Murder in the Great Big Playground 

A tale of real estate, murder, politics, and really great powder: Chapter 8

click to enlarge Illustration, Clean Slate, by Justin Ormiston.
  • Illustration, Clean Slate, by Justin Ormiston.

Rory rolled down the passenger window of Patti Peterson’s Cadillac and a blast of ice crystals pelted his face. He needed clarity. All he got was stinging pain.

Patti ripped off one of her feathery turquoise gloves and grabbed his thigh. “I know you’re innocent, Rory.”

He squirmed under the pressure of her French manicure. “Um, good.”

“We have to figure out which little Whistler weasel is out to frame you. Did you know that Minty and Messup — sorry — Chuck, were having an affair?”

Rory coughed. Mumbled an affirmation.

“I know what you think. Minty was just some ole cougar, cattin’ around, getting her meow on. Not Minty St. James. She had a plan. And it was all about money. You got any idea what she and Chuck were up to?”

“Er, a development deal?”

Patti removed her claw from Rory’s thigh and suddenly reefed on the steering wheel, causing the Caddy to fishtail into the driveway of his condo. She e-braked to a sliding stop. “Listen up, Sherlock. You want to beat the rap, you have to get a clue, find out who’s pulled the sucker punch. What kind of a P.I. are you, anyways? Be at my house, tonight at seven, everyone will be there. Do you own a razor?”

Rory nodded. What kind of sick revenge did this woman have in mind?

“Then use it. Last thing this town needs is a bunch of bogus Sasquatch sightings.”

Of course, she was right. Unless Rory got his shiznitz together he’d be making long-time pals with a set of steel bars and a cell-mate nicknamed Big Daddy. Rory showered, shaved and splashed with a dash of Brut. He raced around his entire studio suite (it didn’t take long), bundled six half-quaffed bottles of Grand Royal in his arms and then poured them down the sink. Bye-bye fuzzbrain. “No-Go” McDougall was officially dead. Rory P.I. was alive, alive and kicking.

Rory stood in the vestibule of Patti’s monster-home, while her Aussie manservant removed Rory’s ski jacket and hung it up in a mud-room the size of Rory’s studio suite. The open-plan mansion was stuffed to the gills with Whistler’s ruling elite — councillors, the mayor, municipal staff, SLRD reps, two MLAs, developers and real estate agents — in celebration of the new P3 Sewerage System. In a spectacular feat of boondoggelery, Peterson Putridity Purveyors Ltd. — the new private owner of the municipal water treatment centre — had squashed Whistler Water Watch like a turd under its politically-tied boot.

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