A Charlie Redmond Mystery

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He’d been saving years for this vacation of a lifetime - two months in New Zealand fishing and extreme hiking. As soon as he finished his coffee and the paper, he’d pack, drop Thompson, his geriatric mutt, off at the neighbor’s, and head to the airport. Charlie could savor it: his first transcontinental hiking sabbatical, even if he did dread 24 hours in coach. 

Charlie’s mind reeled. As much as he wanted to go on vacation, he couldn’t actually refuse a case, could he? This was precisely the reason he moved north to New Hampshire from Boston. To flee the rat race and politics of law enforcement. Sure, he couldn’t just cease what he’d been doing with conviction and pride for over 15 years - the last few in Portsmouth. But his grand plan was a sound one. Work fewer and fewer cases for a couple of years, sock away money, and then terminate his Mickey Spillane shtick once and for all. No more cases. Nada. Never. End of story. He could focus full time on doing what he loved - competitive extreme hiking. 

Yes - yes, of course, he couldn’t take this case. He was just going to tell this person, this attractive, dainty female in a tailored gray pantsuit with manicured strawberry-red nails, that he was about to leave the country today, and nothing was going to stop him. 

“Charlie, please.” He held out his right hand, smiling. “How can I help you this fine morning?” 

“I need you”, she said. “I need you to help find my father’s killer. It’s been two years.” Charlie’s mind swirled. A much-needed getaway was all he’d thought about this past year. Was he ready to postpone this opportunity - an opportunity he was fully mentally prepared to take - for someone he’d just met? And for a woman, no less? 

Charlie’s smile disappeared. It was a good thing he’d purchased refundable coach round-trip tickets.

©2016, 2017 Michael L. Douglas (P)2019 Michael L. Douglas
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