Chapter 1 – On the bright side of life –

Chapter 1 – On the bright side of life –

You still remember Bella and Lem? They are the lovely, young, beautiful, 50 and fabulous ladies who love buying both shoes and handbags. But upon today, they are embroiled in a murder investigation. How exciting, Bella and Lem biting at the heels of a murderer! May it be not their last case!

It’s squeaking. She sighs. Bella turns from left to right and enjoys. Above her the cherry tree with its blossoms. It smells so good. That eternal blue sky, that scent, this view. In Japan, Hanami means looking at flowers. Bella can sit in the garden for hours without any problems looking at flower-growing. And you have to deserve that peace first. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.

Then suddenly overcomes the boredom and she looks at her mobile. Lem still had not contacted. There is no hurry. But at least lunch should be cooked now. Maltreated, she rises and goes to the house. Asparagus with strawberries. The season had just started again. You do not treat yourself otherwise. A look in the mirror. The hairstyle looks as usual uncombed, but the red lipstick makes so pretty. Anyway, for the kitchen it should be enough.

She grumbles. Lem was so unreliable sometimes. The last email sounded so exciting. Bella was very eager to understand the background, but now it was rumbling more clearly in the stomach. Then first the asparagus water and taking the paring knife. This was undoubtedly the less amusing part of the asparagus season.

On the radio:

Bella waves her hips to the rhythm. Some salt and sugar and butter and vinegar and finally: the mobile rings. Rotterdam answers. As always at the beginning of their conversation, both laugh. How are you? Oh, all right. And you? They talk about work, children, dogs, the latest bags and shoes are discussed and casually mentioned the husbands. About some women they say some unkind words and of course they are complaining about the age. Every year spring reveals new wrinkles. Nevertheless, Lem is in an incredibly good mood and Bella turns over with the latest findings on the issue:

Why do the other women of our age do not love fashion anymore?

That’s the way of a desultory conservation, but then Bella reminds Lem of her email:


Murder in the ArtEZ in Arnheim.




Marcel Wanders


were the famous graduates of this art college. By the way. What happened? Since Gianni Versace was shot dead in front of his home in Miami, there have been no other spectacular murders on the fashion scene. Miami Beach, City of Arts with endless sandy beaches and of course the handsome Don Johnson as „Sonny“ Crockett and his alligator from the series Miami Vice. But by now they quite old. Bella did not think much about crocodile handbags. Although the ages could not mind them. Lem interrupts Bella in her thoughts and tells delighted the interesting case: An incredibly talented young designer had died under mysterious circumstances. He was found wrapped in a fabric made from recycled plastic waste. He was suffocated. Suicide was ruled out. A fabulous fashion career was predicted to him. Call from Dolce & Gabbana, was rumored. A felony. Bella immediately spins everything off: murder from treachery or other low motives. Or just manslaughter? That was always so difficult to distinguish for the laywoman. It was definitely exciting. Lem told about the „De Telegraph“, a Dutch gossip magazine, that there are questions in all directions. But there was no real evidence at the moment. Maybe Lem was right. Mindful, Bella pours the salt into the spaghetti water. Maybe the plastic cover was an indication of the motive. Maybe on an environmental scandal. The fashion industry was considered to be the second largest polluter in the world, only topped by the oil industry, Bella had recently read in Vogue. Lem should go to Arnhem and look around the designer school!