“Sorry, what?” I asked, sounding stupid even to myself.
My partner, Jackson grinned at me, the sun glinting off of his mechanical eye, and amusement shining in his normal one. “I'll bet you the murder was done by poison.”
“Why do you always say 'poison' every time there's a murder?” I asked as he walked up the stairs in front of me. I trailed behind, rolling my shoulders and frowning. I wasn't very popular with the brass anymore, not since I'd exposed the scandal and the back-door deals that they all were making.
“Statistically, murders are most commonly done with poison,” Jackson informed me.
“That's only a statistical truth when the murderer is a woman,” I shot back, drawling to intentionally accentuate my mild New York accent. “Otherwise, in this city? We're lookin' at stabbings or drug overdoses.”
“You're not gonna let an OD count as poisoning?”
“Only if you can prove it wasn't intentional.”
“Does anyone intentionally overdose?” Jackson mused.
“Only when it's a suicide,” I clarified.
Jackson shook his head as we reached the top of the stairs. The place was already cordoned off by the familiar yellow crime scene tape and we ducked under it without hesitation.
“Detective Tuesday! Detective Early! Thank you for coming so promptly!”
I couldn't hide my surprise at the fact that we were talking directly to the Chief. Chief Fredricks was a huge black guy. Seriously, I thought I was tall for the city? Fredricks towered over me. He was built like a football player and his biceps were as big as my head. The last time I'd seen him was on TV when he accepted the position in a media frenzy. He was a young guy, mid-thirties and was the most straight up nice guy I'd ever met. Clean as a whistle, too. He shook my hand, then Jackson's, smiling genuinely.
“Thanks for havin' us,” I replied with a nod. “So what's the word?”
“Murder, mostly,” Fredricks informed us with a grim smile. “Victim was found in his apartment, we were called. I called you.”
That certainly cleared things up. “Vic lived alone?”
“Poison?” I asked.
“Not with that amount of blood.”
I smirked in Jackson's direction and was met with a frown of disappointment. Jacks owed me a scotch. We stepped into the apartment to get a look at the scene and were greeted with something out of a horror movie. Blood spattered the otherwise immaculate white walls and pooled on the floor at the foot of the couch where the body had slumped.
“Who was he?” Jackson asked.
“Low ranking mob peon,” Fredricks replied with a nonchalant shrug. “Numbers runner, drug dealer, nobody really important. His name was Theodore Morgan.”
I peered around the room as Jackson examined the body and the couch. I moved down the small hallway, peering in each of the rooms, noting the damage and the general mishmash of overturned furniture. I walked back into the living room and noticed the television was missing.
“He didn't pay somebody what they were owed,” I announced. I shrugged at the looks that Fredricks and Jacks were giving me. I pointed towards the bedroom. “Mattress is slashed,” I explained easily. “Everything is ransacked. My suggestion is to go and find the next peon up and turn the screws.”
I nodded towards Jackson. “C'mon, let's go, the real cops have work to do.”
Jackson didn't ask me anything, he simply followed me as I walked out of the apartment and down the street. Jackson didn't say anything until we were sitting in my favourite club, at the bar and I had a double scotch in front of me.
“What the hell?” Jackson asked, finally.
“Check the news.” I shouted to the bartender. I was a constant enough fixture that my request was met without hesitation.
Fredricks was on TV, announcing that they'd found the murderer of Theodore Morgan; and as I had suspected, it was his “boss”, another mobster known as Vinnie Fingers. I smiled at Jackson's disbelief and shrugged, sipping my earned scotch.
For more of Kai Kiriyama:
Book: The first Blaze Tuesday novel will be released later this year by Lemorn Literary Works (@LemornLW)