MENTOR: Naomi Hughes
MENTEE: Casey Lyall
TITLE: HOWARD WALLACE, P.I.
CATEGORY/GENRE: MG Mystery (Noir)
WORD COUNT: 27,000
Eleven year old P.I. Howard Wallace gets by with a semi-reliable bike, a lucky trench coat, and a corner office in the school yard. But when his smart-mouthed new partner ropes him into a hot case of blackmail, the perp targets the agency. If Howard wants to stay open for business, he may have to cross the line between investigator and delinquent.
She didn’t knock, just barged through the door like she owned the place. She did own it but that was beside the point. I knew my rights, and privacy was at the top of the list. She planted herself in the middle of the room and scowled as her eyes swept across the floor. Every dirty cup and rogue piece of laundry was noted and filed away on her mental list of my many transgressions. Her face twisted with disgust as the horde of foul aromas began to penetrate her frustration. She took a deep breath (I could have told her that was a bad idea) and let it out in a hiss. With a shake of her head, she turned to me. “Howard, how many times do I have to ask you to clean your room?” I told her to scram; I had things just how I liked them.
Some mornings I should just keep my mouth shut.
“Howard Jamieson Wallace.” The temperature in the room took a nose dive. “That’s the first and last time you ever tell your mother to scram. I want this place spotless when you get home. Hurry up and get dressed, you’re going to be late for school.” With one last grimace at the offending mess, she turned on her heel and left. Women. She had a point though. It was about time for me to check in at the office.