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Mick wakes up in the opulent house of Lawrence Figgalo, a New York City Union boss. Mick's been drugged, and he's with Lawrence. But Lawrence has been murdered!

Mick tries to extricate himself from the situation, but each move he makes puts him in even deeper.

Mick learns that Lawrence has an identical twin brother who has come up North to visit. And he learns that a certain mob boss has a hit man that looks just like Mick. And Mick's client has identical twin daughters who've gone missing. In addition to wanting his daughters found, his client wants to know who murdered Figgalo.

We then learn that the victim was in fact, one of triplets, and his other brother has come to town too! The man who placed Mick at the murder scene is the Maitre d' at a fancy french restaurant. He too has an identical twin brother who works for the mob boss who's hit-man looks like just like Mick. And the twin daughters of Mick's wealthy client are dating - twins!

It's a comedy of mistaken identities, and a gigantic puzzle of who's who.

Reviews for The Marriage of Figgalo

Book Review 1

Another perfect book from one of the most prolific authors in the United States. The Marriage of Figgalo will certainly have you at the edge of your seat as you delve into its pages. A glamorous, fabulous, and humorous book which focuses on a mysterious murder or suicide where everyone has a twin.

Mick Maux is a scientist who works as a private detective for rich people who want to keep their matters private. Mick is placed in a tough spot after waking up in a mansion with a dead body. He was awakened by the police responding to a noise complaint. Mick pretends to be the homeowner to ditch the cops, and tells them that everything is okay. The fun part begins when Mick realizes that the dead man is a New York City union boss named Lawrence Figgalo. Now that Mick’s face has been seen by the police, the police are out to find him. What should Mick and Carol do in order to solve the murder mystery, and to clear Mick?

Personally, this book is one of the best crime detective books that I’ve ever read. Solving mystery through science and math equations, here, we behold again Dr. Philip Emma’s masterpiece. 

 

Book Review 2

          Dr. Philip Emma brings life to the characters of Mick and Carol Maux to try to solve another murder mystery. Mick is framed by someone that he doesn’t know of with the murder of Lawrence Figgalo, a powerful union boss.

          You’ll be surprised how every twist and turn in this book brings spice to the whole plot. It’s really going to make you think deeply, engage in solving the mystery and, of course, laugh at the silliest, most ridiculous scenes. Remember that “Maux” is a French name that’s pronounced as “mouse.” I cracked up every time people made fun of his name. Mick and Carol’s bond is one of a kind. Mick is quite a straightforward, serious type of detective who sometimes misses the obvious. That's why Carol brings the most important aspect of detecting to their team. It’s an aspect that Mick doesn’t have – called “common sense”.

          I appreciate Dr. Philip Emma’s unique take on the story where he brings unique characters to make up a one-of-a-kind plot. This book is about 200 pages long and, to be honest, it will leave you satisfied and wanting more at the same time. I highly recommend this one.

 

Book Review 3

          Right from the beginning, and through to the end, this book is not going to fail to bring you humor, excitement, thrill, suspense, romance, and puzzling cases. Nothing that I have for the author other than high admiration and praise. The book is one that’s hard to put down, and I enjoyed every bit of it as I also actively got engaged in finding the real murderer of Lawrence Figgalo. 

          Mick Maux finds himself in a tough spot when he wakes up from a drugged stupor at the murder scene of Lawrence Figgalo with no one around. It’s just him and the dead Figgalo. Who could have drugged Mick and placed him in the mansion of Figgalo beside his dead body? Clueless about what happened, Mick doesn’t want to leave the body inside the mansion to rot, so he drives the body to a local shopping center and leaves it there. This makes the matters worse. Things get even more complicated when Bill Bosbury hires Mick and Carol to find his heterochromiac twins. The reward is very generous, however, the mission seems to be impossible. Things get even more complicated as they uncover even more clues. 

          The unique plot and lively characters made this book worthwhile to read. If you are an avid fan of crime, and detective novels, I urge you to give this book a read. 

