The Mysterious Bookshop

Veuve Noire


The woman knelt over the bullet-riddled body, shrieking.  Her husband had been ambushed by gangsters while investigating a vice ring. Now Ellen Amora was a freshly minted widow, wailing over her dead husband’s corpse.  Inwardly, her sorrow quickly morphed and focused on one thing and one thing only--revenge.  While Ellen took care of the final details of the dead man’s life, she outwardly took the appearance of the bereaved, but inside she was coldly plotting against the underworld and the men who had calculatedly left her to live out her life alone.  Uncaring as to whether her actions appeared cold to others, she immediately took over the agency, erasing the giant eye on the door, which she’d never liked, and lettering her own name where his had been.  The next order of business was to find out who had ordered the hit and who had carried it out. On the surface, a daunting task, but Ellen Amora was nothing if not persistent and methodical, to say nothing of burning with rage. She knew that her late spouse had been working on combatting the mobs that were terrorizing River City, and a thorough perusal of his files revealed seven possible perps.
Caleb Quintana was dispatched after being scratched by the curare-tipped claws of his pet parrot.

A wrong number named Leonard Blake was offed by a booby trapped telephone, which exploded in his ear and also his entire head.

Sharp dresser Watson Glenn was impaled on spikes after falling through a lion trap that had been dug in his front yard.

LeShawn Davis was whacked with poison ink from a tattooist's’ needle, leaving him with the word ‘Murdere’ on his forehead.  The needle ran out of ink before the last ‘r’ could be drawn.

Bachelor Bill Smith was suffocated when he shared his ketamine-laced chicken with his cat, Raffles, who then fell asleep on his face.

Ellen Amora took in the poor orphan kitty.

Mac McGill read himself to death when he opened a book in his library that was filled with anthrax which coated his face and hands and arms.

Fast Jose Acosta was run over by his own automobile, but he might have brought that one on himself.


The cops at the precinct were not overly concerned with small time hoods, career criminals and incorrigible recidivists being out of the way, but seven unsolved murders in two days’ time did have a tendency to raise some eyebrows, but so far the finger of guilt did not point at Ellen Amora.  So far.


Now that all the possible assassins were out of the way, the thing to do now was to get the man likely behind it all--the crime lord, ‘Boss’ Mayhew. But Mayhew was firmly ensconced in his penthouse fortress, which was swarming with heavily armed goons masquerading as bodyguards.  So all Ellen had to do was find a way past all the defenses, get to the chieftain, see that justice was done, and escape intact.  That’s all.

Can Ellen Amora get revenge for her murdered husband?  Will she be a one-woman crusade against crime?  Will she make a go of the agency, operating it by herself?  Tune in for answers to these and other questions as we continue over time with the adventures of our brand new character!

Try hardboiled lady PI Sharon McCone for no-nonsense crime fiction:

Questions/Comments/Bullet Holes in the Glass Ceiling?

Written by Ian Kern — July 14, 2016

Specializing in Mystery Fiction and all its subgenres, including Detective, Crime, Hardboiled, Thrillers, Espionage, and Suspense.

Located at 58 Warren St. in New York City, we are open Monday-Saturday from 11am-7pm.

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