Authors: David Bishop
Tags: #Mystery: Historical - Romance - Hollywood 1938
|David Bishop - Matt Kile 04 - Find My Little Sister|
|Matt Kile |
|David Bishop (2014)|
|Tags:||Mystery: Historical - Romance - Hollywood 1938|
Mystery: Historical - Romance - Hollywood 1938ttt
Except as otherwise provided for herein, this book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Find My Little Sister
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Copyright © 2013 David M. Bishop
. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical without the express written permission of the author. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.
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Please visit the author website:
Amazon ebook: (ASIN: B00I4IKYII)
Novels by David Bishop
For current information on new releases visit:
Mysteries currently available:
, a Maddie Richards Mystery
Who Murdered Garson Talmadge
, a Matt Kile Mystery
, a story of Linda Darby, an ordinary woman facing extraordinary circumstances
The Third Coincidence
, a Jack McCall Mystery
The Blackmail Club
, a Jack McCall Mystery
The Original Alibi
, a Matt Kile Mystery
Money & Murder
, a Matt Kile Mystery Short Story
Death of a Bankster
, a Maddie Richards Mystery
Love & Other Four-letter Words: a Maybe Murder
, a collection of seven short stories
Future Working Titles
Home Town Secrets, a Linda Darby Mystery
The Red Hat Murders, a Maddie Richards Mystery
Case of the Missing Mistress, a Matt Kile Mystery
The Schroeder Protocol
, a Jack McCall Mystery
Murder by Choice
The Parish Executioner, a Matt Kile Mystery
This novel is dedicated to all those who have read my novels. I appreciate your interest in my writings and the faith you have displayed by purchasing this novel. I trust you will enjoy it and would be pleased to hear from you after you read it.
The author’s aim is to create characters with which those readers can relate, can like or hate as they reach deep within the story to learn if those characters get what they deserve, are captured or saved or seduced or simply survive. The connecting magic of the author-character-reader triad rests in the fact that the readers who like the characters living within the pages of fiction, have themselves endured the trials and tribulations brought to them in their own lives, rather than through an author’s pen. Readers are the true heroes for us all as they sustain us all.
I would like to acknowledge all who have found their way into my life, enriching me by their presence, goodness, and affection. And last, but certainly not least, this book, as with my others, is dedicated to my sons, Todd and Dirk, my grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and my sister Diane Kilby.
My special thanks to the wonderful people who read early drafts and made suggestions which unfailingly enhanced this novel:
Jody Madden, Martha Paley Francescato,
My thanks would not be complete if I did not recognize the special talents and loyalt
ies of the following people and firms:
Despite frequent uses of historical events, this book is a novel, a work of fiction. Some liberties have been taken with the facts, though as few as seemed reasonable in light of telling a story. The characters of: Tony Cornero, Benjamin
“Bugsy” Siegel, Mickey Cohen, Clifford Clinton, Mayor Frank Shaw, Police Chief James “Two-gun” Davis, Private Investigator Frank Raymond, Special Investigator Eddie Kynette, Detective Frank Donahoe, Los Angeles District Attorney Buron Fitts, Los Angeles, California Attorney General Earl Warren, Adolph Hitler, Hermann Goring, Joseph Goebbles, Countess di Frasso, Reverend Billy Graham, Jimmy Vaus, Mayor Fletcher Bowron, Captain Stanley, as well as entertainers such as George Raft, Thelma Todd, Fats Waller, and others are real. With respect to these real people, considerable effort was made to provide accurate references to them or logical or possible extensions of what was known. Still, the story is fiction and a few liberties were taken with the facts.
The primary fictional characters are: Matt Kile, Callie Hampton, Frances Hampton, Guy Hampton, Johnny Breeze, Carter Mitchum, Axel, Sergeant Fidgery, Clara Birnbaum, Slim and Dappy, Pug, and others. This story has fictional bit players who are not listed here due to their limited status within the story.
Find My Little
involved these fictional characters with their story weaved around and through the historical people and events of Los Angeles during the years depicted.
Dramatic license required some condensing or altering of the timing of certain historical events in order to fit the timeline of the story. One example of such a change: a modest altering of the date of the 1938 Santa Anita Handicap race. All the historical events in this novel were presented without intentionally altering how they actually occurred during this fascinating era when Los Angeles, California, was considered America’s Sin City. According to one research count in the late 1930s, L.A. had 1,800 bookie joints, 200 gambling dens, and 600 brothels, all illegal and flourishing. Some imprecision undoubtedly exists as any count of illegal and underground activities must rely on estimates. Still, reasonable efforts were made to keep the setting for this story within the realm of what actually did happen, what may well have happened, and, in some instances, what may be inferred from the historical events.
My apology to the numerous gangsters and coppers whose roles in the incidents touched on in this story were not included in this novel, or may have been minimized. To the extent this occurred, it was done in the interests of keeping the story crisp and moving.
By David Bishop
It all started quietly enough, but the quiet didn’t hold …
“Good Morning, Sergeant Fidgery. Mr. Kile’s out on the patio.
He’s getting set up to start his new novel. He’s expecting you, go on out.”
