Maggie Maguire, P.P.I.

I’m Maggie Maguire, P.P.I. That’s a pretty rare specialty — Paranormal Private Investigator. I take the cases other P.I.s won’t touch with a ten foot pole. Wussies. My clients all come to me at the end of their rope, figuratively speaking, usually. I know what you’re thinking. “Wooooo…I see dead people.” It’s not like that. Well, it is, a little. I do get my share of clients literally at the end of their rope or beyond. They’re really no different from the live clients who want me to follow their cheating spouse or to discover where the ex is hiding the money or to find out who keeps moving the old dresser from one side of the attic to the other in the middle of the night. What makes them different is that they usually hire me to find out how they died or who killed them.

Take my new client’s case…….


On a murky day last month, I was at my desk reading the Gazzette’s police blotter about a woman’s body found in the culvert between Highway 41 and the Honeydew Plaza parking lot. The police suspected foul play, since she was well-dressed to the nines, every hair in place, perfect make-up, and fresh red nails. The same moment I finished reading, Loretta Peterson glided through my office door. No longer looking as spiffy as the Gazzette described, she had the confused look of a lost soul, one of those free spirits with one foot still here while most of the rest of her was in the grave.

“Ms. Maguire? Rick Haviland recommended you as the best investigator in town. He said if anyone could help me, you could.”

“I hope so. And call me Maggie.”

Rick Haviland was the Gazette’s best investigative reporter, and we often worked the same cases, friendly rivals sharing tips. After he passed, we still worked the same cases, but now we’re partners. If Rick sent Loretta here, this won’t be a quick open and shut case.

After some more introductory chit-chat, Loretta filled me in on her problem.

“I woke up this morning and saw my body on a metal table. A guy in a bloody white coat was cutting me up, piling my innards onto a tray next to me. I was so shocked I would have had a heart attack and died on the spot, if that was still possible. The coroner told his assistant to report the official cause of death as ‘unknown.’ The thing is, it was unknown to me, too. I had no idea how I got there. Last thing I remember was enjoying a mani/pedi at Rosie’s World of Beauty. I need you to find out what happened between Rosie’s and the morgue.”

Turned out, Loretta couldn’t remember anything that might have happened before Rosie’s either. Her wide-eyed look of distressed confusion started to slip toward eye-watering hysterical confusion. I reassured her that temporary amnesia was common for people in her situation.

“Sometimes, it helps to remember people important to your life. People you love, friends, even enemies that you hate. Do you remember anyone?”

“Well, my husband, Ernie Peterson, and sister, Jolene D’Alessio. My best friend, Cindy Doolittle. There’s another man, but I don’t know who he is. I think his name might be Gunner, but I have no idea whether that’s his first, last, or nickname.”

“That’s OK. You’ve given me enough to start with.”

As I stood up, she burst into tears.

“Where should I go while you investigate? I just can’t go back to the morgue, and, even if I could remember where my house is, I don’t think I could stand to be there. And I can’t be seen looking the way I do now…!”

Her words trailed off into a long wail, punctuated by gulps. THAT concerned me: People wouldn’t be able to see her, but they might hear the wailing. It took a minute or two, but I finally calmed her down by telling her she could stay in my office and maybe nap on my couch. I also explained that, if she didn’t make a sound, she could probably go out for a little fresh air, since no one could see her. As soon as I said that, her face relaxed. I left her stretched out on the couch, getting a little shut-eye, as I headed out to find out more about Loretta Peterson’s life and death.

Song Lyric Sunday — “Easter” by Marillion

Seasons/Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall is today’s theme for Song Lyric Sunday hosted by Jim Adams. I was already debating between two seasonal songs when I discovered “Easter” by Marillion, a neo-progressive rock band formed in Britain in 1979. “Easter” lyricist Steve Hogarth joined as lead singer in late 1988 when their original lead singer left after their fourth studio album.

According to Hogarth, “Easter” was “essentially written” prior to his joining Marillion. The band’s website credits lyrics to Hogarth and music to all five members (Hogarth, Ian Francesco Mosley, Mark Colbert Kelly, Peter John Trewavas, and Steven Thomas Rothery). W.B. Yeats’ poem “Easter 1916” inspired the lyrics, which Hogarth has characterized as an apolitical message of hope for the Irish people. First released on Marillion’s 1989 album “Season’s End,” “Easter” was released as a single in 1990 and peaked at 34 on the UK Chart.

As has become my usual custom, I’m featuring two videos. The first video is the original version of “Easter”  the second, is a fantastic live version from 2011.


A ghost of a mist was on the field
The grey and the green together
The noise of a distant farm machine
Out of the first light came

A tattered necklace of hedge and trees
On the southern side of the hill
Betrays where the border runs between
Where Mary Dunoon’s boy fell

Easter here again, a time for the blind to see
Easter, surely now can all of your hearts be free

Out of the port of Liverpool
Bound for the North of Ireland
The wash of the spray and horsetail waves
The roll of the sea below

And Easter here again, a time for the blind to see
Easter, surely now can all of your hearts be free

What will you do?
Make a stone of your heart?
Will you set things right?
When you tear them apart?
Will you sleep at night?
With the plough and the stars alight?

What will you do?
With the wire and the gun?
That’ll set things right
When it’s said and done?
Will you sleep at night?
Is there so much love to hide?

Forgive, Forget
Sing “Never again.”








