So Dead the Rose by Sim Albert
hardboiled PI

So Dead the Rose

by Sim Albert


It was love that made him agree to make the payment, to protect her from her husband's infedelity. But will his love for her force him to take the rap for murder?


Chapter 1

Angelica Is Dead

I let the door close with a sharp click, stood there like that with her in my arms, not moving. Then I pushed her away and went over to switch on the light.

“No! No! Don’t, Red, don’t!” she cried, “Please, please don’t.” So I didn’t.

She was in my arms again, trembling like a frightened bird; without looking I knew she was crying, although I didn’t know why. For a brief moment I didn’t care … she was with me again. The scent of her next to me carried the fragrance of time past, and I almost forgot she was married to Mel English. Then I remembered and shoved her away at arm’s-length.

“Red, Red,” she sobbed, “what will I do? Tell me, what will I do?”

There was hysteria fomenting inside her and I acted before it rushed forth from her tight lips. I grabbed her and shook her. “What are you talking about? Do about what?” She was sobbing wildly then, so I shook her some more.

“Vera, Vera! What are you trying to say?”

I relaxed my grip and she leaned heavily against me. “Help me, Red, help me,” she implored, and her fingernails dug deep marks into my forearms. “Angelica!” Vera moaned. “She … she’s … dead!”

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