… to get Can You Hula like Hilo Hattie? for a mere 99 cents.
Newbie private eyes—JJ, Rey, and Linda—accept their first official assignment: to discover an elderly millionaire’s pretty young wife’s secret. Is it simply a matter of Carmie Howell having an affair, as WP believes? Or is something more sinister afoot?
Perhaps the latter . . . because Carmie is soon found floating off the sapphire shores of Oahu. As JJ, Rey and Linda investigate, more bodies fall. Who’s responsible? Druggies? Gang members? Mob sorts? [Very] nervous nellies?
Latte-colored eyes gleaming, she leaned forward. “In a quest to learn more about Gino Carpella, I decided to go wayback. Carmie’s twin, as we know, is quite the entrepreneur. He made his first million courtesy of his father’s fabulous pizza pies.” She looked like the original Steve McGarrett nabbing a prime suspect: gratified.
“To make it all happen, he needed financing.” Rey smirked, sucking back a quarter of the drink. “As in a major loan.”
“A loan with nointerest,” Linda declared. “But there was a silent partnership agreement.”
“And the partner is?” Rey prompted with a Cheshire grin.
“Martino Lino Mondino,” Linda announced, not waiting for me to hazard a guess.
I looked from Linda to Rey and back again. “The Martino Lino Mondino?”
“Yup,” Rey said, her expression smug. “As in Mondino’s Supreme Sardinos—er, Sardines.”
“And Mondino’s Superlative Select Meats. And Mondino’s Classy Celebrated Cheeses,” Linda continued.
“He’s absorbed a lot of little companies and cottage industries along the East Coast. He’s also known for foodstuff first and triumphant business deals second.”
“He wins over the competition each and every time,” Rey stated.
“He wins because he eradicates them permanently,” I added.
Linda wagged a playful finger. “There is nothing to prove Mondino ‘eradicates them permanently’.”
“Then why have six competitors in the last dozen years gone the way of Jimmy Hoffa?”
Linda’s smile was dry. “Lots of digging and a couple of calls confirmed Gino’s still tight with Mondino. In fact, the fifty-five-year-old who, I understand, bears an uncanny resemblance to Jimmy Stewart in The Glenn Miller Story, is a co-signer on the lease for the Seventh Avenue building that accommodates Gino’s head office. Here’s another ‘in fact’: Mondino, who goes by the name of ‘Teen’ if you’re a friend, also owns a building a half-a-mile away from Gino’s—hey, what a great name for a business. Gino’s and Mondino’s.”
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