 

Book Review 4

          This book perfectly demonstrates a unique murder case that will make you scratch your head and engage you to find the real murderer. 

          After taking the deposition of the murder of Figgalo, Mick is hired to find the missing identical twin daughters of Bill Bosbury, which ultimately leads to finding the real murderer. 

          Reading the title of the book made me think that this book is about romance. Which also made me wonder why a detective, crime thriller novel was being titled “The Marriage of Figgalo.” You’ll learn at the end. But I’m not going to spoil anything from the book. It has a lot of twists and turns, ebbs and flows that are surely best left to be read by the readers and appreciate their implications. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys crime, and thriller novels.

 

Book Review 5

          The Marriage of Figgalo is packed with action, romance, puzzling scenes, and comedy, all blended into one amazing book. 

          Mick and Carol Maux are on the hook again as they try to solve the mysterious murder case of Lawrence Figgalo, where Mick is directly involved, with no idea. The evidence is strong against Mick, so they sought help from their old friend Detective Danny to help to resolve the case. But the more clues they get, the more complicated things get. Learn and enjoy how math and science equations help to solve this mystery.

          Reading this book is a great experience. The transition from one event to another is smooth. Although the book has a lot of details to remember, the author guides you every step of the way. 

 

Book Review 6

          Overall, it was a delightful read. If you are looking for a feel-good story with a mix of puzzling crimes and mysteries, go for this one. Highly recommended!

          Mick and Carol Maux are a married couple who worked as private detectives for rich people who want to handle their matters privately. However, Mick finds himself in a dangerous situation when he wakes up in the mansion of a rich commissioner of transportation for New York City. And the commissioner is there with him. Dead. Someone’s trying to frame him, but they can’t figure it out just yet — the “hows” and the “whys.” As the story progresses, they realized that the more clues they get, the more complex the case becomes. Luckily, Mick Maux is good at Math and Science. You would be surprised at how he once again solves the case through math equations and scientific formulas. 

          A very intriguing book that’s going to have you flipping over the pages. And, of course, this book is going to make you laugh out loud, with its many humorous and comedic scenes. 5 stars all the way!

 

Book Review 7

          Are you looking for a clever, fun-filled action-adventure novel that’s going to have you on the edge of your seat all day? I urge you to give this book a try.

          In this series, Dr. Philip Emma has again brought another puzzling adventure for Mick and Carol Maux in New York City. After finding out that Mick was framed up for the murder of Lawrence Figgalo, their lives are in danger. Luckily, Detective Danny is always on the scene to help. Things get more complicated when billionaire Bill Bosbury asks Mick to find his twin daughters which link to the murder of Figgalo. Will they be able to solve the case before they run out of time? I’ll let the readers figure that one out.

          The entire setting of the story made me feel all warm and snug. Even though the plot looked intense, the author made everything wholesome and lighthearted with a bit of comedy. I always crack up every time people bully his name. (It’s pronounced “mouse.”) If there was anything I feel could have been improved, it was the math and science problem-solving part: I wish even more pages were spent on it.

 

Book Review 8

          A modern-day Sherlock Holmes-style character shines in this page-turning mystery.

          The Marriage of Figgalo details a riveting murder mystery. It’s the investigation into the death of Lawrence Figgalo, the Commissioner of Transportation, as Mick Maux tried to prove to the police that he was innocent. The fun part begins when the pursuit of the possible suspects turns into finding a bunch of identical twins, and even triplets! The big mystery is trying to figure out who’s who. With the help of his wife, Carol, and his friend, Detective Danny, the three work together through the ebbs and flows of the plot to figure out the actual killer. I don’t want to spoil anything for the read so I’ll just say that the ending is very surprising. I never expected this kind of an ending.

