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“She escaped through an air vent,” says Inspector Dracula as they exit the elevator.

“Impossible,” says Mina flatly. “She’s too ill to move without a wheelchair and anyway, the cover screws on from the outside.”

“But hospital windows do not open.” Dracula politely allows a gurney to pass. “Security footage proves her door guard did not leave his post. She was not under the bed. If you will excuse me?”

He steps into Lucy’s former room and shuts the door in her face. Mina hesitates, then opens it again.

Dracula is recondensing. “Yes,” he says, “the vent is the only way.”


Mina sweeps past the forelock-tugging receptionist and into the dim office. “I want you to know that this isn’t film noir,” she says bluntly. “I am neither a waif nor a fatale and I will not fall for your tough exterior. I’m here because my best friend went missing from a locked room and the police have given up, and hiring a PI is my very last–”

He holds up a hand. She stops.

“I can solve your case,” purrs the detective. “In one hour and seventeen minutes I shall commence.”

“What happens then?” asks Mina.

“Sunset,” says Inspector Dracula.