The following is another excerpt from my work in progress, The Throuple Private Eye—Business is Booming; a Jen McDowell Series. This is the second draft. I’m at 32k words now. If you want to catch up, order the novella The Throuple Private Eye—Hate Crimes, on Amazon ($2.99). The link is https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084LTTHGN. I made few changes to Chapter 6 for this second draft. Actually, I made a mistake because I miss-numbered the chapters. Here’s the second half of Chapter 6. Enjoy.
After lunch Jen and Molly started to head for the hospital. Molly folded up her walker and leaned it against the wall and grabbed her cane.
“Whoa,” Jen said. “What do think you’re doing?”
Molly smiled. “I thought I’d just use my cane. The walker just slows me down.”
“I think that’s the idea,” said Jen. “Did the doctor approve this?”
“Screw him. I’m using the cane today,” Molly shot back.
“Okay, okay,” Jen replied throwing her hands up in mock surrender. “But let’s just throw the walker in the back seat just in case.” She folded up the walker and the two of them headed outside.
Once at the hospital, they both donned facemasks and started inside. A hospital employee met them at the door. After verifying that they had an appointment and talking their temperature, they were allowed inside. The HR office was on the first floor.
The meeting with HR didn’t go well. The HR Director cited confidentiality, and said she gave all the pertinent information to the police already. She did say that the hospital hadn’t replaced Ken yet, and they are currently doing interviews. However, she did take Jen and Molly to Ken’s office to talk with his secretary, Mrs. Alexander.
Mrs. Alexander was executive secretary for the Environmental Services Department. She was a slightly plumb woman in her mid-thirties. Her too tight blouse was bursting at the seams, exposing an ample breast with a red push-up bra. Her perfume filled the air of the small office.
After introductions, the secretary invited the women to sit in Ken’s office while they talked. Jen noticed all the documents posted on Ken’s walls. There were his college diplomas and various certifications from various engineering organization. With Mrs. Alexandra’s permission, Molly took a picture of them with her cellphone.
“As you can see,” Mrs. Alexandria said, “Ken was a very smart man.” She pointed at his college diploma. He has a degree in engineering from Georgia University.” She pointed out other certifications. “He’s a Certified Plant and Maintenance Manager and a few months ago, he was certified as a Facility Engineer. That’s a hard one to get. You must pass a four-hour exam.”
“Who does the certifying?” Jen asked.
“Ken went to the AFE conference in Tampa for that,” Mrs. Alexandra answered.
“AFE?” Molly asked.
“Oh, sorry,” apologized Mrs. Alexandra. “It stands for the Association for Facility Engineering. I’m so glad to see someone is investigating Sandra’s murder. I just know Ken didn’t do it. He couldn’t have.”
“Why do you say that Mrs. Alexandra?” asked Jen.
“Call me Milly, please. Ken was the nicest boss. He always talked about his wife–never a bad word.”
“Didn’t the police get a statement from you?” asked Jen.
“Oh heavens, no,” answered Milly. “No one from the police came here.”
“Was there anything that seems odd or out of place with Ken?” asked Molly.
“What do you mean?” asked Milly.
“Do think he was having an affair? Did he have any enemies that you know of?”
“You mean is there a jealous husband that might want him dead? No, of course not. I don’t know if he had enemies here at work. Although…”
What?” asked Jen. “what were you doing to say?”
“Well. It’s not my place to say, but there was one employee that Ken had to fire recently. He might have held a grudge.”
“Who might that be?” Molly asked. “What happened?”
“His name is Frank Bean, one of the maintenance guys. Ken fired him for misusing overtime. Frank was always a hothead. He and Ken had words when Ken fired him, and I think Frank threatened Ken.”
“You said this Frank was a hothead. Was he violent?” Jen pressed Milly.
“Yeah,” answered Milly. “He got into a few fights, and I don’t mean arguments. He hit some of the other employees. No one ever pressed charges, but most people stay clear of Frank.”
“So why was he fired?” Molly asked.
“We use a time clock here. Frank is scheduled to work from 7 am to 3 pm. He always clocked in on time, but he was clocking out 15 minutes late every day. We pay time and a half over time, so it adds up. It’s okay if he was working on a work order, but he would just sit in the break room for 15 minutes. We have it on video. So, Ken fired him.”
“When was that?” asked Jen.
“Let’s see,” answered Milly. “It was a couple of weeks ago.”