Murder on Mars (A New Orleans Mystery)
The flight was a good three hours and she arrived after four a.m. Even though it was early there was a live band playing near baggage claim. The band was exuberant and soulful at the same time; it was their way of welcoming visitors into their city. Ava paused for a moment to listen, she loved music, but unfortunately couldn’t play any type of instrument or sing for that matter, but she did admire those who were able to. She dropped a twenty dollar bill into a black hat as she made her way out of baggage claim and to the taxi stand.
There was a tall slim man leaning against a cab and as she neared he seemed to become excited, probably because he was about to get a fare so early in the morning. He pushed against the cab and stepped forward offering his help with her luggage. She had three bags with her; a large suit case, a carry on and her laptop bag which she wore strapped across her body.
Even though she was only sixteen years old Ava looked older, maybe it was because she was a fan of make-up and fashion. Fashion was a way for her to escape and pretend she was someone else, she went through many looks during her years at Clairmans Academy, and at times her looks might have been outrageous, but they were fun none the less.
She was dressed in a pair of trim black pants that hugged her curves and a silk blouse that was form fitted, her coat was dark grey a mix of a military cut with ruffles on the back just above the hem.
“Where are we going?” he asked her as he stowed her luggage in the trunk. Before she could open the passenger door he had whisked around her to open her door, and waved her into the cab.
“Le Pavillon Hotel,” she said as she took a seat. Her driver nodded his head than closed the door and within moments he was driving them away from the airport and as he did he turned on the radio to a reggae station. They pulled up to the hotel which looked at least a hundred years old, but well kept. She remembered reading online that it was listed as a historic hotel, what she liked about it was that it was a few blocks away from the French Quarter and near the Garden District. The door opened and a bellhop welcomed her to the hotel.
It didn’t take her long to check-in and Ava was on the elevator riding up to her room. She noted she would be staying in room 930; it was on the top floor of the hotel. An older gentleman accompanied her to her room. He was shorter than Ava, his hair was beginning to grey, and he had a receding hairline which he didn’t bother to hide. He told her that his name was Tim and if she needed anything to ask for Tim and he would see to it that she got it.
There were pastries waiting for her inside the room along with the newest edition of the paper, her luggage arrived within moments. It wasn’t until after she was once more by herself that she received a text on her phone, in fact there were multiple ones and all of them from Felix. She read through them quickly as she strode to the pastries deciding that she was hungry– either that or they just looked to good to pass up. She stubbed her foot on the polished floors in her clumsiness and looked up onto the counter, the newspaper was unfolded and the headline was blaring at her. ‘Murder on Mars’ it read in bold black ink.
There is darkness in New Orleans, one that has brought sixteen year old Ava Lopez to the city in search of her best friend, Dyson. A dark crime has been committed, and there are supernatural forces involved. Three sisters who whisper “fate” are awaiting the arrival of the Guardian.
Shadow People fiercely haunt the city, unchallenged, but Ava senses that Dyson may be involved with their crimes. She must discover the secret that the Shadows are so determined to keep hidden.
Ava will have to risk everything, because where the Fates are concerned there are no second chances.