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Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson

Author:Morgan Matson
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: 2021-05-04T00:00:00+00:00


* * *

I knocked on the door and looked at Cary. We were in another walk-up, this one on Sixty-Seventh. “Maverick Cleaners,” I called. Cary gave me tiny golf claps. Nicely done, he mouthed.

The door was flung open, and a woman in her thirties was standing there, wearing a black dress and a fur stole. “And who are you claiming to be?” she asked, arching an eyebrow, looking from me to Cary.

“Maverick… Cleaners?” I repeated, wondering if I hadn’t said it loud enough the first time.

“Right, totally,” she said with a wink. “Cleaners. Sure. So what can you tell me about the disappearance of Murgatroyd?”

“The… who?” I asked.

“Nothing,” a guy said, hurrying up behind her. He was wearing a suit, and a monocle on a chain. The monocle bounced out when he reached us, and he put it back. “They’re just dropping off the laundry, Diya.”

“Uh-huh,” she said, giving us a look like we were in on the joke. “Sure. Laundry. Clearly they have information, unless”—she drew in a sharp breath—“they’re also suspects!” Her eyes darted from me to Cary. “This changes everything.”

I glanced at Cary. “I don’t understand.”

“We’re doing a murder mystery night,” the guy explained to us as his monocle bounced out again. He’d opened the door a little wider, and I could see that there was a group of people, all dressed up, standing around in little clusters with drinks, and what appeared to be a dead body on the floor, lying in a pool of blood.

“That would explain the corpse,” Cary said, sounding relieved. He handed over the dry cleaning. “Laundry will be ready Monday.”

“Thanks so much.”

“Actually?” The corpse sat up and looked toward us. Someone had done what looked like a very realistic bullet hole in the center of her forehead. “Can you see if they can have it by tomorrow?”

“I’ll ask,” Cary called.

She gave him a cheerful thumbs-up, then lay down again, her eyes going glassy and head lolling to the side.

“Thanks a lot,” monocle guy said. He started to close the door.

“But he has to be part of this,” I heard Diya say as the door closed. “Who delivers laundry at night dressed like a fighter pilot?”

“It’s not an unreasonable question,” I pointed out, and Cary laughed.

The last building included an apartment with a silent DJ, everyone dancing to music only they could hear; a studio in which a man slipped Cary a twenty if he could wreck his husband’s sweater because he hated it and it was causing them to get into fights; and an apartment in which four children were running around and screaming and their parents, who looked like zombies, all the fight taken out of them, listlessly took their clothes from Cary and shuffled back inside. I’d shuddered as that door had closed. Why would you have four children if you lived in Manhattan? Or for that matter, period?

While we walked back to Maverick Cleaners, Cary texted his uncle for an update, but they were still stuck in Pennsylvania, and clearly not coming home anytime soon.



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