"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Having a lovefest

If you don't know Jenny Hilborne, author extraordinaire, get your tush over to her website and check out her books. I read and loved her first one, Murder and Madness, and I just downloaded No Alibi onto my Kindle, which I will read as soon as I finish John Locke's How I Sold A Million eBooks Neener Neener (or something like that).

Jenny read Hit or Missus and left THE LOVELIEST review on Amazon and Goodreads. She wrote:

"This is the second book in the Peri Minneopa mystery series and the first one I've read. I loved it. Peri is not your typical wise-cracking PI, which adds a refreshing touch to the story. I enjoyed all the characters, especially Dino fan, Benny. The author brings them to life and creates wonderful relationships between them all. Her villains mingle dangerously close to her protag to where you experience the tension first hand. Clever plot and subplots. I'm off to check out Freezer Burn, the first in the Peri series. Excellent job, Gayle."

Thank you, Jen!

I thought I'd share a little Benny (and Dino) love by posting an excerpt from Hit or Missus. Enjoy.

* * * * *

When they got to the easement, she saw a large metal box, one that might house controls for power or phone lines, locked into the narrow area by a large gate. She studied the lock, and considered the climbable nature of the wrought iron. It was unfortunately not as ornate as the homes' fencing, being about six feet in height and mostly straight up, with few crossbars. The vertical bars were punctuated by arrows pointing skyward.

Peri considered the possible outcomes of trying to climb over. At five-feet-nine, she could probably heft her body over the fence, but not without a struggle, which would attract attention. Plus, she really didn't want to snag her clothes, or her skin, on those points. The view she needed was on the other end of this narrow aisle, if she could only find a way in.

She turned to Benny. "Dean Martin ever pick locks?"

"Of course. Matt Helm picked 'em all the time."

"I don't suppose those Matt Helm movies taught you how to pick them."

He laughed. "Don't be silly, Miss Peri." He reached into his pocket and took out a Swiss Army knife. "I learned how to do that in jail."

Peri stepped aside and used the back of her hand to lift her chin and close her gaping mouth, while her new employee proceeded to poke about the inside of the lock with one of the knife's many attachments. He closed his eyes and hummed a little tune as he adjusted the pin and tugged. Finally, she heard the click of victory and Benny handed her the open lock.

"I gotta say, Ben, I'm impressed."

His smile reminded her of when he was a boy and his mother would brag about him while Peri cleaned her house.

"Okay, you stay by the gate," she told him, and handed him her cell phone. "Act like you're busy, fiddling with the phone, texting or checking email or something. If someone comes, whistle."

"I can't whistle, Miss Peri."

"Well, then, cough, or sneeze."

"Which one?"

"I don't care. Sneeze. Loud, though. So I can hear you." She slipped in, past the power box, and crept to the gate at the opposite end.

There were a few well-placed shrubs, which weren't quite tall enough to hide her, but could offer some camouflage for her gray sweats and oatmeal cap. She knelt down, took out her camera and looked through the telephoto lens at the grounds. The grove of trees where Nikki and Tyler hooked up yesterday was easily visible from here. It was a perfect place to rendezvous; too far from the trail to be noticed, with the trees close enough together to hide anyone behind them, unless you were looking for them. Peri leaned back against the fence and waited.

Ten minutes later, she saw a small blonde walk along the cart path, then take a detour, up to the grove. A tall, tan form approached from the opposite direction soon afterward. Peri raised her camera and focused her telephoto lens. It was Nikki and her boy-toy. Peri kept her finger on the trigger and clicked a freeze-frame report of the meeting.

Tyler reached out to hug Nikki, who responded at first, then pushed him away. She appeared cross. Tyler questioned; Nikki whined; Tyler apologized; Nikki pouted; Tyler appealed; Nikki softened; Tyler caressed; Nikki embraced. They kissed, made up, and made out, all to Peri's adoring lens.


Peri whipped around to see Benny in a rigid stance. She heard footsteps on the sidewalk, so she scooted around to the side by the power box and crawled behind it, just as a man's voice spoke.

"Good morning."

"G-g-g-ood morning, Mister Officer." Benny's voice was about three octaves above normal.

Shit, a police officer, she thought. If Benny doesn't go into Dino mode, he's gonna have a freaking heart attack.

"Someone called and said you'd been out here for awhile. I guess they were worried that you were lost or something."

Benny giggled like six-year old girl. "No, no. I-I-I was out for a walk, see? And, I started messing with my new phone, and I wasn't - um - sure of some of the buttons and then I got it stuck in some kind of mode and I forgot about walking and just kinda stood here playing with it."

Peri was surprised. It was a halfway decent explanation. She heard the officer laugh.

"Yeah, I've done that too."

"Hey, at least I wasn't driving." Benny's voice had returned to normal, and Peri detected some Dino-swagger to it.

"Good point. Well, I was just making sure you were okay. You have a nice day, sir."

"You, too, Officer. Thanks for checking up on me."

Peri listened for the footsteps to diminish. The sound of an engine meant the officer had returned to his patrol car. She watched the black and white sedan pass Benny, then turn around in a driveway and leave, before she exited, making certain to lock the gate behind her.

"Let's go," she said.

* * * * *

Now then, go buy the dang book. LOL!

1 comment:

Helen Ginger said...

This sounds interesting and it makes me want to know about Benny.

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