The Rose Bandit
The Oncoming Storm #5
Genre- Cozy Mystery/Detective
Published By- Staccato Publishing
Publication Date- February 14th, 2016
A series of burglaries have struck the sleepy town of West Falls. Seven homes have been burglarized, with only a single red rose left at each crime scene. The townspeople have dubbed this cat burglar the Rose Bandit. And Dan Landis, private investigator, has been hired to catch the thief.
Haunted by the ghost of his dead partner and an empty bank account, Dan jumps at the opportunity. But, when a body turns up at the Rose Bandit’s latest crime scene, Dan suspects there is more going on. He faces a dilemma: Catch the thief and make a quick buck, or prove that the Rose Bandit isn’t a killer.
Dan handed the clipboard back to the insurance man, turned to Officer Samantha Miller, and adopted his best lady killer smile. “Why don’t we stop bothering these nice folks and you and I go look at that crime scene.”
“Are you asking me on a date?” Sam asked, in feigned surprise.
“Robbery and roses,” he replied. “What could be more romantic?”
“So,” she asked. “How exactly does one become a private dick?”
“Practice,” Dan replied, holding the car door for her. He knew an undercover cop car from a mile away. This took the sloppy jalopy award, twelve years running. Its chief color was rust, it had come off the Ford assembly line sometime during the Reagan administration, it smelled faintly of burning oil, but the tires were new. The windshield had also been replaced at some point in the past few years. At least he had the common decency to hold the door for the lady.
Mama Landis had raised a gentleman.
He winked at the dirty look she was shooting him and closed the door behind her. Maggie snorted. He tried not to acknowledge his imaginary friend. People didn’t take kindly to folks who talked to themselves. The passenger door opened with a creaking yawn and he had to jerk it closed behind him.
“So, what’s a beautiful woman like you doing in a dump like this?” As pickup lines went, it wasn’t his worst.
“I’m stuck working a crummy case in a small town where everybody knows everybody, the whole police force is one big boys’ club, and you take whatever joys you can wherever you can. Also, I’m supposed to ferry a big city detective to our latest crime scene. Unless that was a pickup line, in which case let me start singing the theme to Moonlighting.”
“I think I’m in love.”
“Get a room,” Maggie chided from the back. “I could probably give you some pointers.”
He looked back at that one.
“Tip one: stop staring at me, Lackey, and pay attention to the living,” Maggie shooed him around. Dan dutifully turned back to the lovely law woman.”
“Why Officer Miller, I’d love to see your crime scene.” Dan gave her 50,000 watts of pure lady killer.
“Nice,” Maggie said.
“Nice one,” Sam said.
“And speaking of nice,” he continued. “What a nice car you have, Officer Miller.”
“It’s the county car, jackass. I know you’ll find this surprising, but the patrolman of a five man force is not going to get the company car. Or the good cases. But, I do have the honor of being chief chauffeur to the solution to everyone’s problem. You should be flattered.” She turned to him even as she cranked the ignition. “After all, you do have all the answers, right?”
“Well, I’ve often found most problems can be solved by a good old...” Maggie slapped him in the back of the head, metaphorically speaking. “Detective skills. I’m not much of a cook, don’t ask about algebra, but I got it where it counts. I’m currently batting a thousand on insurance cases.”
“I see,” Sam gave an eye roll and half a smile. More of a smirk. “When we get to the judge’s house, why don’t you put that big, thick brain of yours to work?”
“I like her,” Maggie beamed.
Sam threw the car into gear and gunned the accelerator. Dan was shoved into the seat.
“She even drives like you, Danny Boy.”
About the Author
Jay Mims, better known as Mimsey, lives two miles past nowhere with The Mimsus. He also accidentally adopted his neighbor’s cat, Eartha Kitty, has a lizard named Bob hiding in his house, and has a passive-aggressive Dalek roommate named Steve. When not writing cozy mysteries, Jay teaches and is learning knitting. Jay is currently working on knitting a cape. Capes are cool.
Barnes and Noble- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jay-mims