It’s snowing outside and the Algonquin Hotel is locked up tighter than a nun’s knees. Not because of the snow, but because there’s a quarantine—a smallpox scare. But that’s not the only scare—there’s also the dead body of a Broadway starlet lying in a bathtub full of champagne in Douglas Fairbanks’ penthouse. (It’s nothing to do with smallpox. Someone killed her, but the bathroom door was locked from the inside!)
And that’s not all. The murderer is somewhere locked in the hotel with us. And that nattering ninny Alexander Woollcott is running around playing detective and stirring up trouble—and getting under Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s skin. I won’t even try to explain what that legendary author is doing here. It’s almost too much for me. I need a drink! Oh, did I mention that it’s New Year’s Eve?
But my real problem is my poor little Boston terrier, Woodrow Wilson. What do you do with a dog during a quarantine? I mean, we have enough food and water, so that’s not a problem. The tricky question is, where can he do his “business”? For such a small dog, this is a big problem. Let me tell you, this tiny creature has a lot of business to take care of! He’s quite the little industrialist. His output puts Rockefeller to shame, if you catch my drift.
Hmm, drift…As in snowdrift… If only I could take him outside to piddle in a snowdrift. But the front door is locked and sealed. Now, wait a minute, there’s the roof! Could I really take him up to the roof? Twelve stories above street level in a blizzard? Normally, I wouldn’t be caught dead up there. But maybe tonight…I will?
What do you think I should do?
Dorothy Parker and Woodrow Wilson (the dog, not the President) most recently appear in , the third book of the Agatha-nominated Algonquin Round Table Mysteries. Mrs. Parker and Woodrow Wilson also appear in the short story HAIR OF THE DOG, available for a measly 99 cents! Follow on Facebook and Twitter.