1. The Van Gogh Caper
It started with a piece of an ear in the mail.
The square envelope was addressed to me: Detective Smith.
I opened it and a swarm of repulsive bugs erupted. I shouted and batted at them. They stung and bit me until I chased the last one out the window. Then I emptied the envelope on my desk.
I gulped and stubbed out my smoke and poured myself a double shot from the fifth in the file cabinet. A private dick should have a secretary to open his mail, but I was as broke as an honest agent.
Why would anybody send me an ear? I decided this one was for the cops. I reached for the phone. It rang before I touched it.
"Detective Smith!" said an old man's heavily accented voice. "There is danger! You must, how you say..."
The voice finished in some rapid foreign tongue; all I could make out was a single phrase repeated over and over: "Mort d'ensign, mort d'ensign." Then the phone went dead.
Did he mean the death of an ensign...or the death of design?
Then I heard a noise outside my office. Through the frosted glass window of the door I saw a shadowy figure moving toward me. I stuffed the envelope and the contents into my pocket.
It looked like something was up.
Next: Thalia Busts In