Short & Sweet Today

Hey, it’s Rey!  Hope you’re havin’ a fabulous Saturday.  The three of us are, he-he.

We were fooling around with the new FB pic—to include our latest Triple Threat Investigation Agency case, HA-HA-HA-HA.

Another drum roll, pul-leeze ……..

21-210856_drum-png-free-download-drum-roll-image-with

And another ta-da!

20161001_103547aaaaa

Whadya think?  Nice, huh, huh, huh?

Catchya later!

Taaa-Daaaaaaaaa!!

Hey, it’s Rey!  And, for once, I don’t have much to say . . .

. . . except that . . .

The Boss is excited—and the three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency (JJ, Linda and l’il lovely me) are stoked—the cover of HA-HA-HA-HA, our most recent [super exciting] case is ready!  Can you spell w-o-o-h-o-o? 

The Boss, at first glance, thought it was a bit too green.  Linda wondered if maybe the rose should have been blacker and JJ was thinking a roulette might have worked, too.  Me, I’d have liked it to have a bit more pop but, you know, it’s pretty consistent with the others, so . . . drum roll puh-leeze . . .

drumroll

. . . taaa-daaaaaaaaa!

HHHH1a (1)

HA-HA-HA-HA-ing . . .

A little laughter and a little/quick update.

I signed the Next Chapter contract re HA-HA-HA-HA (the fifth book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series), so now it’s a matter of waiting for it to receive a cover and be put on Amazon, etc. (Hopefully, those last few pages of research stuck at the end of the manuscript I submitted, mentioned in a recent post, will not be there, LOL.)

A little more laughter.  I’ll really have to focus on marketing.  Which means some serious reviewing of promotion principles.  And applying.

Wish me luck (coz, as Rey might say, I sure as bleep’ll need it).  <He-he>

Do as I Say . . . Not as I Do . . . Ple-ease (!)

A quick post today.  As you may know if you read my FB posts, I finally submitted HA-HA-HA-HA (the fifth book in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series) to Next Chapter. 

Was I proud?  Happy?  Relieved?  As Rey might say, you betcha!

Lo and behold, I went to cut and paste the epilogue of the next (sixth) book into a new Word document and what did I find?!  That I’d left 10 pages of research notes and the like at the end.  Groannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

<bleep>  I could have sworn I’d deleted those.  Where the <bleep, bleep> did those suckers come from!?  Great editor/proofer, huh?  I couldn’t catch a major faux pas in my own book.  I’m not sure whether to laugh hysterically or weep profusely. 

I’m slapping myself mentally for having been so dim-witted.  Like really? 

And that leads me to the message of this post.  Proof and edit before you submit something—again and again.  It will save in the embarrassment department, unless you’re thick-skinned, of course, and could care less.  I, however, do care . . . very much.

Be as professional as you can be, and take pride in that professionalism.  Do as I say, not as I do.  Groannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

HA-HA-HA-HAing

The Boss is enduring another meltdown, so you have Linda today.  I’m going to keep it quick and light, and let you know that our fourth case (fifth book)—HA-HA-HA-HA—is almost completed. 

We’re so happy, we’re ha-ha-ha-haing.  How can we not be pleased?  It’s been a long, complicated case that fell into our lap courtesy of a nutbar serial killer.

Here’s an excerpt to [hopefully] whet your whistle (unlike the beer that Rey is sucking back at this moment) . . .

The two detectives had arrived fifteen minutes after we’d called Ald to tell him about the rose and message.  Both men had been wearing 50s-style polyester black-and-red bowling shirts.  Funny, who’d have guessed either HPD homicide detective was a bowler?  As Rey would say, ya truly do learn something new every day.

Pets on our heels, it was fifteen minutes after midnight when we finally locked up and trooped upstairs. 

Leaning into the far wall, Linda frowned and appeared pensive.  “GRP’s becoming close and personal.  I wonder whose blood he used.”  

 I parked my butt on the edge of Rey’s queen-size upholstered storage bed and wearily said, “I suspect we’ll learn soon enough.”

