A Knife, a Hanky, a Book, and a Dead Body.
Welcome to a hot erotic murder mystery.
The unusual thing about Hilton Head homicide detective Quinn Fawker isn’t just that he is promiscuous and gets away with it but also that he is actively bisexual and not only gets away with it, but has the looks and equipment to get away with it frequently and with many partners. When he is called to the Sea Pines compound of South Carolina U.S. Senator Bradford Braxton to investigate the finding of a body draped over the senator’s ping pong table, he gets dropped into a cast of characters also accustomed to getting away with sexual shenanigans. One or more of the powerful people found at the senator’s beachfront house that night is also trying to get away with murder. And it quickly becomes apart that a cover-up of the actual events is already well under way and that the death on the ping pong table is perhaps not the first death involved in the case.
Death on ping Pong Table Excerpt
The three items on the ping pong table—a handkerchief, a book, and a knife—caught my immediate attention, because they were positioned so oddly, and I found myself being a little embarrassed. What I obviously should have noticed first was the body of the young woman stretched out on the ping pong table, on her belly. I marked it as occupational jadedness, having seen so many bodies as a homicide detective in the Hilton Head, South Carolina, police force, that the body itself didn’t fill my first thoughts. But I hadn’t said anything out loud, so no foul.
The young woman had been a blonde. Not a natural one. I could see some dark roots under the pile of hair that radiated out from her head and covering much of the center of the ping pong table. The cause of death seemed obvious to me, given the bloody slits in her back. She was topless, the diaphanous blouse having been pulled off her back but still hanging on one of her raised arms. Both arms were raised over her head, as if she had been reaching for the far edge of the ping pong table when she’d been stabbed.
One thing was immediately clear—she probably hadn’t run here from anywhere. I couldn’t fathom how she’d even been able to walk on those impossibly high stiletto heels. The feet were big, so the shoes stood out. They were red, with straps encircling her legs a couple of times above her ankles. There was a smear of blood, a matching red, under the body as if she had pulled herself up the table in her death throes. The three stab wounds were in her back about where the hook of her bra would have been if the bra hadn’t been unhooked, the wings of each side of the back strap flaring out from her body.
The knife hadn’t been left any of the wounds. That’s why it had caught my attention. A big Bowie hunting knife. Laying at the side of the body, the blade still slick with the blood. We’d check, of course, but I was sure the handle had been wiped clean of prints. I doubt there was anyone who had missed the need for that who had ever watched a crime show on TV.
She couldn’t have been dead for very long. Blood only glistens like that for so long. The shimmering effect was enhanced, though, by the light in the overhead ceiling fan being deflected rhythmically by the slowly wonk, wonk of the blades.
The handkerchief and the book had also been odd, which is why my attention had gone to them. The handkerchief was navy-blue and in a rough cotton that didn’t go with what the victim had been wearing—or, rather, had barely been wearing. The obviously coordinated color scheme of her attire had been pinks and a rose color. The blouse was some sort of almost transparent white rayon, and rose-shaped flowers painted on it in pinks and reds that probably were designed to cover the strategic areas blouses are supposed to cover because the base material certainly wouldn’t.
The skirt, an almost fluorescent rose, was probably a tight miniskirt of a silky texture. I say probably because it was bunched up around her waist. In contrast, the pink panties had been pulled down in back below the orbs of her buttocks.
I suppose if I hadn’t been distracted by the handkerchief, book, and hankie, my first attention would have gone to her butt cheeks, which were nicely rounded and were fully, obscenely exposed. I can respond to a nicely mounded ass of any persuasion. The orbs were unusually firm for a woman, as were the muscles of the thigh. A dancer perhaps, I speculated.
Certainly one of the first-responding policemen—Chad, I think his name was—couldn’t keep his eyes off the butt cheeks. The better-looking, better-toned young policeman who I knew as Ted, though, was looking at the same thing I was. The rough cotton, navy-blue handkerchief. That had a meaning in my world. It was incongruous to see it in this venue. I instinctively felt for my back left pocket and was reassured that my own navy-blue handkerchief was still buried there.