A case for Harry Walthenson PI, episode by episode

How thrilled Harry Walthenson, Private Detective, had been to see his name painted on the translucent glass window in the door to his office.

Located in Gramercy Park, in an old building full of atmosphere, he had a space renovated to resemble that of Spade and Archer in a scene right out of the Maltese Falcon.

His desk had an antique phone like those used in the 1930s, and a lamp that cast eerie shadows at night.  Along one wall was a couch, his bed for more nights than he wanted to remember, and on the other a filing cabinet, waiting for the big case files.

Up till now it had been missing cats and dogs.

Then, everything changed…

Starts at episode 1 – The Wrong Place, The Wrong Time


The latest episode:  Episode 70 – The Affairs of Edwina



#AtoZChallenge — P is for Pad


Here is another of those three letter words that can have so many meanings that it is nigh on impossible to pin it down.

You have to use it in a sentence which all but explains it.

For instance,

A pad might be a writing pad, or a note pad, something on which you can write, notes, stories, anything really, even doodles.

I’ve got several in different sizes for different occasions, where I write down ideas as they come to me. but, I’ve yet to find a waterproof one, you know, for those ideas that come to you in the shower.

Of course, there’s always the writing on the wall…

Cats, dogs, a lot of animals have padded feet.  I’d say, for a cat, those pads would be like shock absorbers.

You can pad an expense account with false expenditure in an accounting sense, I’m sure a lot of people are tempted to do so.

I know places, where a single man might live, is called a bachelor pad.  So many men like to think they may have one, but it takes money to buy the accoutrements of seduction.

Then there’s a medical dressing, a square of gauze called a pad, usually absorbent and soaked in disinfectant to help protect and repair a wound.

Shoulder pads, for broader shoulders

Knee pads, for when crashing off a bike, a scooter, or roller blades.  Which reminds me, do people actually still use roller blades?

Shin pads for soccer, and ice hockey players

A helipad which is for helicopter landings and takeoffs, much the same as a launch pad for rockets.  Unfortunately, rockets do not generally have a tendency to land, not unless they are bombs, like the V1 and V2 rockets of WW2.

It could also be what someone does when walking around a house in socks, the man stealthily approached the thief, padding silently in his socks so he wouldn’t be heard.

And lastly,

A place for frogs to hang out, ie, the flat leaves of a water Lilly.

Any more?

I’m sure there is, just let me know.


“The Devil You Don’t”, be careful what you wish for

John Pennington’s life is in the doldrums.  Looking for new opportunities, prevaricating about getting married, the only joy on the horizon was an upcoming visit to his grandmother in Sorrento, Italy.

Suddenly he is left at the check-in counter with a message on his phone telling him the marriage is off, and the relationship is over.

If only he hadn’t promised a friend he would do a favor for him in Rome.

At the first stop, Geneva, he has a chance encounter with Zoe, an intriguing woman who captures his imagination from the moment she boards the Savoire, and his life ventures into uncharted territory in more ways than one.

That ‘favor’ for his friend suddenly becomes a life-changing event, and when Zoe, the woman who he knows is too good to be true, reappears, danger and death follows.

Shot at, lied to, seduced, and drawn into a world where nothing is what it seems, John is dragged into an adrenaline-charged undertaking, where he may have been wiser to stay with the ‘devil you know’ rather than opt for the ‘devil you don’t’.





“Sunday in New York”, it’s a bumpy road to love

“Sunday in New York” is ultimately a story about trust, and what happens when a marriage is stretched to its limits.

When Harry Steele attends a lunch with his manager, Barclay, to discuss a promotion that any junior executive would accept in a heartbeat, it is the fact his wife, Alison, who previously professed her reservations about Barclay, also agreed to attend, that casts a small element of doubt in his mind.

From that moment, his life, in the company, in deciding what to do, his marriage, his very life, spirals out of control.

There is no one big factor that can prove Harry’s worst fears, that his marriage is over, just a number of small, interconnecting events, when piled on top of each other, points to a cataclysmic end to everything he had believed in.

Trust is lost firstly in his best friend and mentor, Andy, who only hints of impending disaster, Sasha, a woman whom he saved, and who appears to have motives of her own, and then in his wife, Alison, as he discovered piece by piece damning evidence she is about to leave him for another man.

Can we trust what we see with our eyes or trust what we hear?

Haven’t we all jumped to conclusions at least once in our lives?

Can Alison, a woman whose self-belief and confidence is about to be put to the ultimate test, find a way of proving their relationship is as strong as it has ever been?

As they say in the classics, read on!



Sunday In New York

Was it just another surveillance job – Episode 1

Always the unexpected


I was walking past a fast food outlet, minding my own business when an explosion behind me firstly threw me about 20 feet along the sidewalk and then dumped a whole lot of building rubbish on me.

So much for minding my own business.

Dazed, half deaf, and bleeding from several shrapnel wounds, I slowly got to my feet and looked back in the direction of where I thought the explosion happened.

Wrong.  It was in the other direction.  No surprise with the disorientation.

Not far from me I could see several others on the ground through the settling cloud of dust, bodies lying on the pathway, not moving.  A number of cars that had been driving past had got caught almost directly by the blast and had been severely damaged.  Other cars behind had crashed into them.

