“Private Chick” by Julie Smith from Men of the Mean Streets (Bold Strokes Books, 2011). Edited by Greg Herren and J. M. Redmann.

Diva Delish is a bartender/private investigator working out of a bar in the Marigny called the Palace. It’s the perfect steady gig for a private eye, isn’t it? Even so, sometimes clients need a little prodding, so Miss Diva hands out business cards to inform the locals of her sleuthing side business. That’s how Wendy the gutter punk happens in, wanting Diva Delish to locate her missing boyfriend Geo.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this story at first, but it turned out to be one of my favorites of the collection. It’s unconventional, the voice is unique, and there was a twist to the whole thing that I really loved. I wouldn’t mind reading more cases featuring the Mistress of Disguise and Detection and her alter ego Don Devereaux. I wouldn’t mind it one bit.