Tabasco Fiasco

Deputy Sheriff Carter LeBlanc has been seen around Sinful with a beautiful, blonde stranger. But Fortune is fine with it, really. It’s not like she and Carter had a future together or anything. To show there are no hard feelings, Fortune hosts a dinner party for Carter and his new associate, and even volunteers to cook. But when she tries her hand at a spicy gumbo, things start to heat up for real. As bodies pile up, Fortune suspects that she’s the real target–and only Swamp Team Three can save the day.


“Just don’t get those huge cups,” I said. “I don’t want to be stopping for bathroom breaks every fifteen minutes.”

I ordered a “tall” (i.e. small) brewed coffee. Gertie and Ida Belle ignored my plea and got giant frozen mocha caramel concoctions topped with mountains of whipped cream.

Then they both made a show of how they were low on cash and reminded me that they were elderly ladies on fixed incomes.

I paid for all three of us, trying to conceal my shock at the price of a tricked-out coffee milkshake.

As I turned to leave, something tripped my alarm.

A man sat in a corner, with his back to the wall. Most of him was hidden by the copy of Monocle Magazine he had opened in front of him. That in itself was suspicious. Who reads print magazines anymore?

Male. Gelled dark brown hair. Skinny, pale wrist. Gold Rolex. Strike that, fake gold Rolex. Threat assessment… moderate to high, based on his overall sleaziness.

“Let’s go.” I urged Gertie and Ida Belle out of the door onto the sidewalk, setting the bells a-jingle. I glanced back through the plate glass. The man was slowly setting down his magazine. I took out my phone and snapped a photo through the glass. The image quality would be terrible, but it was better than nothing. I’d send it to Harrison, my handler back at headquarters. Just to be on the safe side. It might be nothing, but with a ten-million-dollar bounty on my head, I couldn’t afford to get complacent.

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This story is a licensed work in Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune world.