Doc Malone, Private Eye: Better Safe Than Sorry

Doc went home, showered, shaved, and changed his outfit five times before he was satisfied. His final choice: his gray zoot suit, which he’d worn just once at a funeral. Now he stood outside The Moonlight Cafe, chain-smoking and waiting for the enigmatic Miss Maple to arrive.

He wanted to catch her out here because he felt safer out here on the street, where he could make a run for it if need be. Better safe than sorry, he always said. After all, he still had the skin on his back and he was pushing 40.

He figured she might know what he looked like, so he was wearing his hat titled down so that it shaded the top part of his face. His green eyes glittered in the darkness of the street corner, slanted at the corners like a fox’s. Missing nothing. He stared as a gang of young toughs roughed up another boy across the street. Poor kid. Stared as a young woman walked right up to him. A tall brunette in red. Poured into her red dress like sangria on a hot day. Her smile like a sunrise.

“Hello, Detective.”

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