“Do you think they’ll find anything incriminating?”

“That dude won’t have left any evidence or DNA,” Rey responded, removing a folded oversized T-shirt from one of two marquetry-motif nightstands.  She started undressing.  “Guess we can open an official case file, starting with the photos we took earlier.”

“And the details Ald said he’d provide tomorrow,” Linda added.

Limited details,” I emphasized.  “He’s not going to share all.”

“There should be enough for us to begin some serious private-eyeing.”

“Think we should get a security system, like Hives suggested?” my cousin asked, tossing a crimson lace bra across the room.  It landed at the base of an “awesome mega-sale piece”, a variegated solid-marble and brushed-brass floor mirror.

“Given our line of work, yes.”  I flopped back and stared at a ceiling in dire need of paint.  Bonzo landed beside me, his face—whiskers twitching wildly—inches from mine.  “Let’s do it first thing.”

Linda glanced at her ice-pink Coach watch.  “I’m bed-bound.  Nighty-night ladies.”

“Who can sleep?” Rey asked drily, slipping the T-shirt advertising a local rib joint over her head.

“Count sheep.”

“More like corpses,” she said with a cynical smile.

Aloha Saturday everyone—enjoy your weekend!

Laughing Out Loud – Literally

HA-HA-HA-HA, the fifth mystery in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, has our private eyes—JJ, Rey, and Linda—caught up in a serial killer’s sadistic game.  And he wants the trio to play by his rules, “ha-ha, ha-ha”.

GrimReaperPeeper, or GRP as they call him, proves to be as charming as he is calculating and cruel . . . and the four develop an odd bond as more victims fall prey.  What is the significance of the floral etchings and black roses found on the fatalities?  Why are they found in particular locations?  Is there a common denominator?  . . . And just how long, and where else, has he been committing these baffling murders?

Who is GRP?  A true “whacko”?  A disgruntled man with an axe to grind?  He doesn’t appear to follow the usual serial killer profile.  Perhaps he’s a professional?  Someone wealthy?  An individual no one would ever suspect?

Whoever he is, he’s good—very smart and exceptionally shrewd.  Fingerprints and DNA are never found at the crime scenes.  While JJ, Rey and Linda diligently attempt to determine his identity, they accept a couple of casual cases—that of a wayward hubby (they’ve proven fairly accomplished at those) and a stalker shadowing a pretty, young woman.  

With the assistance of Detective Ald Ives and a couple of his seasoned detectives, handsome Hammill and surly Sallo, the three private eyes travel winding trails, search for useable clues, and are yanked into dangerous situations that could, ultimately, prove terminal.

This non-official case is as complex as it is confounding, but as is the trio’s way, they won’t give up.  They must stop GRP . . . before he potentially stops them.

storm

Hey, it’s Rey!  Not a bad synopsis for our latest case.  Our boss figures it’ll be out there early next year.  We’ll keep ya posted!  

HA-HA-HA-HA—Nothing to Laugh About

Hey, it’s Rey today.  Just thought I’d update you on our latest case.  We’re calling it HA-HA-HA-HA because that’s how the killer likes to sign his “farewell” notes.  But these serial killings are nothing to laugh about.

We’re close to tying up the case.  Real close.  Dangerously close.  GrimReaperPeeper—GRP for short—is clever and cunning.  He constantly outsmarts the police.  Finding clues as to his whereabouts has been a major challenge.  This guy’s good.  Unfortunately.

Here’s an excerpt . . .

Several seconds later, the door opened—to reveal our three colleagues standing but a few feet away, two Tasers, a flashlight, and a camera raised.  It flashed.

“Talk about perfect timing,” Jimmy C said.

“Ugh, I’m blinded,” Rey griped.  “So?  What?  You been taking pics of the place?  Hoping for a big scoop?”

The big scoop,” he grinned, lowering the camera.

“We found Gail,” I announced.  “Adwin’s escorting her to the car.”

