A Taste of a Mystery-in-Progress

I’m sharing the opening paragraphs of my current mystery-in-progress, entitled The Neptune Brain Trust. I hope you’ll be intrigued!

Chapter 1: The Fountain

            Only Aunt Lucy would have the audacity to put a replica of the famous Neptune Fountain in her huge backyard. The original is in the Boboli Gardens on the grounds of the Pitti Palace in Florence. Lucy, at her most extravagant and outrageous, had the fountain installed after she visited me during the year I spent in Italy studying art. That year was Lucy’s gift to me—a gift from one family outlier to the other, an acknowledgement that there were two of us and, although we fit together, we didn’t fit in with the rest of the clan.

            The moon was full and as I approached the fountain, I saw a figure in the ‘cave’ beneath Neptune’s trident. At first, I thought someone was playing a cruel prank on the new owner of the large and mystifying house, with a store mannequin installed to frighten me. But as I grew closer, I realized that it was a body. It was an old man’s body, with-wide open dark eyes, sparse gray hair, pale skin, and a stubble of beard on his chin and cheeks. Someone had placed a corpse in the fountain!

            I told myself it could be worse; the water could have been on. Then I took a deep breath, called 911, and gave the dispatch operator a cogent and calm description of what I’d found. My time, however brief, working in law enforcement taught me that CALM is always appreciated. The voice on the other end of the call wasn’t familiar to me, but she knew who I was.


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