          This book does a nice job taking the reader into the adventure of both Carol and Mick as the two of them are detective partners. While it would not be fair to give major plot points away in a review, I can say the answer in the murder mystery surprised me and had me guessing all the way until the end. If you like Sherlock Holmes but with a modern spin, consider giving The Marriage of Figgalo a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

 

Book Review 9

          This start to a new cozy mystery series is fun, captivating, and well worth your time.

          At first, the murder doesn’t make any sense. A highly respected commissioner in New York City is murdered without any trace of foul play. (For a while, the police thought that it was suicide.) But Mick’s life is placed in a tough spot after waking up in the dead man’s house beside the dead man’s body. With the help of his detective friend Danny, he was convinced to make an honest deposition. Now it’s a matter of time before things get more complicated and he gets thrown into prison. He and his wife Carol must solve the murder before it’s too late. Math equations, scientific formulas, Carol’s intelligence, and common sense were of great help here. With the evidence leading to the twin boyfriends of Vespera and Violetta, who are the twin daughters of Mick’s billionaire client, things get even more complicated as they try to figure out who’s who.

          Personally, I love the vibe of this book. The author always brings humor into the scenes which makes you smile from beginning to the end while keeping the plot intense.

 

Book Review 10

          Fast-paced, meticulous, erudite, a fantastic art crime thriller that keeps you engaged and enthralled.

          At first glance, I thought that The Marriage of Figgalo would be about romance and betrayal. I was surprised at why the author titled the novel as mentioned above when it is all about crimes, mystery, and murder. When I reached the end, that’s when I realized why, and it really surprised me. I never expected the twists and turns of the story and the character developments. If it wasn’t for the genius behind the characters of the story, this book would be hard to follow. But I just can’t help but appreciate the whole novel in total. From the characters to the plot, this book is a masterpiece. 

          Mick Maux is yet again about to prove his instinct and skills to figure out the murder of Lawrence Figgalo. Though he is the right person to do the job, it wouldn’t be fun and successful without his lovely wife, Carol. A weekend read, in one of my favorite genres — crime thriller and history. I am so glad I picked up this book. Splattered with generous information on Math and Science, this is a delightful book. I look forward to reading more by the author and gladly give 5 stars to this promising work.

 

Book Review 11

          The Marriage of Figgalo is a light and fun crime-adventure murder mystery, and the journey to unlocking the mystery is both exciting and entertaining.

          Handling private matters for rich mafia bosses for a living can make anyone’s life a little challenging. Doing detective jobs on their own can be against the law. However, this lovely couple, Mick and Carol Maux, are skilled enough to take matters into their own hands.

          Mick Maux finds himself waking up beside a dead man’s body in the great mansion of Lawrence and Tammy Figgalo. Lawrence is a union boss. Confused and innocent, Mick pretends to be the homeowner when the police bang on the door. Now that the police have seen his face, and there are no other people in the house except for the dead union boss, this makes him the apparent murderer of Lawrence Figgalo. With the help of his wife Carol and his friend detective Danny, he learns that he was framed. Who could have framed him, and why? Now, the fun part begins when Mick is hired to solve another case. I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy cozy mysteries, and who like to engage in problem-solving. 

 

Book Review 12

          A private detective and scientist solves matters for big names in New York City. He’s again hired to solve this crime, murder-mystery case which involves him directly.

          A murder has been committed inside the mansion of Tammy and Lawrence Figgalo. Lawrence is a powerful New York City union boss. Mick has been placed into a tough spot: he finds himself waking up beside Lawrence Figgalo’s lifeless body. At first, it appears that there is no trace of murder. Lawrence Figgalo died without any bruises, and one could easily conclude that there’s no foul play in his death. However, Mick just couldn’t accept the fact that he died from a heart attack. To mistakenly make matters worse, Mick drives the dead body to the local shopping center. But the police had already had a good look at Mick, making him the one and only suspect.

