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 Accusing Parlor

The turnout at the deMontesque house was fairly impressive for short notice. This was good for me, I wanted to work a crowd today. Plus, even if I was wrong I'd sound right in a larger room; the hasty--and delayed--Google search had already confirmed my theory. As Alice entered, I ran my pipes:

"You're all probably wondering why I called you here. Good.

"When the dame here came to me first, I was admittedly distracted by the lamb's gams. This is probably why it took me so long to figure this one out. Broads kind of have that effect on me, I'll admit. Anyway, when I first cased the joint, I started to work on a theory. This was a little too focused to be your average smash-and-grab job. If anything, they knew what they were coming here for and how to find it. Meaning, they had to already know about the missing gemstone.
"Next, I needed to try and figure out the kind of person who could get into a place like this. Security ain't lax, but it's not exactly Fort Knox either. For that, I staged a break in: came here the other night and tried to climb in. I'm a pretty spry guy," I ignored a couple of scoffs, "but it was a challenge for me. This means the guy was either a pro, or he didn't actually climb in through the window.
"Now, when I met the chick of the house this morning, I discovered something. Hopefully, you're following the pattern that's developing. Either that, or I'm rambling again. So, before you cats all fall asleep, let me ask Alice something. This morning, you dropped your candy bar into a glass. Why'd you do that?"
The dame spoke up, "When I was little, my mom taught me to do that. Kept ants off my chocolate."
"Exactly. And what did we find when I started?"
"A candy bar in a glass. You told me that was the mark of some international art thief."
"The Sommelier, yes. Actually, that's french for Wine Steward. It was a red herring. No, the real thief," I pulled on a pair of sunglasses before continuing, "is actually in this room!"
The collection of gasps was rewarding. Only three, but still worth it.
"Even more shocking, the stolen rock wasn't actually the meat."
This got more gasps: almost everyone this time. Worth all the sawbucks in the world.
"See, I did some internet research on this missing gemstone, the Fuschia Falcon and I discovered something important: it doesn't exist. There are, however, a bunch of Smash Bros. screenshots that fit the description. This wasn't about the gemstone at all, was it, Alice?"
She faked surprise well. "What?"
"How much did you insure the gem for?"
"How much?"
"Ten grand."
"And how much will your insurance company be paying out?"
"Should be ten grand..."
"I wasn't asking you, I was asking him!" I turned and pointed to a stocky man in glasses and suspenders.
"Who's he?" Alice asked.
He introduced himself, "Bob Johnson. I represent your insurance company. To answer your question, Mr. Turner: Zero dollars. Thank you for figuring this out."

The only question I haven't answered yet: how do I tell Franklin that we're not getting a check for this one either? On the plus side, insurance company's letting me off on Accessory to Fraud Charges...


Am Not Wearing Cologne, Dammit!

I climbed out of the shower the next morning, washing away the fitful few hours of sleep while something about the case didn't sit right. Kept thinking to myself "were Franklin here, I'd be really freaked out; my bed's for chippies and chicks only. Also, what the hell am I going to tell the client? Have to wonder what's with this chocolate? Seemed to be a theme developing." That was perhaps a question to ask her at Licks'. Before leaving, I dressed and shaved, even checked that I'd have enough petty cash for a business expense like a pair of mid-morning milkshakes from the ice cream joint.

I pulled up a chair at the outside tables and waited for the skirt to arrive. She was late, as dames tend to be (and I've been slapped enough to learn that ya don't comment on this aloud). I couldn't help but stare at her legs as she walked over, and dropped her numerous bags beside the table, standing impatiently over me.
Casually, I prompted some conversation: "Been shopping?"
"Just a few things," the curt response, "You said you'd have something for me?"
"Uh, yeah. Drink?"
There was rising frustration in her tone. "That's all you have for me?"
"No, uh. The chocolate. Turns out it's a calling card. Some frog art thief or something. Calls himself, uh, the Sommelier."
She seemed relieved and sat down, pulling out a 100 Grand bar. She unwrapped it and started to chew.
Watched her for a second before she glowered at me. "Well?"
"Yeah, uh," I channeled every single one of Mrs. Thomson's Drama classes in the 3rd grade. "Well, turns out this guy is changing his MO a little. Instead of sticking to high class art, he's moving over to jewels. Story goes he was trained in a Ninjutsu monastery, uses his Kung-fu to break into a place and bust past security. Leaves half a chocolate bar as a consolation prize."
The bim was eating this up; so I left it at "And I'll find the bastard."

She rose, lifting the last bites of her candy bar over the table. "Want this?"
"Nah, I'm good."
It hovered over a glass in the middle of the table before she dropped it, "well, I'll leave it there in case you change your mind. So ants don't get in."
Suddenly, something snapped into place in my head. I had an announcement, and I felt like I needed everyone to be there.
"Gather your entire household in the trophy room tonight. How many people is that?"
"Me and my husband. The maid sometimes, but it's her day off."
"Get her, get some friends to join us in the accusing parlor!"
Despite her blank stare, I pulled my coat on and dashed back to the office.


It Takes a P.I. to Catch a P.I.

It was near midnight when the last light finally went out. I had parked my heap just beyond sight and staked out for my opportunity. If I knew anything about psychology, it was this: if you want to understand a bird, you've gotta walk a mile in his shoes. Seeing as I still didn't know our perp's brand, figured I'd fake it and try just walking as he did: on the night he stole the Fuschia Falcon!

Climbing the gate was a cinch, and without any guard dogs or night watchmen keeping an eye out, slinking across the grass was almost easier. Unfortunately, without the use of Franklin's flashlight, I was doing the cell-phone-as-a-light-source thing. I didn't even know I'd found the right window until I felt the warm interior air escaping through the broken window. I peered into the gloomy trophy room I'd been in earlier--it was empty; of people anyway, the furniture was still there. I searched the murky night for some way to shimmy in through the broken frame. Finally decided there was none, and hoisted myself in clumsily. I'd made it halfway through before losing my balance and crashing to the ground.

I was sure the noise had woken someone, there was an electric feeling in the air of something getting up. Cursing the lack of a partner, I hastily explored the room for anything I'd missed earlier. I re-checked the shelves and the upturned box on the floor. In the pale light of my phone, I noticed a smudge on it which I hadn't noticed earlier: it was the same brown as the wood, but in this light it didn't reflect. There was no way I could snap a photo of it, as my only camera was currently also my light source, but I could try one thing: I wiped a small part of it onto my finger and tasted it. Chocolate. I should have known.

The door burst open before I had a chance to try anything else, light flooding the room and obscuring the tasty evidence. It was the dame who'd hired me, standing in a half-open robe and, I'll say it, some really sexy lingerie.

"Turner? What the hell are you doing?" She asked, both frustrated and perplexed as she hastily closed her robe.
"Investigating." I said, with all of the confidence I could muster. "I'll, uh, have some answers for you in the morning. Can you bring some photos of your precious rock to JP Licks around 11? I may have something for you then."


Sept 1st Strikes Again

For those concerned, the Fuschia Falcon is not going by the wayside. There is hope yet, and after a daring break-in, er, recreation, I may have blown this case wide open. Or, I may just like saying that to seem like I know what's up. Either way, there's a small problem:
My case notes are somewhere in that pile...


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