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Murder In Mudville

by Robert Lopresti

About the Author: Robert Lopresti is the award-winning author of 80+ mystery stories. He is a retired librarian who lives in the Pacific Northwest and he blogs at SleuthSayers and Little Big Crimes.


There were days when Grogan pitied any man who, through accident of birth or lack of determination, failed to become Chief of Police. Who would not want the authority, the beautiful blue uniform, the shiny badge and pistol, not to mention the respect and admiration of one’s fellow townspeople?

There were also days, alas, when he would have gladly traded his job for a two-cent cigar and not even asked for a match.

Today was one of the latter kind.

This Saturday boasted the biggest game of the summer, with his town’s beloved team battling their long-time rivals, the much-despised Plainfield Panthers. Anyone with a sporting soul and a lick of sense was at the baseball grounds on the edge of town, reveling in the great American pastime.

But not Grogan. Not the dedicated and hard-working Chief of Police.

During the night some fool had scribbled a chalk drawing of the Mayor on the side wall of the Emporium, the largest and fanciest store in the metropolis. It was not, critics might agree, the most accurate nor artistic of portraits. More importantly, it was not flattering either.

The Mayor expected Grogan to lay hands on the culprit, even if he had to interrogate everyone tall enough to draw the hobo-style busted fedora shown jauntily perched on His Honor’s head.

It was worth noting that the Mayor was the owner of the Emporium and, not coincidentally, the wealthiest man in town.

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