Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blood & Groom - sample, part 2

Continued from previous post...

“So the police must have checked out your story,”
I said.

“Of course, they did, and it’s not a story. It’s the
truth. My mother and I go to the Crystal Cove spa on
the first weekend of every month. We go early Saturday
morning, get the seaweed wrap, chemical peel, and mud
bath, and then we have a facial and mani-pedicure.

“Sounds like perfect mother-daughter bonding.”

Not something that appealed to me, since my mother
had been out of my life since I was two. And not a way
I’d choose to spend a weekend. Too expensive and too
chi-chi for me.

“Then a Shiatsu massage and Bikram yoga in the

“I’m sure it’s lovely.” I could never see the point of
yoga as a part of a fitness regime — too passive, and too
easy to slip into a coma and call it a workout.

“The spa does a weekend cleansing and detoxification,
so we get there at eight on Saturday morning and leave
Sunday afternoon. We drink twelve litres of water, plus
some restorative beverages and a couple of herbal teas.
You should try it.”

“Only if they spike the tea with vodka.”

She raised an eyebrow at me. “We leave refreshed,
and about two or three pounds lighter, though you
obviously don’t need to worry about your weight.
Anyhow, they know me and they’ll tell you I was there
that weekend like usual.”

“Of course. Mud baths are important.”

“Exactly. So that’s my alibi.”
“Well, then if you didn’t kill him, who do you
think did?”

“I have no idea, and I don’t care, except maybe to
thank them, and to bitch them out for making it look like
I did it. Mostly to thank them, though.”

“Like I said, if not you, then who?”

She examined her cuticles and seemed to silently
condemn the manicurist who had performed her latest
claw sharpening. “There were people who didn’t like
him, and people who did, like with most people.”
Eloquence was clearly not her forte. “I can’t think of
anyone who would’ve wanted him dead, though, except
me. He dumped me, completely embarrassed me, and
made a fool of me four months before our wedding. I’d
already been fitted for the dress — a Vera Wang, with a
sweetheart neckline, made of hand-beaded pure silk.”

“You can use it next time.” Something told me
that Christine would probably have enough husbands
throughout her life to start her own baseball team.

“Good God, no. It’s cursed now, so I put it in a
consignment store to recover some of the cost, but it still
hasn’t sold.”

“It’s just waiting for the right bride-to-be.”

 “The invitations had just come from the print shop
two days before Gordon lost his mind and turned into
an asshole. I was about to mail them out, but still hadn’t
decided whether or not to invite Mindy Melnyk, who
used to be my best friend in high school, but —”

“Can you fast-forward? I don’t really care about
Mindy.” Boy, did that interruption net me a dirty look.

“Anyway, Sasha, after he dumped me, I never really
spoke to him again. I had nothing more to do with him
or his family and I steered clear of his friends, so I don’t
know what could’ve happened to him in that time to
make someone want to kill him.” Christine was now
briskly pacing my office as she spoke. The rhythm of her
steps echoed the brusque, staccato delivery of her story.

“Do you think the reason he dumped you had
anything to do with the reason he was killed?” I asked.

“I don’t know. He never gave me any real explanation,
except that he wasn’t ready.”

I could think of any number of reasons why Gordon
might have dumped Christine, and most of them also
pointed to motives for him to have killed her, not vice

“I’ll want to talk to the people who were close to
him. Where does the drink thrower —”


“Right. Where does Cousin Rebecca work?”

Anyone bearing such strong animosity toward
Christine would be interesting to talk to.

“At Chadwick’s in Yorkville. She thinks she’s hot
shit, but really, she’s nothing more than a sales girl.”

My office was only a short walk north to Yorkville,
Toronto’s toniest shopping mecca, which was the polar
opposite of the sleazy area south of Bloor, off Yonge,
where my office was located. Instead of having a view
of the Beautiful People walking past marble-fronted
centres of conspicuous consumption, my office window
overlooked a dollar store, a body piercing shop, a tattoo
parlour, and a Money Mart.

“I guess I’ll get right on this and go talk to her.”
I figured there was no time like the present to find out
what investigating a murder was supposed to feel like.

You can get BLOOD & GROOM on Amazon/Kindle.  CLICK HERE.

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