mystery fiction, mystery serial

Chapter Twenty

Did that one ever make the headlines. The search warrant turned up over five million dollars worth of stolen property in Willoughby’s apartment. According to the D.A.’s office, at least five different fraud and theft scams were accounted for by the loot, including one where the victim didn’t even know his stuff had been taken.

Mrs. Sperling managed to stay out of the newspapers, as usual. But my family figured out who the “private citizen” was and insisted on details when Phil and I went over there for dinner that Sunday. We diplomatically omitted the snake incident.

As for that, Willoughby just happened to be off duty that night and unable to prove his whereabouts all evening. They also dug up an old record that showed Willoughby had been in on the arrest of some guys who had stolen the snakes from a trainer. The trainer had never gotten them back, and it was assumed the snakes had been lost, until, of course, they showed in Glen’s bedroom. All I have to do is whisper snake, and Glen still turns pale.

Stein’s will got through probate without a hitch, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you feel about Ramona Bistler. She didn’t really give a damn about Willoughby getting caught, but Edgar Hendricks was very relieved to know he was off the hook. It turned out that the night of the murder they were together in Ventura, which accounted for Bistler’s empty gas tank. They were trying to keep it a secret because of the money. They moved in together right away in spite of Montoinne’s objections. I understand Mrs. Sperling had a little chat with Ms. Bistler the day Willoughby was arrested.

The building that Stein’s gallery had been in was eventually sold. I heard later that the owner of Best Rentals had decided to work out of his house.

We never did find out what Devon and Stein had been arguing about. Devon was delighted that he didn’t have to pay for the broken pottery after all. He hadn’t even been aware that he’d been suspected. As for seeing him those two nights, well, he really is everywhere. Gillian quit and moved to New York. Devon tried to offer me her job, but I preferred the one I had.

Tina, Mickey and I all got cast in the video. We had a blast shooting it. Phil and Mickey are getting to be pretty good friends, too. Mickey’s stint at the Laugh Factory was a smash. He got held over and signed again for another stint later the next year. Tina keeps teasing Phil and asking when he’s shooting his next video. Phil’s casting one right now, but he doesn’t need any dancers. I told Tina I wasn’t even getting cast, and she said that didn’t matter.

I’ve been working. I did a guest star spot, and I’ve got a second lead in a film that starts shooting this spring in the Bahamas. Mrs. Sperling “just happened” to decide to visit her parents in Japan the five weeks I needed to do it.

I never did get another car. Phil kept joking around about buying me a new one, until my mother threatened to crown him. Other than that, my parents love Phil, even though they know he’s in showbiz. Dad heard about Phil’s real estate investments and was thrilled.

Glen got his HN6 eventually. Mrs. Sperling broke down and bought it for him for his birthday, which was right after Thanksgiving.

“Are you sure it’s real?” he asked her.

“Of course,” she replied. “The nose knows, doesn’t it?”

Here ends a Nose for a Niedeman. And, guess what? It’s now available as a book on Amazon, BarnesandNoble and other fine retailers. Please click here to get your copy. And books make great gifts. Buy a copy for your friends.

Anne Louise Bannon

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