Thursday, May 26, 2011

Case Closed

"I believe everyone is here Mews.  Jon Lenin, Regis McBain and Fern Butterfield are all sipping tea in the living room.  Are you ready to solve this case Mews?"  Mews nodded as he removed his reading glasses.

"Indeed I am Quigs.  Let's get this show on the road.  I have a stack of micro-mysteries awaiting me and it's high time we solve McBain's case."

"Micro-mysteries Mews?  I'm not sure I understand," Quigley said following Mews to the living room. 

"A series of short mysteries.  I'll explain later.  Right now our guests are waiting."  As Mews opened the door to the living room, Fern Butterfield stepped up, cleared her throat and addressed the room.

"I have something to say," Fern said looking around.  "I'm ashamed and embarrassed to admit that I'm the reason Regis McBain is being blackmailed."  At this Regis dropped his tea cup onto the floor.

"Fern,  But I thought we had something special?"

"We do Regis," she said looking at Jon Lenin.  "And that's why I'm stepping up and admitting my part in this affair," Fern said. 

"Your part?"  Regis said.  He turned to Jon Lenin who shifted uncomfortably in his seat.  "You set her up to this Lenin didn't you?"  Regis got up into Jon Lenin's face and grabbed his jacket.

"Now, now, there will be none of this," Quigley said fluttering his wings rapidly as he positioned himself in between the two men.  Please take a sit, both of you."  Regis made one last push before he backed up and sat down holding his head in his hands.

"It's true," Jon Lenin said.  "I set Fern up to date you.  I took those pictures of you at the cabin and the spa with Fern.  She texted me information and directions as to your whereabouts.  It was all quite easy really.  And uncomplicated-that is until she fell in love with you and broke things off with me."

"And let me guess," Quigley said excitedly.  "That's when you attacked McBain-after Fern told you she was no longer loyal to you and your schemes.  So the attack had nothing to do with blackmail, and everything to do with love."  Jon Lenin glared at Quigley and began to collect his things.

"And where do you think you're going Mr Lenin?"  Mews asked as he reached for the phone.

"I think my business is done here," he said heading for the door.  "I'm going home."

"We'll see about that," Mews said.  As Jon Lenin opened the door he was greeted by two police officers and a pair of handcuffs.  Regis stood up and stepped towards Fern looking angry but at once concerned.  "You might want to get your phone number changed Mr Lenin because it looks like you might have a new home for awhile."

"But wait!" Regis said.  "What's gonna happen to Fern, Mews?" Regis asked.  "No one's gonna take my lady away from me!  I'm not pressing charges-if that's what it takes to keep Fern out of the clink!"

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mews Returns From His Trip Next Week

Mr Mews will return the week of May 23 to solve his case!  He has been on a humanitarian trip across the ocean helping the people of Japan solve animal crimes and pet mysteries.  He apologizes for his long absence...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

And Then There Were Two

"And it wasn't Scarlett White the producer.  She was on the air moderating the political debate between Ham and Jimmy Scape."

"Yes, besides, she has no real motive," Quigley added.  "McBain is her cash cow-she would have no reason to get rid of him.  So that leaves only three-Imelda McBain the ex, Jon Lenin and Fern Butterfield."

"Actually two Quigs.  You see it wasn't Imelda McBain either.  She was on a shoe-shopping trip to New York during the attack.  And while she does have motive, she doesn't need any money.  Besides, she's not the kind of "do it yourself" criminal we're looking for.  In addition to her personal driver, chef, assistant, and stylist, she even pays for someone to retrieve her mail.  No, if she were behind any of this she would most likely have hired a professional.  And as I explained earlier, I'm quite sure this is not the work of a professional."

"And then there were two Mews.  So, Fern Butterfield and Jon Lenin..." 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Who Didn't Do It?

"By the tried and true process of elimination Quigley, I can tell you who is not Regis McBain's attacker.  Later I'll explain to you why I believe the attacker and the blackmailer are the same person (s)."

"Continue Mews," Quigley said listening intently on the other end of the line.

"Charlie Poker, "Ham the Operator" Radio, and Jimmy Scape did not attack McBain.  And here's why- Charlie Poker, as you know, has been in prison for the last several months.  He also really has no motive-the reason he's in prison is for burglary.  Addicts like Charlie Poker need quick money and fast turnovers.  I have no reason to suspect that he could even pull off a blackmailing scheme-let alone concoct a plan and execute it from behind prison walls.  As for Ham and Jimmy-well, the night Regis was attacked they were locked in a live, online political debate-I have the dated transcript to prove that they could not have been McBain's attacker."

"If you are right Mews, that leaves only four suspects.  And how can you be sure McBain's attacker is also his blackmailer?"

"Nothing is for certain Quigs, but I'm quite sure the person or persons behind this is quite the amateur by the way in which things have been carried out.  An amateur criminal would not have the resources or the knowledge to hire outside people to perpetrate his crimes.  And by the amount of loose ends and unfulfilled threats I would say that this is most definitely the work of an amateur."   

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Last Few Suspects

"Quigley, tell me what you've found out about our final suspects while I've been away."

"Of course, Mews.  Well, we can count out Charlie Poker the gambling addict since he's been in prison for the last three months due to an unrelated burglary charge.  That leaves Jimmy Scape the Angry Blogger and "Ham The Operator," the DJ who fills in for McBain from time to time-Ham seemed to have nothing bad to say about McBain-in fact-he thinks of McBain as his mentor.  Jimmy Scape, on the other hand, is a deluge of hate.  Not only did he have absolutely nothing good to say about McBain over his laptop and a stiff Martini, it would seem from his words that he thought McBain was the antichrist!"

