An exert from The Throuple Private Eye—Business is Booming (WIP6)
Molly looked at the security monitor. “Someone’s coming up the front sidewalk,” she informed Jen.
“Do we have an appointment today?” Jen asked.
“Not until 1 pm,” answered Molly. “This must be a walk-in. Looks like a young couple.”
When the couple reached the front door and rang the doorbell, Molly asked over the intercom, “May I help you?”
The young man looked around until he saw the camera. Looking at the camera he said, “We’d like to see Ms. Jennifer McDowell, please. We have urgent business.”
Molly rang them in as Jen walked over to the hallway and signal for them to come back to the office. Molly pulled a couple of chairs apart to allow for social distancing. Jen and Molly introduced themselves and asked the young couple to sit down.
“My name is Charlize Wessel,” the young woman said through her facemask. “and this is my boyfriend Maury Fincham.”
Molly entered their names into her computer while Jen removed a record from her desk. “Do you mind if we record this conversation?” Jen asked. “I think you can remove your facemasks now,” she added. “I think we’re far enough apart.
Charlize and Maury glanced at each other. “We rather not record this,” answered Charlie as she and Maury removed their facemasks. “I’ll explain why in a minute.” She left her facemask hanging from one ear.
Jen turned off the recorder but left it on the table.
Charlize glanced at Maury who nodded. “I… We’d like to hire you,” she said. She reached over and took Maury’s hand.
Molly offered the couple some coffee or tea and busied herself with maneuvering her walker to the coffee pot. She placed everything on a small wheeled cart and served everyone. Finally, Jen asked, “How can we be of service?”
Charlize looked at Maury who nodded for her to explain. “It’s a long story, but first is this confidential?”
“Yes,” answered Jen, “but if there’s a serious crime involved, we’ll advise you to notify the police. I must tell you that my boyfriend is a police detective and I’m a medically retired police officer.”
“We know,” replied Charlize. “We found your website and read about your history. That’s the main reason we came to you for help. We think your connections might help.”
“Why don’t you start by telling us what’s going on and we’ll advise you on the best course of action.”
Maury sighed, “We think someone has been murdered. Molly gasped and looked at Jen. They both sat back in their seats “Not by us,” Maury quickly added. “By someone we know.”
“Why can’t you tell the police?” Molly asked.
Charlize leaned forward. “Because if I do, they’ll arrest me and Maury for other crimes.”
“What crimes?” Jen asked.
“Identity theft,” Charlize answered.
Jen sat back in her chair and thought for a moment. She looked at Molly with raised eyebrows. “What the fuck?”
Molly stood up and using her desk for balance, moved to the front and leaned back on her desk. “Let’s do this,” she said. “Tell us what’s going on and we’ll see if we can work out a deal with the police. If what you say is true, you might get a plea deal to avoid jail time.”
Charlize and Maury looked at each other. “Okay,” Charlize said.
Jen turned the recorder on. “Do you have to record this?” Charlize asked.
“I’m afraid so,” Jen answered. “But if we don’t take the case, we’ll give you the recording.”
“Okay,” Charlize answered.
“Okay,” Jen said. “Start at the beginning.”
“Here’s what happened. Maury and I live together in Chicago. I work in a jewelry store in the loop. It doesn’t pay much, mostly on commission. To make extra money, I steal identities. Maury is into photography and he helps me forger driver licenses or anything else I might need. I make small charges on their credit cards or withdraw money from their accounts using an ATM; not a lot.”
“Wow,” Molly said. “So how does a murder fit into this?”
“Well. A couple of weeks ago, a guy came into the store and asked for me by name. I never met the guy before.”