The Artie Crimes by Jan Christensen

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ISBN: 9781945447204
Pages: 85

When your profession is thievery, you’re bound to find trouble. Artie Applegate just wants to have simple heists with no complications, but the women in his life repeatedly keep that from happening. More often than not, Artie ends up trading his burglary skills for mystery-solving talents instead.
Collected here, for the first time, are four short stories previously released by Untreed Reads containing Artie’s many exploits as he attempts to pull off burglaries while solving a crime or two in the process. This collection also contains a brand-new Artie short story, “Artie and the Big-Footed Woman.”


From "Artie and the Long-Legged Woman:"


Artie watched with horror as first one beautiful leg emerged from the white limousine and then a second equally gorgeous leg followed. He held his athletic bag tightly in his gloved left hand, his right hand on the doorknob, ready to leave the jewelry store out the back exit into the alley. But there were the limo, and the legs, and here he was, holding the goods.

Artie sighed. He closed the door quietly behind him and started to walk away. Maybe the woman belonging to the legs wouldn’t notice. Sure.

“Artie?” a melodious voice called to him.

He debated whether he should continue on; even took a couple of steps.

“Artie.” The voice was firm this time, and closer.

He turned and bumped into a woman who almost matched her legs. A woman he’d dreamed about all through high school. She was now in her late forties, good-looking enough, but not as spectacular as the legs. 

“Yes?” he said, feeling the sweat begin on his forehead, pretending he didn’t remember her.

“You don’t know who I am?”

“Sorry,” he muttered.

“It’s been a long time. Let’s see. Maybe ten years. You were about twenty-two, and you and Henry were best friends.”

“Uh, yes, Mrs. Henderson. How are you? How is Henry?” He’d never forget those legs. Since he’d been fourteen and became friends with Henry, he’d known they were spectacular. He paled when he realized the name of the jewelry store he’d just robbed was, yes, Henderson’s Fine Jewelry. Rats. Henry’s parents hadn’t owned a jewelry store back then. It had been a dress shop.

“Henry is why I’m here.”


“Come, let’s sit in the car where it’s comfortable.” She took his arm and led him over to the limo. They climbed in, and she continued. “Henry needs some help. I’m afraid he’s been a naughty boy. Would you like a drink?” She opened the door of a bar and Artie saw bottles of different drinks, mixers, an ice chest, and tongs and stirrers. What more did anyone need? He could use a whisky sour. But he thought he’d better not. No telling where all this was leading. He shook his head.

“I’ll just have a small one.” Mrs. Henderson fixed herself a Manhattan, straight up. “As I was saying, Henry needs some help, and you’re just the one for it. He took something that didn’t belong to him, like you do. We need you to put it back.”

“How…how do you know about me?” Artie asked.

“Oh, you’re rather famous in jewelry circles. So many heists, as I believe you call them, and so few arrests? You’re very, very good. Of course, our secret cameras are state-of-the-art, and the moment I was alerted to someone being in the store, I checked the monitor and saw it was you. You haven’t changed much, you know.”

  • Published by: Untreed Reads

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