Questionable Answers is part two of the Kenneth Wise Chronicles. It takes place in the Spring season. There is more character development this time around and an engaging case for the K. Wise Private Investigation Agency. Join them in a mental struggle of riddles as Kenny is in close contact with the criminal at all times.
Prologue to Questionable Answers: I walked up to my office door trying the knob first. It was locked. I stuck my key into the lock and opened the door. The faint odor of cleaning products still filled the air over the weekend. I looked at the four empty desks facing me. I turned to the left, flicked on the lights, and opened the window a few inches to get some fresh air in the office. I continued left to my desk kicking the wheel of my chair with the side of my foot. The chair spun slightly as I turned and fell into the seat. I pulled myself to my desk shimming until comfortable. I looked across the office at the blank job board. This is boring. I picked up my office phone and called home. “Emily,” I started in response to her familiar voice. “Glad you’re awake.”   “Miss me already?” she asked humorously.   “Yeah,” I replied. “Not much happening here.”   “Well, I’m not coming there now. You’ll have to wait ’till lunch time.”  Just then, Kyle came into the office. “Can’t wait,” I said to Emily hanging up the phone.   “Hey Boss,” Kyle began. “I got you the paper,” he said tossing the newspaper on my desk from the far end of the office.  Kyle grabbed the empty coffee pot and took it into the bathroom sink without stopping a step. Kyle was quick to make the coffee knowing I preferred his brew over that of anyone else. “Thanks Kyle,” I said opening the newspaper. “I hope somebody’s getting action today,” I said skimming through.   “I don’t know ’bout that,” Kyle said walking back into the main room. “You see what made front page?”  I turned back to the cover and read the headline aloud. “57 year old woman has twins.”   “See,” Kyle said more like a statement than a question. “When that’s front page news, you know it’s a dead world.”   “You can say that again,” I said tossing the paper to the garbage pail under my desk.   “Did you talk to Chuck yet?” Kyle asked knowing I call him first when I wake up.   “I got his voicemail,” I replied. “I spoke to Chris though. He said he was stopping at the precinct to see Pat first. He’ll be a little late.”   “That’s working out well for him, huh?” Kyle asked.  Chris was a police officer for three years. He left the police force to work for me. Though he is not a cop, I paired him up with detective Patrick Kelly. I worked with Pat in the past and he is a good cop. Being they trained the same way, I put them together. It worked out well for both of them. They are a formidable team.  Chris is not all about detail. Thus, not the best investigator, but he is not afraid to get his hands dirty. He is never scared to get into a fight. Pat is always close by as the “good-cop.” Chris’ unorthodox style is frowned down upon. However, with Pat’s authority above the law, he is able to do what he wants. They need each other.  Chuck is my partner in the field. I had always needed his brute force to get myself out of tight situations. He is not half bad at attention to detail either. Originally he did not notice any tells. He has gotten the hang of things now. After a few years working by my side, he is one of the best at my agency. His strength is a better match with someone like Kyle.  Kyle is the youngest of my employees. I actually met Chuck through Kyle originally. Kyle’s impulse could be dangerous without Chuck to keep him in line. He is not the best of investigators. I hired him for his knowledge in technology, but he really found his calling with interviewing. He is a good-looking pretty boy. He had blonde hair and green eyes. His other features resembled those of a female. People seem to open up to him. Ten minutes is all he needs to get people to incriminate themselves.  Just then my office phone rang. I looked over at Kyle who was still by the coffee pot cafefully measuring each scoop of coffee grinds he added. I picked up the receiver. “K. Wise, Private Eye, Kenny speaking.”   “Kenny! Joseph Mahan,” started the police captain. “I got a small-time domestic violence call. You need Chris back there or could I send him with Pat?”   “Go ahead,” I replied. “Just give me the info so I can mark it up on the board.” I snapped my finger twice to get Kyle’s attention. I pointed to the board and he went over to it uncapping a blue marker. “Domestic violence… 39 Malcolm Drive… David Hertz… girlfriend Anna Wright… second offence,” I said repeating everything the captain said. I then added, “Chris...” Kyle wrote everything I said onto the board.   “Thanks Kenny,” said Captain Mahan. “I’ll check you later.” He hung up.  Joseph Mahan was the police chief. He is the one who paired me up with Patrick Kelly four months ago. Pat has had a rough time. He had a nervous breakdown before I met him. I thought after his wife killed herself, he would lose it again. Instead he used it as motivation to make him better at his job. Every day he devotes to his wife Elle doing the best he can at everything.  Joseph Mahan is getting older for his job. He is working to the end. Friday is his last day as police captain. He is retiring. My whole office was invited to his honor dinner. I agreed to be there with Emily. Kyle said he might go with his girlfriend but did not confirm. Chuck would rather not attend. I figure it a nice day off where I get free food and drink with my girlfriend.   “Thanks Kyle,” I said as I heard the coffee pot beep.   “No problem Boss,” Kyle said pouring himself a cup of coffee adding a single serving of milk and two sugars. “You want?” he asked still holding the pot in his hand.   “In a minute,” I replied.   “I got it,” Kyle said pouring a second cup with milk and sugar for me.  Kyle came and placed the Styrofoam cup on my desk as Chuck walked in. “Sorry I’m late boys,” Chuck said coming through the office like waves in a storm.   “Don’t sweat it,” Kyle said returning to his desk. “There’s nothing going on today.”   “I know, really,” I thought aloud. “The pot’s fresh,” I added referring to the coffee.  Chuck nodded. After dropping his denim jacket on his desk he went over to the urn for his morning cup of caffeine. “Where’s Chris?” Chuck asked noticing his absence.   “He’s with Pat,” Kyle quickly answered. “I wonder where Angé is.”  Angelique Fiume is my newest employee. It was not long after Anthony’s enticed suicide that she applied for the job. I was reluctant to hire her at first. Though tall, she was very thin and frail. I knew this job could be dangerous. I was concerned for her well-being. As it turns out, she is great with her attention to detail. She notices everything which sometimes gives her too much to think about. I am sometimes envious of her great observations of people.  Her uncouth, crude humor makes her like another guy at the office. She never filters what she says. This was actually not a bad thing at all. With the office full of men, two of which are single, we did not have to hide our opinions. She was welcomed and fits in very well. I do miss Anthony. I replied, “It’s Monday."  It was a common understanding that Angé would always arrive late on a Monday morning. She was very family oriented. On Sunday nights, she likes to play cards with her family. Usually the night of poker would run later than her usual bedtime making the mornings difficult for her. It was not that she was unreliable as I understood her habits. Once she arrives, she is always working.   “Breakfast time?” Chuck asked Kyle and me.   “You just got here,” Kyle replied. “That quick to leave already?”   “So two eggs with cheese,” Chuck replied to Kyle humorously.   “And sausage,” Kyle laughed.   “I’ll have two eggs, bacon and cheese on a plain bagel,” I started. “See if they have one of those banana muffins and a...”   “A fruit cup,” Chuck finished. “I know… Call me if Angé comes in. I’ll be back in a sec,” Chuck said swinging on his jacket. Chuck left with his coffee.  Just then my cell phone rang. I grabbed it looking at the caller identification. It was a private caller. I did not answer it. I never answered private calls. I wanted to know who I was going to talk to. Experience has taught me that private calls are usually telemarketers. Everyone I know reveals their number otherwise I would not answer. Thus, if this person does not know that, I do not know them. Soon after, it rang again. Again it was private.  After the third call I answered. “Hello,” I said under my breath in a different voice.  I did not want whoever this was to recognize me. Then I could tell them they have the wrong number or something to stop them from calling again. “Kenneth Wise,” the caller said. “I have a mission for you.”  This was a client. I do not know how he got my cell number. Either way, if it is about business, I had to comply. In my normal tone I replied, “I’m listening.”