"Goodness gracious, Quigs.  Well, yes, none of this surprises me.  In fact while I've been out of town I've had time to review the entire case with fresh eyes, and, I believe I may have solved it-well, most of it anyway."

"That is refreshing news I have to say Mews!  It's been such a long case, I admit I've already forgotten half of the suspects."

"Not to worry Quigs.  I shall be reviewing the suspects and the important aspects of the case for you this week as I tie up some loose ends.  I don't-of course-want to make any mistakes when I finally reveal the culprit."

"Or culprits," Quig said sounding excited.

"Or culprits," Mews said before hanging up the phone.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mr Mews Takes An Unexpected Trip

"Oh hello there, Mews here.  I just wanted to apologize for the gap in my latest mystery-if you can believe it I've been called out of town on unrelated business but I'll be back this week on the trail of McBain's blackmailer.  Stay tuned and help me get this case solved!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quigley Pursues Jimmy Scape, the Angry Blogger

"Nope," Quigley said setting down the phone.  "Jimmy Scape still won't answer.  What a rude fellow," he said dialing again.

"Hang up the phone," Mews said.  "I'm going to send you down to the bar Jimmy Scape spends his evenings blogging Quigs.  Here's the address," Mews said handing him a torn slip of paper.  "If he won't come to us, we'll come to him.  Now, off with you Quigley.  I've got some thinking to do."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fern Discusses her Love Life

"Regis and I met at a charity event last year-we chatted only briefly and then he called me several weeks later and asked me out on a date," Fern said.  "I told him no several times but he was very persistent.  I finally accepted thinking at least it would be interesting to see what Regis "McPain" was like in person.  Turns out he was very sweet, and nothing like his radio personality," Fern added.  "I'm afraid I don't have much to add that Regis hasn't already told you.  Except that we did run into Jon Lenin at the Sacred Cow Coffee shop the other day.  If glaring is a crime then I'd have to say that Jon would've gotten arrested.  He's none too happy that Regis and I are an item and he's been quite vocal about it in our circle of friends.  You see, Jon Lenin and I dated a few years ago.  But I'm sure he has nothing to do with this case Mews.  He's just bitter that I broke up with him-he was married to his work, a real martyr for the cause that one."  She paused briefly and then continued in a whisper.  "I have my suspicions about that guy Jimmy Scape, you know the blogger.  He's had it in for Regis from the start and he's got connections, you know, with bad news types."

"And how do you know that Ms Butterfield?" Quigley asked.  Fern blushed.

"Well, I kinda dated Jimmy Scape a while back too."


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meet Fern Butterfield

"It's so nice to meet you Mr Mews.  Regis has told me only good things about you," Fern Butterfield said as she entered Mr Mews' apartment.  Quigley looked out into the hall before he closed the door behind her.  "Oh, Millicent couldn't make it.  She had some sort of audition today," Fern said slipping out of a canvas jacket.  

"Oh, well that's too bad," Quigley said looking disappointed.  Mr Mews pulled a chair out from the dining room table and offered it to Fern.  "Just in time for tea-do you take cream or sugar?" Mews asked.  Fern shook her head.

"No, I'm lactose and fructose intolerant.  I'm on a strict macrobiotic diet," she said pushing hair off of her shoulder with a thin hand.

"Well, you'd have a heck of a time finding something to eat around here," Quigley said chortling.  "I'm afraid Mews is a strict carnivore!"
"Yes, well," Mews said uncomfortably, "let's not waste anymore of Ms Butterfield's time shall we Quigs?  Now, Fern, if I might call you that.  Won't you tell us how you and Regis McBain first met?"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quigley and Mews Make Plans

"It's time to finish interviewing the last of the suspects Quigs.  Strange thing though, I can't seem to get a hold of the final three on the phone," Mews said.

"Refresh my memory Mews-let's see we have Ham "The Operator" Radio, Charlie Poker the gambling addict and who else?"  Quigley asked.

"Jimmy Scape.   The enraged blogger," Mews responded.
"Don't forget Fern Butterfield," Quigley added.  "I happen to be one step ahead of you on the Butterfield front Mews.  We have a lunch date with her this week," Quigley said.  "Millicent will be accompanying her as well for moral support," he added.  

"I see, so your girlfriend will be in attendance," Mews stated.

"Oh, no, she's not my girlfriend anymore Mews.  We have resolved that matter, or don't you recall?"

"Perhaps my memory is a little faulty on that matter," Mews said with a twinkle in his eye.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

He Won't Back Down

"Well, I'm sure as h*** not pulling my show!"  McBain exclaimed.  As he spoke his thick mustache swayed.

"No, of course that won't do," Mews said reviewing the note.  "It does shed some light on the blackmailer.  It does seem by the person's request that the blackmailer is politically motivated."

"It does Mews," Quigley offered.  "But it doesn't necessarily mean that the blackmailer is a political rival.  It could be that the blackmailer just wants to see McBain go down."  Mews nodded and then drew his attention to McBain who was pulling something out from the side of his jacket.

"In any case I'm ready for this jackwagon next time he messes with Regis McPain," McBain said producing a small black pistol.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

F is for Forever

"I received this in the mail this morning," McBain said breathlessly handing Mews a letter without a return address.  Quigley was busy plucking black hairs out of his toes and beak as Mews read the letter aloud. 

"Regis McBain,  this letter is to inform you that you will no longer be blackmailed provided you perform one action.  That action is to take yourself off the air.  Forever.  Yours, X."

