A Knight at the Opera by Kenneth L. Levinson

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As the unplanned finale of the Denver Opera Company's production of Carmen. A member of the audience plunges to his death from the top balcony, nearly landing on Denver lawyer Adam Larsen and his paralegal, former Denver Bronco Maurice White. What appears to be a mere accident becomes far more complicated when the mystery woman who had accompanied the deceased can't be found. Much to the displeasure of Larsen's nemesis, Sergeant Joe Stone, the dead man's wife Larsen him represent her in dealing with her husband's ex-wife and his accounting partners. But questions begin to arise. Why was this happily married man soliciting the services of a so-called escort service? And what is so important about his secret post office box that someone assaults Larsen's significant-whatever-she-is, private investigator Jana Duncan, outside the Cherry Creek Mall? Only Adam Larsen's nimble brain and quick sense of humor can sort it all out—but can he do it in time to save Jana's life?


"Try this. We'll assume that a woman–who happens to match the description of a suspect in a possible homicide–hasn't officially been named as a suspect in her husband's death. You, the great genius lawyer, tell me she couldn't have done it. But she hires you anyway. Why would she need to hire you if she couldn't have done it? What could she possibly be hiding?"

"That's not really a hypothetical, but I'll answer it, anyway. First, she doesn't match the description of the woman at the opera. She just happens to have blonde hair and be an attractive woman. That describes half of the cheerleaders for the Broncos and Nuggets. But, for the purposes of your hypothetical, I'll give you that. Second, as far as I know, there's no evidence this was a homicide. But, setting all that aside, you're on the wrong track, Stone. I can't tell you why she hired me, but what she's hired me to do is no secret. Several people already know about it. Her husband's will contains a provision whereby she is supposed to become a partner in his accounting firm. His surviving partners have a different view about that. We met with them this morning, to try to negotiate something. They're considering their options."

"Yeah? Then why the hell were you calling Semper Security?"

"Wouldn't any woman in her position want to know whether her husband was cheating on her? Speaking hypothetically, of course. Think about it. They'd been married less than a year. He tells her he's going to play poker with the boys–you already know all of this, so I'm not giving away any secrets–and she finds out he took some blonde babe to the opera. Wouldn't you expect her to ask questions?"

"Her, yes. But not you. And not by calling Semper Security. In my book, you're interfering with my investigation."

"Did Johnson say I asked him to do anything improper?"

Stone didn't answer, which of course didn't surprise me. He was one-way Stone. He didn't answer questions. He just asked them.

"And did he say I told him to keep my call a secret?"

No answer.

I took advantage of his silence to ask one more question. "Were you calling Johnson to talk about Rohypnol?"

He said, "Go to hell!" and slammed down the receiver.

Most of our conversations ended that way.

Maurice had watched the conversation with a quizzical expression on his face. "What he accusing you of now?"

"The usual. Interfering with his investigation. But, for once, it wasn't a waste of time."

"Yeah? Why not?"

"We've now established that Markowsky was there with a woman, that it wasn't his wife, and that she fed him Rohypnol before she left the scene."

"Great," he said. "Why would she do that?"

I frowned. "We haven't figured that out yet."

The intercom sounded. I pressed the speaker phone button and listened.

"I see the light went off," Diane said. "Did you calm him down?"

"Probably not. He hung up on me. As usual. What's up?"

"Jana called. Evidently you and she had plans for tonight. She said a client hired her for a job and she needs to attend to it tonight."

"Did she give any details?"

"No. It sounded rather commonplace."

"Okay. Thanks."

I turned to Maurice. "Jana can't come out and play tonight. Can you can get us a couple of Avalanche tickets?"

"No problem. One thing, though."

"Oh? What's that?"

"You need to promise me nobody's going to get killed."

  • Published by: Uncial Press

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