The Vanishing Victim

Mary-Alice Arceneaux is starting to catch on to the fact that the Sinful Ladies’ Society does more than brew 100-proof cough syrup to sell at the church bazaar. So when Sinful Ladies founder Ida Belle gets into serious trouble, Mary-Alice wants to help the SLS in their quest for justice. But this means that the sweet-natured Mary-Alice will have to endure a visit to the Swamp Bar (where decent ladies don’t go) and go up against her vindictive cousin, Mayor Celia Arceneaux. Will Mary-Alice’s sweet nature and unshakable faith in humanity endure?


“I swear to y’all, he was right there.” Ida Belle pointed to Deputy Breaux’s feet. “Right there. I shot Victorin Lowery. I saw him go down.”

Breaux paced around the small space, staring at the floor as if the missing corpse might suddenly turn up.

“Ma’am, are you sure it was Victorin Lowery you saw?” Breaux asked.

“Yes, sir, I surely am,” Ida Belle retorted. “Unless it was his stunt double.”

Breaux scratched his chin.

“You didn’t happen to see Leonie Blanchard around at all, did you?”

“Who?” Fortune asked.

“Victorin’s girlfriend,” Breaux said. “Real pretty, but she likes her drink too. Some folks call her Hollow-Leg Leonie. Her and Victorin got into it at the Swamp Bar yesterday. I had to go down and pull ‘em apart.”

“I remember Miss Leonie Blanchard,” Gertie said. “I had to suspend her several times for smoking in school.”

“I thought you taught third grade,” Fortune said.

“And so I did. Deputy, what were they fighting about?”

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