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Misunderstanding

"Mews!   Get that flying rodent off my beard!"  At this, Quigley hopped away from McBain as the DJ struggled to regain his composure.  "Good grief, what is going on?"  McBain asked.  Quigley hopped down from the stairs in the building lobby and looked at Mews.

"I thought he was going to attack you Mews," Quigley said.

"Attack Mews!  You're crazy, one crazy bird," McBain said smoothing out his mustache.

"So why are you wearing a hooded coat and sneaking around Mews' building?" Quigley asked.

"I'm wearing this hood so I don't get hassled-but apparently that doesn't work.  Should I have to explain myself Mews?"

"No," Mews said looking at Quigley.  "Quigs, we had an impromptu meeting today-simple as that.  McBain has some new information for us," Mews said as Quigley avoided eye contact.  "Why don't we step inside and forget that this all happened," Mews said taking the lead.   

"Easy for you to say Mews," McBain said glaring at Quigley.  "You aren't the one getting attacked every other day." 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Quigley Strikes!

While Mews has been busy conducting interviews, Quigley has been busy trailing McBain and Mews in hopes of exposing their stalkers.  Quigley quietly hopped from tree branch to tree branch, power line to roof top when he spotted a cloaked figure emerging from an alley way as Mews wrestled with an armful of grocery bags and library books on the sidewalk near his building.  Quigley waited until Mews opened the door of the building to swoop in and peck the cloaked figure out of their hooded garments only to finally reveal a familiar looking face...  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Angry Producer

"I'm sure I know who's behind all this blackmailing crap," Scarlett White said as she dug around inside of her massive leather purse.  "It's Jon Lenin-I'm sure of it-or one of his lefty minions.  They've staged so many protests outside of KPX it's not even funny.  There was another one just last week-about thirty unemployed wack-jobs with nothing better to do than protest the fact that McBain said that Senator Strawberry would be better off barefoot and pregnant than legislating for constituents.  It was a joke-man, can't anyone take a freakin' joke any more?  McBain's a sexist, McBain's a racist-it's all we hear Mews."  Scarlett White pulled out a tube of lipstick and reapplied her Cherry Bomb. "The reality is that McBain's producer is none other than moi, a female and his screener's a black man.  It drives me nuts Mews-and now he's being blackmailed?  Unreal.  Nobody can take controversy anymore, debate is over unless you're prepared for a thousand lawsuits and an internet smear campaign that makes the Civil War look like a sewing bee."  Mews was waiting for a pause in conversation but Scarlett White presumably did not breath when she talked.  "You know Mews, I wouldn't be surprised if this Fern Butterfield chick is behind the whole thing.  I bet Jon Lenin hired her to be McBain's girlfriend just to get those photos in the first place!"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Chat with the Producer

"Mr Mews, hi, Scarlett White.  Yes, nice to meet you too.  No tea for me-you know I really don't have a lot of time-I'm really busy these days and with Regis having basically a mental breakdown every day-well, I've got my hands full.  The faster you can crack this case the better dude cuz I can't afford to lose my most popular DJ."

Monday, February 28, 2011

How to Deal With a Bully

"Any idea who might have attacked McBain Mr Mews?"  Quigley asked.  Mews shook his head.

"No, but McBain did give me a lead however-he said that right before he went down he thought that he heard a woman's voice."

"Do you think the attacker was female Mews?"

"It's a distinct possibility.  Now whether this attack has anything to do with the larger case at hand-well, I'm not sure."

"So what's next Mews?"

"More suspect interviews Quigley.  We shall stay focused and not get distracted by stalkers and attackers-if what they want is for us to drop the case-well, they aren't going to get that.  There is nothing I dislike more than being bullied and harassed," Mews said sternly.

"Very well, let's get on with things.  Who's next on the suspect list my friend?"
"Looks like I've got a lunch date with McBain's producer-a Ms Scarlett White."

Friday, February 25, 2011


Feeling dizzy and confused, Regis McBain awakes underneath a holly tree.  "How did I get here?" he asks leaning forward.  "Ouch!"  The holly was prickly against his skin-but that was not his only discomfort.  As he began to get oriented he realized that a throbbing pain was growing in his head-and when he reached to touch it he felt a warm gooey sensation-blood!  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lenin Speaks

"Yes, I actually know that McBain is being blackmailed because he called me and directly accused me of blackmailing him.  I said that I wasn't surprised, but that it wasn't me and that I wouldn't resort to criminal activity to get back at him," Jon Lenin said taking in a lungful of air through his nose.

"Get back?" Mews asked.

"Well, yes, for all the nasty comments he's made about me and my affiliations on the air over the years.  I used to take his bait and I've spent too many hours on the phone arguing with McBain and getting migraines.  I prefer to spend my time now editing my monthly newsletter and acting in my local community theatre group "Behind the Iron Curtain."  You see Mews," Lenin said leaning back into his chair, "I've in a sense retired from the frontlines.  I'm not interested in the tit for tat name calling that thrives in the political arena-on both sides.  And I admit that McBain is very good at what he does-better than I ever was.  You know we were best friends long ago."

"Yes," Mews said.  "Mr McBain said that you're friendship ended due to your political differences," Mews said stealing a sip of tea.  Jon Lenin's eyes widened and he smiled.

"Is that what he said?"  Lenin laughed.  "Always prone to hyperbole and half-truths that one.  "No.  It wasn't our politics that finally ended our friendship Mews.  It's much simpler than that.  You see he stole my girlfriend, Imelda."  Mews coughed into his sleeve.  "And then he married her."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Interview with a Socialist

"Ah, Mr Lenin, good of you to come by," Mr Mews said closing the door.  Jon Lenin stepped inside, nodded, and then waited for instructions.  "Please take a seat.  I'll have the coffee ready in just a moment," Mews said heading for the kitchen.

