“Hoist by his own petard! Literally!” a voice said across Daniella’s shoulder. Looking left, she saw Bernard Wilkinson standing slightly behind her with a glass of scotch in his hand staring at the dead body of George Henderson.
“Why do you say that?” Daniella Mason the detective assigned to the case asked.
“He was always preaching about the ills of the world and trying to force others to conform to his ideals.”
“So, you’re thinking ‘just deserts’ as it were?”
“Just that that is what you’re likely to hear, again and again, Detective. He wasn’t very well-liked but he paid well, and people put up with his attitude for the paycheque and when they couldn’t tolerate it anymore, they left.”
“Who do you have your money on then, Bernard?”
“Pffft, it could be any one of them. He treated people badly, he patronized everyone or put them down, he was generally a horse’s ass.”
“What about you, Bernard?”
“He left no one out, except perhaps his son. He received the razor’s edge of his tongue on many occasions, but he tended to reign in his vitriol with him.”
“Any particular reason he was treated better?”
“I think because his son wouldn’t take shit from him. He gave as good as he got, but he loved his dad for all that.”
“What about the ex-wife? She ever show up?”
“Not often in the last two years I’ve been here.”
“How did they get on?”
“Surprisingly well. Maybe the distance helped, but he treated her with a great deal of respect, surprisingly, since she didn’t return that particular favour.”
“You have your work cut out for you on this one, Detective, there are hundred’s of possibilities and most of them were here tonight at the party.”
“Any particular reason for a mid-week party?”
“Yeah, they signed a new deal, very lucrative from what I gather.”
“Thanks for the help, Bernard, appreciate it.”
“Once a cop, always a cop, Detective.”
She smiled at him, “Isn’t that the truth?” Thinking of her father and his partner on the force, the man standing beside her who’d retired early and was now involved in a “service to the stars” gig that paid handsomely, requiring eyes and ears specifically as the head of a unit of men protecting the influential.
She stared back at the dead body with a mixture of betting chips, a pair of women’s panties and a dagger through his heart.