Neil Lipman, private eye

Page 49… in a fiction series.

Before Miranda finished her interview with Emerson Tiller, Neil Lipman, was on his way to Traverse City.  The lunch crowd at Tommy’s Gotcha was made up mostly of tradesmen, tourists, and a few drunks getting a jump on the weekend.  He would fit right in.

There would be plenty of chatter and background noise.  Attorney Joe Ramano always met with Neil at the local bar and grill because of Neil’s heightened sense of clarity when he had a bucket of  wings and a Bud Lite in front of him.  He was at his best when his belly was fat and happy.

Enjoying the midday sun, Lipman headed south out of Charlevoix and turned up the radio in his old Ford F-150.  He tapped his nicotine stained fingers on the steering wheel, belting out a favorite tune.  (“Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl, with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there…”)  A cigarette dangled from the corner of his mouth. 

Ramano was Lipman’s brother-in-law.  And he was a stickler for being on time.  “Time is money,” he used to roar, but Neil didn’t think it was healthy to be so uptight.  (“…she would merengue, and do the cha-cha…”)  He was already running ten minutes behind, and would continue at his leisure. 

“When Joe sees what I’ve got on Miranda,” Lipman sneered, “he’ll be buying me drinks all day long.”

It’s not that he didn’t like Miranda per se, but he was being paid to keep an eye on her for a very important client.  She could stand to be a little nicer to him, especially after he shoveled her out after the storm.   

Ramano got a taste of Miranda’s spirited ways when she swore it was Neil who robbed her boat over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Ramano was Lipman’s alibi, but Joe didn’t like being involved– it was unprofessional.  Even though Miranda could be feisty at times, Neil needed to learn how to deal with her.  He needed to be more discreet.

He saw her out on the dock during the blizzard and wondered how she could survive.  But she did.  And she was cute enough when she put on some make-up and dressed like a girl.  Whoever was paying to have her watched must be very interested.  It was costing him alot of money for Lipman to stand out there smoking by the lady’s room.

Neil kept a log of her daily activities, documenting who was coming and going.  In the parking lot he ran their plates and did background checks on everyone who passed through the security gate.  Those were the client’s orders.  Neil took a long drag on his cigarette, flicked the ashes out the top of his window.  He glanced at the notebook on the seat beside him.  Ramano’s client would be getting his money’s worth today.

To be continued…

*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.



© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.

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13 Responses to Neil Lipman, private eye

  1. Ann says:


    Thank you, Linda Dear

    Lost my comments so here we go again :-)

    You are wonderfully talented. Your writing is beautifully captivating. Thanks for sharing your talent with us.

    (putting on my detective hat)
    If he didn’t rob the boat, odds are, he knows who did it… Will that help or hinder Miranda’s upward move? Oh boy … I don’t do well at this detective thing. :-) lol. I will leave that to the pros.

    Going back to chewing my nails and tapping my feet as I squirm at the edge of my seat. :-)


    • Linda says:

      Not sure if you live in a small town, Ann… but during that winter everyone was somehow connected. Being an outsider, Miranda didn’t have a clue. And you’re very good at the detective thing. : )

      Thanks for the very generous compliments, too…

  2. Jan says:

    Who is paying to have her watched? Is it Harry?
    Why did he dig her car out of the snow?
    Did Miranda get hired?
    Answers, please!!!

    • Linda says:

      It could be Harry, Miranda would like that. But it’s not him.

      Lipman dug her out because he’s supposed to make sure she’s safe out there on the dock. And he doesn’t want to get in trouble.

      Miranda is still holding her breath about the interview. Unfortunately, while Lipman and Ramano are having a nice lunch, Miranda is scheduling one final interview with Tiller.

      And thanks for asking! : )

  3. Theresa says:

    This is so intriguing! I am stumped. I can’t wait to read what happens next. :)

    • Linda says:

      Funny thing is, Miranda was stumped all winter long. All this was going on around her while she lived in her own snowy world. Landing a job was all that mattered, and after yet another interview, it looks like things might go her way. : )

  4. Larry Who says:

    A little cloak and dagger adds to the tension.

    Okay, I’m ready. Let’s turn the page.

  5. Debbie says:

    Oh , so that’s what he was up to! I don’t like it that Miranda didn’t know any of this was going on . . .sneaky. Low down. Even if he did shovel a path! :) Loving this story told in just the right size pieces! Linda, this can’t be easy, but you sure make it look that way! Wonderful , wonderful job!
    God bless you as you write and teach and lead us to Him!
    love and prayers!

    • Linda says:

      Thanks Debbie, and thanks for the compliments. : )

      Over time, Miranda had a long history of being followed, on and off by Harry, and now with this mysterious client. Not that she ever did anything wrong…

      This is strange, but I never formed an opinion about any of these events until I started writing it down… no discernment between right and wrong, and no accountability. Imagine that. For that alone it’s been a great project!

      P.S. When I pray for me throughout the day, I pray for you, too. Hope it helps. : )

      • Debbie says:

        You are most precious, sister-friend-beautiful lady. Oh boy does it help! I often feel carried along and I know it is Jesus through someones prayers. I think and pray for you too, and don’t know how you manage. love and hugs tonight!

  6. Linda, I guessed it was Harry having her watched, too, but I guess not! Tiller perhaps? Maybe Brian? No, can’t be Brian. Hmmmm. Guess I’ll just have to keep reading! (That is the sign of a great story, you know, when the reader is compelled to keep reading to answer the cliff-hanger questions.) Peace, Linda

    • Linda says:

      Those are the stories I like to read too! ; )

      I got the idea from reading everyone’s comments over time, that continuity is a problem when writing a web-log as a book. Based on that, I’m printing off the entire thing, putting it in a notebook, and looking at where the problems are. This will be a good learning experience for me, and also a way to tighten things up in future pages. I appreciate your feedback… thanks. : )

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