"No bother.  I don't drink coffee," Lenin said with a gruff stern voice.

"Tea then."

"I don't drink tea either.  Both coffee and tea plantations contribute to the deforestation of the native ecosystems of their given region.  I wish also to avoid contributing to the exploitation of the indigenous populations by multinational corporations and their stockholders."

"I see," Mews said looking through his cupboards.  Well, how about a cup of hot water and lemon?"

"I'll take nothing thank you.  I'm currently on a breatharian diet.  Just a deep breath of pure air will suit me just fine-and it's a guilt free pleasure.  Now, please tell of your business with me Mr Mews.  I'm guessing this has something to do with Regis McBain?"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mr Mews Has a Tail

"Hello?  Is someone there?"  Mr Mews asked.  A shadow moved and then disappeared in the hallway near his door.  Mews walked quietly down the hall towards the fire escape where he saw a tall figure jumping to the ground.  Mews picked up his pace but by the time he reached the bottom of the fire escape the figure had vanished.  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mr Mews Receives Mysterious Phone Calls

"How long has this been happening Mews?  Hang ups?  Heavy breathing?  How bestial.  How amateur!  Any idea of who it might be?"  Quigley asked these questions as he examined new spring colorization on his wing.

"Just over the weekend.  And no, I have no idea of who it might be.  I'm assuming that it has something to do with the McBain case."  Quigley nodded and focused his full attention on Mews.

"Yes, but we know the dangers of assumption Mews.  We shall wait until we have facts.  Concrete, unwavering facts."  Mews looked up and smiled.

"Of course Quigs.  I'm glad to see you focused and clear headed.  I might say breaking up with Millicent has afforded you the presence of mind to think clearly again," Mews said lifting up his wine glass.  "While I realize you're gearing up for the frenzy of spring, I must say I'm impressed you aren't letting those old instincts get the best of you."

"It's a constant struggle between mind and body Mews, as you know.  May the rational and enlightened mind win every time."  At this the two old friends nodded knowingly and clinked their glasses.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Imelda Speaks

"Look Mews, I know why you've asked me here.  Regis is in trouble-ha, what's new?  I'm here to tell you I know nothing of his latest issues.  Regis has been nothing but trouble for me-he was married not to me but to his microphone-and when he wasn't working at the studio he was drinking and chasing waitresses at that dreadful bar near his work-The Hand Me Down.  But I want nothing to do with him anymore.  I can't stand that beast and I couldn't even stand to blackmail him."  Mews nodded his head and Quigley jotted down some notes.

"Does he still frequent this bar-The Hand Me Down?"
"Oh, I don't know, I'm sure he does.  A malignant narcissist such as Regis needs to get his daily dose of not just Jack and Coke but of ego-stroking.  Lord knows why, but Regis has a way of making people do back-flips for him.  If you and Mr Quigley here would like me to accompany you to the bar I'd be happy to do so," Imelda McBain said flashing Quigley a lipstick-smeared smile.

"Thank you but no, that won't be necessary," Quigley said hopping off of his chair.  We want to thank you for coming," Quigley said cutting off the conversation prematurely. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Meet Imelda Marcus McBain

"Well you have a lovely view," Imelda Marcus McBain said turning towards Mews.  "Very quaint.  It's a very quaint little place-much too small for my needs of course, but cute.  Dollhouse cute," she said taking a seat on the couch near Quigley.  She smiled and stroked her hair.  As she eyed Quigley it caused him to slowly shrink away.  "Your friend is cute Mews," she said her voice crackly and deep.  "Such a little thing!  But such wonderful colors.  Imagine the hat I could make from those downy feathers!"  Quigley gulped and hopped up out of his seat as Mews offered her a refill on her coffee.
"He is a handsome fellow," Mews said smiling at a frowning Quigley.  "Now, Imelda-I may call you Imelda?"

"Oh yes, of course Mr Mews," she said rearranging one of her necklaces.  

"If we might get down to business-we have some questions about your ex-husband, Regis McBain."  Imelda's face dropped and her expression immediately turned sour.

"If we must discuss such a wretched topic.  Some husband he was!  Left me high and dry without a dime to my name," she said as her neck jiggled.  She lowered her voice.  "I have to say if something bad has happened to him I'll be the first person to say he deserved it.  That cad, he stole my youth!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mews is Unavailable For Calls

"That's strange," Quigley said hanging up his phone.  "Mews hasn't answered my calls all day.  Highly unlike Mews.  I wonder if something's wrong," Quigley said hopping over to his window.  "Perhaps I'll pay him a visit."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quigley Adds a Suspect to the List

"Mews, I do believe you've forgotten to add someone to your suspect list," Quigley said stretching in his chair.

"And who is that Quigs?"

"Why Fern Butterfield."

"Goodness gracious you're right Quigley!  How could I have made such an error?"

"She is certainly within his inner circle," Quigley said.

"At the tip of one's nose," Mews reflected.

"I've been skeptical of the relationship between Fern and McBain from the start," Quigley stated.  "What would a pretty young idealist see in an lumpy old standpat like Regis McBain?  I can't imagine the Butterfield family is too terribly happy about this couple."

"If they even know of it.  Why don't you see what you can find out about the Butterfields Quigs while I try and get some interviews lined up," Mews said escorting Quigley towards the window.  Before Quigley made his exit he turned to Mews.

