The Metaphysical Detective (A Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mystery)

The Metaphysical Detective (A Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mystery) by Kirsten Weiss Read Free Book Online

Book: The Metaphysical Detective (A Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mystery) by Kirsten Weiss Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kirsten Weiss
Tags: Suspense, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, San Francisco, female sleuth, Occult, San Mateo
inch and drove a long splinter into her palm.  “Brigitte?”
    There was a scrabbling sound from outside.  “You sly boots,” Brigitte said.  “So how was trouble?”
     Riga picked at the splinter.  “I don’t know.  I can’t remember much after I arrived at the Cliff House.  Did you see us return?”
    There was a long silence.
    “Brigitte?” Riga prompted.
    “You understand, I am not a peeping tom.  I want you to have love, yes, but I respect your privacy.”
    “Brigitte…” she said warningly.
    “I saw you get out of ze car with him.  You looked happy – two lovers returning to the nest.  But I did not spy into your quarters.”
    The splinter broke in two, leaving a short piece deep beneath her skin.  “Darn.”
    Riga started calling the numbers from Helen’s cell phone.  Two of the three M’s refused to speak with her.  Marta, however, agreed to meet her over coffee that afternoon.
    She sorted the mail – an envelope for Mr. Chen.  There was no escaping it, so dutifully she walked down the hall to his studio.  The door popped open as she raised her hand to knock.   They looked at each other, the surprised expression on his wizened face mirroring her own.  He smoothed the front of his pale blue, quilted jacket.  The light from above glinted off his smooth, balding head.  He’d combed a few long wisps of gray across it.    
    “I brought your mail, sir,” Riga said, extending the envelope.
    “Thank you.  You haven’t been to practice lately.” 
    She winced.
    “Have you been practicing your Tai Chi?” he asked.
    She nodded.
    “Come in.  Show me.”
    Riga hung her head and followed him into the studio, toeing off her shoes.  He put her through her paces on the thick red and blue gym mats, adjusting an arm here, footwork there.  She hadn’t forgotten it though, and he was satisfied enough to teach her half of the next move. 
    “Come,” he said, “I was making tea.”
    She followed him to a card table, where he’d placed a hotpot.  An American flag hung high on the wall above it.  She watched while he poured, his movements sure and precise. 
    “So.”  He raised the hotpot high for the final pour, tilting it back with a flourish.  “How is your case?”
    She took a sip from her chipped mug and made a face.  The tea tasted like dishwater.  “Bad.”
    “As long as your client isn’t dead, you’re okay.”
    Riga sighed.
    He paused, blinking, tea cup hovering before his mouth.  “I’m sorry.  What was the cause?”
    “I don’t know.  It could have been an accident, but the timing…  It’s just too much of a coincidence.”
    “Coincidences do happen, Riga.”
    “Not to me.”
    “No,” he agreed sadly. 

Chapter 9: What Comes in Three’s
    She checked her watch.  Her appointment with Marta was still hours away, so she spent the intervening time learning what she could about Herman and his death.  There was a short article in an online paper from the Peninsula about the car crash.  The accident had happened in Hillsborough, an upscale community south of San Francisco, around eleven at night.  A photo was included with the article; the Honda hadn’t stood a chance.  It must have been moving fast for that sort of damage and Riga wondered what Herman had been doing there so late and alone. 
    A follow up article decrying drunk driving mentioned the crash.  The accident had occurred after Herman had left a local bar called the Hanged Man.  The coincidences were coming thick and fast.  A third article, published a week later, made no mention of alcohol as the cause of the crash, however.
    Herman’s obituary provided no enlightenment.  It did answer one question though: he had no family aside from Helen.  She went to the Apollo Group’s website; Apollo was based in South San Francisco and specialized in “green and sustainable” development.  Its website was discreet to the point of useless.  More interesting were the other web posts

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