Loan Some: Off-Off-Off Broadway by Rachel K. Barclay

Loan Some: Off-Off-Off Broadway by Rachel K. Barclay

A comedic romp that follows aspiring actors as they take on undercover roles posing as friends, lovers, or family of clients who don’t have any. It’s a steady paycheck, but can these thespians keep their love of drama out of the workplace? Previously… Camilla, Beth and Richard’s new client at Richard’s Private Eye Agency, didn’t show up for her appointment. They’ve visited her home and found a detective unit investigating her disappearance: Camilla’s gone missing. Beth also discovers that Richard used to be a detective with the police force until he was kicked out of the unit.

Episode 16

Detective Maloney rubbed his index finger along the stubble peeking out of his cleft chin, waiting for someone to speak.

Beth held Camilla’s note with a quivering hand. “I don’t think she’s the kind of woman to do this.

“You know her intimately?” Maloney asked, sweeping his hand across his balding head.

“I’ve only spoken with her a few times,” she admitted.

“People are fickle creatures. Most aren’t who they appear to be,” he murmured, shooting a swift glance in Richard’s direction.

Beth felt her upper lip curl. What kind of logic was this?

Maloney dug his hands into his pocket. “It’s a pretty straightforward suicide note.”

“Yes, but…” Something was bothering her. She couldn’t point out anything specific in the note, though. It just felt….off. “Are you sure she wrote it?”

“We tested the penmanship against samples of Camilla’s handwriting. It’s a match.”

“And you conducted a thorough search of the house?” Richard asked.

Maloney nodded his head. “No body.”

“She may have gone elsewhere to do the deed,” Richard suggested. “Nothing in the note suggests the act was specifically taking place in the house.”

“Except the opening line,” Beth interjected. She held the note in front of her and read, “They say home is where the heart rests and I believe this to be true. I’m finally going to my resting place. Here at my home. Take care of my dog—“ Beth frowned at this. Was this the part of the note that felt off? “Wouldn’t Camilla call her dog by its name?” she asked. “It feels cold and distant to refer—“

“Maybe it feels cold and distant to you,” Maloney replied, cutting her off. Beth felt her jaws clench, but she maintained the placid expression on her face.

The beady-eyed man finally spoke up. “We’ve been through the security footage from the cameras situated at the front of the driveway. Camilla hasn’t left the property since she was last seen yesterday.”

Beth studied him. She didn’t remember passing cameras. Had she missed them?

“Carter’s heading up the investigative operation,” Maloney said, gesturing toward the small man. “Her live-in housekeeper found the suicide note this morning. That’s when we were called on to the scene. No one, including Camilla, has come or gone since last night when the housekeeper saw her alive and well.”

“According to the security cameras, that is,” Beth piped in, stepping closer to Maloney and Richard.

Maloney rolled his eyes. “It’s the only entry and exit to the property. There’s nowhere to go on foot. The nearest farm isn’t another twenty miles, and town is thirty-five miles away.

“Did you search the grounds?” Richard asked, gazing at the picture window at the other end of the office that looked out over a horse pasture.

“We’ve torn the place apart. My team’s been here for six Goddamn hours,” Maloney snarled. “They can’t find anything, which means there’s nothing to be found.”

“You’re missing something,” Beth said. “I think I know_______”

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