Classic In the Pits--A Jack Colby classic car mystery

Free Classic In the Pits--A Jack Colby classic car mystery by Amy Myers

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Authors: Amy Myers
trail to the Porsche could hardly be bleaker, I decided to tackle Harry Prince on the slim chance that since Huptons was part of his empire he might have heard a whisper about it and an even slimmer chance that he would convey this news to me if I presented myself on his doorstep.
    Harry seems a great guy until you cross him. He and his wife live in a plush mansion in the village of Charden on the way to Ashford. I like his wife very much, which suggests that Harry must have a tender side, the existence of which has eluded me. I do have to admit that Harry is sometimes willing to do me a good turn even though a bad one is equally attractive to him.
    The garages he owns are all reasonably honest – or if they aren’t he turns a blind eye until the truth comes out and kicks him in the face. I went to see him on Tuesday morning – unannounced, as that way Harry is more likely to be available, because he is always hopeful I’ve come crawling to beg him to buy Frogs Hill. Not in a million years. My luck was out, because so was Harry. I tried again in the afternoon and this time Harry was actually in his forecourt when I pulled up at the electric gates. Even Harry didn’t go so far as to refuse to open them.
    â€˜Bad day on Sunday,’ I said as I parked the Alfa.
    â€˜That why you’re here, Jack? Come to sell up?’ Harry shook with guffaws of laughter.
    â€˜Yes, but not to sell up. It’s about Mike Nelson’s Porsche.’
    â€˜Poor old Mike,’ he said reflectively. ‘I heard it had been nicked.’
    â€˜Any line on it? Someone told me that Huptons had a customer asking about a Porsche 356 for sale.’
    A pause. ‘Is this official, Jack?’
    â€˜Yes.’
    â€˜No.’
    â€˜Then make it unofficial, Harry.’
    An agonized look. ‘You know me, Jack. Always willing to help when I can. Yes, someone did ask about a 356. Why not?’
    â€˜And could Huptons give this customer any help?’
    â€˜As it happens, they could.’
    My day was brighter already. ‘Huptons had one for sale?’
    â€˜Well, yes, they did.’
    â€˜What makes me think this particular customer wasn’t interested in that one?’
    â€˜Which customer?’ he asked carefully.
    â€˜The one who was asking about a particular Porsche,’ I said trying to hang on to patience. ‘What did they sell him?’
    â€˜They didn’t. It wasn’t Mike’s. They’d know that one. Mike was a customer of theirs.’ He blew out his cheeks defiantly.
    â€˜
Tell
me, Harry.’ I flashed my ID ominously.
    He licked his lips and then burst out with, ‘Someone at Huptons referred him to someone.’
    â€˜Who?’
    Explosion of laughter from Harry. ‘Doubler!’
    Dark clouds immediately rolled in again. I could understand why Harry found it so funny.
    Doubler’s real name is lost in the mists of the underworld. Everyone knows him as Doubler. Some say he gets his nickname from his eagerness to double-cross both foes and friends although he objects strongly to being double-crossed himself. Others say that it comes from his boast that he can double your money for you – but that he’d rather kill you than hand it over.
    Whichever, he was bad news. If the theft was indeed linked to Mike’s murder – and after my talk with Arthur this seemed likely – the name of Doubler made it much, much worse, and something that no one who valued his tenure on this earth would pursue.
    So what did I do? I drove back to Frogs Hill, rang Arthur and took the job. I always like a challenge.
----
    1 See
Classic Calls the Shots

FIVE
    I’ d never met Doubler, but I’d heard about him. Who hadn’t in the car trade? Doubler works to his own rules, and Rule Number One is: you don’t find him – he finds you. Address? Office? Phone number? No way. Like T.S. Eliot’s Macavity the Mystery Cat, whenever there’s

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