The Muddled Mystery of the Murdered Muse is a full-length novel, presented to you in Medium-sized chapters twice a week (Tuesday and Friday), that tells the story of Sebastian Holden, a paranoirmal investigator who solves the strangest cases this side of Jersey City and Brooklyn.

If you missed the previous chapter, read it here; if you’ve already read this chapter, read the next one here.


“So what do you do?” asked the madam sitting across from me, graveyard serious after I tossed around a few jokes about a slew of other professions that would’ve made me sound a bit more dignified and respectable — everything from cremator to dog walker, but nothing could conceal the evidence of a blue trench coat and olive pork pie hat, I suppose.
“I’m a private eye,” I mumbled beneath the crunching of Melba toast between my teeth.
Oh!” was all she managed to muster.

“It’s all good,” I said, “you’re a tad too old for me anyway.”
And that was the beginning of the end of my one night out. Though I knew it wouldn’t have amounted to a hill of Bush’s Baked Beans back when I first met her a week and a half ago when she was hanging off “Chinny” Vinny’s self-scarred arm like a tarnished piece of (g)old jewelry. She didn’t quite seem like the kind of secondhand bracelet Vinny would’ve been sporting. One day I’d fit him into the kind of wristbands that come in a matching pair with some chain links between them. One day, but not today.

In all honesty, though, I took Ms. Gina Lesnick out that night to try and squeeze some juice outa her head about a border case that’d been plaguing my nights of late. Not the U.S./Mexico border, of course. I mean the Jersey City/Bayonne border, otherwise known as “No Man’s Land” or “Who the Fuck Cares?” even though I did care, at least half-cared about the Jersey City side of this equation. 
At any rate, I knew she had caught on the second she creamed her coffee. I mean, I don’t try to hide it either. One look at me, and you know I’m a Sam Spader straight outa Maltese Falcon.

Except for the big grizzly beard I wear on my face, and the tattoos climbing up or down both my arms, one set for each of the long gone ladies who got away on the nearest outbound 2:19 to Somewhere Else But Here.

Okay, not really. But they are tattoos that help me remember where I come from, so I always know to keep on headed where I’m headed, even when I don’t know where that is.
What can I say — I’m not meant for the ladies, I guess. I’m a relic from another era. I don’t wear the same white undershirt twice. I stuff my topper with folded napkins to soak up the sweat that pours down when I’m stuck in a thought, cracked up on a case on a hot summer’s day, or when I just get too hot for my own good. I’ve got no prospects for any real future. I’m just a day-to-dayer searching for the next strange lead on another strange case and a gal who can handle all the quirks this model of me comes with as a gold standard.
 That’s me — Sebastian Holden, P.I., at your service.

Oh, and the white T-shirt and hat things? Those are just warm ups for the quirks to come in some of these other characters. Let’s start off with a few who may or may not be an integral part to this story, but will each play an integral role in the story.

>>> Continue reading: Chapter 4: A Man of Many Hats >>>

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