"You know, Millicent was friends was Fern in high school.  Perhaps I'll question her and see what she knows of Fern's relationship with her family."  Mews raised his eyebrows.

"As you see fit Quigs." 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mews and Quigley Review the Prime Suspects

"I shall go down the list and give you a quick overview of the suspects Quigley.  Are you ready?" 

"Go ahead Mews.  My brain is much clearer today-I'm listening and taking notes," Quigley said reaching for a pad of paper.  Mews picked up his own notebook and began to describe the suspects in no particular order.

Scarlett White, The Producer
"Scarlett White is the producer of Regis McBain's daily show, "No McPain No Gain."  While they generally get along, McBain claims that Scarlett White has increasingly grown distant and resentful after McBain turned down her advances at the water cooler several months ago."
Ham "The Operator" Radio  
"Ham the Operator Radio is a younger, lesser known but more antagonistic protege of McBain's.  He's also widely known around the studio for coveting McBain's very desirable nine to noon time slot and for accusing McBain of "getting soft" over the years."   
Jon Lenin, The Embittered Marxist  
"Jon and McBain were best friends in their early radio days before their political affiliations ripped them apart.  Jon Lenin was especially offended by McBain in recent years when McBain publicly made fun of his rival's outdated facial hair while suggesting on air that Lenin was about as hip as a lawyer at a doorknob convention."
Imelda Marcus McBain, The Angry Ex-Wife
"Perhaps, Quigley, you remember their famously wicked divorce five years ago?  Imelda Marcus McBain held little back when it came to their private affairs and her expensive taste.  She is most famous for a statement she made on the front steps of the courthouse after the finalization of their divorce proceedings in which she stated, "I'd rather spend an eternity shopping at K-mart than spend one more day in that courtroom with that man!"
Jimmy Scape, The Enraged Blogger  
"Mr Scape has been an antagonizing figure in the blogosphere since blogging took its first breath.  When he's not online dreaming up especially creative euphemisms for his blog "Regis McBain is a Big Pile of Poop" he devotes his time to artisan cheese making and rock climbing."

Charlie Poker, The Gambler 
"Charlie Poker, Quigley, is not really politically motivated.  But he has been known around town for getting involved in nefarious activities in order to pay off his rather bulky gambling debts.  I myself had a run in with Charlie Poker not long ago when he tried to involve me in some dreadful timeshare scheme.  Well, good thing I did a little investigation before I ended up calling the police from a studio apartment in Blue Goose Bucksnort Tennessee."  

"Goodness sakes Mews-good thing you escaped from that predator.  Now really, everyone on this list at first glance looks as guilty as the next."

"I agree Quigs, at first glance the mystery oft seems impenetrable.  That's why we take baby steps towards the truth Quigs," Mews said setting his notebook down.

"Baby steps!" Quigley exclaimed.  "A good rule to live by Mews!" 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Quigley Makes a Decision

"Quigley.  Quigley, were you even listening to my summarization of suspects?"

"What?  Oh, yes, I'm afraid I'm a little tired Mews.  I was up all night consoling Millicent.  You see I broke things off with her and she didn't take it well."

"I see," Mews said looking on.  "Perhaps she is not accustomed to being on the losing side of a break-up."

"Well, the old girl was heartbroken-I'm heartbroken.  It was really quite tragic Mews.  But our love is not meant to be.  I just know in my heart of hearts she will fly away from me someday-off to her next adventure.  Love, Mews, it's the hardest work in the world sometimes.  But I'm afraid I'm being unprofessional-I shall try and focus on the issue at hand-you seem to think that the blackmailer is politically motivated, no?"

"Yes," Mews said happy that Quigley was changing the subject.  "It does seem that way-yet it's much too early to rule anything out."

"Really, Mews, is there anyone in town who wouldn't enjoy blackmailing Regis McBain-even just a little?"  Quigley asked.

"It would seem so.  But I feel that the blackmailer is someone close to him-or at least within his inner circle."

"Why look abroad when the answer is at the tip of one's nose?"

"That's right Quigley.  I'm glad to see that you're thinking clearly again," Mews said with a grin.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Enemy List

"First on the agenda McBain is to gather a list of your professional and personal enemies," Mews said.

"Ha!" McBain tossed his head back and guffawed.  "My enemy list, Mews, would wrap around the city a hundred times over."  He was starting to look a little glum.

"Yes, I see," Mews said.  "In that case let's start closer to home."  McBain nodded and began talking.  After nearly an hour Mews had jotted down about twenty names-seven of them had stars next to them.  

"You've got your work cut out for you cat-that's for damn sure," McBain said.  Humbled, he looked up at Mews.  "You're the only one I can trust right now Mews.  You're the only one fair-minded and level-headed enough to get to the truth of the matter and see past the baloney.  Most people in this town-they can't stand me and they can't wait to see me go down in flames."  As they parted ways Mews and McBain shook hands and Mews thought of Quigley-his friend and colleague was perhaps one of those who wished to see McBain consumed by a fiery conflagration.  As Mews shut the door behind his client he thought of ways in which he might dampen Quigley's ire the next time his friend joined him for tea.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mr Mews Views Scandalous Photos

"Let me get this straight McBain-you say someone has incriminating photos of you and this Fern Butterfield.  Yet you are not married and neither is Miss Butterfield.  Explain to me how these photos threaten you," Mews said as he watched McBain pull the photos out from underneath his jacket.

