Least Favorite Son by Clair Dickson

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When the police close the case due to lack of suspects, the owner of stolen hunting gear turns to female private eye Bo Fexler for answers. What she finds is family drama and a neighborhood feud. A least favorite son is either looking for approval or acting out of spite and Bo's about to expose everything.

A short story from our Fingerprints line.


The case was closed due to a lack of suspects.

At least, that’s where the police stood on it. My client, a man by the name of Derrick Hortle, wanted a better answer.

“How long have you been a private eye, Bo?” Derrick asked, turning his coffee cup.

“Four years.”

“So, that’s pretty good, right?”

“Yeah. Most businesses fail in the first year. At five years as a PI, I get a little award.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, but I have to make it on the computer and print it myself.”

He laughed. “You’re not what I expected from a private eye. Much prettier. Doesn’t it make it hard to be a private eye?”

“What, being pretty?”

“Yeah.” He looked me over again, as if perhaps I was no longer an unusually tall, thin blonde woman.

“Why would it?”

“People would remember you.”


“And I bet they remember your voice. It’s…different.”

I gritted my teeth at the mention of the speech impairment that warps my words. Sometimes mistaken for an accent, sometimes derided, but always noticed. “Most of my investigations don’t require me to be surreptitious. Mainly it’s just asking questions. The right questions of the right people.”

He nodded. “What’s the story with your accent, anyway?”

“If there’s a story, my mother never told me.”


“So, you want me to find out what happened to this tree stand of yours. And, if I understand correctly, the tree stand is kind of like a tree house for hunters?” I glanced at my watch. I had put up with five whole minutes of small talk and was quite proud of myself for the effort.

“Yeah. Tree stand and a climbing stick—that’s the ladder part.”

“You said on the phone that it cost you about a hundred dollars.”

“Yeah. And there was some other hunting gear that I’d left out there so I didn’t have to haul it back and forth.”

“Grand total?”

“About, maybe five hundred dollars.”

“Forgive my pragmatism, but why are you going to hire me? It’d cost less to buy replacements.”

  • Published by: Untreed Reads

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