Maxwell Street Blues

Maxwell Street Blues by Marc Krulewitch Read Free Book Online

Book: Maxwell Street Blues by Marc Krulewitch Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marc Krulewitch
Tags: Mystery
and needed tax advice. Jerry and I served on a steering committee together for a local nonprofit, and that’s when he recommended him. In fact, Jerry had some business to discuss with Snooky and invited me along to meet him and ask my real estate questions. I decided to just hire him to do my taxes.”
    “Snooky knew about your arrangement with Audrey’s father?”
    Conway gave me a puzzled look. “What arrangement?”
    “Running a for-profit business from a public university office, and, perhaps, evangelizing while you’re at it.”
    “The university treats me as if I was an adjunct professor. Adjunct professors are allowed to work outside the academic scope. You should check the bylaws, Mr. Landau. And my job is to counsel people. I resent the suggestion I proselytize.” I’d hit a nerve.
    “Checking the bylaws is a good idea,” I said. “I hope you don’t mind if I stop by again should I have more questions.”
    “As you said, it’s a public university. Whether I mind or not is irrelevant.”
* * *
    Because I was still dissecting my conversation with Conway as I walked back to my apartment, I didn’t notice the Crown Vic still parked in front of my building until an angry voice interrupted my thoughts. I turned and saw Kalijero’s face looking out the passenger side window.
    “What do I gotta do to get a call back?” he said.
    “You’re being too needy, Jimmy. It’s a turnoff.” I resumed walking and heard the car door slam.
    “What the fuck, Jules,” Kalijero said, running over. “We’re on the same team here. Let’s look over what we got.”
    I stopped and faced him. “Okay, you start. Whaddya got?”
    Kalijero frowned. “There’s a rumor someone was messing around Snooky’s neighbor’s backyard.”
    “What else you got?”
    “You’re starting to piss me off. Was that you? You got some evidence you want to show me?”
    “I’ll tell you what, Jimmy, you come clean with me, and I’ll do the same. Why do you care so much about his murder?”
    “Like I said, I don’t like seeing civilians get hurt—”
    “Why not just tell me why you care so much—”
    “Because I don’t have to!” Kalijero shouted. “I’m the police, remember? It’s you who has to talk, and if you don’t start soon, I’ll have you arrested for obstruction!” Kalijero took a step back and wiped the spittle off his mouth. He looked pathetic standing there taking deep breaths, trying to calm himself. I resumed walking toward my building. “You’re too cocky, Landau,” Kalijero shouted. “That might get you into trouble.” Once again, I knew he was right.

    I lay down on the couch and tried to collect my thoughts. The apartment’s one window air conditioner struggled to keep pace with the July heat, but the white noise helped me drift into one of those late afternoon slumbers where the events of the past two days ricocheted around my subconscious. Audrey, Kalijero, and Linda Conway took turns demanding my attention while I became increasingly aware of pressure on my abdomen with intermittent pinpricks. Consciousness returned with the phone ringing. Punim lay on my pelvis, kneading with her front paws.
    “A cop just stopped by,” the female voice said, and it took a moment for the dust to settle in my brain before I recognized Audrey’s voice.
    “Detective Kalijero. He’s been tracking me.”
    “He wanted to know what we talked about. He freaked me out.”
    “Just tell him what you know. He’s the police.”
    “I said we talked about my friendship with Snooky and that I told you someone called Milly was nervous. Then he asked if you had a book of Snooky’s clients, and I said I didn’t know.”
    “There is no book.”
    “He scared me. He really wanted that book. It almost felt like he was threatening me. Are you sure you don’t have a book? I don’t want him coming back here.”
    I reassured Audrey she had nothing to fear or hide and told her to always cooperate with the cops, and then I

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