Meet Eliot Cross, Columbus-based P.I. in 1988. A series of serious crimes: Kidnapping. Murder. Art Thief. Blackmail. Comic Books?
Private Investigator Eliot Cross faces heartache, headache, backache, and a royal pain in the neck in these rollicking noir stories from the heart of the Heartland.
Cross Examinations, Inc. established in 1988
I’d been dating Dr. Elaine Chambers for the last three weeks, right into 1989; not with any great seriousness, but like two busy people pleasurably colliding at a party.
The problem was, she had all these little tests she wanted to try on me. Not blood tests, but psychological ones, and maybe even spiritual. At least they seemed like tests to me.
The latest involved my “developing a sound relationship” with her son Nicky.
“Sure,” I said, when I’d called to ask her to dinner. “Where do you keep the little pain in the neck?”
She laughed, which was good in many ways. “Down in the basement, by his ears. And he’s yours for a whole day.”
“Cut me some slack, sweetheart. It’s you I want to go out with. What am I supposed to do with a twelve-year-old boy in the middle of January?”
“That’s part of the test, El dear; to see if you two get along with little or nothing in common.”
“Nicky’s approval means a lot to me right now,” she said. “Look, I’ve got it all worked out. He loves comic books and there’s this comic convention and costume thing at the– oh, what’s it called?” I heard paper rattling on the other end of the line. “Here. The Columbus Museum of Comic Art in Victorian Village. They’re even honoring Milton Caniff.”
“Yeah, I used to read Steve Canyon in the Dispatch. Sounds ritzy. Do I wear a tux, or just a red cape with an ‘S’ on the back?”
“Nicky will take care of that,” she said mysteriously. “Just pick him up on Saturday around noon. That will free up my schedule and let me switch duty in the Emergency Room with someone else, so we can have the evening together.”
“I get it. You’re on late shift at the hospital again and this is your out. Okay. So, the deal is, if I spend the afternoon with Nicky, you’ll be able to juggle your workload and spend the night with me.”
She sounded disappointed. “You figured it out.”
“I’m a trained detective, remember?”
“Oh, yeah. That’s a great disguise for you.”
Born and raised in the heart of the heartland, Columbus, Ohio, John Hegenberger is the author of upcoming Stan Wade LAPI series from Black Opal Books, father of three, tennis enthusiast, collector of silent films and OTR, hiker, Francophile, B.A. Comparative Lit., Pop culture author, crime-fighter, comedian, ex-lead in the senior class play, ex-Navy, ex-comic book dealer, ex-marketing exec at Exxon, AT&T, and IBM, happily married for 45 years.