Phantoms Can Be Murder: Charlie Parker Mystery #13
haunted places research for awhile.
    “It’s close to a mile each
direction,” she said as we put on our jackets. “We could take the car if you’d
rather not do that much walking.”
    “The walk will be good for me.
Have to shake off the weirdness of that dream.”
    Softly glowing street lamps gave
the street a peaceful ambiance. We cut through the main shopping district where
all the stores were now closed and the pedestrian walkways deserted and quiet.
    “I love this part of town after
dark,” Louisa said. “It’s so much hustle-bustle during the day but I have the
whole place to myself in the evenings.”
    I agreed that it felt entirely
different now. Brightly lit restaurants were filled, obviously the places where
many of those pedestrians retired at dinner time. We came to the Fox Inn much
more quickly than I expected and were ushered into a nice dining room with
heavy wood paneling, high ceilings and white tablecloths.
    “How was your day, aside from
trying to figure out what disturbed Dolly’s sleep?” she asked, once we’d ordered
glasses of wine. When it arrived we drank a little toast to staying sane.
    “Well, I visited the museum and
the newspaper, as you’d suggested. Did you know that the Trahorn Building where
Dolly’s shop stands was once a slaughter house and butcher shop? In later years
it was a bicycle shop.” At her smile, I realized what a silly question that was
for a local person. “Of course you knew it, didn’t you?”
    “I’d actually forgotten. My
research focused on the high points that would interest tourists. I could probably
stand to go back to my books for a refresher on a lot of the other history.”
    Our server approached to tell us
that the special was a lovely portion of prime rib, served with potatoes and
vegetables. Somehow I couldn’t bring myself to have it, still thinking of the
knit shop being haunted by the spirits of all those dead cows. Silly, I know,
but I ordered the chicken instead.
    “All right,” Louisa said once
we’d received our starters. “Let’s say Dolly really did dream the vision of the
man in her shop last night. She obviously didn’t dream that her yarns were all
scrambled or that the tea scalded her hand. What do you suppose happened on
those occasions?”
    “The thought came to me that
someone is trying to scare her into moving out of the building. But how are
they doing it, and why? I have to figure that out.”
    “The thrift shop folks moved
quite suddenly as well. It could be the same thing.”
    “I checked on that. The manager
told me that they’d received an offer of free rent in their new location.
That’s the reason they moved, pure and simple.”
    She pursed her mouth and pushed
away her plate. I was still working on my mushroom caps but a new idea occurred
to me.
    “On the chance that someone may
be coming back to look for something, I explored the cellar of Dolly’s shop
yesterday. I found evidence of digging in the dirt under the stone flooring.
She thought Archie had called a plumber awhile back. But what if he didn’t? She
could be mistaken and someone else left the flooring in a mess.”
    “Oh, my! A buried treasure or
something? How exciting!”
    “A bricked-up section of wall was
another unusual thing,” I said. “When I asked about that she said there used to
be a series of tunnels under the town. She assumed the doorway was part of
that.”
    Our entrées arrived then and I could
tell that Louisa could hardly wait for our server to leave again.
    “The part about the tunnels is
true. The river flooded some and the town council voted to fill them in.” Her
eyes grew bright. “But all that happened quite a way from Dolly’s part of town.
I seriously doubt her shop was part of the network.”
    “So what would that bricked-up
doorway lead to?”
    “What, indeed,” she mused.
    I cut into my chicken breast. It
was incredibly tender and the sauce was perfect.
    “Charlie, I think we should offer
to stay the

Similar Books

Bound Together

Marie Coulson

No Dress Rehearsal

Marian Keyes

Alligator Action

Ali Sparkes

Raven's Shadow

Patricia Briggs

Mrs. Wakeman vs. the Antichrist

Robert Damon Schneck

Getting Home

Celia Brayfield

Dating Delaney

K Larsen, Wep Romance, Wep Fiction