“Thanks, Axel.” The sergeant walk
ed through the stackable glass sliders, fully open, a wide throat to the fourth floor patio on Matt Kile’s Long Beach, California, Condo, sea gulls soaring not far off the outside rail.
“Hey Matthew, thanks for the invitation for breakfast. I wish Axel would call me Fidge.
“He has his code. On the job,
when others are about, he often calls me Mr. Kile, when he doesn’t just call me boss. Off the job he’ll likely call you Fidge, but not when he’s on duty.”
“Don’t you think that’s
a bit old-fashioned?”
“Sit down. Pour yourself some coffee. After forty years in prison, Axel is a bit old-fashioned
, likely always will be. It’s his way. Let him be.” Fidge poured a cup, adding a little cream, as Matt said more. “You’re in for a real treat. Axel’s making up a batch of his puffy pancakes.”
the hell’s a puffy pancake?”
“Just be hungry.
Axel brought out a carafe of just-made
coffee and some fresh-squeezed orange juice. Axel refused to serve concentrates or the bottled juice you get at the supermarket.
“You watch the Dodger
s game last night?” Fidge asked.
“I did. Yeah. Nice win.”
“What about you, Axel? Are you a Dodgers fan?”
“I am, Sergeant. But the games aren’t like they were
when I was young.”
“Why is that?”
“Years ago, when I listened to the Dodgers play, the players all seemed as big as Paul Bunyon and as kindly as Santa Claus: Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, and Jackie Robinson, all of ‘em. Now, they’re on TV every night. Instead of the magic of your imagination, you can watch ‘em spit and scratch and read their lips when they get mad. Not the same, but, yes, I’m a Dodger fan, a Vince Scully fan.” Then Axel spun on his heels and headed back to the kitchen, saying over his shoulder, “Need to get back to the stove.”
“Axel said you’re about ready to start work on your next
novel,” Fidge said. “What’s this one going to be about?”
It’ll be different from my others. Remember my telling you my father was born in L.A. and that his father had been a newspaper reporter? Actually, Granddad wrote a freelance column which was picked up by several papers up and down the coast. My father used to spin yarns about his father’s escapades working the L.A. crime beat in the old days. I still have my grandmother’s scrapbook containing all the columns Granddad wrote in the 30s and 40s. I’ve read them all numerous times; I know some of them nearly by heart. I’ve always wanted to write a mystery that took place in that era, so I’m gonna do it. Maybe it will be a historical novel featuring my grandfather or maybe my regular protagonist, if I can figure out how to transport him from today back to the 30s without turning it into paranormal story—I won’t do that. As you can tell, I’ve not done much fine tuning of how the story will roll out. But I’ll get her done.”
“You used to talk
about your granddad and those days, years ago, back when we were on stakeouts. I confess, I don’t recall a lot of it. Weren’t you all named Matthew, you, your father and grandfather?”
Yeah, fortunately Granddad didn’t make my dad Matthew the second so I avoided becoming Matthew the third. My plan is to somehow craft a historical novel probably around my granddad’s life during that flamboyant era. If you saw the movie
, Grandad’s time came a decade or so before that. But enough about my plans, you said you had a matter you wanted to talk over with me.”
A missing person’s case you might be interested in. As you know, the department won’t do much until the person’s missing for a while. Too many of them end up a false alarm when the person shows up after an unannounced weekend with a lover or a trip to Vegas. This here woman’s younger sister is missing. A bit of a wild thing she admits. She’s been missing … well, I’m not exactly sure how long before the report was filed. Unfortunately, missing person cases don’t get much attention unless the family’s got juice. In this case, with her older sister admitting the younger one’s a, well, let’s just say, a free spirit, I don’t expect a big push on the case.”
That all sounds rather routine. What’s so special about this one?”
The older sister’s a real looker. Don’t get me wrong, she ain’t old. I’d peg her at maybe late thirties, but I’m not all that good at guessing the age of women. They’re so good at keeping themselves looking young. I didn’t handle the report, just saw the older sister. Frankly, she was hard to miss.”
“So how does this all swing around to me?”
“You being single and spending so many hours squirreled away with your stories, you aren’t dating all that much right now. I got to figuring you might want to meet her. She’s single too, by the way. Lousy get acquainted circumstances, but a meet’s a meet, right?”
get enough of that matchmaking from your wife. Is this your idea or Brenda’s?”
I know Brenda’s always introducing you to single women, but this one’s my idea. However, Brenda agreed after I told her about the lady. Will you meet with her?”
Before Fidge could answer, Axel came running into the room pulling off his oven gloves. “Mr. Kile, come quick. Clara just killed a man. At least she thinks he’s dead. You too, Sergeant
Fidgery, please.” When Matt and Fidge looked at each other, Axel added, “Hurry.”
A moment later the
three of them were out the door. They skipped the elevator and headed down the stairs. Axel and Clara lived three condos apart on the floor below Matt. They hurried down the stairs, jumping the last two steps to the landing. Axel talked between his gasps for air.
Clara was making breakfast when this guy suddenly walked into her kitchen and came up behind her. She saw his reflection on her microwave. The guy had a knife in his hand. She beat him up with her pots and pans. Clara’s a tough old bird. She’s sure he’s dead.”
