A well-known neighbourhood in a peaceful town. A cold and foggy night of December 1928. Every house within walking distance was pitch black except Mr Trading’s, the home of a successful stockbroker…
…trashed like a hotel room after a Gloria Swanson’s tantrum, a scene from a Laurel and Hardy movie following a pie fight (1). Except this time around, the laugh-out-loud moments were unmistakably missing. Mr Trading was found dead in his living room, strangled with a Christmas tinsel.
Just as lightning strikes twice, so did the murderer that night. Two yards away laid the body of the town’s milk delivery boy. His heart inexplicably stopped. A strange set of circumstances between two men who allegedly never met, no clues found to even suggest the identity of the murderer. A town in a state of shock…the case seems hopeless!
Suddenly, two headlights pierce the misty blackness of the night.
A shadow appears, unmoving and stoic, creating a fascinating image of a cartoon hero against the backdrop of the vehicle lights. As the shadow draws closer, the fog dissipates to reveal the identity of this mysterious newcomer: self-proclaimed answer to modern-day crime and corruption, ambitious Detective Angelo Raspberry!
A well-hidden talent for some, a shallow narcissistic dimwit for others but all would agree he sure knows how to make an entrance. Today he is a vision in his black & white winter jacket and is heading towards the scene of the crime, ready to bring back order and justice to this once-peaceful town.
There he meets Myrna Cunning, a faded star of the silver screen…
… the kind of actress who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong and never forgave Paramount for not casting her in “It”, the movie that propelled Clara Bow to superstardom.
Medical experts and various police staff members were present but Myrna easily stood out. She always knew what was expected of her and looked picture perfect that evening, wearing the latest “flapper fashion” and a ravishing pearl necklace.
“Goodness, what beautiful pearls!” Detective Raspberry declared approvingly.
“Goodness had nothing to do with it Detective” Myrna quipped “I can see you’re fighting the chill in style. Your coat looks divine. Chanel or Lanvin?”
“Vogue Pattern V8940 my dear. A one-off piece for a one-of-a-kind detective” replied Angelo, positively beaming with pride.
Myrna Cunning was well known for her high profile liaison with actor Rudolph Valentino before he died 2 years ago in rather mysterious circumstances. Now, she was seemingly grieving the death of the milk delivery boy too.
“Oh Detective!” Myrna exclaimed “What a loss! He always delivered his milk on time!”
“So I heard the boy’s reputation” replied Detective Raspberry. “Miss Cunning, where were you at the time of the murder?”
“I was bathing in donkey milk”
No wonder she kept the delivery boy coming, Angelo thought. “Are you expecting me to believe you Miss Cunning?” He finally asked.
“Of course I expect you to!” responded Myrna “It’s been my weekly routine since watching Theda Bara in Cleopatra (2). A girl cannot rely on Mother Nature alone Detective Raspberry…and… I’d rather be looked over than overlooked!” she whispered seductively.
Miss Cunning’s flirtatious tone didn’t go down too well with Angelo Raspberry. Myrna was too smart for his liking. She was a woman with a past, a woman with something to hide, possibly a double murderer. He had yet to gather tangible proof but this was only a matter of time in his mind. Myrna Cunning would be his claim to fame and he would finally grace the newspaper front pages.
“This is my time to shine” Angelo muttered to himself.
TO BE CONTINUED…
FOR PART 2, CLICK HERE!
Detective Angelo Raspberry…………………………….David
Milk delivery boy………………………………Andy
(1) The Battle of the Century (1927)
(2) Cleopatra (1917)
…without forgetting the references to Mae West quotes!