          Even though this book has gotten the most attention because of Mick, my favorite character is his wife, Carol. She possessed the skills and intelligence that Mick doesn’t have, one of which is common sense. With their unique characteristics, this book is not going to disappoint you. From the characters alone, you could right away say that this is not fast work. This book is a product of long hours of research and deep passion. I am glad to award this book five stars all the way. It does not contain profanity and violent and graphic scenes, making this book suitable for all audiences. 

 

Book Review 13

          It is a perfect combination of intrigue and murder mystery written into one book. A must-read for crime and comedy enthusiasts. 

          Mick Maux as a private detective that has dangerous clients. And it is no surprise that he is framed for the murder of Lawrence Figgalo. Some say that Lawrence Figgalo is a mafia boss who took money from his other bosses. Others say that Figgalo is soft on women, making him an easy target for jealous husbands. But no matter which, Mick just couldn’t believe the circumstances that got him involved in this mess. Luckily, he has detective Danny’s, and his wife, Carol’s help. To make matters worse, a rich mafia boss offers Mick a large amount of money to find his missing twin daughters. Mick later on realizes that they are linked to the murder case of Lawrence Figgalo. Now, he has two problems: find the missing twins, and find the serial killer/s. 

          My favorite character has to be Mick Maux. He follows his instinct and trusts Carol’s advice. He does not stop searching for the truth, even when his job and life are on the line. 

 

Book Review 14

          An exciting and timeless series of Mick Maux and Carol Maux as they again worked together in order to find out the killer of Lawrence Figgalo.  I couldn’t put it down!

          Did Mick murder Lawrence Figgalo? Figgalo’s body was found dead beside Mick, who’s in a drug-induced stupor. There was no sign of foul play, but surely there were motives behind the murder. How could it be murder when the result of the autopsy was a heart attack? And who could have drugged Mick and laid him beside the dead body? Surely, it wasn’t an accident for Mick to have been placed there, and he needs to find out why. 

          The book begins with a very thorough description of the setting. It’s a great way to open up your mind and connect to the author’s imagination. The ending was very surprising. I wish I could write it here in the review, but it’s best to be left read by the readers for them to appreciate this piece of Dr. Philip Emma. This book easily gets a five out of five stars from me. 

 

Book Review 15

          A murder, a mansion, two police officers, and Mick’s innocent presence at the murder scene. A deserving, award-winning novel by Dr. Philip Emma as he proves once again to his readers that he never goes out of style.

          A murder has been committed inside the mansion of Lawrence and Tammy Figgalo. Mick wakes up from a deep sleep due to a loud siren and a knock on the door. The police are outside, responding to a noise complaint from last night. Mick awakens to find a dead body lying beside him. Who’s could this dead body be? Afraid and confused about the situation, Mick acts as the homeowner to get the police to leave. Then he drives the body to the nearest shopping center with a car taken from the deceased’s garage, and leaves the car there with the body in it.

With the innocent intent of simply detaching himself from the murder, Mick has put himself into a more dangerous spot after learning that the dead person is the Commissioner of Transportation in New York City, and a mafia boss. With Mick’s face having being seen by the police, he knows that he needs detective Danny’s help in order to solve this mystery. 

          I could say that the plot was intense, and the ending was unexpected. The author was very engaging throughout the scene, making humorous scenes that really make you laugh out loud. It was an intense and humorous read and a page-turner which prompted me to give it 5 stars. Definitely recommended!

1. The Murder of Figgalo

“Damn,” I said.

I had just awoken. I was lying on the floor of what looked like the living room in a house that I didn’t recognize. It surely wasn’t my living room, and I had a headache.

The living room was large and opulent. My guess was that it was something like forty feet long by thirty feet wide. It had polished wood floors with expensive-looking oriental rugs covering the main sitting areas.

There was a large, man-sized fireplace at one end. It was in the center of the wall opposite the entryway. And there was a trio of couches in the shape of a “U” around it. The ceiling was a fourteen-foot ceiling, and there was a large, crystal chandelier hanging in the center of it. In addition to the three couches that made a “U” around the fireplace, there were several other sitting areas against each of the two side walls. There was also a pair of couches and a coffee table which made another sitting area in the middle of the room under the chandelier.