“Does she know who he is?” Sergeant Fidgery asked.
“That’s all I know. There she is, in the hall outside her door. Hurry.”
Clara Birbaum wa
s a retired English teacher, a bit eccentric, and Axel’s love interest, although, that might overstate their relationship. They spent time together. Shopped together, and Clara often baked pies for Axel and Matt.
“Oh, Matt, thank you for coming
.” She hugged Axel, who then introduced the sergeant. “He’s in here.” She pointed through her open front door.
Tell us what happened, as clearly as you can remember,” Matt said. “Then we’ll go look. Let’s go inside and close the door, but stay in the living room.”
After they went in, Fidge closed the door. Axel took Clara’s hand and led her over to the couch.
“I went to the stove to take some hardboiled eggs off the burner. After the water boils I take them off the burner and cover them for about ten—” Axel squeezed her hand. “Oh, okay,” she said. “I’m sorry. This isn’t easy. So, there I am, facing the stove holding the handle of the pot. I see his reflection in the glass door of the micro over the stovetop. I don’t know him and he’s raising a knife.”
“Tell them what you did,” Axel said.
“It was more a reflex than a conscious decision. I was scared. I’m so sorry I killed him.” Axel patted her hand. She looked at him and he nodded for her to continue. “I whirled and tossed the boiling water and six eggs in his face. The eggs are still on the floor… . I should have cleaned up the mess before you came. I guess I wasn’t thinking.”
“No. You did right
,” Matt said.
Fidge nodded his
agreement. “The kitchen is just the way it was when it happened?”
“Yes. I haven’t gone back in th
ere. I called Axel and waited in the hallway.”
Matt said, “What makes you think he’s dead? I mean, boilin
g water would burn him, but it wouldn’t kill him.”
“The skillet did that
,” Clara said as if they already knew about her following up with the skillet. “He screamed from the burns and started toward me again, yelling he was going to kill me. That’s when I hit him with my iron skillet. I keep it on the stovetop all the time. Don’t I Axel?” He nodded. “I wasn’t cooking anything in it, but I clanked him on the side of his burnt head. He went down. He started to get up slowly, still cursing at me something awful. I hit him again, this time right on top of his head. I’m afraid I used both hands to swing the skillet. He hasn’t moved since… . I know he must be dead.”
” Sergeant Fidgery said, “stay with Clara. Matt, let’s go have a look.” Sergeant Fidgery, a big man, tall and wide, ducked instinctively as they entered Clara’s kitchen.
“Be careful,” Clara said. “The floor will be slippery. It’s still wet.”
Ten minutes later, Fidge and Matt came back into the living room. “Ms. Birnbaum,” Fidge said, “the scene supports it going down the way you said. And, yes, he is dead.”
Clara stood and faced Matt and Fidge.
“Will I have to go to Prison, Sergeant Fidgery?”
“I doubt it, ma’am. But that’s not my call. Because I’m personal friends with Axel
, with Matt for decades, departmental protocol won’t let me handle this. While we were in the kitchen, I called the station. Someone from major crimes is on the way here, a good man. You understand?” Clara nodded. “I also called the medical examiner’s office. They’re on the way. The detective will take you down to the station and get your official statement. Just tell it there like you told it here. Don’t sweat it. It’s just there are procedures I need to follow. After you give your statement, an officer will likely bring you home.”
“Likely?” Clara said
, sufficiently excited that she rose onto her toes as she said it, her eyebrows as high as she could raise them.
“He has to say it that way, Clara,” Matt
explained. “He’s handed off jurisdiction of the case. He had to. The decisions aren’t his to make. You don’t have anything to worry about. Just do what the sergeant said. Tell it there like you told it here.”
“You have a right to defend yourself and your home. Trust the system,” Fidge said. “We know what this is all about.
The detective that comes out will get this bum identified. I checked the guy’s pockets. No ID. He likely has a rap sheet, probably more burglaries. Odds are the detective will have him identified in no time.”
* * *
Two hours later, the body was gone and Clara was in the back of a squad car on her way to the stationhouse to give her statement. Matt led Fidge back to his condo. They had missed breakfast so Axel offered to make his puffy pancakes for lunch.
they went back out onto his patio, Matt put his hand to his head and then collapsed to the deck. He went down like a dropped shirt. Out cold.
“He had a bad headache this morning,” Axel said. “I think he had it last night
, but he didn’t say anything then.”
a few more minutes passed without either Fidge or Axel being able to revive him, Fidge took out his cell phone. “I’m calling the station to get an ambulance out here … with a police escort.”
From the time Matt fell to the deck of his patio until he was in a ho
spital bed, he had not regained consciousness.
y waited for what seemed too long, a doctor came into the waiting area.
“Mr. Kile is in a coma,” the doctor said.
“At the moment, we’re guessing he has a leaking brain aneurysm. If so, we’ll need to get in there right away and stop the leak. That will mean a trip to the O.R. First we’ll run some diagnostic tests and scans. For the moment, we’ll keep him in neuro ICU. That way we can monitor his condition and treat accordingly. Check with the nurses’ station about visitation.”