Ace refused to believe his eyes as he walked the dimly lit streets of Curiosity Corner. Bodies lined the cobblestone from entrance to end, red trickling from their neckline down to pool on the cobble-lined ground.
“Bloody hell,” he muttered the expletive.
He was too late. It seemed the blasted woman hadn’t planned on waiting for Ace to crack the code before carrying out her execution.
Ace kneeled beside a young child, allowing his gloved fingers to trace the red ring around the child’s throat. A slight sniff and Ace felt his countenance darken.
She always had liked to make mess of his investigations with a special type of poison.
“Congratulations, Mr. Moncoeur,” a feminine voice said from the Corner’s darkest end. Her slow prudent clapping made Ace turn to look at her. “Only you would know a poison from scent alone.”
Ace removed a handkerchief from his breast pocket and polished away the blood. “Was it absolutely necessary to kill the children, Lady Dame?”
The woman stepped forward until only her mouth and hands – gloved in red and white – shown in the dimmed light of a street post. “I quite prefer Bella, and you know my rule, Mr. Moncoeur.”
Bella smiled. The taciturn pull at the corner of her threadlike lips had Ace furrowing his brow and growling.
“All that defy me must perish,” she said, “Nothing better than an off-with-their-heads sentence to clear a misdeed.”
“They were innocents, Bella,” Ace ground out, “Most not even residents of this country, let alone this town. Are your intentions to start an international incident?”
Bella yawned and waved a hand in dismissal. “Call them whatever you will, but… those people were not innocent,” she said. “Any town craven enough to browbeat a young girl into submission deserves a good murder or two.”
Ace clenched a fist at his side at Bella’s callous reply. “A couple of people bully one girl and suddenly a whole town deserves to die?” he asked, his nerves damn near shot.
“And I bet you’d love to know why?” The murderer smiled answering his question with one of her own. “Too bad. And I’ll let you in on a little secret, Mr. Moncoeur. I’m not done.”
Which POV best suits a story of this genre? I’m still on the fence. I’d love to hear from my readers on which way I should go before I make a decision: Ace’s POV straight through, Bella’s POV, or mix it up with both.
Arigato and ja ne,