There were lots of tall windows on both sides of the room adjacent to the fireplace and the entryway, with ceiling-height bookcases between the several pairs of the windows. The entryway into the living room was wide. And there was a bar with a wine-cooler, an ice maker, and a sink set up against one wall.

From where I was lying on the floor, I could see through the entryway into the foyer. The part of the foyer that I saw had the beginnings of a large spiral staircase going upstairs.

I was on the floor in front of one of the couches against one side of the room. I was in front of a couch that was under one of the sets of windows. The coffee table near me had been moved away from the couch, and there were a few magazines on the floor.

The bookcases against the walls had books that were new-looking and mostly leather-bound. These weren’t the books of a real reader, but rather, the books of someone who bought them because they made the living room look complete. That’s probably why they looked new - not because they were, but because they’d never been read.

And the doorbell was ringing.

How did I get here? I didn’t remember. What was I doing here? I didn’t know. Why did I have a headache? I’d probably been drugged. And who was the dead guy lying on the couch that I was lying in front of? I didn’t recognize him.

The doorbell rang again.

I got up and crept over to the window, being careful to stand behind one of the drapes. I moved the drape slightly aside so that I could see out into the street, and maybe guess who was ringing the doorbell.

I could see the driveway, which was all done in white Belgian block. The driveway was an oblong “U” shape, connecting with the street in two places: an entry, and an exit. And there was a police car sitting in the driveway. It was next to the walkway in front of the front stairway. Its roof-lights were flashing. The flashing lights meant that the police had been sent here for a reason; they weren’t merely collecting for charity. The police car said “Wilton.” Wilton? I’d been in Brooklyn last night. Why would I be here?

And why would the police be here? And who would have called them? I turned around and looked (again) at the dead guy lying on the couch. And should I answer the door?

Mick was in a quandary, that was for sure.

Mick Maux was a retired scientist. He retired relatively young, and with ample money to support himself and his wife, Carol. They lived together in a nice house on a wooded lot in Connecticut. Sometimes Mick and Carol did investigations, and worked as detectives for relatively wealthy people that didn’t want the police involved, and/or as detectives on cases that the police weren’t interested in, or that they couldn’t crack.

He and Carol worked as a team. While Mick brought a novel and unusual view of the world, and of how thing worked to most cases, Carol provided what Mick didn’t have: common sense. And she had the looks: she was beautiful.

Mick looked out at the police car again and weighed his options.

If he tried to leave the house through a back door, and the police saw him, they’d have a lot more questions to ask him than they probably had now, and his answers would carry much less credibility.

If he simply ignored them and didn’t answer the door, then maybe they’d go away. But maybe they’d enter the house. He didn’t know why the police were there, or whether they had the owner’s authorization to enter. If he appeared to be unconscious on the floor in front of a dead guy, they’d hold him, and they wouldn’t believe anything that he said. They wouldn’t believe that he didn’t recognize the house or the dead guy on the couch.

Maybe he should try to hide inside the house? A bad idea. If the police came in and found the dead guy, they’d certainly search the house, and they’d certainly find him. The fact that he’d been hiding wouldn’t look good.

So, Mick did the only sensible thing: he went to the front door, opened it, and said to the cops: “I already gave at the office.”

The cops looked a little confused. Then the senior-looking one said: “Good morning. I’m Officer McCallum, and this here is Officer Jones. Do you mind if we come in?”

The senior-looking cop had grey hair and was wearing sunglasses. He was overweight. The younger cop that was with him was also wearing sunglasses, but looked fit. Mick didn’t know whether they assumed that he was the homeowner, or whether they were just playing with him. And he didn’t know whether they had a warrant.

“In fact,” Mick said, “we’re doing some redecorating, and the place is a mess, so I’d just as soon talk to you out here. I’d rather not have people walking around inside. What can I help you with?”

