The Radio Players Club Mystery: A Quinn Moosebroker Mystery

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Preface:

The Quinn Moosebroker name was mentioned in a very short piece titled: Mary Ellen: The Hour Before Dawn An Exercise in Fiction, then he starred in his first short story length feature, A 2nd Street Playhouse Mystery, Thin Red and Deadly , followed shortly by Night of the Falling and continuing in He Dreamt of Murder. Now forty-five thousand words later he is going to continue his career with The Radio Players Club Mystery.


Quinn is a retired police detective. He retired early with a medical discharge resulting from a gunshot wound received in the line of duty. Many fictional heroes have a sidekick and Quinn is not an exception to this phenomenon. Betty is a widow. She and Quinn were introduced by Quinn’s daughter Kate. Quinn and Betty have been together ever since they solved their first mystery.

drbj sees Tom Hanks when she visualizes Quinn. I am OK with that.

The Radio Players Club Mystery


The Clean Slate Cafe

Naomi found Jarrod asleep amongst the scattered wooden chessmen at his table at the Clean Slate Café. “Wake up, wake up,” she called shaking his arm. “Did you finish the script? It has to be there in an hour and I have to catch the cross town bus.”

“The script?” Jarrod rubbed his eyes. They began to focus on the irritated face of Naomi.

“Yes, the script. You know money for food. Where is it? I have to get over to the station. He’ll can us for sure.”

Jarrod stood and headed toward the bathroom. Naomi reached down and opened the ragged bag that was always near Jarrod’s feet. She pulled out frayed sheets of paper and began to read. Some pages had been crumpled and uncrumpled. Many lines scratched through. She went to the last page. A gasp of air escaped her, “It’s not finished.” She stood by the bathroom door and as it opened she grabbed Jarrod by the arm. “Let’s go, you’ll have to finish it on the way.”

She glanced at her watch. “We barely have time to make it.”

W.A.R.T. Radio


Quinn was at the wheel of his 1946 Town and Country heading north on I95. Betty sat by his side and was looking for a station on the radio. Their return journey from North Carolina felt like such a relief from their case to resolve a ghostly mystery.

….erts zst shrrrrrrr came from the radio. The radio light cast eerie murky ochre across the front seat of the Town and Country on this dark southern night. Betty felt like she could be in a cave during the Stone Age watching the flicking light splashing across the jagged walls. From the radio:

….. Ivory Soap, it floats…W.A.R.T radio,

At the studio Massey dragged a drumstick along a tin washboard….

Now back to ‘A Rose for Opal Ann

Massey dragged a violin bow across a guitar string pulled taunt along a two-by-four.

Nathan the narrator. “Detective Quentin Morse braked his 1946 Town and Country to a halt in front of the abandoned apartment building.”

“Around back. I’ll go in the front.”

Clark his partner: “Be careful, this guy is dangerous. You heard the call. He has killed two people today.”

Massey let out a deep breath into his microphone.

Twenty-four, twenty-five.” Morse began walking up the wooden stairs on the established twenty-five count.

Massey. Softly hit the back of the two-by-four with a drumstick.

Morse. “Open up; this is the police.”

Massey twice fired his starter pistol; and rolled a sack of potatoes onto the floor.

Morse. “Clark! Clark! You alright?”

Massey tapped shoes across a board.

Morse. “I’m coming in.”

Massey twisted two ends of a bamboo slit up the sides. The sound was of timber splitting. Then fired his starter pistol and lifted and dropped the sack of potatoes.

“You’ll never catch me Coppers.”

Massey plopped the shoes against the plank in a patter.

Narrator: The dark figure carried the body of the kidnapped Opal Ann down the stairs and disappeared into the dark.

….erts zst shrrrrrrr came from the radio.

Detective Quinn Moosebroker

Quinn gazed out the windshield. A highway sign indicated Highway 83 twelve miles. “Did we ever discuss the night I was shot?” Quinn glanced over to Betty in the darkness barely illuminated by the light of the radio dial.

