wooden box lay open, face down on the floor.
"This is where the Falcon was, I take it."
"Yes, until it was taken."
"Well, obviously. I'm guessing you have no idea who would want to do this."
"Yeah. No idea."
"Let me take a look around here."

The wooden box was maybe a foot square, four inches deep. Using the end of a pen, I pulled part of it up and looked under: thing was completely empty. I looked around the room for a point of entry. The window had been shattered, and I stuck my head out through the gap. It was only a few feet to the rosebush below. Easy to get in or out. As I stepped back, my foot crunched some of the glass deeper into the carpet.
"Whoever it was came in here," I observed, "Wanted it to look like a robbery, but the real target was the stone."
The blonde grinned ear to ear. "I knew I'd picked the right guys."
Real men never blush, so I didn't. "Glad I didn't disappoint."
I kept looking around the room. "Odds are he wore gloves, so fingerprinting would be useless. Only prints we'd find are, I'm assuming, yours and the stiff by the door."
"My Husband, yes."
"No cleaners, maids or anything?"
"Nope. None."
"Lovers?" I offered.
"No! I'm faithful."
Stubbed my toe on something and muttered a curse under my breath. It had been the edge of a bookshelf, and my foot had set all of the tchotchkes wobbling. A drinking glass on one of the upper shelves tipped like it'd gone over the edge with the rams, and went over the edge, spilling out onto the carpet. Only what was weird about this was that instead of water or a shot of white, it was a half-eaten candy bar. The glass shattered, flecks of it stuck in the chocolate.
"What was that?" deMontesque asked.
"Not sure. Candy bar in a glass."
"Maybe it's a calling card?"
I said nothing, but it was possible. I would have to do some research before I could come back to her with it. I suggested she locked the door and not let anyone in until I came back. Otherwise, the place seemed to check out, and it didn't look like I was going to get anything else out of it. Clambered back into the flivver and drove back to the office--had to get some dark slacks on and haul ass to my undercover gig.


The Fuschia Falcon

Those of you still checking in from time to time may have noticed a slight lag in service. Not to make excuses, but this is 'cause Franklin and I have been making headway on that Undercover Case we vaguely referenced a little while ago. Now that the op is winding down, we can share a little: We called it the Mystery of the Missing Money, and we posed as a pair of birds on the nut and on the dole, trying to find paying gigs. Due to witness protection and other legal mumbo-jumbo, we can't give you any more detail than that.

However, back to the babe who came in while Franklin and I were wrapping up the Firebug Case: did I mention the gams on her? Quite a dame she was. We lead her into the office and made her comfortable with a cup of coffee. She asked if we knew who she was, and we admitted she had the bulge on us there.

"Alice deMontesque," she introduced herself with a slight drawl.
I asked how we could help her on such a fine day.
"There was a robbery at my home last night, and something of incredible value was taken."
Franklin chimed in, "Why didn't you go to the Flatfoots with it?"
"Let's just say that we like our privacy at home."
"And what was taken?" I added.
"The Fuschia Falcon, a rare diamond from Russia."
Franklin and I looked at each other for a moment.
Hopeful, the dame asked, "So you've heard of it?"
"Nope, not at all, ma'am." Franklin replied.
"What's so special about it?" I threw in, pretending to know about jewels.
"It's known for its perfect clarity and a slight pink imperfection. It's embedded in a bird-shaped pendant."
"Where was it when you lost it?" Franklin continued.
She seemed a little puzzled, "I didn't lose it, it was stolen from our house over by Jamaica Pond."
I copied down the address.
"So, why pick us of all the dicks you could ask?" was Franklin's final question.
"I saw your work on the Arson case and knew you were the guys to see."

We left her in the office and chinned outside for a minute. Franklin had one problem, he needed a couple of weeks for a test, getting a permit for his bean-shooter. We need the case, and we needed a win, so I agreed to go it alone. It put me behind the eight ball, but there were men who'd climb Everest naked for a dish like her; I just had to find a necklace.


Coming Clean

So, readers and Mahoneys alike, by now you will have probably deduced that the JP Firebug case has gone colder than a penguin's junk. We've heard nothing new and have had now big breakthroughs. After Franklin and I turned down our third new client, I had to come clean to him about just how much money the Arson case would be bringing in. I'll spare you the expletives of his reaction, but the spit-take was quite impressive. Note to self: always give bad news when someone is drinking coffee.

Corollary: Always make sure they are unarmed when you do.

Yelling from the safety of behind the bathroom door, I suggested that we put the case on the back burner until it heats up again. Ignoring the double-barreled cliche, I continued, "We'll take another case, and this one won't be pro-bono. We'll actually get paid, I promise." The blunt thumping on the door stopped, and after a few moments I tentatively opened it.

Franklin was standing and staying at the woman who had just opened the office door, hiding the broken table leg behind his back. Blonde hair cascaded down her shoulders to her back, her legs stretched from the floor to her hips, and she was wearing a silk red dress. For no readily apparent reason, a breeze tossed her hair sensuously about.

"You boys the detectives?" She asked.
I corrected her that we were Private Eyes, and that we were there to help. We lead her upstairs to the meeting area and offered her some coffee. I cracked open the Case Laptop to take notes.

Then I got distracted and wrote this blog post. I should probably actually discuss the case with her... More after the actual meeting.


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Side effects may include: Post-modernism, Increased Flow of '30s slang, dizziness while standing, and thoughts of Alien Nazi conspiracy. These are perfectly normal, but if you are concerned, consult your local sawbones.

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