“GRP had the room—probably the entire house—bugged.  Guess he reckoned we’d figure it out,” Rey said.  “Shit, we should have grabbed that speaker.  Oh well.  The police’ll get it.”

Linda tucked the Taser in her hoodie pocket.  “Do you think GRP’s in here somewhere?”

I shook my head.  “He’s close, but not within reach.”

“We didn’t find much, except a well hidden beneath some dense shrubbery to the far rear of the ohana,” Sach said.  “And then, just when we were going to leave, we discovered this passageway.”

“Purely by accident,” Jimmy C said with a self-conscious smile.  “I tripped into it and it opened.”

“This place has suddenly become very creepy,” Sach grimaced.

“Did you lock up the ohana?” I asked.   

Linda nodded.  “Behind us, as soon as we entered.”

“Then let’s head back this way.  Given Ald’s incommunicado, we’ll call Hammill on the way home.”

“Shouldn’t we call him now?” Jimmy C asked.  “He and his team members would probably prefer we hang around.  Maybe I can get some interesting details for my story.”

“This place could be boobytrapped and, if it is, we may find more than confetti raining down on us,” I advised.  “Let’s not take chances.”

“I’m in total agreement.”  Sach pointed forward.  “Let’s get out of here, and fast!”

So, hopefully, you’ll be able to read about this exciting [taxing] case soon! 

In the meanwhile, stay safe, play smart.  Aloha!

What’s Up, Buttercup?

We are—so up and so ready to face another day.  Hey, it’s Rey!

The three of us from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency are still lanai lounging and solving the odd case via the Internet and phone.  A new way to private-eyeing.  Whatever works, right?

HA-HA-HA-HA should be available by end of July (our boss is doing her best to get our latest case recorded as quickly as possible).  It’s an exciting—if not testing and trying—one that involves a stalker and serial killer (we do seem to attract those like bears to honey—must be some invisible invitation tattooed on our foreheads).

As I’m reclining on the chaise longue, watching the kids play in the grass, and Linda and JJ are grilling veggies and fish, I thought I’d share another excerpt with you.

“Any witnesses or sightings re the murders or murderer?” Rey asked, studying a large thick slab of cheese-heavy garlic bread as if it might grow teeth and bite back.

Which prompted a smirk from Sallo.  Snorting, he said, “It ain’t gonna chomp back.”

Appearing doubtful, she took a tiny bite, chewed, and nodded.  “Damn.  It’s good.  Real garlicky.”

“Told you so,” he simpered, digging into the chili.

Linda and I followed suit.  Sallo would share information when he was ready and not a blink before. 

Half-a-bowl later, he motioned Clem for another beer and sat back.  “Jo Belcastro saw a black van around 7:30 the night you found the bodies.  He was jogging along Date, near Laau, heading nowhere in particular.  He noticed it because it was standing alone, real close to that house that burned down last month.  As a landscaper, he tends to notice things that don’t fit well, but he didn’t think about it again until he settled in with the news last night after his jog.”

“He called the police simply because he remembered a van parked near beside a burned-out house?” Linda asked, skeptical. 

“He heard of the murders—who hasn’t?—but he wasn’t really following the news.  Too many landscaping projects.”  With a smirk, he started on the garlic bread and we returned to our chili. 

A couple minutes later, he was ready to pick up where he’d left off.  “When he caught up on them last night—and saw the request for people to come forward if they’d seen anything out of the ordinary—he remembered the van and decided to call.”

“What could he tell you about it?” I asked. 

He frowned.  “Not a helluva lot.  Black.  No lettering.  Basic windows.  Didn’t catch the license plate.  Only noticed it because it was the only vehicle there—in the shadows, slightly off the street, near that house some ass had set a torch to.”

“That sucks,” Rey said.

“Yeah.  But there’s something positive.  Belcastro tripped and another guy and his dog, who weren’t that far away, went to his rescue.  Belcastro was okay.  Just a skinned knee and bruised ego.  They chatted briefly.  Belcastro patted the dog and asked his name and all that, and then they parted ways.”

