The Mysterious Bookshop

The Trial Part Two   (See ATM volume ninety-nine for the first part of this saga)

Over the various cries of ‘Objection!’ and ‘Your Honor, I must protest!’ and ‘Did you get the score of the game?’ the judge glared at the Brown Recluse.

‘I won’t tolerate the disruption of this court!’

‘But you will tolerate the introduction of this important witness for the prosecution!  Justice demands it, and so do I!’

Blusster was stunned speechless by this rank impertinence.

All eyes slowly turned to the courtroom doors as they slowly swung open.

All eyes quickly looked around, as they saw no surprise witness.  The Brown Recluse was simply standing defiantly in the doorway holding what appeared to be a large can of coffee.

The gallery was speechless; the judge didn't even tap his gavel, which was actually a pencil, since budget cuts had forced the sale of his gavel to the local pizzeria.  Apparently it was useful for pounding dough into pizza-like shapes.

So everyone stared at the Brown Recluse and her coffee can.  At last Mason Perry said, ‘What sort of evidence have you got?’

The Brown Recluse came into the courtroom and set the can down on the prosecution’s table.  Blusster said, ‘Young lady, you had better have a good reason for disrupting these proceedings with a can of coffee and for wearing that ridiculous costume and for your impertinence!’

The Brown Recluse replied, ‘Your Honor, I apologize for the abrupt way that I present this important testimony.  I wear this costume to protect my civilian identity from those who would do me harm.  I am here on behalf of my friend Ellen Amora, whose late husband Albert was murdered by the Mayhew gang, and whose beloved cat Raffles was a target for the remaining thugs thereof.  And this is not a can of coffee, but of flour, for the baking of pies and cookies and cakes and other delicious treats!’

It was getting on to dinnertime and the jury’s stomachs rumbled thinking of tasty baked goods.

‘All right,’ said the judge.  We can overlook your attire, this once, although I caution you against recklessly barging into my courtroom, but what has any of this to do with flour?’

Your honor, Cinnamon Costello and Raffles Avery were ruthlessly hunted down by the defendant Sonny the big dog, and I can prove it!’

Whereupon the Brown Recluse spread some of the snow-white flour onto the floor, opened the gate to the cat’s gallery, and withdrew a whip from her utility belt.  With a loud ‘CRACK!’ the whip galvanized the feline witnesses to action and they took off like cats out of hell. On their way out the door they of course left paw prints in the flour.

‘Does your Honor, and the jury, see the prints left in the flour?  Precisely identical prints were left in flour in the kitchen of the hideout used by the defendants!  Prints left by these selfsame kitties, Raffles and Cinnamon, as they were being chased by Sonny the big dog at the behest of the human defendants!  I have pictures!’

And so she did.  The judge and the members of the jury took turns looking at photos of the flour prints on the kitchen floor at the hideout.

It was damning evidence.  But more was to come.

Now what?  What has the Brown Recluse got up the sleeve of her trench coat?  What shocking revelations are to be revealed at this edition of the trial of the century?  Tune in next week and we’ll find out together!


Allan Eskens has three books featuring his sibling characters, one a lawyer and one a detective, and masterfully weaves courtroom drama and procedurals together.  Read them in any order but for gosh sakes, read them!

Detective Max Rupert is convinced that Ben Pruitt murdered his wife. Attorney Boady Sanden is equally convinced that he didn't.  Can their friendship survive?  For that matter, can the defendant?


Alexander Rupert's professional life is rapidly spiraling down the drain; perhaps his brother Max can help.  Or, perhaps not.


Questions/Comments/Dramatic Courtroom Confessions?

Written by Ian Kern — June 29, 2017

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

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