There's a certain amount of urgency added to an investigation when lots of money is at stake - in this case, the largest lottery payout in Florida history. Charley Comstock got the money. But his first cousin (and sole heir) is convinced that Comstock is dead, and that the money belongs to him. For private investigator Jean-Marie Beauvais the matter is simple: how to prove that someone who's avoided social contact most of his life is alive...or dead

Table of Contents

Tulane University (August)


“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.”—Elvis Presley (“The King”)
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The Garden District (December)

  It was easy to think, during that long December, that reporting the weather in all the different ways it was reported—throug... Read Chapter

St Charles Avenue (June)

  Like an anthill, Hope Langdon thought. Except everyone’s speaking Spanish. She’d been five weeks unemployed now, hangi... Read Chapter

Magazine Street (December)

At the Magazine Street Police Station cops coming off shift were joking that they needed gills on a night like this. Rain had been comi... Read Chapter

St Charles Avenue (July)

The most famous of the New Orleans streetcar lines, theatrically speaking, was the Desire Line: which ended its run in the late 1940s. ... Read Chapter

Gainesville, Florida (December)

Beauvais had the cab driver drop him at the main entrance to the Mobile Home Estate (AKA, trailer park) and thought it best to send the... Read Chapter

St Charles Avenue (July)

Hope Langdon definitely felt her luck beginning to turn that July, as she finished her first full month working for Mr Galahad, who—d... Read Chapter

Gainesville, Florida (December)

When Benedicta Baker nodded off in her recliner, almost in mid-sentence, Jean-Marie took a moment to extinguish her cigarette and left ... Read Chapter

Columbus, Georgia (December)

Beauvais’ smartphone estimated that Columbus, Georgia, was only about five hours away from Gainesville. If there was anything more ... Read Chapter

Mississippi River (December)

There was nothing about the weather that night that Jimmy would have associated with the word “Sunbelt”. The wind was sweeping hard... Read Chapter

Tulane University (August)

With school starting in just a few days Malika Mehta was looking forward to a long air-conditioned grind through some calculus problems... Read Chapter

New Orleans City Hall (December)

Someone had gone to the trouble of decorating the office for Christmas. Maybe the same person standing on the opposite side of the coun... Read Chapter

Mississippi River (December)

The good news, as far as Jimmy was concerned, was that it wouldn’t be a wild goose chase out on the river tonight. Unlike the last tw... Read Chapter

St Charles Avenue (December)

Native peoples who lived with year-round snow famously had many different words for the color and texture of different snowfalls—so B... Read Chapter

St Charles Avenue (September)

This is why I make the big bucks, Hope Langdon thought, as she considered different ways of trying to calm the tiny Indian coed sitting... Read Chapter

The Garden District (December)

Jean-Marie Beauvais quickly found the steady ticking of the grandfather clock in the corner of Jardine’s study to be not only irritat... Read Chapter

Gretna, Louisiana (December)

Having successfully gotten blood out of a stone, Jean-Marie Beauvais deposited the first of his Jardine bonuses in the bank and now had... Read Chapter

The Chateau La Fleur Luxury Apartments (January)

Jean-Marie Beauvais and Asa (who he still considered to be the love of his life) had picked out the apartment together: specifically ch... Read Chapter

The French Quarter (February)

The festivities in New Orleans leading up to Lent—the traditional time of reflection and repentance—were actually two celebrations.... Read Chapter

St Charles Avenue (March)

Whatever her talents as a personal assistant, Hope Langdon’s hospitality as a tour guide left a lot to be desired. She glanced at Bea... Read Chapter

LSU Medical Center (March)

Asa was doing swing shift that spring, so her lunch hour was everyone else’s dinner, and the cafeteria wasn’t as crowded at 7:30 as... Read Chapter


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