“You started to once, but we were interrupted by a phone call.” Betty adjusted herself in her seat next to Quinn in the front seat. She silently braced herself.

Quinn began, “I don’t know quite how to say this. This radio program has described it in a detailed manner; too detailed to be a coincidence to my way of thinking. ” Quinn’s face was distorting at the thought of the night his partner was killed. After the dark figure fled with Opal Ann Quinn crawled to the back door to find Clark, still. A footprint in a pool of blood oozing from beneath him was the only sign of the killer left as he stepped over the body.

Betty watched in silence as the rage rippled through the muscles in Quinn’s face. She could hear his grip on the leather steering wheel tighten.

“Quinn, pull over. I need to drive.”

“Take the 83 turnoff when it comes up. We’re heading to Allentown.”

Betty pulled the car back onto the highway as Quinn began again.

“Clark and I responded to a call from a tipster. The kidnapping occurred 48 hours prior and no ransom note had been received. A miss-do-gooder had called the station reporting suspicious activity in an abandoned duplex near the railroad switching yard on the seedy south side. We were not close to the yard but Clark wanted to rush to the sight.

When we got there there were no other responders. Clark went around to the back steps and I took the front. At a twenty-five count we were both to go in. Two shots were fired as I reached the door and I called out and then burst in the door. The gunmen’s third bullet caught me in the side taking out a kidney. I heard the footsteps going down the back as I lay there. I crawled to Clark, but he was gone.

They never caught the guy. I lay in a hospital for two months. When I was released, I wore dress blues one last time and they hung a medal around my neck and gave me a small disability pension.”

Betty reached over and patted Quinn on the shoulder. Her sideways glance took in the pain and deep loss this sharing with her was causing Quinn. “Who was kidnapped? Which case was not solved the murder or the kidnapping or both?”

Quinn let out a deep sigh, “Neither the murder, attempted murder of me, or the kidnapping was solved. The case went cold. Without a ransom demand the case ended at the bottom of the stairs. The clues we had led nowhere. Without further clues or demands, there was nothing to go on. The Captain felt the guy was scared too badly once he had to shoot his way out of the duplex. Did you notice they used the fictitious name Quentin Morse? That fact alone sets my alarms off. Somebody knows something about this case.”

Betty waited patiently for his pause. “Did Clark have family?”

This changed the course of Quinn’s thinking. “Yes, his wife is still alive and he had two grown children who live out of state, last I heard. I should call her now that you reminded me.”

“The little girl – ah, is that part true?” Betty kept her hands gripped tightly on the wheel for strength.

“Her parents lovingly called her Sapphire Annie because of her eyes, and yes she was taken from in front of her school while waiting for her Mother to arrive. She was nine at the time. That makes her fifteen now. If I recall, no witnesses came forward.”

Betty glanced at Quinn’s face to see if she could tell if he believed that or not. She could not tell. “Where are her parents?”

“Still in Allentown as far as I know; this is going to dig at some old wounds.” Quinn’s face puckered. “I heard they separated shortly after the kidnapping. That’s common enough.”

A New Partner

“What was that? Did you see that?” Betty asked.

“See what? Not another ghost?” Quinn looked around then at Betty as she slowed the car. “What are you doing?”

“I saw something.” She slowed the car to a stop on the shoulder.

Quinn turned his large frame around the best he could and stared into the darkness.

Betty turned to face back, put the Town and Country into reverse and slowly backed the vehicle along the turnpike.

“There, do you see it?” Betty asked.

“No, not yet; what am I looking for?

“A dog, I saw a dog along the shoulder. We can’t leave him on the Turnpike.” Betty looked over at Quinn hoping to see full approval. She braked to a stop and got out.

“Wait!” Quinn made the full swing back around opening the door to chase after Betty. “Where are you going?” A passing car’s headlights illuminated the dog a short distance away then the night faded back to black.

