Head over heels
A scream pierced the air as Hal Spear walked into the high fashion shoe store.
He moved quickly towards the sound, past the displays of stilettos and towards the empty glass cabinet – the reason he’d been asked here.
The owner of the store, Chanel, had called him to investigate the theft of her most valuable item, the red diamond pumps.
The diamond-encrusted shoes had been stolen two weeks ago in a brazen heist one Sunday, conducted by a masked, armed intruder. But now it sounded as though Hal might be dealing with more than just a theft.
He turned the doorknob into the storeroom and found three women in shock, staring at a body on the floor.
With her raven hair, Hal could tell it was Chanel who was sprawled on the ground, her blood pooled around her.
“It’s the killer!” one of the women shrieked.
“Don’t worry, I’m here to help you,” Hal reassured them, taking out his PI business card. “My name is Hal Spear and Chanel hired me to investigate the recent theft.”
He moved forward and felt the spot on her neck where she no longer had a pulse.
“She’s cold, which means she’s been dead long enough for her killer to escape,” Hal said. “Or leave and come back, ready to act surprised.”
“Why would someone want to kill her?” the woman with bright pink lipstick cried.
“Vera, you know she’s spent the last fortnight trying to catch that thief,” said the brunette.
She was sniffling and wiping tears away with a white handkerchief. She threw it down in anger, the bleached whiteness of it stark against the dark grey carpet. “I knew they’d come back to get her.”
Hal noticed a platform shoe, speckled with blood, discarded in the corner of the room, near a shoebox. Instead of a heel, the shoe was fitted with a sharp blade.
“The murderer left their weapon,” he mused.
Whoever killed Chanel was creative, and definitely planned their devious deed.
The killer had to have access to the shoes in the store, Hal realised.
“Were any of you ladies working the day of the theft?” he asked.
“No, we don’t work weekends,” the brunette replied. “I’m Stella, by the way.”
“Okay, can you all start by telling me what you were doing this morning.”
Hal turned to the tanned woman who was standing right next to the bloodied shoe, perhaps without realising it was a weapon at all.
“We had a new delivery of shoes today and I unloaded the boxes from the truck,” she said quietly.
She didn’t give her name but her name tag said Vivienne.
Vera started to rub her temples, looking away from the blood at her feet.
“I was grabbing a coffee,” she said. “Which I regret now because I feel like puking.”
Stella stopped biting her nails long enough to look up at Hal.
“I only just got here. I was doing my make-up in the car,” she explained. “Just a dab of concealer and mascara.”
Hal looked at the women then back down at poor Chanel.
Her killer was only a few metres away and Hal was going to make sure she didn’t get away.
So, who killed Chanel?