Artie and the Long-Legged Woman by Jan Christensen

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When Artie Applegate meets his friend's mother after a long time with no contact, he recognizes Mrs. Henderson because of her incredible long legs. But Artie's pleasure at seeing them--her--again is dashed when she insists he persuade her son to break up with his current girlfriend. If Artie doesn't, then the video Mrs. Henderson captured of him burglarizing her jewelry store will end up at the police station.

With that threat hanging over his head, Artie sets out to become reacquainted with his old friend, Henry, meets Henry's easily angered lover, and tries to figure out a way to break up the relationship. It will take all his professional skills and imagination to do so, and even then, things don't turn out exactly as he envisioned. But Artie is used to that.

First in a the mystery short story series The Artie Crimes.


Artie watched with horror as first one beautiful leg emerged from the white limousine and then a second equally gorgeous leg followed. He held his athletic bag tightly in his gloved left hand, his right hand on the doorknob, ready to leave the jewelry store out the back exit into the alley. But there were the limo, and the legs, and here he was, holding the goods.

Artie sighed. He closed the door quietly behind him and started to walk away. Maybe the woman belonging to the legs wouldn’t notice. Sure.

“Artie?” a melodious voice called to him.

He debated whether he should continue on; even took a couple of steps.

“Artie.” The voice was firm this time, and closer.

He turned and bumped into a woman who almost matched her legs. A woman he’d dreamed about all through high school. She was now in her late forties, good-looking enough, but not as spectacular as the legs.

“Yes?” he said, feeling the sweat begin on his forehead, pretending he didn’t remember her.

“You don’t know who I am?”

“Sorry,” he muttered.

“It’s been a long time. Let’s see. Maybe ten years. You were about twenty-two, and you and Henry were best friends.”

“Uh, yes, Mrs. Henderson. How are you? How is Henry?” He’d never forget those legs. Since he’d been fourteen and became friends with Henry, he’d known they were spectacular. He paled when he realized the name of the jewelry store he’d just robbed was, yes, Henderson’s Fine Jewelry. Rats. Henry’s parents hadn’t owned a jewelry store back then. It had been a dress shop.

“Henry is why I’m here.”


“Come, let’s sit in the car where it’s comfortable.” She took his arm and led him over to the limo. They climbed in, and she continued. “Henry needs some help. I’m afraid he’s been a naughty boy. Would you like a drink?” She opened the door of a bar and Artie saw bottles of different drinks, mixers, an ice chest, and tongs and stirrers. What more did anyone need? He could use a whisky sour. But he thought he’d better not. No telling where all this was leading. He shook his head.

“I’ll just have a small one.” Mrs. Henderson fixed herself a Manhattan, straight up. “As I was saying, Henry needs some help, and you’re just the one for it. He took something that didn’t belong to him, like you do. We need you to put it back.”

  • Published by: Untreed Reads

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