The Two-Body Problem

Professor Gwendolyn Jackson’s husband sends her a voice mail from the road, telling her he’ll be home soon. Just one problem…by the time the message was sent, he was already dead.

When the police dismiss her concerns, Professor Jackson turns to her former student, Fortune Morrow, for help.

Naturally, Fortune, Mary-Alice, and the rest of the Sinful gang are eager to solve the mystery surrounding the death of Professor Jackson’s husband, who owned the French Quarter’s premier joke and novelty shop, Jape & Jest. But the ladies soon find that nothing is as it seems in this case, and an unseen killer might have the last laugh. 


The McCully Inn was a low-slung brick building with a red-and-yellow banner hanging over the front entrance:

NOW OPEN special daily, weekly, & monthly rates.

The motel looked like it had been built in the 1950s, remodeled sometime in the 1980s, and left to its own devices after that. The tile-print vinyl flooring was curling up at the seams, and the lobby smelled like old cigarette smoke.

“You got this?” Ida Belle asked Gertie. Gertie nodded and disappeared into the bathroom. Fortune, Ida Belle, and Mary-Alice followed her, which was safer than hanging out in the lobby and risking someone asking them what they were doing there.

Gertie went into a stall and emerged after a few minutes wearing a black baggy dress, a hat with a veil, black gloves, and a giant cross necklace.

“What the heck are you supposed to be?” Ida Belle demanded. “Madonna?”

“I’m-a Michael’s devoted auntie Fiorella,” Gertie said, in what was apparently intended to be an Italian accent.

“I can’t watch,” Ida Belle covered her face.

“Oh, I’d love to watch,” Mary-Alice exclaimed. “It’ll be like a game of charades.”

“You say charades, I say nightmare of humiliation from which there is no waking,” Ida Belle said. “To-may-to, to-mah-to.”

“Let’s go over to the coffee shop,” Fortune suggested. “If we sit by the entrance we’ll have a good view.”

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