The three of us leaned in close—grateful we’d all sucked back garlic—anticipating something more useful was about to be imparted.  “When Belcastro called to tell us about it, he mentioned Barty the Springer Spaniel.  Seems Barty’s a favorite in the area, so it wasn’t hard to track down his owner.”

Linda gave a thumb’s up.

“Barty’s owner, Murphy Geist, saw the same van that night.  Considering he wasn’t far behind Belcasto, how could he not?  Anyway, just after the two parted ways, owner and pooch continued their nightly stroll.  After circling around, maybe ten or twelve minutes later, Barty began acting a touch weird—straining at the leash, making whiney doggy sounds.”

“And Geist didn’t think to see what might be bothering Barty?” I asked, astonished.

“He’d been mugged a couple of times and figured it might be some thug lurking in the shrubbery with bad deeds on his mind.  He decided it was a good time to head home and head home fast.”

“And?” I prompted.

His expression bordered on smug.  “He sighted a guy in the van.”

I’m gonna leave ya hangin’ there.  He, he.

We are doing our utmost to stay well and safe.  I hope you are, too.  Take care everyone!

No Aversion to Diversions

It’s Linda posting today.  The Boss is helping us close the current case, HA-HA-HA-HA, while simultaneously working on an editing project and doing the 9-to-5.  (At least she got over that t.p. obsession, though now she does seem to be  fanatically focused on finding sanitizer products.)

Rey, JJ and I are sitting on the lanai again.  It’s nice and quiet, save for the neighbor who decided to start a self-reno project, given he’s got a lot of time on his hand.  The banging and clanging are a bit annoying, but nothing compared to the cussing when he hammers his finger.

The three of us at the Triple Threat Investigation Agency are still finding diversions—besides blogging and reviewing, I’m taking an on-line course on pet grooming, inspired by JJ’s gawd-awful “spruce up” of Button a few days ago.  The poor dear’s still wearing that woe-is-me look.  A dog with a mullet; who knew it was possible?  JJ’s reviewing crime stories for the agency website.  And Rey’s still reading Nancy Drew books, with great enthusiasm I might add.  She’s been enacting scenes for us.  Hey, it passes the time.

Considering there’s not much happening, I’ve no aversion to another diversion.  So here you go, dear friends, another excerpt from HA-HA-HA-HA.

Continue to stay safe and healthy!

“Nice flowers,” Rey commented, peering over my shoulder at the gold-flecked carton that had just arrived at the agency. 

It was a few minutes after noon and Linda had joined Mink for a casual lunch in the doggy-wear designer’s office.  I’d declined as I’d already picked up shrimp won-ton mein at a noodle house across the street and Rey had passed with a monotone “not hungry”.  Whether that was because she wasn’t a fan of Mink or the fact her BFF and Mink were becoming good pals remained to be seen.

She dropped onto the rattan sofa beside me with a thud.

“Hey, we can’t afford to replace broken furniture,” I chided.

“You going to open that?”  She poked the carton with a long apple-red fingernail.

“My, my, my.  Aren’t we curious?”

“We are.  Now, open it!”

Chuckling, I untied the satin ribbon.  Inside, wrapped in lightweight tissue were twelve long-stem crimson roses.

“Nice.”  Her tone was flat, her gaze narrowed.  “What about the card?”

I passed it.  “You do the honors.”

She unsealed the small gilt-edged envelope like a pro.  “Lovely flowers for lovely ladies.”  She turned it over and shrugged.  “Looks like you have—hold on, it says ‘ladies’.  But the delivery was to you.”

“Looks like we have a secret admirer.”

She frowned.  “They’re roses.”

“But they’re not black,” I said with a tight smile.

Her frown deepened.  “You think they might be from GRP?”

“It’s possible, but I’d expect him to enclose a taunting or sinister message.  And the flowers would be black, or close to.”  I shrugged.  “These could be from a former client or a mischievous friend.”

“Our few friends don’t have money to blow on high-end roses,” she stated, eyeing them circumspectly.  “Maybe a client.”

I stood.  “May as well put them in a vase.”

