Chasing the Codex

Last year 24 Cozy Cat authors wrote a group mystery, CHASING THE CODEX.

We were carrying on a time honored tradition in the mystery world. The Detection Club, with members such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, published several mysteries written by multiple authors, each writing a chapter or two.

I wrote Chapter 15.  Here’s a bit of it:

“I object!”

Detective Krill rubbed his forehead, and leaned closer to the man opposite him at the wooden table. He lowered the volume and spoke slowly. The flower child, well beyond his sell-by date, seemed unperturbed. “Mr. Rambler, or whatever your name is, we’re in an interrogation room at the Harpshead Police Station, not a courtroom. You cannot object. Let’s start over. The man you fatally shot in your van was named Holt?”

“Nah, man. That’s what I’m objecting to. He was Holt, but he wasn’t Holt.”

“I’ll need more than that. Who is this Holt?”


“First, what?” the detective asked.

“His last name.” Rambler rolled his eyes, then winced at the pain. His attacker had gotten in a few good licks with that pan.

“What is Holt’s last name?”

“Oh, my head.” Rambler put his head in his hands, and pressed his palms against his eyes.

“Do you want to get checked out at the hospital? We can finish this later.”

“Let’s keep going. It’s just that I can still see the look in his eyes when he knew he was about to buy it. Like I told you, I was asleep and he broke in and attacked me.”

“Why did he target you? Why your van?”

Rambler shrugged his shoulders.

“If you don’t mind my saying so, it didn’t look like you had much to steal. Other than your motorcycle, which he could have gotten without even waking you up.”

“Hey, my VW bus is classic.”

“You can’t think of what he might have been after?”

“No, idea.”

“Maybe some of your, let’s call it, agricultural imports?”

No way was Rambler answering that one. “Anyway, like I was sayin’, he broke in and we started fighting. He pulled a gun on me, but in the scuffle he was shot.”

There was a knock on the door and Krill got up to talk to a young uniformed officer. He handed the detective a paper and pointed to the middle of the page. This was just enough of a break to allow in the image he had been trying so hard to get out of his head. The guy was street tough, but Rambler was trained and, back in the day, had been disciplined. Both of their hands had been on the gun, pointed under Holt’s chin. Rambler realized all he had to do was move his hand. And that’s what he had done.






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