I give you a longer teaser as promised of my newest project Deadly Pawn. It’s a Crime/Mystery novel set in the 30’s with all intended likening to the classic noir of that time. Please leave a rating before you leave the page… thank you I hope that you enjoy it!
Dawson showed his boredom as he plucked the cherry from his Manhattan and popped it in his mouth. It was only his third one but on his empty stomach they were quickly working their magic on him. Jane was busy interrogating the young couple about how they had met and their subsequent wedding. A subject he was happily ignorant of and had no intention of learning about anytime soon. He happily showed his disinterest by looking around the room. On his third pass he noticed Abrams wandering in. Grabbing a cigarette he quickly excused himself from the table. Catching the detective halfway across the floor he steered him back to the bar.
“You don’t wanna go over there,” he said taking Abrams by the elbow. “God awful things are being talked about over there.”
“Shouldn’t I at least say hello,” he asked looking over his shoulder. Then realized that he could be missing on some evidence he tried to turn around. “They aren’t talking about what happened are they?”
“No, no,” he said successfully pulling him to the bar. Taking an empty stool he ordered them both a drink. “You see that young couple there?”
“You mean the ones talking to Jane,” he asked before telling the bartender he didn’t want a drink.
“Yeah that couple,” he returned picking a peanut from the bowl the bartender pushed in front of him as he made their drinks. “They’re newlyweds you see and they …”
“Say no more,” he said waving his hands back in forth in front of his face. “I decidedly do not want to go over and say hello, even if Jane is better to look at than you.”
“I suppose your wife would like to hear that.”
“Yeah well,” the detective started but had no way to finish.
Dawson laughed at his friend and took another peanut.
“You got any idea why they’d want to shoot up that pawnshop?” Abrams asked changing the subject knowing that he wouldn’t let go of it if he didn’t.
“I don’t even know why I was invited to be there; at least not yet anyway. Although if you don’t think they did it for the usual reason then I got nothing new for you.”
“You know who it was that invited you?”
“You asked that question once already tonight.”
“I thought maybe you might want to change your answer.” He picked up Dawsons drink and slugged it back and waited for an answer.
“I have the note,” he replied looking puzzled into his now empty glass. “I am not sure who invited me, I may have an idea who it was but I wouldn’t want to share that with you until I know for sure. At least not until I have had a talk with them first.”
“Why don’t you skip that part and tell me now?”
“Not until I know for sure if they are related or not. If it’s not related you don’t need to know, but if they are you’ll be the first to know after me.”
The bartender set another drink in front of Dawson who immediately took hold of it with both hands and took a sip.
“You wanna tell me what you’re working on,” Abrams asked him.
“You mean besides this Manhattan and the stale peanuts,” he asked glancing from his drink to his friend and back again.
“Yeah, are you working on something that I should know about,” Abrams added just in case there was any question as to what he meant.
“Me working,” Dawson replied. “You know better than to accuse me of such a horrible thing.”
“So you’re not on the job then no client?”
“Ewww,” Dawson gave a fake shiver as if something had run up his spine. “Perish the thought. How could you say such things when talking to me?”
“Forgive me,” Abrams chuckled, “I should have known better, but somehow I just had to kill the cat.”
“I would think there would be much better and quicker ways to kill that cat.”
Abrams shook his head as he stood up, catching a glimpse of the singer sitting at the piano with Jimmy. Tapping Dawson on the shoulder he his shook a thumb in her direction. Dawson closed his left eye in a squint, tipped his head to the right and waggled his hands in front of him as if to say ‘not bad’. Jane was too engrossed in conversation with the young couple to notice the movement at the bar.
“Light me a cigarette will ya,” he asked poking one between his lips
“Why can’t you do it,” Abrams asked still looking at the singer.
“Well,” he returned, still keeping his eyes on his drink. “The last time I let go of my drink with both hands it disappeared and I’m not taking any more chances tonight.”
“Looks like you need a lighter.” Abrams said patting him on the shoulder and leaving the bar.
Dawson shook his head and called the bartender over. Smiling he saw his dilemma and quickly lit the cigarette dangling from his mouth. He set the pack of matches in front of him, shook his head and smiled as he walked away. He sighed as he exhaled letting go of his drink with one hand but only long enough to remove the cigarette from his lips. Keeping the glass solidly between both hands he returned to his table just in time for the waiter to bring their supper.
“Hey,” he said stopping the waiter. “Don’t you go anywhere.”
The waiter looked puzzled but stopped anyway without questioning him.
“I am sure he’s a very busy man,” Jane said in the waiters’ defense. “Besides why do you need him there anyway?”
“I let go of my drink two times in this clip joint and both times they disappeared,” Dawson said still holding his drink. “I want him to keep one hand on it while I have something to eat or feed me my dinner. I haven’t really decided yet which would be the best approach.”
“But Dawson,” Jane added.
“Yeah you’re probably right,” he replied shooing the waiter away with his head. “I’m going to have to re-think this. Come back in a five minutes and check on me and make sure no one stole another drink from me.”
“Whatever you say sir,” the waiter chuckled backing away from the table.
“What happened to the …,” he said waving one hand at the two empty chairs.
“Oh,” she said catching on, “They’re doing something I can never get you to do; they’re dancing.”
“Eh, dancing whoever invented it should be drawn and quartered. At the very least keel hauled.”
“I don’t think they had those things then.”
“You could always ask your mother; she might now she’s old enough.”
He laughed to himself as he lifted his fork and tore into his supper forgetting for a time, his drink. By the time the young couple had returned to the table he had finished his main course and was thinking of dessert.
“Amaretto,” he said when asked what he wanted for dessert. “And make it rough.”
As the waiter disappeared the singer stepped up to their table.
“Mr. Dawson,” she said as she got close enough. “Mr. Dawson, my name is Maria Leonard. I, well I really need to talk to you if you have a minute.”
Looking up he was a little upset for being interrupted between meal courses but the moment he saw who it was he forgave her, telling her that he had all the time she needed.
“Jimmy tells me that you find things, people I mean,” she said. “I was wondering what it would take for you to help me.”
“That depends on what you want me, rather who you want me to find,” he added sipping his drink before popping a cigarette between his lips. “Why don’t you come see me tomorrow and you can fill me in on who it is that you want me to find and I’ll tell you what you’ll owe me.”
Smiling she kissed him on the cheek and left them alone.