Kathleen Kaska
11 min readSep 14, 2023


Chapter Three

“My name’s Sydney Lockhart. Remember that in case whoever killed the man in my bathtub at the Arlington Hotel comes after me.”

Murder at the Arlington: A Sydney Lockhart Mystery

Murder at the Arlington

Before I could pick up the phone and report my discovery, someone pounded on my door. The shrieking maid must have found Mr. Hairy Legs before she slammed into me when I stepped off the elevator because when I opened the door, the house detective pushed past me and rushed into the bathroom.

“Don’t touch anything,” he shouted. “The cops are on their way.”

A tall man with a respectable paunch and glistening black hair raced in behind the house detective. Lingering over him like a putrid fog was the lime scent of cheap hair tonic.

“Miss Lockhart, please come out here. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. Who are you?”

“Hamston Charles, hotel manager.”

Probably thinking I was one of those weak females who swooned at the sight of blood, he grabbed me by my elbow and dragged me into the hall. I jerked free and stepped back inside. “I guess this means I can’t stay in this room,” I said.

“Miss Roberts, my secretary, is arranging another room for you right now. Same view, just one floor below. Listen, I must insist you — ”

He sidled in front of me as my elbow made contact with his solar plexus, a little harder than I had intended.

“ — come out into the hall,” he gasped. “I’ll have the bellboy bring your things. Your room-service order is being delivered there right now.”

If Mr. Charles had ideas about whisking me away before I learned anything about the murder, he had another thing coming. Besides, it was my chance to write a real story, one that could prove my worth as a reporter. I had no intention of writing fluff the rest of my career.

The man in my bathtub had obviously died from loss of blood — his jugular was slit from his right ear down to his throat.



Kathleen Kaska

Author of the Sydney Lockhart mysteries and the Kate Caraway mysteries. I blog about, “Growing Up Catholic in a Small Texas Town.”