“A third death in three weeks?” New Orleans homicide detective Jordan Booth asked his friend, Trent Marshall. “All in the same hospital with the same overdose of the same pain killer? Sounds like there’s a cultivador de la muerte at work.” Trent looked at Jordan with surprise.
“When did you learn to speak Spanish?” he asked.
“I pick things up occasionally from customers,” the homicide detective said with a smile.
It was a mild day in New Orleans with a light drizzle of rain. Trent and Jordan were enjoying French 75 cocktails as they sat under the shelter of the upstairs gallery in the old house on Governor Nicholls Street. Trent’s wife, Darcey Anderson, and Ivy Ford, the elderly black lady who became Trent’s surrogate mother when his own parent died unexpectedly young, were in the kitchen preparing dinner.
“Anonymous tips to the press seem to be popular these days,” Jordan said, “but they are usually about political issues. Why would someone want to purposely draw attention to a potential serial killer?”
“Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?” Trent mused.
“Yeah, and since you’ve convinced me that there’s no such thing as a coincidence, I also wonder if the anonymous tip came from our serial killer.” Jordan concluded. “Who was the latest victim?”
“A woman who had a tonsillectomy,” Trent said. “Usually done in childhood. More painful for adults but usually not painful enough to require heavy painkillers. In fact, no painkillers had been ordered for this woman.”
“That pretty much tells the story then, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, I think so,” Trent replied. “Looks like we have a serial killer at work in Anchorage and he wants attention. And it’s probably someone who works at the hospital. Or has easy access.”
At Darcey’s call, they went downstairs to join her and Ivy in the dining room where a stack of sandwiches waited.
“This is a good sandwich, Darcey,” Jordan said. “What do you call it?”
“I don’t know,” she said. “We had some ground beef. And we had some reindeer sausage we brought back from Alaska. We ground up the sausage and mixed it with the hamburger.”
“We thought about making some slaw but didn’t have any cabbage,” Ivy added.
“We had kimchi though!” Darcey said. “So the sandwiches are part burger, part Alaska sausage, with a little Asian fusion. I have no idea what to call them.”
“Kimchi?” Jordan said with surprise.
“Ivy loves it,” Darcey laughed. “She always has kimchi.”
“It makes a good afternoon snack when I’m watching my shows,” Ivy said, proudly.
Jordan Baron’s Mystery Sandwich
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
2 links reindeer sausage, ground
Salt & pepper to taste
Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and garlic. Stir to mix well.
Mix the hamburger and ground sausage. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook in a non stick skillet until browned, probably nine or ten minutes. Add ketchup mixture. Stir to combine and cook for another minute or two.
Serve on hamburger buns topped with kimchi to taste.
As Jordan would say, “Bon temps!”