Something truly different for your Halloween. A Mask for all Seasons is a fanciful noir serial killer/investigative who-done-it with an atmospheric, southern twist set in 1950’s New Orleans. Sex, violence, murder, and mayhem all play vital roles in this turbulent tale about a cop and a mysterious showgirl going through their paces during the season of the witch. With its highly erotic romance and sensual thrust, these strange bedfellows will both amuse and entertain, especially those of you who like your sex steamy and in all positions. Happy lascivious reading.
For one reason or another, there's always a dame involved. And when the dame is involved in a case during witch season, it can be a potent combination. In the French Quarter you can find all the dames you want. But, occasionally you cross paths with a special breed of skirt. That's what happened to me on a late October night near Canal Street in a strip joint called The High Hat.
While I watched the uniforms cuff Chastity and place her in the back of a patrol car, I became aware of a shimmering red blouse beside me. In it was a ravishing brunette with two loaded brassiere cups which added up to a size forty or higher. In other words, she was built like a brick shit house.
"Excuse me, Mister," she said. Her voice was low and husky with a sexy tremor. It reminded me of a throaty angel breathing, the way Lauren Bacall sounded when talking to Bogey. "Don't run over Chastity. She's a good kid. Just a few misdemeanors, that's all. Give her a break."
I swiveled toward the brunette, unable to prevent my eyes from taking a swift survey down her body. I pegged her for pushing thirty but not by much. Her satiny blouse revealed the tops of her alabaster breasts which stacked as nicely as feathered pillows. The rest of her was just as delectable. Her exceptional figure included finely shaped thighs, knees, and calves that led all the way down to her slender ankles and bad-girl stilettos. She was curvy to the max, built like a Marvel comic book character come to life. Following the brief journey, I found her eyes and kept them riveted to mine— strictly business. "And you are?"
The female steadily observed me with unblinking, green-eyed solemnity. "Sophie Denton. I'm kind of the den mother around here."
"Head stripper, huh? Well, Sophie, it appears one of your cubs got a little careless at home and let a butcher knife slice through a guy's neck instead of the watermelon."
"The asshole she's been living with? He's dead?"
"Charles Lasky. As dead as Rudy Valle's comeback."
Her bosoms swelled as she straightened her back in contemplation of this information. "I despise men who take their shortcomings out on women. Serves the lowlife piece of garbage right. She's better off without him, but you're wrong, Mister. You're as wrong as you can be about Chastity. She couldn't murder him or anyone else. She's a rabbit. She'd run away first."
It sounded like Sophie might've enjoyed watching the pathologist gut dear ole Charley, and I almost said as much. "This is New Orleans, and the eve of Halloween to top things off," I reminded this red-lipped doll instead. "Erratic and impulsive behavior is practically expected."
"Chastity couldn't cut up anyone."
I picked up the stress in her voice as clearly as someone with perfect musical pitch can detect an off-key note. It's part of the reason I'm a good detective. Maybe she wasn't so sure about Chastity's pacifism. "I'm sure we'll be taking a statement from you at a later time, Miss Denton."
"Would you ask Chastity to call me the minute you finish working her over? She has no family here. She can stay with one of the girls until your boys finish playing with the evidence in her apartment."
"Unless her alibi is no more genuine than a magician's sawed-in-half lady and the boys downtown decide to book her tonight," I said, more interested in Sophie's shape than her words. "We'll let her make a phone call when we're through."
"See that you do, Detective…?"
"Dyke. Detective William Dyke."
Sophie Denton shot me a look designed to drop charging elephants. It didn't work. She shrugged as if my name meant less than nothing, all business and sass. Then she turned on a dime and walked away with a swaggering wiggle that said, 'I'm your wildest dream'. Male catnip. She stirred the primal urges that kept the human race reproducing itself.
I stuck a Camel between my lips, thumbed open my Zippo, and leaned the cigarette into its flame. Sophie's sculpted torso probably drew more customers into The High Hat than a hole in a window screen draws flies. I idly wondered how many poor slobs had embraced her over the years only to discover her to be more cougar than kitten.