See Part I here.
A pair of electric hedge trimmers lay near-by.
It was not a pretty sight.
It was obvious that some maniac had butchered the rich green hedge.
A particularly fine specimen had been crudely clipped into a female form that looked suspiciously like Nora.
But as for the body – there was not a mark on it.
Nick glanced back to the house. It was quiet except for the screaming.
And it wasn’t from the guests who had started to mill by the French doors.
“Mr Beck, would you mind leading the guests into to the garden room for breakfast and then join Nicky and I in the garden?” Nora asked lightly.
JF Beck nodded and herded the guests away from the corpus delicti.
The screaming continued, so Nick investigated.
Over the other side of the privet was a sad sack of a woman.
Everything about her was a landslide.
Long face, sagging breasts that ended somewhere near her knees where dirty grey track pants provided an unfortunate symmetry to her lank hair.
The woman snarled and muttered something unintelligible.
“You there! What’s your name?”
“Cindy Sheehan,” the deranged woman screeched before muttering something under her breath.
Nick wrinkled his nose against her fetid breath as he leaned closer.
“bushdidit, bush did it, Bush Did It, BUSH DID IT!”
Nick’s brows furrowed. “The bushes killed him?”
“Not unless our hedge has become the woods of Birnam on their way to Dunsinane,” Nora quipped.
Nick’s sarcastic retort was lost when he saw the snifter of brandy his wife cradled. He reached for it and took large swig.
The liquid burned deliciously down his throat. Nora nodded in Sheehan’s direction.
“Whatever happened to ladies first?”
“Trust me, she’s no lady.”
Both of them watched Sheehan shamble off, hitting herself on the head with a month old copy of Newsweek.
They turned at the sound of running feet. It was JF Beck holding up a half eaten peanut butter sandwich. Bite marks were clearly discernable.
“Nick, you’d better come with me, I think I can identify the killer.”
Who is the killer? Who is the victim? Stay tuned for Part III of The Thin Man New Year's Murder Mystery.
In the meantime, for your drinking pleasure:
2 oz Brandy
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Powdered Sugar
1 tsp marascino Liqueur
Garnish: Lemon Wedge
Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.