• EJ Lister

...And the queen turned up

Updated: Apr 26, 2018

An excerpt from: Investing in Murder

JAYSON STOOD STARING AT the glossy business card stuck to his fridge like an overdue bill. Ricki shrugged. She slid the card out from under a promotional fridge magnet shaped like a pizza. She held the card up. “Time Shipbuilding and Engineering, Santiago de Cuba.”


Jayson’s skin crawled. He twisted the cap off a cold beer and swapped the bottle for the card in Ricki’s hand. He scratched his head. “I know this company,” he said, trying to put a face to the owner. He rolled the card over between his fingers, like rolling poker chips during a high-stakes game, trying to remain calm, which didn’t last. A handwritten message on the back of the card, written in red ink, made him flinch.


He read it twice, swallowed hard, handed the card back to Ricki and opened himself a beer. A metallic taste in his mouth persisted.


Ricki read the message out loud. “One pair beats three of a kind and the queen turned up?” She blew out a long breath. “I don’t know, Jay, I’m no poker player, but I think someone's trying to tell you something.”


Jayson’s pulse quickened. “This is getting just a little too weird. And whoever left that message is no poker player: one pair does not beat three of a kind, even if the queen does turn up. One pair and three of a kind, that would be a full house.”

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