Falafel Jones - The Kewpie Killer

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Book: Falafel Jones - The Kewpie Killer Read Online Free PDF
Author: Falafel Jones
Tags: Mystery: Cozy - Romance - Humor - Florida
you so interested in the dolls?”
    “I think there may be a connection between these two deaths.”
    “Because of a Kewpie Doll? What did the Police say?” He grinned at me and I felt a little foolish that I said what I did.
    “Yes. I haven’t discussed it with them yet. I hoped I could get a comment from you first.”
    Leonardo shook his head, “Oh, well I’m just the geek here. Pops would have to speak to that. You can ask him when he comes back.”
    “Geek? You’re a carnival geek?” I didn’t mean to recoil when I said that but it was horrible imagining those beautiful teeth biting off animal heads.
    Leonardo laughed and with a big grin showed me those teeth again. “No. No, I’m a Computer Geek. I do all of the tech support and networking here. Carnivals may have been around forever, but to survive these days, you need to be modern.”
    “Boy, am I embarrassed?” My face felt red. I think I started to blush.
    Leonardo made a dismissive wave. “Actually, I’m second generation carny. I handle the business end. Two years ago, I earned my business degree with a minor in Information Technology.”
    “I’m in the family business too. My mom owns the paper. It’s a blessing and a curse.” After embarrassing myself by announcing my serial killer theory, I was glad to find common ground. I didn’t want Leonardo to think I was a nut job.
    Just as quickly as Leonardo laughed a moment ago, his mood changed to somber. He looked down and said, “Sometimes having folks in the business can be a burden.” A beat later and he was grinning at me again. “Anything else you need? Ask away.”
    His sudden mood changes surprised me. So did his comment about folks in the business. In the short time I saw him and Pops together, they seemed to work well together. “Well, my research revealed some carnival deaths in Florida and I was wondering if there was any connection. I was hoping you could check personnel records and see if anyone at Kelly’s –“
    “—worked in Florida? There are two answers. First, many employees don’t use their real names or even the same fake names more than once. A lot of the booth agents and ride jockeys we use are drifters who come and go. For instance, if a guy meets a girl, he might stay after we leave and work local farms. Second, we’ve all worked in Florida…and Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia and Pennsylvania. We pretty much follow I95 down to Florida to spend the winter and work our way back up to summer in New York.”
    “Well, I guess that’s all then.” I started to get up and Leonardo did too. He reached into his shirt pocket, pulled out a business card and offered it to me.
    “Raquel, if you need anything else… or if you’d just like to see the show, give me a call.”
    I took the card. On top of a graphic of a red and whited striped carnival tent, it read, “Kelly’s Carnival Inc., Leonardo, Business Manager”. It also displayed a phone number. “That’s my cell. Call me anytime.”
    I put the card in my shoulder bag, thanked him and left the trailer.
    “Oh, Raquel?”
    “You should be careful. Tracking a killer can be dangerous. Maybe you should just let this story go.”
    “Part of the job, but thanks for the concern.”
    When I left to go back to the Kara-mobile, I saw Pops. He nodded at me, “Ma’am” and started to climb the trailer stairs.
    I called out, “Mr. Kelly?” and he stopped to look at me. “I’m Raquel Flanagan with the Chronicle. Have a moment sir?”
    “There’s no Mr. Kelly. Never was. I’m Viktor Popslowski. Can you imagine calling this Popslowski’s Carnival? I’d have to get bigger signs, too much money. Call me Pops. What’s on your mind?” He turned and sat on the trailer stairs.
    “I’ve already got most of what I needed from Leonardo. He was very helpful.”
    “Yeah, he’s a good kid. Been like a son to me.”
    “You mean he’s not your son?”
    “No, why would you think he was? Have you looked at
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