Sounds like a simple assignment. Randy and Bertha go undercover for a high class weekend in the country, all expenses paid. All they have to do is pretend to be somebody else while keeping a close eye on their host, Archibald Anthony, the famous Serial Painter, and mingle with the other guests, exchanging pleasantries. Their job? To keep Anthony alive until the long weekend is over and sort through the suspects when the bodies start falling.
Of course the guests include some of the top rungs of the social ladder: vampires, elves, hobgoblins, goblins, trolls, gremlins, plus the addition of the varied staff members loose on the estate. Strangely enough, almost everyone seems to have their own private agenda.
A brownie dressed in the uniform of the Committee of High Speed Delivery, Urgent and Important Messages, bounced into the outer office dripping water and looking very much like a bag of wet seaweed with drooping furry ears. He shook himself, and I jumped up to intercept him before Bertha got out a mop and used it on the diminutive messenger.
“Is this the office of Randolf C. Aloysius?” the officious little beast squeaked, reading from the front of a large brown envelope.
“Yes it is, bud, and I am,” I said, holding out my hand.
He peered up at me through the waterfall of drips from his peaked cap. “Are you certain? This is addressed personal and confidential, addressee only.”
“The last time I looked. Here...” I waved my large ID card under his nose, slapping it back in my vest pocket before he had a chance to read. “Where do I sign?”
The brownie whipped out a pen almost as large as himself and materialized a receipt book. “Here.” He disappeared out the door leaving me turning the envelope over in my hands.
Bertha leaned over my shoulder. “Aren’t you going to open it?”
“No, I’m going to see if I can raise any psychic vibrations,” I growled. Bertha is usually deep into shamanism at night school and this would get her back up, a small revenge for her earlier verbal assault. Actually, I was feeling over the heavy paper to see if anyone had sent me a bomb.