It’s JJ on the third day of the Coco’s Nuts promotion, taking over for Rey, who attended a social-distancing-respected luau last night and ended up drinking too many Mai-Tais. Somehow, she ended up under the bed—wedged between the 4” between the floor and box spring. She’s got an icepack plunked on her head.
Coco’s available for $0.99, not free, but close; what glee (yes well, it was a long night and the brain is a tad tired).
Coco’s Nuts is our second Triple Threat Investigation Agency case. Today, through June 15th, it’s available for $0.99. The three of us must prove socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer did not shoot her boss, infamous entrepreneur Jimmy Picolo. Nor did she kill her best friend, Eb Stretta. Despite what the police believe, and the evidence suggests, we’re convinced that Buddy’s been set up. As we seek clues and answers, we encounter a number of people who could conceivably killed both men.
Several persons hated Picolo, so finding the one who pulled the trigger is challenging. As we try to find the culprit, we find ourselves in the dodgy world of gambling and debt collectors (who don’t mind breaking bones, if necessary). Annia, Picolo’s daughter, owes a lot of money in Vegas and on Oahu, which may have inspired her to her to kill her father to obtain a sizeable inheritance. Jimmy Junior, Picolo’s son, could have decided to take over his father’s multiple businesses before the old man passed of old age. There’s also nutty Coco Peterson, a Picolo employee who’s been missing since the murders took place. He’s a driver for Picolo and the odd little guy appears to play a principal piece in this challenging puzzle.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Of course Buddy Feuer didn’t do it. Who told you she did?” I demanded, already knowing who had tattled to Ricardo Mako Picolo. It could only have been one person: Kent “The Source” Winche.
“Winche,” the health-food freak confirmed, munching noisily, probably a mung-bean, pea-sprout muffin, his favorite according to an article I’d read earlier. “Actually, he said she was a person of interest . . . or did he say suspect? Whatever. He doesn’t believe she did it.”
I paced my kitchen like a tin duck target at a fair ground concession booth. Every time I passed the counter, I poked a trio of bananas perched in a white wicker basket.
It was hard to say why Jimmy Picolo’s slick (as in oil-spill, slippery-slimy) brother proved annoying. Maybe it was the self-satisfied, perpetually tanned face I’d viewed in photos. He sported a nose too perfect to have been born with. Evidently, he and his niece shared the same cosmetic surgeon. He was as handsome as his brother, but more a combination of Bobby Darren of T.J. Hooker fame and Ryo Ishibashi as Detective Toshihuru Kuroda in Suicide Club. Asian-cast root-beer brown eyes seemed to challenge; they, like the thin lips pulled into a smug smile, expressed a sense of superiority. As it had in interviews, the man’s mega ego blazed like a Times Square billboard.
“Thank heavens for the pretty boy’s support,” I responded wryly.
“He’s a big fan of Buddy’s.” Munch, munch. Crunch, crunch. Must be macadamias in that muffin, too. “Winche’ll give his eye teeth — letteralmente — to reinforce that she didn’t do it. He claims she could never kill anyone in a million years. She’s too cute.”
“He’s got a real thing for her. Anyway, with you helping, she shouldn’t worry herself none.” I could hear the simper. “I heard you girls did a solid job working the Howell case.”
“Really?” I was nonplussed.
“When I got your message, I had you checked out. I do that with everyone whose call I’m thinking of returning.”
When I didn’t respond, he chuckled and slurped. Was he also indulging in one of his famous wheatgrass-beetroot smoothies? “I got a proposition. You interested?”
“If it will clear our client’s name, of course,” I responded casually. Poke, poke. The bananas were beginning to look as if they’d encountered a frenzied chimp.
“Here’s what we’re going to do.”
“We’re going to find the prick that killed my brother. The why would be a bonus, but the who is the important answer.”
I dropped onto counter stool and rested my chin on the granite counter. “What’s in it for you, Mr. Picolo?” Poke, poke. Oh-oh. The bananas lay on the polished hardwood floor like washed-up marine creatures. Button ambled over, pawed them, sniffed, and flopped onto the floor with a loud sigh.
“Like I said, knowing who killed my brother. The other guy who got rubbed out I could care less about . . . but his family would like to know, I’m sure. Anyway, I’ll add some incentives.”
“Incentives?” I asked, puzzled.
Ricardo’s laughter was reminiscent of microwaved popcorn: staccato, abrupt. Heh-heh. Heh-heh-heh. “Yeah, incentives. First one: twenty-five K.”
Nice incentive. “Second?”
“Coco Peterson’s tattoo and jewelry. It wouldn’t do for the cops to find them, would it?”
If I’ve encouraged some interest, please check out Coco’s Nuts out:
My cousin’s back tomorrow, sans icepack.
NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.