“We don’t have one.”

“Then I’ll run down to the little trading shop next door and buy one.  They’re too pretty to let wither.”

“Take ‘em home.”  She smiled faintly.  “The place could use some color.”

“They still need water until we leave.”

She shrugged and started to remove them from the box—and shrieked.  “Shit.  I forgot about thorns.”

But it wasn’t a thorn that was sticking from a bleeding finger when she held it up—but a mini razor blade for a snap-blade knife.

She looked at me crossly.  “You were sayin’ something about friends?”

No Laughing Matter

Hey, it’s Rey today.  The Boss is out on t.p. patrol.  The woman has an obsession about it, I tell ya (so what if there’s hardly any to be had?)—get over it.

Cousin Jilly and Linda and I are sitting on the lanai.  We’ve been fortunate so far re the virus, but then we’re being diligent about staying in touch with the latest news.  Ensure you do, too.

So life doesn’t become too grim or overwhelming, we’re finding diversions—Linda’s blogging and JJ’s grooming the pets in the shade.  I’m reading some of the Boss’ Nancy Drew books to pass time.

In case you’re looking for a bit of a distraction, I thought I’d share an excerpt, or teaser, from our upcoming case HA-HA-HA-HA (whadya think—all caps or no?).

Stay safe and healthy everyone—we will get through this.

Take it away, JJ!

“So much for an early night,” Linda grumbled, waving farewell to Ald and Sallo, who’d arrived fifteen minutes after we’d called Ald. 

Both men had been wearing 50s-style polyester black-and-red bowling shirts.  Funny, who’d have guessed either HPD homicide detective was a bowler?  As Rey would say, ya truly do learn something new every day.

Pets on our heels, it was fifteen minutes after midnight when we finally locked up and trooped upstairs. 

“So GRP’s getting close and personal.”  I parked my butt on the edge of Rey’s queen-size upholstered storage bed.  

Leaning into the far wall, Linda frowned and appeared pensive.  “I wonder whose blood he used.” 

“I suspect we’ll learn soon enough,” I said wearily. 

“Do you think they’ll find anything incriminating?”

“That dude won’t have left any evidence or DNA,” Rey responded, removing a folded oversized T-shirt from one of two marquetry-motif nightstands.  She started undressing.  “Guess we can open an official case file, starting with the photos we took earlier.”

“And the details Ald said he’d provide tomorrow,” Linda added.

Limited details,” I emphasized.  “He’s not going to share all.”

“It should be enough to begin some serious private-eyeing.”

“Think we should get a security system, like Hives suggested?” my cousin asked, tossing a crimson lace bra across the room.  It landed at the base of a variegated solid-marble and brushed-brass floor mirror (an “awesome mega-discounted sale piece”).

“Given our line of work, yes.”  I flopped back and stared at a ceiling in dire need of paint.  Bonzo landed beside me, his face—with whiskers wildly twitching—inches from mine.  “Let’s do it first thing.”

Linda glanced at her ice-pink Coach watch.  “I’m bed-bound.  Nighty-night ladies.”

“Who can sleep?” Rey asked dryly, slipping the T-shirt advertising a local rib joint over her head.

“Count sheep.”

“More like count cadavers,” she said with a cynical smile.

Standing, I waved goodnight and tread to my room where I found Button already on the bed.  With a pat to her head, I slipped into a V-back chemise and pulled aside the covers.  A twinge—gut instinct—impelled me to check the agency website.  The laptop, conveniently perched on a recently purchased diamond-patterned nightstand (Rey’s “sales bug” was contagious), found its way onto my lap. 

Sure enough, a message from GRP had arrived in the Inbox.

Need help with house renos?  Climbing ladders is no big deal and I’m pretty good with tools.  You’ve seen my etching work.  Let me know and I’ll pop by.  Your new playmate.  GrimReaperPeeper.  Or, as you’ve so fondly dubbed me, GRP.

I drew a deep breath and gazed around the dim bedroom.  Obviously GRP was watching.  And it appeared he was listening, too.