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The Barefoot Stiff: Maggie Sullivan mysteries

The Barefoot Stiff: Maggie Sullivan mysteries

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The Barefoot Stiff: Maggie Sullivan mysteries

26 pages
24 minutes
Jan 14, 2020


(This short story features characters from the author's Maggie Sullivan mysteries series.)

Depression-era private investigator Maggie Sullivan knows how to be tough when she needs to and polish her nails when she doesn't. A job offer from a blonde at a dime store lunch counter lures her to a still-warm corpse in an alley. His gold watch and cufflinks are still on him, but not his shoes and socks.

A night of grilling by homicide cops does nothing to improve Maggie's mood, which deteriorates further when they laugh off a lead she gives them and imply she solves cases by batting her eyes instead of using her brains.

Aided by a ragtag newsboy, Maggie baits a trap for the killer. He shows up with a knife. But Maggie wields a .38 as expertly as she does an emery board — and she doesn't back down for thugs or authorities when she's after answers.

Jan 14, 2020

About the author

M. Ruth Myers received a Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America for Don’t Dare a Dame, the third book in her Maggie Sullivan mysteries series.  The series follows a woman P.I. in Dayton, OH, from the end of the Great Depression through the end of WW2. Other novels by Myers, in various genres, have been translated, optioned for film and condensed for magazine publication.  Some were written under the name Mary Ruth Myers.   She has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri J-School.  Prior to becoming a novelist, she worked on daily papers in Wyoming, Michigan and Ohio.  She also spent five years working as a ventriloquist. The author and her husband live in Ohio.  When not writing, she plays Irish traditional tunes on the concertina with more enthusiasm than skill.  (Then again, how many people do you know who even play the concertina?)

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The Barefoot Stiff - M. Ruth Myers

Table of Contents

THE BAREFOOT STIFF | (a Maggie Sullivan short story) | By M. Ruth Myers | Copyright 2014 Mary Ruth Myers

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Further Reading: No Game for a Dame

Also By M. Ruth Myers

About the Author


(a Maggie Sullivan short story)

By M. Ruth Myers

Copyright 2014 Mary Ruth Myers

I was having some oatmeal at my usual dime store lunch counter and reading about fresh attempts to scuttle FDR’s New Deal when the blonde who started it all slid onto the stool next to mine.  She ordered and lighted up, jutting her chin to blow some smoke before she looked at me.

You the dame detective?

I eyed her, wondering if we’d met somewhere.

That’s right.  Maggie Sullivan.

She took another drag on her cigarette.  She was taller than me, maybe five-four.  The blonde part of her wasn’t real but a couple of moles as tiny as toast crumbs by her bottom lip looked like they might be.  Her suit was too fine for a lunch counter, and the cheap neck chain she wore tucked inside it suggested she wasn’t used to money.

Gentleman wants to hire you.  She slid me a sawbuck with an address scribbled across it.  He’ll give you some real money once he meets you.  Here’s the particulars.  Half past six.

That’s a swell hat, I said.  I’d never met a hat I didn’t want.  The royal blue number she was wearing had set her back plenty.

She tossed her hair, preening.  Chapeaux Jeanette.  Friday afternoon I pick up one they’re making for me special.

I whistled softly, as impressed as she intended me to be.  Only top tier socialites, and maybe a girl

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