The Demise of Fyne Literature
by HL Carpenter
Who killed Fyne Literature?
The Fictional Book Investigation Agency is on the case—
and the lead investigator is closer to the culprit than he realizes.
Ivy League wants to learn who murdered the love of her life. The Fictional Book Investigation Agency agrees to take the case, and soon discovers a surplus of suspects.
Is the killer one of the victim’s many enemies? Is there more to the story than anyone knows? The Agency’s profiler has a clue, yet she’s remarkably reticent.
For the lead investigator, unraveling the plot means confronting the mystery within.
Ivy League walked into my office as I cracked the spine on an old murder book. I identified her immediately, courtesy of my mythical detecting skills. Well, those and her cute little uptilted nose, which I recognized from news reports about a recent gruesome killing.
She said, “I want you to find out who’s behind the demise of Fyne Literature.”
“I thought the cops already closed the book on his demise.” I slapped shut the hardcover in my hand to punctuate my sentence.
I said, “Word is, your lover was done in by an explosion of serial killer potboilers.”
“He was – he is – the love of my life, not my lover.” She perched on the edge of the chair opposite my bargain-priced government surplus desk, and looked at the painting on the wall behind me. “You’re no angel.”
Apparently I wasn’t the only one possessed of mythical detecting skills. The picture depicts a kneeling, white-winged warrior, weary yet steadfast as another day rises – or sets, depending on your point of view – on a ravaged city. You only need to glance at him once to know he did not weep, to know he would not, even in the midst of destruction and defeat; to know he understands war, in the way true warriors do. He knows the creed as well, the one limned by the glowing-eyed cat at his side: Show no weakness.
A grateful and talented character created the picture after I pulled her from the shadowy world where illusions take corporeal form and people merely think they can see. I can tell you horror stories, like the one depicted in that drawing, with entire civilizations reduced to smoldering ruins.
I’ll spare you, and myself as well. I meet my shadow every time I plunge into the murk of those battles, and the reality is too gruesome for me to revisit, at least in the daylight hours when I have a choice.
Ed the glowing-eyed cat would say the same, if you understood his language. I’m not the angel in the painting, though my features vaguely resemble his, but Ed’s real, as real as I am.
I said, “Fortunately you need a detective, not an angel.”
“Yes,” Ivy said. “And you meet both criteria.”
I’ve always been a sucker for a woman who can properly pluralize ancient Greek.
The Demise of Fyne Literature (ebook)
Genre: Satirical mystery
Rating: Sweet, clean (no offensive language; no explicit love scenes)
Suitable for: Ages 16 and up
Length: Short Story (3,200 words; 13 pages)
What reviewers say: “Delightful little tongue-in-cheek literary mystery.”
The Demise of Fyne Literature, a satirical short story, is available for $1.00 at Amazon, in both digital and audio formats.
You can get a free copy of the audio version here when you sign up for a 30-day free trial with Audible.
***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****
HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter duo who writes family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit Carpenter Country at hlcarpenter.com.