“We were told by one of your neighbors that there was lots of noise here last night. We were just checking to see that everything was OK,” the senior cop said.

“Everything’s honky-dory,” Mick told him. “We did have some friends over, and maybe it got louder than I realized. But everything’s fine. I’m surprised that anyone heard a ruckus.”

The houses in this neighborhood were obviously far apart, and Mick wondered whether the cop had made that up. If the disturbance had been last night, why would the cops bother to come here now? Mick didn’t believe them.

“Do you mind if we come in and have a look around?” the senior cop asked again.

“Why?” Mick asked. “What’s on your mind?” he overstated.

“Oh, nothing,” the cop said. Based on his looks, Mick believed him.

“We just want to make sure that everything’s OK.”

“Everything’s OK,” Mick said. “Have a nice day,” he said, and he closed the front door.

The cops stood on the front porch for a minute or two, wondering what to do. If it wasn’t a rich neighborhood, they might have tried again. But they were slightly intimidated by the size of the house, and it was hot outside – it was near the end of June. So they left.

Mick hoped that they’d have a nice day. As long as they had it somewhere else.

Mick now had several problems.

First, he didn’t know the house or the neighborhood that he was in, or how to get out of it. He didn’t see his car out front, so he couldn’t simply drive away in his car. He’d have to look in the garage to see if there was a car in there that he could borrow.

Second, he had no recollection of being here last night, let alone getting here. He didn’t know whether there was any physical evidence tying him to the apparent murder.

And third, both cops had gotten a really good look at him. They would certainly remember who he was, and they’d remember that he’d pretended to be the homeowner.

Mick walked through the kitchen and down a hallway, and found the door to the garage. The garage had a few steps going down from the hallway, and there were several cars in it. There were two fancy sports cars – a Corvette and a Ferrari – which were too small to fit his needs. But there was a large Tahoe with the keys in it. He assumed that the Tahoe was the vehicle that its owner used for trips to Home Depot, since he probably wouldn’t want to dump cinder blocks and bags of cement in the Ferrari.

The good thing was that Mick now had a car, and was set for getting out of here unnoticed.

Mick went back up to the hallway, leaving the doorway to the garage open, and into the kitchen. He was thirsty, so he found a tall clean glass in one of the cupboards, and got some water from the faucet in the sink. He noticed that there were four cocktail glasses in the sink. He drank the water and added his glass to cocktail glasses that were in there.

Mick went back into the living room to have a look at the dead guy because he didn’t want to leave him here if he didn’t have to. After all, the cops had been here, had gotten a good look at Mick, and had left. The body could spend the next several months decaying on the couch. He didn’t want that to happen.

If that happened, the cops who had talked to him would certainly remember him as “a creepy-looking guy who seemed really suspicious.”

He had a more careful look at the dead guy.

There were no physical wounds that he saw on the body. The dead guy had likely died from a drug overdose, or he’d died of a heart attack, or something like that. Mick thought that if he could get the dead guy out of the house, and leave him in his Tahoe at the local shopping center, that he’d be discovered almost immediately. Then the right things would be done with his body.

The dead guy was wearing grey slacks, a white shirt, and a blue blazer. He wasn’t wearing a tie, and his shirt collar was unbuttoned. He wasn’t wearing shoes, and Mick couldn’t find them at first, but then he saw a pair of brown loafers on the floor next to one of the couches in the center of the room under the chandelier.

Mick wondered why he’d left his loafers over there, in the center of the room. It was nothing that unusual, Mick thought, but a little odd, since the dead guy had been lying on a couch that was against the wall.

Mick went over to retrieve the shoes, and from there he saw the bar, which hadn’t been tidied up. There were three bottles standing on the bar. The rest were behind it, where they should have been. While one of the bottles was that of a good bourbon, there was also a bottle of cointreau, and a bottle of everclear. Cointreau would be OK to have after a nice dinner, so he assumed that maybe the dead guy and his three guests had been up late. But everclear? Mick found it hard to imagine that the guy who lived in a house like this ever served everclear.

