From the Early Cases of Marco Fontana
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I’d gotten news of the murder the night before. The guys at St. T’s have an informal network and when anything happens, news travels fast.
So I was surprised when I arrived at school the next day and didn’t see total panic and chaos. Things were orderly, as orderly as they could be with more than one thousand boys trying to get into a school building all at the same time. I melded into the back of the crowd and watched faces. No one seemed sad or even ghoulishly thrilled. A murder had taken place right under their noses and no one seemed to care. Of course, it was Patrick Bidding, the disciplinarian, who’d been whacked. Not even his own son liked him.
Two older, pot-bellied cops were stationed outside St. T’s huge, oak, front doors. No surprise there, I expected cops to be crawling all over the place. They peered at us as we streamed into the building. Cops didn’t trust students any more than teachers did.
The whole scene reminded me of some movie about the end of the world. I glanced at the cops as I passed them and felt vaguely guilty for no reason at all.
Inside the building. That’s where it was chaos. That’s more like what I expected.
The foyer was alive with people wandering every which way, looking like they had no idea where they should be. Priests flew through the crowds flailing their arms. Faculty shouted orders that no one followed. Students walked quickly to nowhere in particular. The only ones not moving were the cops standing silently at the margins of the foyer, scrutinizing everyone.
Most of the students looked lost and meek, which was unusual since they were arrogant rich brats who generally acted like they owned the school. Which they sorta did since their families contributed so much money.
I was there on a scholarship, so most of them treated me like a poor relative feeding off table scraps. Me, I didn’t care what they thought. I was in school for one reason and I’d get out with the same diploma they’d get.
A few teachers moved through the foyer looking even more like zombies than usual. I guess some of them could’ve been wondering who’d be next on the hit list and if it might be them.
The maintenance people hadn’t even had a chance to take down the banner proclaiming: “Welcome Class of 1996.” After three weeks of classes and now the murder, the banner drooped sadly. My senior year had started off with a bang, so to speak, and there were still more than nine months to go before June and graduation.
As I stared at the banner, a gang of freshmen whizzed by like a cloud of gnats. I wondered if I’d ever looked that small and geeky. I realized that I had, since I started high school before I was even thirteen. Thanks to the grammar school nuns who’d pushed me ahead a grade or two, I was graduating early and that felt both good and confusing. I glanced once more at the banner and blended myself into the flow of kids going nowhere.
Copyright ©2012 Joseph R. G. DeMarco. All rights reserved.
What was P.I. Marco Fontana up to before he took on the seamy underbelly of the Catholic church? Plenty! Discover the cases that helped shape this gritty young investigator in six new mystery stories from Joseph R. G. Demarco. Long before Marco found himself dealing with the events of Murder on Camac, he discovered he had a knack for crime solving. Crimes on Latimer takes us back to Marco’s high school years, where he takes it upon himself to investigate an English teacher accused of murdering the school disciplinarian. Fast forward some years later, and he’s up to his ears in trouble as he deals with a stolen DaVinci sketch, uncovers a blackmailing murderer and presides over a murderous leather competition.
Softcover Book : 336 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press ( March 13, 2012 )
Item #: 13-581378
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.84inches
Product Weight: 11.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
This collection of mystery stories shows how Marco Fontana developed as a detective, starting in high school. Some of the same characters appear in the various stories, though one promising character in the high school story never appeared again; his family did, however. Little of Fontana's family is shown, even in the high school story.
The denouements are unexpected and rather abrupt. One is not likely to guess the culprits.
Fontana is shown as a much happier person in these stories than in "Murder on Camac" with a lighter atmosphere.
Philadelphia is depicted as a rather gritty city not seen by tourist. Yet, there is an affection for the neighbor.