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by Mike McHone

About the Author: Mike McHone lives, writes, and takes up space in the Metro Detroit area. His work has previously appeared in The AV Club, Playboy, the Detroit News, and the March 2019 issue of Mystery Weekly. His work is also forthcoming in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, and Ellery Queen.


It took approximately ten minutes to put out the car fire, and less than thirty seconds for the fire department to discover the body inside of it.

Detectives Molly Fetterly and Jim Biggins arrived at the shuttered Union Camp paper plant on Monday just after 3 am, and saw what was left of the Nissan Sentra in the swirling red and white lights of the fire truck parked nearby. Fire Department Lieutenant Kevin Dobbs stood by the car and shouted to the three younger firefighters with him to “get the pipe racked up” in case they had to “go out on another stretch” that night. Dobbs was a stout man with a face as worn and as creased as the gloves on his hands. When he noticed the Detectives crossing the parking lot he waved one of the gloves at them. “Chewie and Leia, nice to see you again.”

Molly, who barely cleared five foot, looked up at the six-foot-six Jim Biggins and asked, “That never gets old, does it?”

“Oh, not at all,” he deadpanned. “What’s the other thing they call us?”

“Hagrid and Hermione.”

“Yeah, that one’s a hoot.”  

“Relax,” Dobbs said. “I’m just busting your balls. Truth be told, I’m glad you got here as quick as you did. I didn’t want the sharks coming out before we had this squared away.”

“Sharks?” Molly asked.



“Anyway, it’s in the truck. You can see it through the backseat.”

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