Mick left the loafers next to the couch with the dead guy lying on it, grabbed the dead guy by his belt and by his collar, pulled him off the couch, and then dragged him through the foyer, through the dining room, through the kitchen, down the hallway, and finally, he lowered him down the steps into the garage. The dead guy wasn’t that big, so Mick was able to get him into the passenger seat of the Tahoe, and buckle him in. Mick put a hat on him. It was a “Yankees” cap that had been in the back seat. Maybe the cops would think that he had gotten whacked by a Red Sox fan.

Mick went back to the living room to get the pair of loafers, returned to the garage, and forced them onto the dead guy’s feet, which had gotten a little bit stiff. The stiffness made it hard to get his shoes on. He wondered how long the guy had been dead.

If he’d been drinking cointreau, which is typically an after-dinner drink, it couldn’t have been that long. He would have died sometime in the evening, maybe around the same time that Mick had been brought to his house. But that was just a guess.

Mick started the Tahoe, opened the garage, drove out, and closed the garage. He pulled out his phone and got a map with directions to the local shopping center, which was called “Wilton River Park.” Mick drove to the shopping center and found a nice parking spot in a place where no one was milling around.

Mick tilted the driver’s seat almost all the way back, got out of the car, and pulled the dead guy across the front seat so that he was lying down in the front driver’s seat in a reclining position, perhaps taking a nap. Mick put the “Yankees” cap over his face. Then he wiped the steering wheel down to remove his fingerprints, closed the door, and walked into the shopping center where it was air-conditioned.

Mick called an Uber, took it home, and (unsurprisingly) found his lovely wife, Carol, waiting for him anxiously. She’d been quite concerned that he hadn’t come home last night, and she wanted to know what had happened.

______________________________________________________________________________

“Where were you last night?” she asked. “You never came home. You had me really worried. I thought that something bad might have happened to you.”

“I’m not exactly sure what happened,” Mick replied. “I had stopped for a nightcap to review my notes in a place in Brooklyn. I was preparing for a meeting with a possible client. That’s the last thing that I remember. Then I woke up with a headache. I was on the floor of the living room in a very large house in a very expensive neighborhood. I didn’t know where I was, or how I got there.”

“Didn’t you ask the people that were there?” Carol inquired.

“There was only one person there, and he was dead,” Mick said. “I woke up because the cops were out front ringing the doorbell.”

“What did they want?” Carol asked.

“I’m not sure,” Mick said. “But I was able to get rid of them without letting them in. I guess they were intimidated by the house, and assumed that I was someone ‘important.’ They probably thought that I was the homeowner, since I’m the one that answered the door.”

“How did you get out of there?” Carol asked.

“I borrowed a car from the garage, drove it to the shopping center, left it there, and took an Uber home,” he explained.

“Do you know who the dead man was?” Carol asked.

“No,” he said. “But I wrote down the address, so I can at least figure it out who’s house I was in.”

Mick got his phone out and looked up what he had written. All he had written was: “Lollygag Lane.”

“Lollygag Lane,” he said.

“What’s the number on Lollygag Lane?” Carol asked, looking over his shoulder so that she could see his phone too.

“1221,” he said.

“How do you know that?” Carol asked. “You didn’t write it down.”

“Because it’s very easy to remember,” he explained. “1221 = 1 X 11 X 111. That’s hard to forget.”

Mick took out his computer, looked up the address, and found that the house was owned by a couple named Lawrence and Tammy Figgalo. He wondered whether this was the very same Lawrence Figgalo that was in his notes – the notes that he’d been studying at La Chambre à Coucher[1], where he’d been having a drink last night before losing consciousness.

These notes concerned a case that they were preparing to work on for Bill Bosbury, a billionaire in Stamford. Bosbury had merely mentioned Lawrence Figgalo, but hadn’t said what he wanted to know about him.

