Gina and Boris (The Harley)

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Every private eye needs a cool ride to get them around. In THE ANTIQUITIES HUNTER, Gina Miyoko’s cool ride is Boris, the Harley. Boris is a Cherry Red, 1983 Super Glide II.

Pretty, huh? Boris has been known to go through carburetors, so Gina keeps a spare on hand at all times and picks up refurbished ones whenever the opportunity arises.

She talks to Boris on occasion and has been known to speculate that if a person’s home has domovoi (which is a Russian word for the spirit of a house), perhaps vehicles have some sort of similar spirit—a Harleyvoi, or maybe a motovoi.

If you asked her point blank she’d tell you that was ridiculous, of course. ”I’m a pragmatist,” she’d say. “It’s Mom who believes all those old wives’ tales from the Motherland.”

Gina’s mom, Nadia, is a professor of folklore and religious history in the cultural anthropology department at San Francisco State University. I’ll write more about Nadia in the future, but suffice it to say, she also sees herself as a pragmatist … which she feels is ample explanation for why she occasionally blesses Boris with the contents of a bottle of Holy Water that she keeps in her refrigerator, carefully labeled, ”Holy Water: Do Not Drink.”

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