“Here Boy,” Betty called as the four legged creature slowly approached. “What is he?” She asked Quinn.

“Some kind of a Terrier I think. I’ll be right back.” Quinn made his way to the car and rummaged in the ice chest in the back and found two dried at the edges pieces of baloney and grabbed them. He returned to Betty and handed them to her with a wink, that went unseen and moved back.

In a moment they were walking back to the car; the dog was in Betty’s arms and eating dried baloney.

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Comments 51 comments

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Be still my beating heart...ouch, I think I pulled a muscle, Mr. Mike...nevertheless, this is some exciting stuff...!

A brief time off has done you "great"! This chapter of Quinn and Betty promises to be just as revealing as the last...learning more about the strong and silent Detective and what makes him tick...while a sweet furry angel just happens into their lives...how cool is this development/ just as cool as Moose just happening to have baloney on hand for the pick-up (gotta love that...)!!

I'm already hooked...might we expect a weekly schedule, prithee?


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello mar. Thanks for being first to stop by my small corner of Hubpages. I did take some time off from my weekly publications, and thank goodness a few people noticed. Here in this new series we are going to find out just how Quinn became retired and perhaps who he is inside.

I watched back to back 'Thin Man' movies a week or so ago and noticed Nick and Nora owned a dog. So not to be outdone....

In my day (the old days) people traveled with some food in the car because it was expensive to eat every meal 'out' and there was always dried baloney.

My goal is an episode every Friday. That might be a challenge.

Your visit is much appreciated.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

This was an enjoyable read Mike. I look forward to the continuing chapters. The introduction of a dog always helps a story to be successful too. Well done.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Thank you Jodah. I appreciate the support. I am not sure what roll the dog is going to play, but you can be sure it will be important.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Good Morning and PS, Mike...

Forgot to mention how much I love Don McLean and what a cool song choice...enjoying it again now with some coffee. I have brought some croissants from Rose's Bakery and fresh strawberries for when the gang finds out 'you're back'...!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Welcome back, Mike. You, Quinn, and Betty have been missed! This should prove to be interesting. Quinn is now beginning to open up to the ever-so-patient Betty. I wonder what they'll name the dog. Thank goodness they rescued him!

I'm looking forward to following this story.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Oh boy, another great mystery to follow. Finding out more about Quinn and i hope Betty too. Interesting characters. I love the idea of picking up a dog on a dangerous highway. I have company , so i'll be off line for a few days. I'm glad you are writing again. I missed you....


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Rose makes the best croissants and fresh strawberries sound great with coffee. Thanks mar.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning bravewarrior. Quinn and Betty are going to learn a lot about themselves in this story. Thanks for the visit. And the whole next episode is about naming the dog. lol -seriously


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Ruby, thanks for the visit. Enjoy your company. I had an uncle who rescued a three legged dog from a freeway. He had that dog for years.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

Castles in the Air - what a heart-touching song!

Interesting beginning - who is Jarrod? How can he be able to make Quinn's experience in reality an incident in his fiction?

Here comes another mystery that will be solved by Quinn and Betty. They are truly a mean team, completely in harmony.

I bet you were quite surprise when the dog made his appearance in this story of yours. And now you have to give him a past, a purpose and a future.... :) Amazing how some characters tend to present themselves out of the blue, forcing a writer to querie their own psychic powers..... Or what am I talking. For all I know you had the dog in your plot - and I am but only remembering how many characters entered my stories totally uninvited... :)

Looking forward to the next chapter...

Thanks for the strawberries, Mar. Let me whip up the cream :)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Good morning Martie. You are right, the dog literally wandered in off the street. (ugh) It is funny how desperate a writer can get as they approach the bottom of the page and have to wrap up a piece of information. Thank you for joining me. I appreciate your support.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Delighted to see this new segment with familiar characters and a new twist. The way you described that radio show and how they did their sound effects was great - a big thud made with that bag of potatoes and the splintering wood of the bamboo. Not many these days realize what an on-air show entailed. We used to go to the radio station when they put on live country music. It was entertaining.

