Vampire Billionaire of the Bayou
The Sinful Ladies’ Detective Agency has just scored a cushy gig: Doing surveillance for a businessman who claims business rivals are after his trade secrets. But just as Fortune, Gertie, Ida Belle, and Mary-Alice are deciding how to spend their easy money, the unthinkable happens. The Sinful Ladies find themselves teaming up with the bewildered Sheriff Robert E. Lee…only to find that what looks like a ritualistic murder is far from the strangest thing about this case.
“I must say, Miss Gertie,” Mary-Alice ventured during one of their tedious nights of surveillance, “I felt nothing but sorry for Mr. Fosca when I met him, and you may laugh at me if you like, but I feel even sorrier for him now.”
Mary-Alice glanced at the passenger seat in time to see Gertie’s head fall forward.
“Miss Gertie, you’re falling asleep again!”
“What?” Gertie snapped her head upright and lifted the binoculars to her eyes.
Mary-Alice reached over and gently turned the binoculars around the right way.
“They turned the light out half an hour ago, Miss Gertie. May I pour you a cup of coffee?”
“No, I promise I’ll stay awake. If I drink any more coffee I’ll be prowling around in the bushes all night looking for a place to pee. Now what were you saying, Mary-Alice?”
“I was saying I feel terrible for Mr. Fosca. He’s a very lonely man.”
“Don’t feel sorry for him,” Gertie retorted. “He’s a creepy control freak, and he has way too much money to deserve anyone’s pity. And he’s using a fake name, so he probably has a criminal background. How much do you want to bet he’s got bodies buried all over that house?”
“Do you really think so?” Mary-Alice gasped.
“Nah, not really. Well, there was that body that turned up on the property right after he moved in, but it was just some poor hobo who probably died of alcohol poisoning.”
“I read the book he got his name from,” Mary-Alice said quietly. “It’s called All Men are Mortal. In the book, there’s a man named Raymond Fosca who is cursed to live forever. He’s doomed to witness humanity’s failures and disappointments, one after another, through history. And he only wants to make the world a better place, but it never works out.”
“I don’t see how spying on a pair of newlyweds is making the world a better place,” Gertie retorted. “All it’s doing is reminding me how long it’s been since I’ve had any action.”
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This story is a licensed work in Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune world.