Mick Googled “Lawrence Figgalo,” and found one that was the Commissioner of Transportation for New York City. He then went to “Images” to see whether it was the same Lawrence Figgalo that he’d seen. He found many pictures of someone that looked like the dead guy officiating and appearing with the mayor. Mick and Carol both read about Figgalo, and gathered that had done quite well for himself. And it was more-than likely that not all of it was on the books.

Figgalo was married, and several of the pictures showed Figgalo at several ceremonial dinners, standing with a woman that was very pretty. He assumed that this was Tammy, Lawrence Figgalo’s wife. Mick wondered where Tammy had been when he’d found him dead on the couch, alone in his house. Maybe she’d been out of town.

Mick and Carol could understand how lots of people might want a commissioner dead for lots of reasons.

Since Lawrence Figgalo was a high-level commissioner and a union boss, Mick realized that whenever the cops found him dead – in his car at the mall, they’ll certainly assume that he was murdered. That’s how Mick had found him, although he’d been lying on a couch in his own home, and Mick had assumed the same thing. And Mick hadn’t even realized that he was a commissioner and union boss.

The cops who’d come to Figgalo’s house were certainly going to realize that the person that they spoke to wasn’t Figgalo. And those cops would be certain to remember Mick’s face.

This made Mick wonder about several things even more. Who had chosen him as the patsy for Figgalo’s murder? And why had he been put in the victim’s house? And how did he get there? And why did he wake up with a headache?

Mick had probably been drugged, and was being framed for the murder of Lawrence Figgalo. Why? Mick didn’t even know Lawrence Figgalo. And why had the police come to the house?  Mick doubted that there had been a “loud party” there that night. Someone must have told the cops to go there. Who?

On the other hand, if someone (Mick, in this case) was being framed for the murder of a commissioner and union boss, he thought that whoever was doing the framing should have created a much messier murder scene. And they should have framed someone that could be tied to Figgalo.

There was no blood at this murder scene. Figgalo was lying on his couch dead, probably from a drug overdose, although Mick didn’t know that for sure. Maybe there’d been no murder, and Figgalo had somehow overdosed on something. Or maybe he’d just had had a heart attack.

But someone had put Mick there, lying on the floor, unconscious. Why?

On the other hand, if Mick was being framed, then whoever was framing him would have made the scene more colorful, perhaps by shooting Figgalo and putting Mick’s fingerprints all over the gun.

As it was, “the murder scene” (if that’s what it was) looked fairly innocuous; almost sterile. There was a dead guy. But that’s about it.

Mick reconsidered his actions from that morning. The most damning things that he’d done were: 1) to pretend to be the homeowner, 2) to fool and lie to the cops, and 3) to drive Figgalo’s body to the shopping center. From the cops’ point of view, why would he have done those things if he were innocent? Wouldn’t he have just called them? Wouldn’t he have simply let them into Figgalo’s house, shown them the body, and told them the truth?

In retrospect, what he’d done seemed pretty stupid. The cops were sure to think that this was certainly a murder, and that Mick was certainly guilty.

If Mick had known that the dead guy was the Commissioner of Transportation, he would have let the cops in and told them the truth: 1) that their ringing of the doorbell was what woke him up; and 2) that he had no idea where he was, 3) that he felt like he’d been drugged, and 4) that he’d no idea who the dead guy was.

As if they’d believe him.

Sure, they would have brought him down to the station and given him a hard time. But in the end, he’d likely have been cleared and sent home.

Mick wondered again how he actually fit into this. Who put him into this situation, and why? And where was Figgalo’s wife Tammy?

He wondered why Bill Bosbury was interested in Figgalo. He didn’t know what he could tell Bill Bosbury about him. He’d already found him, and he was dead. He’d be interested to learn why Bill Bosbury had been interested in him.

“Damn,” Mick concluded.

 

[1] French for “The Bedroom.”

Chapte 1 The Marriage of Figgalo
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