You know I'm a big dog rescue fan, having scarfed my share of them from the highway near us, so of course, I loved that part too. So glad to see this new tale and looking forward to the next release.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Cute dog! I am loving this story, Mike. You are back in the saddle again and your readers are happy! This sounds like a really good story and I picked up on the close names right away and felt this would be about

Quinn somehow. I love this Quinn Moosbroker series. You must put all these into a book. Just a suggestion! Voted up and shared!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Hi Mike! I too find myself wondering if these characters will go into a book? You have great writing chops Mike!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Peg. Now that you mention it I recall that many of your pets over the years were destined for you. That is a wonderful trait. You can laugh at me if you want to, but this first episode took so long to formulate partly because of the sound effects for the show. That took more research and imagination than I thought it would. The story is fairly clear in my mind, now just all those pesky details need to be worked out.

You and your family going to the radio show to listen to the country music sounds like great entertainment and memories.

Thanks for the visit today.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello suzettenaples good to see you. Yes, this is going to be about Quinn, but not the Quinn we know, we will see a glimpse of his darker side. These stories will likely end up in an ebook at some point. Thanks for the encouragement and the compliment.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Audrey good to see you. I do see your Tweets from time to time. Thanks for thinking these belong in a book. That is very much appreciated. The story is playing out in my mind, I just have to get it down and keep it rated PG or less. Thanks for visiting me here today.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America

This is very good and I am waiting for the next installment! Nice story line and interesting characters - and I really like the old time radio mystery shows.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Wonderful to see this story from you. The characters have been missed and so has the writer. I am looking forward to reading more of this weekly, along with all of our friends. The story is fascinating so far, and I love the pup already.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

Hi Mike,

Love this opening chapter of the new series on so many levels:

The fact that it promises we'll learn more about Quinn's background...

The realistic radio story which parallels real life which means there's a mysterious connection..

The adorable little dog...

And the throwback to the days people traveled with "finger foods" instead of eating in expensive diners.

Looking forward to the next chapter.

Hugs,

Gail


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Patty, thank you very much for joining us on this adventure. It will be interesting (to me) where it leads us. I use to listen to radio performances on the way home from evening classes. A very memorable time.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Becky, you have been in my thoughts lately as you are getting use to a whole new location. Good to see you and happy that you will be following along with this adventure.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Gail. Good to see you this evening. I remember all to well loading a cooler of food for all us weary travelers in the not so distant past. I appreciate you joining us on this adventure and look forward to finding out what happens along with the rest of the readers.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

After struggling with an awful cold for almost two weeks, I was instantly buoyed up by my e-mail, “Mckbirdbks has published a new hub.” I am sitting at my computer, smiling happily with anticipation. Another Quinn Moosebroker mystery! The perfect antidote to the summer flu, and much more.

I so like Quinn…and Betty is perfect for him. “Quetin Morse” set off alarms. The story surrounding how Quinn was injured, and how he lost his partner Clark, was so well written. I sensed his pain, and the sympathy and understanding Betty felt for him.

I look forward to reading more about Sapphire Annie, the too-coincidental-to-be-a-coincidence radio show, and that darling little terrier. Such great writing. I LOVE these stories. :-)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Genna, first I want to wish you a quick return to health. Those summer colds are the worst. It is impossible to feel comfortable.

This first episode has been long in the making. There were plenty of issues to deal with as I tried to pull it together.

It is unusual for me but I think I have many of the macro details in place. I normally just charge into the brink and hope for the best. The biggest issue will be to try to keep it from getting too dark.

As always I appreciate your support. Feel 100% soon. Your readers are holding their breath in anticipation.