The storefront I had just past was now just a pile of rubble, much like photos of houses during the blitz and anyone caught in it would not have survived.

Still slightly disorientated, I could hear sirens in the distance, and then, above that, as my hearing slightly improved, screams from people who had taken the full brunt of the explosion. 

I headed towards the nearest of the injured when I was knocked abruptly to the ground by two men running away from the scene.  It took a few moments to realize these men must have had something to do with the explosion and were fleeing.

I scrambled to my feet and started running after them.   They were some distance in front of me as was an oncoming police car, and I  thought they could take up the chase, and stopped.

Instead, it drove straight past the two men and stopped opposite me, and before knew what was happening, I was on the ground with four weapons trained on my head, and three of them yelling that if I moved they would shoot me.

I tried telling them about the two fleeing men I’d been chasing but no one was listening.

I had a knee in my back and a gun to my head.  This wasn’t going to end well for someone.


© Charles Heath 2018-2019

A matter of life and … what’s worse than death? – Episode 4

This is a story inspired by a visit to an old castle in Italy. It was, of course, written while traveling on a plane, though I’m not sure if it was from Calgary to Toronto, or New York to Vancouver.
But, there’s more to come. Those were long flights…

And sadly when I read what I’d written, off the plane and in the cold hard light of dawn, there were problems, which now in the second draft, should provide the proper start.


Another fifty or so feet along, I stopped at an overhead grill.  The metal was showing on the tunnel side, but on the other, I could see bushes.

I think I knew where we were.  This was where the road crossed a small bridge and headed towards the castle entrance.  It was on the northeastern side of the old battlements, and going straight under the road would take us to the eastern wall.

Whether we could get out of the castle there remained to be seen.

I took a step and saw Jack stop and turn around to look back the way we had come.  A moment later a beam of light came from the break in the roof of the tunnel.  Perhaps the man had decided there might not be ghosts in the hole.

I heard the man’s voice travel up the tunnel.  “Looks like a cavern of something.”

That something he might guess to be a tunnel.

We had to go.

I moved quickly in the opposite direction, into the dark, the sound of more rocks falling from the roof following us.


Another hundred feet or so we reached a wall, a dead end to the tunnel.  It looked to me that it had been bricked in the recent past because it consisted of house bricks, not cobble stones.

The surface was wet, and there was the sound of dripping nearby.

Jack sat on the floor.  Nowhere to go, for him it was time to rest.

We couldn’t go back.

I pulled out a knife and poked it into the mortar, and the blade disappeared when I pushed it.  The mortar was soft.

I pushed hard on the wall midway up, and it moved.  I decided it might be wiser to kick at the wall, making it easier if it collapsed.

It created a hole about a foot round.  Further kicking made it bigger so that I could stoop down and climb through.  Jack went first, and I followed.

It came out into a clearing surrounded by trees.  Through the branches, I could see the forest on the other side of a paddock.

Jack once again stopped.


Jackerby and one of his men.

“I’m sure there used to be a drainage tunnel somewhere here.  Those men got into the tunnel yet?”

“Working on making a hole so they can jump down.  No long now.”

“Go back and help them.  I’ll keep an eye out here in case they find the exit.”

I heard the other man leave.

A minute passed, then two.  Then Jackerby said, “I know you’re there Sam.  I’m alone out here, and I’m on your side.”


© Charles Heath 2019


#AtoZChallenge — G is for Ghost


Have you seen one?  I haven’t.  Yet.

I’ve stayed in a few places where ghosts were purported to be roaming the passages at night, but apparently not the night I was staying.

And that’s something else that I have a problem with, why is it ghosts only come out at night, or is that just the perception I have hot from reading up on the subject.

Maybe my view of ghosts is somewhat stilted, after all, I think my first introduction to ghosts was watching The Centerville Ghost, a movie I saw on t.v. when I was very young.

You have to admit Hollywood’s perception of ghosts is quite interesting.



Do you think they are real?  Do I think they are real?

I think I would have to be presented with some fairly solid evidence they exist, but perhaps not to the point of meeting one.

There are, it seems countless examples of ethereal forces, you know, wind blowing where there’s no wind or draught outside, room temperatures dropping for no apparent reason, knocking, rattling of chains, strange noises like low moaning.


And yet…

There are hotels you can stay in such as the Chelsea Hotel in New York, where it’s possible to run into Sid Vicious.

Sorry, not staying there any time soon.

Then there’s the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles where it’s possible to run into Marylin Monroe, who lived in room 229.

That could be an interesting encounter.

Another is the Westin St Francis in San Francisco where the actress Virginia Rappe died while attending a party held in Fatty Arbuckle’s room, Arbuckle’s room, who was later accused of assaulting and murdering her, and whose career tanked after the incident.

Her ghost is seen moving about the hotel tearing her hair out.  It seems all of the spectral activity occurs on the 12th floor.


Good to know if I decide to stay there.  I wonder if they have a 13th floor?

Perhaps in too old to be running the gamut of paranormal experiences, the old heart is not as strong as it used to be.