Honey, I know you’re about to go down to the marina to look for clues, but do you have a few minutes to sit down for a quick champagne brunch? I’ve ordered us both the quail egg omelet, with the sweet potato hash browns you like. And there’s fresh strawberries, too. Lionel went all the way down to Long Beach to the fruit wholesaler to make sure they were good and ripe.
That’s wonderful, sweetheart. Just sit down. I promise I won’t keep you long.
I know you’re working hard to solve the murder of Ramona Fairchild. I’m proud of you for being willing to help the police find the killer. And believe me, I know how much you enjoy solving murder mysteries. After you retired from being CEO of your own company, I was worried that you wouldn’t find something challenging to do with your time. Solving these mysteries has definitely been challenging, and I know it’s been rewarding, too.
I just think that maybe you’ve been spending maybe a little bit too much time on them lately.
Please understand, I’m not telling you to quit on the Ramona Fairchild case. I know she was your close friend from college, and I think that you’re on the right track in thinking that Baron von Ravenscroft knows more than he’s been telling. I was just thinking, though, that once this case is over, maybe you might consider taking a little break from solving murder mysteries, that’s all.
I know I’ve said this before, and I don’t want to sound like a broken record. But you have to admit that you’ve spent a lot of time lately on murder mysteries. Before this case, you had the Santa Monica smuggling ring, and the Griffith Park Garrotter, and the case with that horrible one-armed man in Silver Lake. It’s just been one murder mystery after another, and I think it’s time we sit down and had a real heart-to-heart about what it is you’re trying to accomplish.
Darling, you know I love you. I support you. And I understand how important solving these mysteries is to you, week in and week out. I just think that a little hiatus is in order, don’t you?
I do think we’re both overdue for a vacation. But this is exactly what I’m talking about. We went to Tahiti, and we weren’t on the beach for five minutes before that mysterious dead body floated up on the tide. We went to Florence, and we’d barely set foot in the Uffizi before you got roped into that case involving those stolen Carravagios. We couldn’t even go to your niece’s college graduation in Boston without you single-handedly apprehending the MFA Murderer. We haven’t had a vacation in the last three years that hasn’t been interrupted by you trying to solve a mystery.
Well, yes, and succeeding. Fine.
No, I am not being ungrateful. I do appreciate that you saved me when Amanda Grayson tried to frame me for murdering Stanton Overholt. I said so at the time, and I’ve said so every time you’ve brought it up since then. And I am very glad you rescued me when the Corazon y Corazon Cartel kidnapped me in Mazatlan that time, but that was really your own fault for interfering with them on their own turf.
Sweetheart, you are not listening to me. I am not saying to never get involved with another murder mystery again. I would never say that. I know how much it means to you. I know that you get a real sense of satisfaction every time Detective Spelling snaps those handcuffs on another murderer and hauls him off to jail. It’s just that murder is almost a constant part of our lives now, and maybe it shouldn’t be.
Yes, I have been talking to Sally McMillan a lot lately. What about it? We have completely different situations, you know that. Sally is trying to get her husband to retire. You’re already retired. And you’re enjoying yourself, which is fine. But there are other ways to do that, darling.
Well, there are! We haven’t been to the chalet in Idaho in months. You were raving about that Peruvian bistro in Century City for days, and we haven’t been back there once. We missed two concerts that you wanted to see at the Hollywood Bowl because you were on a stakeout out in Oxnard. We haven’t even done so much as to take a quick sail over to Catalina lately. The yacht is just sitting there at the marina, gathering dust. In fact, why don’t I ride down there with you? I could take a quick look at it and make sure everything is shipshape.
Oh, wait. When you said that they found poor Ramona’s body at the marina, I just assumed you meant Marina del Rey. You didn’t tell me she was killed at Redondo Beach.
It makes a huge difference, doesn’t it? I mean, the Baron was arrested on Venice Beach at 10:05 that night. You told me the coroner said the time of death was 9:45. There’s no way the Baron could have killed Ramona in Redondo Beach and then gone all the way north to Venice in twenty minutes. So that means he must be innocent, doesn’t it?
f it’s not the Baron, then the logical place to start is the other people who have yachts on that slip. Maybe one of them was aboard when Ramona was killed. Didn’t you say you saw Maurice Desrosiers when you pulled up to the crime scene? I’m not saying it was Maurice, but you might check and see if he has an alibi. I mean, he certainly had motive.
Of course Maurice had a motive, dear. Didn’t you remember? Ramona and Maurice’s sister were both up for the same role in that Leonard Shapiro movie. And when Ramona won the part, Maurice’s sister committed suicide. That was right before you retired, otherwise you probably would have been in on that investigation, too. I know that‘s just circumstantial. You’d have to have physical evidence, his DNA or something.
All right then, darling. I understand. Go to the crime lab and check it out. But we are not finished having this conversation. Go solve your mystery. But when this is over, we’re going somewhere for a vacation where there aren’t any murders to solve. All right? Promise me, sweetheart.
I love you, too.