Body, Soul, Murder, Part one, by Edward King

#body-soul-murder #comic #detective #noir

Woody Bleeker walked through the rain that dripped through the few narrow cracks that the city left open to the sky. Four years he’d worked this beat. Detective, NYPD. It sounded so glamorous. But all he had to show for it in four years was a drinking problem and bad dreams.

He let himself into his apartment. He took a bottle of scotch from the bureau and poured himself a glass. He was just about to take the first sip when a sound came down the stairs.


He stopped, the bottle in his hands.

“What, ma?”

“I got you a new pair of socks!”

“Ma, I told you, I don’t need any more socks right now!”

“Yes you do, all your socks have holes in them!”


“And there’s still some rice pudding in the fridge, but don’t eat it in your room!”

“I can eat my rice pudding where I want, ma!”

“Don’t talk back to me. And you need to get an early night tonight—you can’t be a big secretary at the police department if you don’t get enough sleep.”

“Ma, I’m not a secretary, I’m a detective!”

“Woody, how long are you going to keep that up? Being a clerk in the detective bureau doesn’t make you a detective!”


Work was hell the next day, as always. Woody’s tiny office in the police department was filled to the ceiling with stacks of binders and manila folders. A never-ending stream of cases, of good people making bad mistakes. Until Maria walked in.

She came through the door, her head buried in a book. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. Neruda.

She was beautiful. Eyes like sapphires, artfully sloppy makeup and a French haircut topped off a body to die for entombed in a floral-print dress.

A woman this beautiful had never been in Woody’s office before. He panicked.

“I’m sorry, you must be in the wrong place,” he called. “Sometimes people can’t read the sign—the lettering is starting to come off.”

She didn’t hear him speak. She pulled herself out of her book and noticed Woody.

“Detective?” she said.

“Defective? I would have just said ‘broken’…”

“No, are you Detective Bleeker? My name is Maria Moretti, I was wondering if……”

She was tough on the outside, but Woody thought he could see a spark of innocence hidden behind the exterior. She was just a kid.

“…No, not me,” Woody said. “I’m just Woody Bleeker.”

“But I read about you in the paper. All about how you took care of that mob killer, what was his name, Andiamo. I have the clipping right here. ”

It dawned on Woody that something significant had happened. Whether it was terrible or wonderful, he still didn’t know.

“Can I see that?” he said. “I… need to make sure that they got my middle name right, the spelling is very complicated.”

She handed him the clipping.


by Ron Hackman

Detectives arrived at an apartment on 21st and fourth last night to find a pool of blood seeping out from underneath the crack in the door. They entered to find human viscera hung over the dresser. A severed arm swung suspended from the chandelier as a warning to anyone foolish enough to investigate…

Enter Woody Bleeker, the new rising star of NYPD’s detective unit. Bleeker, beaming with pride, explained that the wanton destruction in the apartment was the work of one Amerigo Andiamo, the famous “Butcher of the Mob.”

Andiamo is the Italian mafia’s second most notorious killer, known for sending the family members of his victims smoothies made from their remains.

“Well, I got the dirty bastard,” said Bleeker. “I hope this teaches all the other scum like him that’s out there that the city’s jails are where they belong.”

Andiamo escaped from prison several minutes after this reporter obtained the above quote.

The recent escape leaves the mob’s number one killer, Amerigo Andiamo, on the loose. Andiamo, when reached for comment, told the New York Daily Tribune that he was going to “gut that pig Woody Bleeker the next chance I get.”

Below the article there was a little black and white picture of Andiamo. He was a massive, muscular man, impeccably dressed. He wore a suit and a bowler hat and his face was covered with scars, and he was smiling like he’d just given a kid a skinned knee and enjoyed it.

Woody gulped. This was a frame up. Someone wanted him dead.

He thought it out. If looks could kill, this girl would be a pound of dynamite. She was trouble. But by the looks of it, trouble had already found him, whether he liked it or not. This was turning into a real problem, and he had never been one for math.

“Detective Bleeker?” said Maria.

Woody looked up.

“You were mumbling. Listen, if this is a bad time…”

He shook his head.

“Good. So, I’ve been having some problems with my husband.”

“What kind of problems?” Woody said.

Maria blushed. “Never you mind that,” she said. “But he’s into some dirty business. I think he has connections with the mob. I want to spy on him.”

She looked around at the stacks of papers that filled the cramped office.

“It looks like you could use a break, anyway,” she said. “Why don’t you come out with me tonight and I can explain things better. Pretend it’ll be fun.” She cocked an eyebrow suggestively. Suggesting what, Woody could only guess.

Follow Ed at @edjamesking

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A ’40s Detective Sells His Story to the Movies by Robert King

#action #dark and stormy night #detective #fiction #flashfiction #noir #thriller


Meanwhile, on a dark and stormy night that soaked the homicide report I carried, I went for the second time seeking clues in the room of the mysterious murdered heiress. Needless to say she wasn’t home.

Or was she? Her perfume still smelled like trouble. As soon as I closed the door behind me and before I found the light switch, a shapely shadow, dressed in the color of night, emerged from a dark corner and crossed the dim light of the window.

The way everything was flickering, I thought someone had left a projector running, but it was a lady dressed in black doing the running. I couldn’t see her face, but she had to be the most beautiful babe in the world.

“Stick ‘em up!” she commanded. I thought she pulled her piece to shoot me down, but at gunpoint she slammed my raised hands into the bedpost and locked the cuffs. No, my dear reader, you don’t know how it ends.

Getting her kicks, I guess, she forced half a bottle of Kentucky bourbon down my throat, lit a Camel, took a puff, and blew smoke in my face. “Was it good for you?” she purred. Pretty smart cookie.

Whether it was the booze or the smoke, I passed out like technicolor into black and white
as all the power went off in the building, the only light a sputtering bar sign and swords of lightning outside. When I came almost to, all I could see of her was a glowing coal about lip high.

Then I heard Tootsie (as I like to call her) chugging the bottom half of the bottle, opening another―gin this time, I detected, by the smell of pine needles―and pouring it all over me. Cuffed helpless I was no match for her, so she struck her own, lit a new Camel, and threw the burning match down on my booze-soaked chest. The cheap gin wouldn’t burn. It just sneezed a few times, then flamed out. Still, I was so tanked up with 90 proof that I was afraid to breathe.

Confused by the homicide report and the way this story was going, when I cooled down I asked her if she was alive or dead. She said she wasn’t that kind of girl. She never said anything more. During the power outage, the Camel burned down to her classy lips.

Or did it? In the light of day, she had vanished like a bad habit, leaving the .22 caliber pistol with a cigarette stub in the lips of its barrel, the hair on my chest singed, and this case still wide open. Only the scent of her perfume, like a drifting clue to follow, stayed in the room. It smelled like gasoline.

Some dames like it hot.

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