Friday, October 30, 2009
A Halloween Ball Murder
Thanks for playing - the Scavenger Hunt is over now. Winners to be announced on Nov. 2, 2009 at noon Eastern time.
The Stiletto Gang
Cast of Characters
Heroine - Milla Adams – private detective
Sidekick - Fletcher Jones – police detective
Victim - Carla Jordan – deceased, personal assistant to G. Winston Howard
G. Winston Howard – millionaire, host of Halloween Ball
Buffy St. James – librarian, current girlfriend of G. Winston Howard,
Walter Jester – aide to Carla Jordan
Alana Carter – groundskeeper
Liza Barrymore - hired by Diana Trent to do costume makeup for party
Amazing Harry – escape artist hired by G. Winston Howard for Halloween Ball
Mayor Juan Reyes and his wife Sonya – guests at the Halloween Ball
Steven McCall - owner of large construction company, friend of Howard family
Julius and Frieda Rosen - they run Rosen Catering, the catering company
Dr. & Mrs. Paul Trent – Diana is the first ex-wife of G. Winston Howard.
It was a full moon. The man in the mask waited just outside the door, the dim silver light glinting off the metal blade in his hand. He was patient, much more so than the detective chasing him.
The woman inside the house paused, her hand on the doorknob. Fear etched her features. It was obvious that she knew the odds were against her. She was chasing a serial killer. The blood from his last kill was still fresh on her mind … and her shoes.
Milla Adams woke up with a start. Her television was still on. The late night slasher movie was on its third or fourth airing in a row, some kind of a Halloween marathon. It wasn't the screams that had awakened her, or the mixing of reality with fiction in her dreams, it was her very loud telephone.
Time to go to work.
Milla checked her makeup in the lighted mirror on the visor of her red Porsche Boxster convertible. The car, the shoes, the perfect makeup - she had an image to protect, even when it was inconvenient – like when making a 3 a.m. call to one of her wealthier client's mansion.
Ducking under the yellow crime scene tape, she spied a familiar face. "Fletcher? How's Lydia?" With her trade mark red stilettos adding three inches to her tall frame, Milla was almost eye-level with her old friend. They had gone through the police academy together more than twenty years ago. He'd married another recruit and made a career of the police department. He was the lead detective on the murder investigation.
"Sleeping, which is what I was doing before the police chief called and told me I was catching this murder. Who called you?"
"G. Winston Howard, himself. He told me he was about to be arrested for the murder of his personal assistant." Milla had spent ten years working as a police detective before leaving to open her own private high-dollar detective and security business. By the time she'd turned forty last year, she'd established a reputation for discretion and quick results. She'd need both on this job.
"Seems like he'd have been better off calling his lawyers."
"Oh, he's done that too. But he thought if the real murderer could be discovered before Monday, he could avoid some of the adverse publicity. His friend the mayor thinks so too."
"Figures. The mayor was one of the guests at Howard's party. He fancies himself a cop because he played one on TV." Fletcher frowned. "I wish the police chief had mentioned he was being overruled by the mayor on this case. I could have stayed in bed and let you sort it out."
"Not party – ball. Halloween Ball. It’s an annual charity thing. And I'm not taking over. I'm just here to make some inquiries." She gestured towards the doorway. "Will you show me the crime scene? I'm on deadline, no pun intended."
She pulled out her voice recorder and spoke softly into the tiny gadget.
"3:30 a.m. Friday, October 30, 2009. Residence of G. Winston Howard, multi-millionaire, or depending on the time of day and the stock market – billionaire- adventurer, and well-known philanthropist. At approximately 2:10 a.m. Miss Carla Jordan, aged 35, was found dead in Mr. Howard's greenhouse by a groundkeeper … note to self—these are rich people so greenhouse might be called something else. Miss Jordan was Mr. Howard's personal assistant. Detective Fletcher Jones reported that approximately 30 people attended the annual Halloween ball as guests. In addition, the caterers brought a staff of ten to dole out the food and drinks. According to his preliminary report, Detective Jones has eliminated all but thirteen as suspects in the murder. Second note to self—make sure to cross-check their alibis against each other."
Milla leaned over the body for a better look. Clicking on her recorder she added, "The victim is in costume—dressed as a giant sunflower. Brown leotard, yellow petaled headdress. Not a particularly attractive look for her. Her hands are dirty – like she was potting some plants. Several of her fingernails are broken. Blood is pooled on the floor near her chest and right hand. The coroner has yet to determine time of death, but witnesses put her alive and well on the dance floor at 1:30 a.m. The cause of death appears to be the large knife sticking out of her chest."
To read the rest of the mystery visit Evelyn David's website for the full text.