Havok Publishing

Tag - amateur sleuth

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Fish Out of Water

Doug’s phone slipped from his hand and skidded down the hillside below the hiking trail. He sucked in his breath with annoyance. “Screen’s probably cracked.” It had all his contact info on it, too.
Now how am I going to get it back? Can’t make it down there myself, not with my hip

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Paxton’s List

She waits for him in the parking lot.
It’s a Saturday—her day off—and Paxton is on time. The elderly man parks his ‘78 F-150 pickup and enters the library, returning a few minutes later with two tomes.
When he drives away, Greta’s car follows, but not too close. She’s wearing dark sunglasses

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A Death Day to Remember

Ever since his first death day—the day he’d seen his parents slaughtered—Vel had possessed a fascination with mortality. As a result of what he’d witnessed, he had two options: either go absolutely bonkers from the atrocities he’d seen that day or view each death as a celebration. Infuse some humor to the occasion,

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Words to Live By

Behind the shrubs would be a good place. The thought flitted through his mind as Andrei and his date walked through the dimly lit park.
The dinner had gone to plan. His petite partner had ordered the crab cakes as he’d encouraged her to, and he had smothered her with dessert and charm

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The Watchman

If you’ve never had the misfortune of being tasked with finding a needle in a haystack, allow me to summarize the experience for you in four words: I’d rather eat dirt.
Regrettably, I don’t have that option.
Case 43b has been my strangest yet. The file includes a black-and-white photograph of a

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All Those Shining Lights

In the waning hours of Black Friday, a Yuletide spectacle appeared next door, in glittering LED glory. As Millie shuffled across the driveway to her warmed-up Buick, she used her hand to cover her eyes, wincing at the neighbors’ radiant display. She eased herself into the driver’s seat

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A Shoot In The Dark

Miles—scarab beetle and humble photojournalist—strained to listen. He glanced at the surrounding trees, spectral colossi in the moonlight. A fallen log sat rotting, just ahead.
“I don’t hear anything.”
Calvin—atlas beetle and journalist—stood stock still. His three horns curved upward in a graceful silhouette against the dark horizon.

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There’s a Voice in the Distance

His brother used to make voice memos every night, and now, three months after Justin’s fatal accident, Colbert still couldn’t sleep without them.
The time glared at him from the lockscreen of Justin’s old phone. He scrolled through a year’s worth of recordings until he found the one he’d left on last night.

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Flavor Explosion

The thick liquid coated Violet’s tongue.
They say that when a person loses one sense, the rest compensate. Although she never did figure out why her sense of taste exploded—figuratively speaking—after a bomb destroyed her hearing, killed Silas, and nearly killed her.
A small vibration tickled her fingers when Felix tapped the table.

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Swimming with the Fishes

Gossip shouldn’t feel like a responsibility.
I didn’t want to be the one to tell Stephen, but duty came in odd packages, and he needed to know. So, I squared my shoulders and pushed open the touristy saloon-style doors.
Pausing just inside, I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply.

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Salarius

The conservatory would be positively majestic if not for the body lying in the center.
Mr. Jerome Arkwright had noticed a peculiar aroma as he stepped into the conservatory that morning. Usually, he could smell the imported orchids as soon as he entered the wispy glass room, but an acrid odor masked their fragrance.

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A Looting At Rhino’s

Few places in Scarabburgh were built for Atlas beetles. Rhino’s Pawn was no exception.
Calvin ducked through the door, taking care not to snag his horns—two on his thorax and one on his head—on the narrow, wooden frame.
A short rhinoceros beetle stood behind the counter, a ring through the horn on his head.

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