It figured. Of all the writers in this flea-bitten town, I would have to be on the trail of a Stephen King fan. I should have known. Her note was conspicuously absent of adverbs. The tell-tale sign of a famous writer advice zealot.
Well, I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I’ve seen plenty worse in my day. Actually, mostly at night, but you know what I mean.
I took out a glove and picked up the copy of On Writing. I examined it closely. No visible clues. So I took a big whiff. My sniffer has rarely failed me. Sure enough, it smelled of Coney Island footlongs. But not just any Coney Island footlong, the coneys made by Carl Cuisine at Jumper Cable Coney Island.
I knew where my next clue would be found. I hailed a cab and was soon on my way to Jumper Cable. When I reached the joint, I gave the driver a fin and said, “Stick around for a minute, Mack.”
I went inside and had two footlong specials. Hey, being a gumshoe is hungry work. Afterward, I asked the doll behind the counter to get me the Boss.
A minute later, Carl shuffled out. Carl is a big man. He obviously does a lot of quality checking of his product.
I showed him the picture and asked, “Carl, have you seen this dame?”
“What if I have?”
I knew it was going to cost me.
“If you have, I would be interested in knowing any details you can give me on her.”
“It’s gonna cost you.”
“I just bought two coneys.”
“Good. Then it will only cost you a sawbuck.”
I begrudgingly handed him the cash.
“Spill,” I said.
I wasn’t expecting the answer I got.
Continues in Chapter 4: