| Story Review
Mystery definitely fits this story, but I think it fits under suspense as well. It has a bit of mystery, suspense and crime! I love that smattering of all the elements. This is an excellent genre for many contests.
Your Setting & Theme
What I found really interesting (and unusual), is that your story could be located in any town, any state, or country for that matter. This is a real advantage, making the story appeal to people from a variety of places. Basically, everyone can relate to the place.
In my humble opinion, your theme has to be "Don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong!" or perhaps, "Don't listen in on other people's phone calls," as evidenced by the last line of your story. LOL! Very well done!
The plot was well constructed. I mean, really very well constructed. The first thing was understanding exactly the type of person Edgar is, and you showed the reader who he was in one paragraph. Nice. Also as a reader, I not only felt as though I was with Edgar during his experiment as "Mike Hammer" (lol), but I actually felt *his* curiosity. And I too wanted to know about that blond!
By the way, not having the blond come down the stairs in the art gallery was a good choice. For a moment, I thought you were going to have her show up, but it made it much more suspenseful not seeing her at that time, not just for Edgar's sake. ;)
The hook I believe was when he saw the article about Cameron's untimely death in the newspaper, of course. This wasn't as surprising when it presented itself, (in the newspaper), but it works well.
Your Characters & Dialogue
The character of Edgar is clear and realistic. His nosy personality was displayed over and over, and that was also well done, because it worked well as far as making him a believable character in the story.
Like Edgar, I found Patricia Sanders personality, unexpected. I mean, I expected her to be the same type of woman filled with empathy, (as she "seemed" to have been) in the restaurant with Veronica. The minute she was not sympathetic (when speaking with Edgar), we knew something was "up." This character was also very interesting. She managed to come off like the perfect friend...at first.
And Veronica, well she was the typical broken hearted, but crazy, "other woman." I found her to be another excellent character, coming off as the innocent, injured party, without throwing suspicion on to herself, until much later.
Good dialogue. Nothing out of the ordinary here. However, even though it did not detract from the story at all, a bit of difference in their dialogue probably could make the characters even stronger. The strength of the characters here was primarily from the story, rather than their character attributes.
The Overall Feeling of The Story
This would have to be a feeling of curiosity and suspense. I was waiting for Edgar to get so far over his head he wouldn't be able to stay above water...and you put him in that exact position by the last paragraph! Touche!
Your Grammar & Punctuation
Grammar and punctuation looked right on throughout the entire piece.
The Most Memorable Part
Edgar seeing the barrel of the gun pointed at him at the hands of a crazy woman, was the most memorable part. He was shocked and frightened, and that made the most tense moment in the story.
The Least Memorable Part
The narrative about Edgar's first wife leaving him (perhaps because of the flash light purchase).
What Made Me: Laugh
And I know it *wasn't* funny, but something about this line:
"Then she went to Spain for a long vacation.
Edgar went to the morgue. Then to the cemetery, forever."
...made me laugh. Poor Edgar, I know. But it struck me funny. I just kept hearing Patricia's comment in my head, "nosy little bastard."
It was an excellent finish!
Food For Thought (Suggestions)
Suggestions? Hmm.... How about, write another one in this style!
Thank you for sharing your story!
Remember...all it takes is one word after another!
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"Miraculous - Chapter One" "Wishes Do Come True"