“The Farmer and His Wife,” by Earl Staggs, Mystery Weekly Magazine, March 2017.
notice that private eye fiction is full of missing daughters? Ross
Macdonald did. One of his books begins: "It was a wandering daughter
Staggs seems to have noticed, too, but he does a neat role reversal.
His P.I. is hired to find a missing son. Oh, by the way, here is
Staggs' opening sentence:
"She had me from the
Aw, the big sentimental lug.
is the mother. Her son disappeared while working on a farm to earn
college money. And we won't go any farther, although, naturally, the