A murder in a flower shop sends Henny and Lloyd on a not-so-merry chase into the mysterious family dynamics of a clan who live by their own rules. But nothing is too bizarre for Henny and Lloyd. Noses to the grindstone they follow the clues and shock even themselves when they lay bare the facts of the matter and uncover the events that led to the murder in the flower shop. Then they are hired by a nine-year-old girl who plops her piggy bank on Lloyd’s desk and describes her problem. Our heroes take her case, which proves to be anything but childish, and in this instance, do a family some good. As that escapade comes to a close, an old man totters into the office of Henny and Lloyd and begs them to take on an assignment they realize has no chance of coming to a happy conclusion. Yet, they agree to help the old man and see the mystery through to its end, whether to a happy conclusion or otherwise, time will tell.
Henny and I usually went to the office separately, each of us wandering in usually before eleven. On this day, though, we met in the lobby of our building at nine and off we went, looking forward to a rousing morning.
Donna Collins burst through our office door on the stroke of ten. We’d moved our client chair in front of my desk, hoping to spare Henny some of the incoming, but it didn’t matter. Donna had no intention of sitting for our discussion.
“How could you do it?” she asked, staring a hole through Henny. “I sent you to protect him, and it’s you who’s responsible for him being a…a…fugitive.”
“The police haven’t found him yet?” I asked.
Donna stood starkly erect, her chest billowing in and out, her gaze going from Henny to me to Henny to me.
“No,” she answered. To Henny she said, “What happened yesterday?”
Henny explained, then added, “I had no idea it was Charles who went in before me. I only saw him from the back. I wanted to speak with Fred Ott alone. When the person who I didn’t know was Charles lingered, I went in and saw what I saw—your boyfriend with a knife in his hand. He dropped the knife and ran. It was Charles. No question.” Henny tried to go on but gave up the effort, shrugged, and sat back.
Donna paced a moment before giving Henny and me another look. Then she said, “He called me.” Donna pressed her lips together, clearly upset.
Henny asked, “Can you tell us what he said?”
“Yes. He said he didn’t do it.”
I felt disappointed. Naturally he’d say that.
“Did he say anything more?” Henny went on.
“Very little. We only spoke for maybe thirty seconds. He told me he went to ask Fred for his job back again. He went into the store, but it looked empty. He walked to the counter and saw Fred sprawled on the floor behind it, a big knife sticking out of him.”