"Two Bad Hamiltons and a Hirsute Jackson," by Robert Mangeot, in Alfred Hitchcock's mystery Magazine, May 2015.
Mr. Mangeot makes his second appearance here. This story is all about language and character.
The character is Vi Celucci, and she is an Optimizer, which means she specializes in making your life and workplace more efficient, healthier, and better organized. Obsession is either funny or tragic, depending on how close you are standing to the fallout, and Ms. Celucci is obsessive about her field, and maybe about everything else.
She received two counterfeit ten dollar bills and feels the authorities are not up to the job of finding the counterfeiters. "The Secret Service guy asked me to repeat myself, which did not bode well for either his cognitive or listening skills."
So she decides to crack the case herself. And this is a formidable lady, determined, and very sure of herself.
I shook my head, and I only shook my head one way: hard right, soft return. Anything more was wasted motion.