"It's all publicity Mews.  I'm a conservative talk show host-I'm the guy that eats liberals for breakfast.  I can't be the guy who eats tofu with his hippie girlfriend!  I'll be ruined.  If word gets out that I've been running around with the city's biggest bleeding heart blogger my fans will turn against me and my enemies will be fighting over what's left of my bones."  McBain shook his head as he handed Mews a photo.  "Look at that.  That's me and Fern braiding hemp bracelets at her old man's cabin.  Someone followed us all the way to California.  And look at this one.  Me and Fern sipping wheat grass after our Tantric couples retreat.  I don't even wanna show you this one," McBain said rubbing his forehead.  "You gotta help me catch this guy."

"Or gal," Mews said raising an eyebrow as McBain handed him a third photograph.    

Monday, January 31, 2011

McBain Shows up out of Breath

"McBain you looked flushed!" Mews exclaimed.  McBain nodded his head as he stepped into Mews' apartment-but not before looking over his shoulder.

"Darn right I'm flushed!  I just ran twenty blocks," McBain said.  He took a seat on the couch as Mews listened to his wheezing chest.  "I'm gonna need to get into better shape if I'm gonna be outrunnin' bald blackmailers and other bad dudes."  Mews smiled and offered McBain a cup of tea before they got started in on conversation.  McBain looked up and heaved forth a phlemy laugh.

"I'm afraid ol' Regis here's gonna need somethin' a little stronger than tea," he said pulling out a silver flask from inside his jacket.  He unscrewed the cap, took a long swig, and then let out a husky grunt. "Now, cat.  Now I'm ready to do some talkin'."

Friday, January 28, 2011

McBain Calls Mews from an Undisclosed Location

"Mews, it's Regis McBain.  Look, man, I think I'm being followed.  There's this funny looking bald dude that's been lurking around my building all day."

"If that's the case," Mews said with an urgency in his voice, "we must meet at once.  It sounds as if the blackmailer is upping the pressure on you.  Why don't you join me at my place this evening so we can get this investigation underway?"

"I don't know man," McBain said looking over his shoulder.  "What if this guy follows me to your place?"

"My building is secure.  Besides, I won't tolerate being intimidated by persons unknown.  Now, how does eight o'clock sound."  

"Yeah, yeah okay," McBain said sounding breathless.  "I'll try and ditch him on the road.  Let's just see him try to catch up with me and Jackie."

"Jackie?  And will you be bringing this Jackie along?" Mews asked.

"Oh, heck yes.  Jackie's my '69 GTO hardtop dude!"   

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Millicent Decision

"Very well Quigs.  Perhaps I've been a touch severe.  Let's discuss your heart's crisis for a moment before we move on with the case.  You're clearly in no state to work until you get a handle on this Millicent situation," Mews said firmly.  Quigley offered up a wan smile.

"Oh, it's true.  I'm quite embarrassed.  If it was anyone but Millicent," Quigley said.  "She is an exceptionally rare creature."

"Tell me what happened," Mews said.

"Well, you see she stole my heart thrice.  The first was when she ran off to Greece with that muscular acrobat-what was his name-Agacio.  Then, when she returned and we made up she left me again for a small acting role on stage in London.  Really, that was tragic.  She didn't even have any lines."

"And the third time she stole your heart?"  Mews thought he saw a tear well up in Quigley's eye.

"Just last year.  She was married," Quigley said.


"Yes.  Last year she became a nun and was married to God," Quigley said as he choked back tears.  "But that too didn't last.  Now she's here, in Portland, and she says that she's been so foolish.  That she never should have let me go!" 

"My goodness, Quigs.  I do feel for you-but don't you think that the old girl might be a tad dramatic-and dare I say confused?"  Mews said squinting in the sunlight.  "Perhaps it's for the best that things don't work out.  If you want some good old fashioned advice, perhaps you ought to nip this one in the bud before she nips you."

"Oh you may be right.  But perhaps she's changed. Grown up a little," Quigley said.  "I've never felt this way about anyone else Mews."

"Yes, well, in that case I think it's time that you make a Millicent Decision," Mews stated.  Quigley looked up.

"A Millicent decision," Quigley said looking interested.  "By God you're right Mews.  This indecision has gone on long enough."

Help Quigley make his decision by casting your vote in the poll!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quigley Disappears and then Returns Heartsick

"Quigs!  Where on earth have you been?"  Mews asks as Quigley lands on a branch in the courtyard looking harried.  "Get in here at once and explain your absence!"

"Yes, I'm terribly sorry Mews.  I had some personal business to attend to."

"Fair enough Quigley, but we're going to lose our client if you keep pulling these disappearing acts.  Now, have a seat and tell me what's going on.  Oh dear, it's not that girl again is it?"  Mews watched Quigley with a keen eye as Quigley slowly nodded.

"Yes, Mews, it's the girl again.  She's back in town-my lovely Millicent.  I thought she was gone forever, you know."  Mr Mews turned away from Quigley and rolled his eyes.

"You mean like the last time she was gone forever Quigs?  Come, it's time to get to business.  We shall discuss Millicent at a later date."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mews Persuades McBain

"I do understand that you want to maintain privacy Mr McBain, but I assure you Mr Quigley will be an asset to your case and not a detriment.  Mm.  Indeed.  Yes, yes of course.  That's right, he does have a lot of contacts-he can be nearly invisible at times and therefore able to observe without being noticed.  I think that you'll come to appreciate Mr Quigley's talent for buzzing about town and gathering information," Mews stated clearly into the phone.  "I wish again to make it clear that your political views will in no way affect my ability to handle this case.  The same goes for Mr. Quigley," Mews said.  He eventually said goodbye to McBain and hung up the phone after repeating himself several times.  Mews walked over to the window and looked out over the courtyard.  While he watched the rain drip off the branches of the large deodora he realized that he didn't feel quite as confident as he had sounded on the phone.  "It's going to be difficult managing Quigley with McBain in the room.  I can't think of two more opposite creatures."   

