Hey-ho, it’s Rey, back for the fourth day of the Coco’s Nuts promotion. Silly Cousin Jilly–I didn’t drink that many Mai-Tais. Anyway, Coco’s avail for $0.99 for yet one more day (not counting tomorrow ‘course). Yay!
The Triple Threat Investigation Agency has to prove socialite-turned-trucker Buddy Feuer didn’t shoot her boss, infamous entrepreneur Jimmy Picolo or her best friend, Eb Stretta. Who cares what the police believe or the evidence suggests? We know Buddy’s been set up and as we start looking for the killer, we find a few people who could fit the bill.
As we attempt to solve this challenging case, we step into the world of gambling and debt collectors. Annia, Picolo’s daughter, owes a lot of money in Vegas and on Oahu. Did she kill her father to obtain a sizeable inheritance so she could pay off these bone-breaking bozos? Jimmy Junior, Picolo’s son, might have wanted to take over his father’s multiple and prosperous businesses before the old guy passed naturally. There’s kooky Coco Peterson, a Picolo nutbar, er, employee who’s been missing since the murders took place.
Here’s an excerpt:
“You’re positive he left sometime last Friday?” I asked Jem Stretta over the phone. Like Buddy, he lived in Lahaina, but in the Kelawea Mauka neighborhood near his late younger brother, Eb.
“No. Like I told the cops, Eb called me the previous Thursday evening telling me he had a mission on Oahu and he’d be leaving the following evening. Pay was better’n good, he said. He was pretty excited, even mentioned champagne and a trip to Kona on Big Island, which meant it had to pay excellently well. Then he hurried off to do stuff.” Jem’s exhalation sounded like the whistle of an old steam locomotive. “I phoned three times and texted twice between fix-it jobs because I wanted him to get some stuff, but he never answered. I checked with Andy, his coffee pal, and he hadn’t heard from the Ebster in a few days.”
According to Buddy, the fellow trucker had always been extremely responsible and dependable, so his not contacting his brother had been very peculiar.
Jem, short for Jeremiah, lived two streets over from Eb, in an identical single-family, two-bedroom dwelling. According to Buddy, both long narrow houses were trimmed in shades of raven black and tree-toad brown, and had identical four-by-six windows with gun-metal-gray blinds, the same fencing and similarly decorated lanais, with two avocado trees smack-dab center on miniscule lawns. They weren’t twins, although from Buddy’s descriptions, you might have thought so. Besides identical houses, both sported spiky bleached hair, shell surfer necklaces, and lots of polyester. The bothers also had things for greasy food and easy women. Eb was the baby in the family, five years Jem’s junior and fifteen years Hutch’s.
Hutch, short for Hutchkins (their mother’s maiden name), had been the eldest brother. He had died crossing a boulevard while visiting an ex-wife in Mississippi last year — hit, decked, and crushed by a two-ton turkey. The heavyset gobbler had been part of a small-town Thanksgiving Day parade, the thirty-fourth in its history, and possibly the last. A traumatic experience it had been — for the stupefied young driver beneath the large bird, the stunned crowd, and certainly Hutch, who prior to staggering across the path of the wattle-headed bird had indulged in a liquefied version of same (i.e. Wild Turkey).
“Will you check the garage again for Buddy’s gun?” As Buddy had told Ald, she’d left the Glock with Eb when she’d headed to Oahu.
“I said I would.” He belched. The Stretta brothers weren’t known for good manners, but they seemed to be decent souls from what Buddy had claimed. “But if the cops didn’t find her gun, I don’t see as I’ll have better luck. Where’s best to get you?”
I gave the numbers for the agency and my cell.
“Are they still thinking she did it?” His laughter reminded me of a badger: low-pitched, and rumbling.
“She’s at the top of the list. In both cases, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Additionally, her card was in your brother’s wallet, she happens to know both men, and she owns a 10-mm, the murderer’s weapon of choice.” I watched two honeycreepers soar past the lanai window like small colorful comets. “She’s also the right height and left-handed.”
His snort sounded like a puppy’s sneeze. “Maybe they should put me on the list, too. I knew them both, I’m left-handed, and my name and number were in Eb’s wallet.”
“Let me know if you find or hear anything.” I hung up and saw Rey standing by the kitchen counter, perturbation lining that pretty face. “Upset? Or constipated?”
Hopefully, I’ve peaked interest.
Back tomorrow, the last day of the promo. Aloha Sunday!