"Shooting Stars," by Richard Helms, in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, September/October 2015.
Mr. Helms makes his third appearance on this page, with his second story in this series. (Here is the first.)
Boy Boatright is a down-on-his-luck police detective, as you can tell from this opening sentence:
Even after the crime-scene guys finished wrecking it, Nigel Bowles's trailer looked nicer than my apartment.
Lovely. Bowles is, or was, the favorite judge on a top TV talent show, visiting town to film a special episode. Everyone involved in the series had multiple reasons to want him dead, and most had opportunities.
But that isn't Boatright's real problem. That would be the fact that one of the other judges is a client of an alleged psychic with the amazing name of Bowie Crapster, and he is the reason Boyright keeps threatening to retire. Forced, again to work with the Crapster - No more than five and a half feet tall, built like the Pillsbury Doughboy, resplendent in an Italian ice-cream suit with silk cravat and gleaming white patent-leather shoes. His hair, cut in a sort of Caesar style with short bleached bangs, was reflected in his silver Elvis sunglasses. He looked like a Good Humor Man in Key West. - our hero threatens to resign , but that would spoil the fun.
Crapster isn't quite as charmingly annoying this time, largely because he explains to Boatright and us how he achieves some of his allegedly mystical effects. A nice example of working your way through the suspects.
One complaint: Helms is stuck with the names he chose for his heroes but with so many letters in the alphabet why does this story include: Boy Boatwright, Bowie, Belinda, Billy, Baggs, and Bliss? Why make it harder for the reader to keep the characters straight?