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Quigley and Mews Tune In

"Yes, I think I've heard enough Quigs.  You can turn the volume down," Mews said.  "I can imagine with such inflammatory rhetoric Regis McBain probably has an enemy list a mile long."

"Quite, Mews.  You've got your work cut out for you this time-I'm not sure how you're going to narrow down the list of suspects to a reasonable number."

"It does seem a bit daunting.  I shall take it one step at a time.  While McBain may have hundreds of angry listeners, only a handful of those people would actually take action against him-and out of that handful only a few will actually have the information it would require in order to blackmail him.  McBain will be able to point us in the right direction when we interview him."

"And when might that be Mews?" Quigley asked looking impatient.

"This week.  He's a busy man.  And a secretive one too.  He wishes to meet at a secret location," Mews said.  "Yet, I'm afraid I still don't know where this secret location is."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mr Mews Calls Regis McBain

"Yes, yes of course Mr McBain.  Yes.  Your privacy will be first and foremost my priority.  Yes, I understand who you are and I assure you that all my clients have been pleased with my discretion in delicate situations such as your own.  I do understand who you are and what it might do to your career if your blackmailer is not brought to justice.  Yes, a meeting is certainly in order this week.  I realize you're very busy.  Okay, I'll be expecting your call then, and goodbye."  Mews set down his phone and sighed.  "Already, this man exhausts me and I've only just begun the investigation.  Quigley will surely have to assist me in this case-there seems to be no end to my bird friend's eagerness and energy.  Just today I've seen him flutter past the balcony nearly a hundred times.  Quite dizzying, really.  Tomorrow night we shall have port and discuss what questions to pose during our first interview with Regis McBain-or as his enemies call him, "Regis McPain."      

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mr Mews Returns for his Second Case

"Say it isn't so, Quigs.  My vacation is over?  Confound it.  I just got comfortable, my overworked brain finally found some peace.  And I've just purchased some new bromeliads for my terrarium.  How will I ever find the time to give them the nourishment and care they need in which to thrive?  Now you've brought a new case before me knowing that I simply won't refuse.  Well, fine then, let's get on with it."

"I am sorry to trouble you Mr Mews, but I'm afraid an excellent cat detective's work such as yours is never done..."

"Yes, yes, just tell me who has the problem and what it is," Mews said with an agitated paw shake.

"Well," said Quigley looking excited despite Mews's peevish mood,  "we're dealing with a semi-famous local celebrity.  Have you ever heard of one Regis McBain?"  Mews gave a face and then rolled his eyes.

"That blow hard talk radio host?  Indeed, who has not heard that pompous windbag?"
"Yes, well apparently he's being blackmailed.  And that's all he'll tell me.  He wants to talk to you asap.  He's says that you're the only one he can trust.  The only one who will give him-how did he say it, "a fair crack at it."  Mews yawned, nodded and stretched his legs.

"Very well, Quigs.  Set up a pot of tea for me won't you?  Oh, and heat up yesterday's bacon scones-I'll need a little something to sink my fangs into before I give this McBain a call."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mr Mews Solves the Case of the Nasty Notes

"First, I want to thank you all for coming," Mews said stepping away from the window.  All eyes were on him and yet he felt a certain calm washing over the room-everyone, even the guilty, seemed to be relieved that the truth was about to come to light.  The innocent looked confident that they would not be wrongly accused and the guilty had the countenance of a prisoner in a courtroom-while being judged and eventually condemned at least they no longer had to bear the burden of their dreadful secret.  Mews took a deep breath, exhaled and began walking slowly around the room with authority and resolve.  "I want to assure you that after several weeks of investigation and careful consideration I believe I have solved the case of the nasty notes."  At this some shifted uncomfortably in their seats-a cry went out and and a burst of applause was cut short when Horst knocked Jean Claude's tea off the table.

"Pardon me," he said looking embarrassed as Jean Claude wiped down his seat.

"Order, order!" Quigley said hopping excitedly on the back of the couch.  "Order in the living room!"

"Yes, thank you Quigley," Mews said giving him a look.  "But I'll have to remind you and everyone that this isn't a courtroom-no one is on trial.  No arrests have been made and no arrests will be made because no crime has actually been committed."

"Mon dieu, Mews!  What are you saying?" Quigley asked as the others looked on with eager concern.

"What I'm saying is that the case of the nasty notes is not a cut and dry, black and white case of dogism.  No, friends, it turns out that there really is no dogism at work here.  It's rather quite the opposite I should say."

"Mews, what on earth are you getting at?" Beauregard said.  His jowls jiggled as he spoke.  "Really, get on with it my man.  We're all getting tired and hungry here.  Constance's cheese souffle is surely going to be ruined."  At this Mews turned towards Constance.

"Perhaps we should move things along, shall we Constance?  I believe things will go faster once you admit to the fact that you are the one responsible for the second nasty note-the one with the letters cut from this magazine?"  Mews pulled a copy of Home and Garden from his bag and as he shook it small pieces of glossy magazine letters fell to the floor.  Beauregard stood up as Constance looked on.

"That proves nothing, Mews.  Anyone could have cut those letters out," she said narrowing her eyes.

"Anyone-with your address printed on the cover?"  Mews said walking towards her.  "Found in your recycling the day after the note was discovered?"  Constance raised her head and then stood up.