Song Lyric Sunday – “Fields of Ice”

“Fields of Ice” by The Ard Ri Band is, in my opinion, a perfect fit for this week’s theme of Freeze/Cold/Ice (thanks, Jim Adams), having all three words in the lyrics. Speaking of lyrics, this week I won’t be able to give you a link because they come from the writer, Ard Ri’s Philip James Wallace (courtesy of mutual friend, Kimberly Coyle Piper.)

Hailing from Derry, Northern Ireland, the band formed in 2007 as a three person acoustic/folk group, featuring Jonny Nutt (guitar and vocals), Philip Wallace (guitar and vocals), and Kevin Quigley (mandolin). All three were accomplished, well-known musicians, playing with other bands in the burgeoning Northern Ireland music scene when they joined forces. Playing primarily at bars and festivals, their sound evolved over the years with personnel changes and with Nutt and Wallace adding other instruments to their repertoires: bass and harmonica/percussion/drums/12-string/bass, respectively.

Since 2012 when they released “Fields of Ice” on their eponymous debut album, the line-up has remained relatively stable, with originals Nutt and Wallace, Ruairi O’Doherty on bass, Conor McAuley on drums, Marty Doherty on vocals and guitar, and with Conor O’Kane replacing Quigley on mandolin/mandola/banjo. Nowadays, this super-group occasionally welcomes guest appearances by other legendary local musicians–such as, Paddy Nash, Junior Johnson, and Keith Harkin.

The audio-only first clip is the studio version of “Fields of Ice” sung by songwriter Philip Wallace. The video was filmed at their album-release party featuring vocalist Marty Doherty.

Fields of Ice

I see baby lambs in the meadows over there
Pretty ladies smiling breeze blowing through their hair
Everybody’s lazing and doing their thing
The warm sunshine is extremely calming
The world is an ever-changing place
Of beautiful creatures all full of grace
But if we don’t help Mother Nature now
Summer will be like winter in Moscow

Em’ fields of ice
They’re not so nice
In the morning
I hear you calling
At the break of dawn
There’s something wrong
…..I’m freezing!

It was the coldest winter that I ever did see
I think nearly dropped to minus 30 degree
Had to crawl on my knees to the top my street
The whole damn thing was like a giant ice rink
Ice bergs floating down my local river
The more I think about it, I quiver and I shiver
Gonna need to buy a big woolly warm coat
Made from mammoth fur and the toughest mountain goat

Em’ fields of ice
They’re not so nice
In the morning
I hear you calling
At the break of dawn
There’s something wrong
…..I’m freezing!

Hailstones falling in the middle of July
I sometimes I wonder and I ask myself why
The four seasons are all rolling into one
And the smoke is black from the barrel of the gun
Winter is summer and springtime too
Not sure about autumn I don’t have a clue
What’s coming next will be a big surprise
Hold on tight my friends we’re all going for a ride
Em’ fields of ice
They’re not so nice
In the morning
I hear you calling
At the break of dawn
There’s something wrong
…..I’m freezing!
Hey ho where did the sun go?
Please come back with your sunny warm glow




Song Lyric Sunday – “River of Fire”

Burn/Fire/Flame is another expansive Song Lyric Sunday prompt from Jim Adams. Narrowing the topic to “fire,” I’ve chosen “River of Fire,” co-written by Stan Meissner and Glen Burtnik (nee Glenn Burtnick). Each released the song separately on solo albums, Meissner on his 1992 album, “Undertow,” and Burtnik on 1996’s “Retrospectacle.”

Canadian Meissner, despite his 30 year career as a singer-songwriter, is not well-known in the United States. He has released two other solo albums and multiple singles which have done well on Canadian music charts.  His songs have been recorded by many singers, such as, Celene Dion, B.J. Thomas, and Eric Clapton.

Glen Burtnik’s creative output is diverse and prolific. He has portrayed Paul McCartney in the Beatles tribute show “Beatlemania;” has performed in two separate stints as a member of the rock band Styx; has released eight solo albums; has written chart-topping hits for artists such as Patti Smyth, Don Henley, Cheap Trick, and Randy Travis. As if he is not busy enough, Burtnik has, for over 20 years, produced and hosted the annual charity show “Xmas Xtravaganza.”

One of the many artists who has recorded a Meissner and/or Burtnik song is Benjamin Orr, who recorded “River of Fire” in 1993 as the title song of a not-yet-released second solo album. Orr’s first verse differs from the original, but, as Burtnik put it: “I didn’t care, I was just thrilled that Ben Orr was singing one of my songs!” Since it was okay with Burtnik, I’m posting the lyrics that Orr sang.

(Note: Whenever possible, I prefer live vids, regardless of picture quality, as long as the audio passes muster. The lyric link below takes you to sweetpurplejune’s page that has a video using the studio recording.)



River of Fire

My life you hold in your heart
I look for the light, I wait in the dark
Burning emotions, I’m drawn to the flame
Chasing the shadows that call out your name

Searching for some kind of escape
I find my way right here to this place
‘Cause the night has no end
All of my life my dreams run wild, now I stand alone in this river of fire
Days of despair and nights of desire, I wait for you in this river of fire

I still remember the look in your eyes
I wish I knew then that it was goodbye
I try to fight it but I know I can’t win
Sometimes your dreams just get lost in the wind

Something beyond all time and space
Leads me right back here to this space
At the edge of this world
All of my life my dreams run wild, now I stand alone in this river of fire
Days of despair and nights of desire, I wait for you in this river of fire

Burn for you… burn for you… burn for you… burn for you…

All of my life my dreams run wild, now I stand alone in this river of fire
Days of despair and nights of desire, I wait for you in this river of fire.