I ventured a “good evening” as I looked up from an inscribed copy of Billie Thomas’ Murder on the First Day of Christmas.
“Is something wrong?”
“We believe you owe us an explanation,” Mandy said slowly and quietly.
“The scuttlebutt that’s going around the bar,” Scott said.
“Could you be more specific?”
“Stop stalling,” Wade said in a tone that was supposed to be menacing. “Tell us what we want to know or prepare to face our collective wrath!”
“Turn it down a notch, Wade,” Scott admonished. “We were all down in the bar, and we heard that things may not be staying the same around here.”
“Yeah,” Mandy said. “Baxter said there are some changes in the works?”
“Oh, that,” I replied. “Yes, there are some changes coming, but they’re nothing to be concerned about. Quite the opposite. Just some new features and a few cosmetic changes.”
“Cosmetic changes?” Wade still thought he was menacing. “You’d better not be getting rid of the arachnid and octopus chairs.”
“None of the furnishings or staff is going anywhere. We’re just going to spruce the place up a little. The designer and I are in talks.”
“You said something about new features?” Mandy asked.
“Three, and they’re going into effect right away. Starting with a regular Sunday feature called In the Library. Each entry will spotlight one of these fantastic volumes we have on the shelves here.”
“That sounds fun.”
“I hope it will be, Mandy. Then on Tuesdays, the regular feature will be Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men?”
“About The Shadow?” Scott asked.
“Right. As you may recall, he used to hang out at The Cobalt Club in the old pulp novels. So we’ll have a weekly tribute to an iconic pop culture character that also happens to the club’s most famous regular.”
“And the third new feature?” Wade asked in his regular voice.
“Fridays. We’re calling it The View from the Club, a weekly photo of a Magic City scene. But as it’s always been, the club will remain a hotspot for good conversation and interesting information. So nothing’s really going to change.”
The triumvirate turned toward the library door as Sarah Miller walked in. “Okay if I hide out here with you guys?”
“Why do you need to?” Scott asked the artist.
“I was down in the bar, and I spilled a beer all over Jack Wyrick.”
“See?” I said, returning to my book. “What’d I tell you?”