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Skeletons Without Halos

Updated on February 26, 2016
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Nightcat is a freelance writer who enjoys crafting short stories for her readers in the fantasy, mystery and horror genres.

Anyone who knows me knows I like mystery novels, better still when the lead detective is dead, take the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy, the Family Skeleton Mystery series by Liegh Perry and Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner to name a few. There is just something about a detective that has the worst part of the job behind him, the dying part, yet can still fear his own demise.

But what about the ladies? There aren’t exactly a plethora of female detectives running around of the skeletal sort. Or, better still, I couldn’t think of one who popped into a world of skeletons while still being flesh and blood. Is Vicky dead, undead? Not even I’m sure and she’s my character.

But every good dead detective needs a partner and so our tale begins.

As always all writing and photography are my original work. If “borrowing” for Internet use credit where credit is due and a link back are appreciated. The video below is merely included to enhance your reading pleasure. If you own the copyright and want additional credit and links or the video removed, please let me know.

Your Music For This Evening

In The Land Of The Dead

In the land of the dead things are different then they are for you, the living. But not too different. Maybe some people end up playing harps for all eternity but I’d ended up in a land where skeletons were the norm and they weren’t all candidates for halos.

Nothing about my arrival was noteworthy except that I’d been taken on by an older partner, the beautiful Victoria Palatine. She’d liked that I’d been a private eye while alive, and better yet I’d landed in the land of the dead by accident and she had the only flesh and blood partner going.

Skeletons Without Halos

On The Case

One morning, coffee in hand and in a hurry as usual I’d walked in on my partner in her boudoir, rude and thoughtless, I know, but I was excited to get to our case and not even thinking. I simply wanted to tell her to hurry up or we’d be late getting our case files. It didn’t register until I saw her at her dressing table that I should have at least knocked first, lady detective or no lady detective.

I looked at her and whistled in admiration then clicked my tongue at her. Victoria looked over at me and smiled at the compliment. “I take it you approve?” She asked and I nodded taking in the vision before me.

Victoria was a stately skeleton and a lady of the first order. She tended towards black ornate Victorian era gowns with lace gloves and that day's ensemble was no different. With her broad black hat festooned with sable roses and a veil she radiated mystery and romance. “Good, then shall we, Nicky?”

“Huh?” I asked brilliantly and she smiled as she rose and came over to me. I tilted my head up slightly to gape at her as she got her demure purse, her every ready revolver tucked inside. “Oh, right, we have a case.” I managed and she gently pushed my jaw closed for me. Great, all she needs to think is that she has a lovesick partner. Way to go, genius. I thought.

I sighed and followed her to her car. It never failed to surprise me that she’d kept her manner of dress, speech and her beautiful antique-filled home, but we went to work in a Porsche 356 Speedster. I buckled up then sipped at my coffee as Victoria drove. “Penny for your thoughts?” She asked.

“I still don’t see how we became partners. You’re a lady and I dress like I fell out of a dime store detective novel.” I said and she chuckled.

“You do have a way about you.” She said tactfully. “But I like it. It’s refreshing to see a woman in clothing that fairly shouts intruige.” I looked over at her doubtfully but she sounded sincere. Being in the land of the dead we came from a precinct filled with detectives who wore all sorts of clothing, many favoring like me, the perennial trench coat and fedora, some suits, and vice tendeed to wear whatever.

Vice? You ask in shock. Well, my friend, the dead are as far from saints as you can get in many cases, not to knock your dearly departed. And while they can’t get more dead and therefore murder isn’t a problem they just invented new crimes. Vice covers things the land of the dead ought not to have, like the possessions of the living and certain black market items and services the delicate should not know about.

We covered cases involving thefts of a different sort, skeletons pilfering skeletons and as you can see from our luxurious transportation and Victoria’s abode, they still coveted the nice things in death. And just like in life they didn’t all feel the need to get them the honest way. I looked at my partner as she drove. “What do you think our case is about, Victoria?” I asked.

She glanced sideways at me. “I’m not sure, but maybe about you, Nicky.” I nodded. That made actual sense. I was a mistake, the first ever apparently. No one knew exactly where I was supposed to end up, maybe I was in the right place, but being flesh and blood wasn’t something most of the residents of the land of the dead did.

We’d been waiting for months for me to wake up a skeleton, but no dice. I seemed to be a perfectly healthy immortal living forever in the land of the dead. “I thought the excitement would have worn off by now.” I said and she shrugged.

“Have you ever thought that, well,” Victoria paused delicately. “Have you ever thought you might be alive?”

I laughed as we pulled up to headquarters but she was serious. “Victoria, I didn’t survive cement overshoes, I can tell you that much.” I said with certainty. “What’s left of the living me is on the bottom of a river being fish food. I don’t know how I ended up with a body, but I did.”

A Skeleton In The Family

A Skeleton in the Family (A Family Skeleton Mystery)
A Skeleton in the Family (A Family Skeleton Mystery)

Sid is a skeleton kept alive only by willpower and the need to protect his best friend Georgia. But can he hold it together when the two find murderous clues that may lead to his hidden past?



A handsome mug can turn any girl's head. Is there one waiting in the wings?
A handsome mug can turn any girl's head. Is there one waiting in the wings?

A Ransacked Abode?

We got out and I was worried. If Victoria thought I was still alive, others might too, and that meant my homicide might be a distinct possibility. I didn’t like the idea and I liked it even less when the Chief glared at us as we entered his office. “What do you two want?” He growled.

“We have a case, Chief?” I asked and he just stared at me.

“Being flesh and blood making you loopy, Nicky? You ain’t got no case, now go home before I get a cranium ache from looking at you.”

We left, puzzled, and I knew Victoria’s mind was in overdrive when she insisted we stop at a café for coffee and doughnuts. She’d seen it in countless police TVs shows so I indulged her, seeing as that it was the only vice she had that I was aware of and I needed more coffee. “Well?” Victoria asked after our coffee had been poured and the delectable treats had been set in front of us.

“Either the chief is loosing it or someone wanted us out of the house.” I said and she nodded, pleased. We were actually going to give them time, seeing as how we had hidden video cameras everywhere. Victoria pulled out her mobile and brought up our home but we saw nothing of interest.

So we sat and drank and talked and watched until her batteries ran out and of course mine got no signal so we drove home expecting to find the place in shambles, but our home was perfectly in order. I frowned to myself. I didn’t like it one bit. Someone had been there all right, I just couldn’t prove it.


Nekropolis: A Matt Richter Novel (The Nekropolis Archives)
Nekropolis: A Matt Richter Novel (The Nekropolis Archives)

Meet Mat Richhter, a zombie private eye who is racing time. Can he survive the shadowy world of the Nekropolis and stop the vampire overlords, or has his time finally ran out?


Who Is The Mystery Skeleton?

Want to see more of our lady detectives?

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Well! Have our lady detectives gotten their wires crossed or was there a reason someone needed them out of the house? And if our Nicky is the only living soul in the land of the dead, is she about to get evicted? One can only wonder. But if you'd like to hear more just vote above or comment below.

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