Yesterday you read part one of Katie Hayoz’s story. Here is part two and we get to see whodonit. Each author has been given leeway on who they accuse and how it’s solved. I am really enjoying the stories and I hope you are too – I can’t believe today is the last one! Remember we need you to vote on which story you liked the best. As I’ve said over and over – They are all winners to me…but of course I am a LITTLE partial to Katie and Sylvie – since they are on my blog!
Yesterday, Katie let her super sleuth, Sylvie, begin to solve the murder of Mr. Reinhart – if you missed it, be sure to check it out here before you continue. Today, she’ll wrap it up and identify the murderer! You ready to see Sylvie’s take on events? Here we go…
Part 2 by Katie Hayoz
I’ll admit that I’m not the best detective. I mean, last time I’d tried to gather information while going astral I missed all the important stuff. But this time was going to be different. It had to be. I wanted to prove to both Cassie and myself that my ability to astral project was worth more than trouble.
Everything was super intense outside my body – the colors and sounds brighter and louder. I heard the in and out of Cassie’s breaths as she sat watching my body on the bed. The gold and red brocade of the curtains nearly glowed against the vivid white of the snow swirling at the window. If I’d had more time, I’d have gone out into the snowstorm to ride the wind with the snowflakes, maybe breathe in the gorgeous scent of pines and go to the top of a mountain or two.
But I had to make a tour of the rooms, so I floated through the wall, the thick layer of brick and plaster nothing but a warm puff of air for my astral body.
In the next room, Claire Weatherly and her aunt were talking. “…angle of the shot suggests someone shorter than Mr. Reinhart.” The two women weren’t any closer to figuring out the case than me and Cassie.
I moved through wall after wall, spying on all of the sleuths. Each of them were putting together the clues they’d found, but none of them were certain of who the killer really was. So it wasn’t one of the guests who killed Mr. Reinhart. It had to be staff.
The wing that held the staff rooms was much less extravagant. No brocade curtains or gold lamp fixings. And all the rooms were empty. Not one staff person hanging out in their bedroom.
The floor was thicker and harder to go through than the walls, but I did it and came out in a large room where a party was taking place – complete with a banner that said Good Riddance Mr. Reinhart. Everyone from the maids to the butlers to the chauffeurs were dancing and laughing it up. It looked like most of them had taken some of Mr. Reinhart’s personal items for themselves. “Gotta get our pay!” said one of the chauffeurs, holding up a pair of diamond cufflinks.
In the kitchen, the caterer and his waiters were busy. The caterer, a squat man with a smile on his face, whistled while he whipped up some fluffy dessert in a bowl.
Vaguely at first, then louder and louder, I heard, “Sylvie! Sylvie, come on!” Then suddenly, I was pulled back so fast into my body I cried out as I entered, my limbs and core stiff and heavy.
For a moment I couldn’t move, but I opened my eyes and saw Cassie looking down at me with a worried expression on her face. “I’m fine,” I croaked as my soul and body became one.
“You were just gone for so long. I kind of panicked.” Cassie bit her bottom lip and waited while I sat up. “Did you learn anything?”
I shook my head.
“God, if only Mr. Reinhart could talk. Maybe that psychic will see something.”
That gave me an idea. I lay back down and bottled my excitement, trying to relax as fully and quickly as possible. “Meet me down in the kitchen in five minutes,” I said to Cass. “I’ll need you to open the door for me.”
“What? What do you mean? Hey, Sylvie…”
But it was too late. I was out of my body and on the way to the walk-in freezer.
I was going to make Mr. Reinhart rise from the dead.
Possessing a body is one thing. But possessing a dead body? I hesitated for the tiniest moment before throwing myself full force into the corpse. I entered with a THUD and right away it was like I was suffocating in some thick blanket, his skin and bones so heavy. His body was stiff and cold and smelled like my mom’s three bean soup. An insane ache spread though his chest and shoulder where the bullet had gone through. I couldn’t help but moan as I forced his body to sit up, his muscles creaking. I blinked a few times, his eyesight rheumy, and made my way to the freezer door.
There was no handle on the inside. I could just make out Cassie’s voice on the other side as she talked to the caterer. I banged on the thick metal as loudly as I could.
Cassie opened the freezer, shock whitening her already pale face. “Oh, God. Sylvie you didn’t…”
“Scream,” I managed to whisper, Mr. Reinhart’s voice gruff yet quiet.
So she did. She screamed like a crazy person. Everyone from the party tumbled into the kitchen. They were all there to see me – Mr. Reinhart — as I walked out of the freezer. A dead man alive again.
One of the maids fainted. An actor crossed himself, praying. Other staffed cried or whimpered or swore. “How is it possible?”
I shuffled forward (now I knew why zombies moved so slowly; dead limbs were heavy and slow to react). “You can pack up your party,” I said, trying to get the snotty tone of authority Mr. Reinhart had in is voice. I lifted my arm and pointed a finger. “I see you wear my watch! And you my cufflinks! I’m not a full day dead and you’ve already put on my Valentino tux!” As I accused them, each person stepped back, cowed, and ripped off the offending item.
Then I turned to the caterer, who had moved towards the magnetic strip on the wall that held the knives. I said the only thing I could think of, “And that was not swordfish we ate at dinner!”
The little man’s face turned scarlet. “You know I couldn’t get it in from Maine fast enough! And with the snowstorm! It’s not my fault!”
“Not your fault,” I repeated, wracking my brain as to who to accuse next. Someone had to crack under the pressure of being faced by a dead man, or my plan was a flop.
All of a sudden, the caterer grabbed a giant butcher knife from the strip and ran towards me. “It wasn’t my fault. I won’t have you ruin my career. I killed you once, you evil thug, I’ll kill you again!”
Cassie screamed for real this time, and before I had the chance to even move, the knife went directly into my gut. The pain was excruciating – much worse than the ache in the shoulder – and it was enough to send me soaring out of Mr. Reinhart’s body. I tried to stay in the kitchen but my soul slammed back into my own body, and when I opened my eyes I was in the fancy guest room. The stench of death still hung around. God, what was I thinking? What if it had gone wrong?
But it didn’t. It was perfect.
My legs were like string, but I managed to run downstairs, banging directly into Cassie who was on her way up to me. “Sylvie! Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” I breathed.
“The others have calmed the killer down and are keeping him in a safe place until the police come.” She pulled me into her arms and squeezed me in a hug. “You did it! You got the murderer to confess. Maybe you are a bit of a detective.”
I wiggled out of her arms and shrugged. “A bit? Pfffft. I spent time in a corpse to get to the bottom of this, Cass. I took a knife to the gut. I think I’m possibly the ultimate gumshoe.”
Cassie rolled her eyes, but her smile didn’t fade. “Okay, miss super sleuth. Let’s just not make a habit of this. No need to become an astral investigator.”
I crossed my fingers behind my back and nodded. “Sure. No more trouble.”
But, honestly, Sylvie Sydell, Astral Investigator sounded pretty damn cool.
Time to Vote!
What a way to end the month, huh?!?
Thanks to Katie Hayoz for lending us Sylvie to solve the murder! Now hurry on over to Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh My! To see how Laura Bradford’s sleuth solved the mystery so you can vote!
Thanks for voting! Be sure to come back on Saturday to see who won!
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for Untethered that Katie has so generously offered. This is open Internationally. Good luck!
Go Sylvie!! Who’s solution you buying most?