"Very well, Mews.  You're right.  You caught me.  I am a dogist and I did assemble that note and I did stick it to Horst's door."  She turned and looked at Horst.  "It's true.  I don't like you because you are a dog."  She then returned to her seat and casually sipped at her tea.

"Ha!  I knew it!"  Quigley exclaimed as his feathers fluttered.  "Once a dog-hater, always a dog-hater!" Quigley yelled this as the rest of the room chatted amongst themselves with concerned faces.  Mews stood up and asked the room for his undivided attention.

"I'm afraid things are not as simple as that," Mews said as he approached Constance Snodgrass.  "And I'm afraid that you are in fact lying, Mrs Snodgrass."

"Rubbish," she said turning a nose at Mews.

"A liar and a dogist," Quigley added.  "Shame on you Constance."

"I am no liar Mr Mews.  I just admitted that I was responsible for that note,"  Constance said in her defense.

"Yes.  Yes, you are responsible for that note.  But not because you are anti-dog.  No," Mews said turning to the rest of the group.  "You see Mrs Snodgrass, my friends, is no dogist at all.  In fact, she is quite the opposite.  She is, in fact a dog lover!"  The group gasped and Constance hopped off of her seat.

"I'll have no more of this slanderous dreck Mr Mews.  Beauregard, fetch my coat.  I have a souffle that is about to collapse and guests to prepare for."  Beauregard walked across the room and then suddenly stopped.
"Your souffle, Connie, is not the only thing about to collapse," Beauregard said looking doleful.  "It is my heart that is ready to collapse," he said pressing a paw to his wrinkly chest.  "I can't continue with this charade-anymore," he said walking over to her.  He sat beside her, grabbed one of her paws and turned to the group.  She looked anxious.

"Beauregard.  What are you doing?"  Constance asked trying to wriggle away from him.

"Mr Mews is right.  Constance and I have had a relationship for over a year now.  I love her and she loves me-she put that note up in order to hide our relationship because she's embarrassed to love a dog like me."  Beauregard's eyes welled with tears.  "But it's all out in the open now Connie.  Our love is no longer a dirty little secret.  Now we can proudly walk down the street hand and hand, cat and dog."  Mrs Snodgrass looked at Beauregard and gave him a wistful smile.

"Well this just dills my pickle!" Jean Claude Reveneau shouted above the noise.  He strutted over to Beauregard and shook his hand.  The Swedish twins were giggling and conversing rapidly in their mother tongue.  "Now if we're all done here," Jean Claude said walking to the door, "I'd like to hit the hay-I've got an early morning tomorrow."  But Quigley hopped over to Jean Claude and stuck himself between the rooster and the door.  

"Oh no, but we aren't done here at all!" Quigley said.  "Mews, there is still one nasty note that hasn't been accounted for.  The first one.  Is Snodgrass responsible for that one too?"  Mews smiled and then shook his head.

"You are right Quigley.  There is still one more note that goes unexplained," Mews said taking Jean Claude's hand away from the door.  "But Mrs Snodgrass had nothing to do with it."

"Well, why don't you explain it to us Mews so we can all get on with the rest of our holiday," Jean Claude said with an exasperated tone.  Mews looked around the room and then settled his eyes on Horst.  

"The first note was the easiest to identify.  Since it was handwritten, all I had to do was compare handwriting samples," Mews said.  "And it made things even easier when the first sample I compared the note to was a distinct match.  Isn't that right Horst?"

"Say it isn't so!" Quigley exclaimed.  "Horst?  What do you have to say of this accusation?"  Horst turned away and then, he slowly nodded.

"It's true.  Yah.  I wrote the first note," Horst admitted as he frowned.  He tried to hide his eyes under his bunched eyebrows.

"But why?"  The twins asked together.

"Yes, why Horst?  Why put us through this interminable quagmire for the last two months?"  Quigley asked.

"For the same reason that Constance Snodgrass lied," Mews said interrupting.  "For love."

"For love?" Jean Claude Reveneau asked.

"Yes, it's true," Horst said.  He was beginning to cry.  "I wrote the note so that Magnus would return to me.  I thought that if he found out that I was being harassed he might leave Berlin and come back to me.  I lied, Mews-and to you Quigley.  It wasn't me that ended things with Magnus.  You see, he broke up with me.  Oh dear, I was so desperate.  Pathetic really."  Horst looked around the room.  "Looking back-it was all so silly.  I became more and more embarrassed-it became harder and harder to admit what I'd done and so I just let you all believe that someone was harassing me.  And then when that second note went up-I, I didn't know what to think.  I got scared and realized that perhaps I was in over my head.  Oh, goodness.  I'm so terribly embarrassed."

"You're not the only one who ought to be embarrassed," Quigley said looking at Constance Snodgrass.

"Why are you looking at me?  He's the one who created this whole state of affairs!"  Constance responded looking put upon.

"And you took advantage of an opportunity to protect yourself at someone else's expense," Quigley fired out.

"Well, I never admitted to being perfect Mr Quigley," Snodgrass said taking Beauregard's paw into her lap.

"I think we've had enough accusations for one day Quigs," Mr Mews said.  "I think it's safe to say that I've never accused anyone in this room of being perfect.  And I think we can all agree that stranger crimes have been committed in the name of love.  So I say, in the name of a New Year, that we put this all behind us and call the case of the nasty notes a case closed with this bottle of bubbly!"  
As Mews' guests lined up for a glass of Champagne Quigley stepped up to the detective, shook his hand and whispered, "A job well done Mews.  And just in time because I've already got a new case for you my good friend."      
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