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

Yea! I am so happy that you are off to a great start with one of your awesome stories! I enjoyed reading and seeing the characters come back for an encore! :-) Cute dog...hope to see him throughout this exciting and interesting new novel. Shared & up!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Jo. So good to see you. It has been awhile since I posted anything. I hope you enjoy the story. Thanks for sharing.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

I love your sound effects here in this wonderful new piece, very creative and interesting! Delving more into the psyche of Quinn should prove to be intriguing. I am big at making sounds effects when my children were young and now my grands, especially my son and grandson ... as it is a must, but I sure do not have a clue how to write sound effects. You are awesome at it. Glad to see you back writing your wonder stories. I have been away myself, but not intentionally ... just summer activities and family and not enough hours in the day. But I am inspired to get back at it too ... finally.

Voted up ++++ and away

Blessings


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Faith Reaper. I am sure those children and grandchildren carry fond memories of you and your sound effects. How wonderful. I kicked off this series with the radio play in memory of those days. I very much appreciate your continued support.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Ah, you got me again. Does the fact that Quin was named Quentin Morse, to protect him or does it mean someone in police force is guilty?

I could not play the video. Is the link broken?

Voted up, UABI and shared.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hi Shyron. Does the fact that Quin was named Quentin Morse, to protect him or does it mean someone in police force is guilty? Means somebody knew something about the crime. As the story unfolds you will see how, then later who.

I could not play the video. Is the link broken? It fired right up for me. So I do not know what to say. You may need to update the Adobe Flash on your computer. It's free.

Thank you very much for popping over.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

So glad I came back to Hubpages just in time to read this! Great story! Great characters! And new great mystery! Thank you!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello btrbell. Great to see you. I hope there is air conditioning where you are. The west is frying. So glad you could join us on this adventure.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Lol. Thanks for thinking of me! Even the air at home is not enough! I just keep reminding myself how much I love the winners!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Yes, I am sure the winters are much to brag about based on what I see in the rest of the country.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada

Afternoon Mike, ….erts zst shrrrrrrr to you! Moose and Betty on the road again...what fun. Good old mystery story for my sick day at home. Yay! Awful what happened all those years ago. I know Betty and Moose and the bologna eating rescued dog are on it.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello snakeslane, well, one good thing comes from you having a cold. You can sit and read my story. lol I hope you enjoy this little mystery adventure.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

I can NOT for the life of me figure out how I missed this terrific series. I am in total awe of writers like you, everything is so real thanks to your descriptive abilities and just d@&$ good writing!

On to the next chapter.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello tillsontitan, thank you. It is so rare when someone back tracks and starts over at the beginning. I sure hope this is worth your time. I do try to entertain. Thanks for the votes and enjoy your weekend.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

It is more than worth my time that's for sure. Hope you enjoy your weekend as well.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

P.S. I just came back to Pin this.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Thank you very much. A 2nd Street Playhouse Mystery, Thin Red and Deadly , Night of the Falling and He Dreamt of Murder are still posted on Hubpages all starring Quinn and Betty.


Breen 2 years ago

Mike, this is great! I'm anxious to read the next chapter.

Love murder mysteries and yours intrigues already.

I've been out of circulation for so long I'm only just beginning to become acquainted with Quinn and Betty.

Happy Labour Day.

Breen


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Just stopping by to say that I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend...and for those of us in the US; the 3-day weekend. I wish we had more of these. :-)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Breen. This is such a nice surprise. Now that you are back in circulation I hope to see you here more. Quinn and Betty have had many adventures together since their first meeting. Happy Labor Day to you also. Mine has started out well with a visit from you.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Genna and a Big Happy Labor Day to you. A three day weekend is so welcome for those that still run all week long. Now today let the people around you spoil you. I wish you had more time to write!


John MacNab profile image

John MacNab 2 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

Nice one Mike, and I'm positive there will be no more baloney in this Quinn & Betty Mystery, unless it's to feed the dog.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello John. Good to see you. you are correct no more baloney.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America

I very much enjoyed this serialized story and look forward to more of simply anything you write in the future. I've shared it and voted up and more.

Cheers!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas Author

Hello Patty, I find your comment charming. Thank you very much.

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