Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Hint of Murder: The Bouncer

A Hint of Murder: The Bouncer 

Read the excerpt and comment below for a chance to win this ebook, gifted directly to your Kindle. 

For the first time in three years, Bobby Crane would not be standing at the door of the Lion’s Club; he’d be onstage. Instead of bouncing out of control partyers, he’d be entertaining them. Until that very moment, he was a nervous wreck preparing for his singing debut. Planning out just the right song for the night, including the inevitable encore number. Picking out what he would wear. Inviting the few special people in his life. Screw the rest of them. Bobby wouldn’t say a word to any of the doubters who mocked his dreams of becoming a huge singing sensation. He wouldn’t have to after tonight.
Bobby took a drink off his water bottle and set it down on the wooden stool next to him. Then, he blasted a squirt of throat spray in his mouth just as he read professional singers do before performances. A quick check of his pits, and all was well and going according to plan. Piece of cake, he thought to himself.
“Me, may, maw, mo, moo. Me, may, maw, mo, moo!” he sang. He was careful not to overdo the warm-up.
It was just about time so he moved up closer to the curtain to ready himself. He watched as Mike, the club manager, took the stage to announce him. Just as Bobby was about to step forward, he felt a gentle tap on his shoulder.
“Mr. Crane?” he heard a soft voice say.
To his surprise, Bobby turned to find two people standing right behind him. They definitely weren’t dressed for a club night, so they couldn’t be fans already.
“Yeah, that’s me. But I’m a little busy as you can see.” He gestured with his head out to the audience. He heard Mike talking about him on stage.
“Mr. Crane, I’m detective Lewis…with the Sheriff’s Department,” the man said. He was about as tall as Bobby, but didn’t have his girth.
Bobby sized him up out of habit.
“And this is detective Barnes.”
He turned toward the petite woman standing next to him. Bobby wondered how much ass that little thing could kick and figured his meat hooks could fit all the way around her waist and still touch.
“What’s going on?” Bobby asked.
Detective Barnes said, “Mr. Crane, do you know a Mr. Allen Shaffer?”
Bobby let that hang in the air for a moment while he focused his thoughts. “Uh, I know of him.” He glanced back over his shoulder cringing as he heard Mike say, “Okay, well just hang tight for a few minutes and Bobby will be right out.” Bobby shot Mike a desperate look and then he shrugged and turned back to the detectives.
“Were you at Mr. Shaffer’s residence this morning?”
Bobby felt his dream slipping away, and now had to make a quick decision. Police never ask about anyone unless it’s bad news, and if they were asking then they probably knew he was there. He was never convicted of anything, but still, he was no stranger to the cops. Lying would only make things worse. “I may have stopped by. Today’s been a busy day.”
“We’re going to need to ask you a few questions, Mr. Crane,” Detective Barnes said. “Could we please step out back for a few minutes?”
“Look ma’am, can this wait?” Bobby let out a sigh as he felt his once dry shirt moisten beneath his arms. “This was supposed to be my debut.”
“Detective is fine, and yeah, we heard,” Barnes said. Her smile was endearing but she quickly exchanged it with a serious expression. “Unfortunately it can’t. Allen Shaffer was found dead in his home this afternoon. So…we’re going to need to ask you a few questions…now.
All three hundred pounds of Bobby deflated and sank toward the floor. He stole one last glance at the stage and then followed the two detectives out the door.


Detective John Lewis drove his new partner back to the office to check in and go over the crime scene photos and video. The patrol deputies had arrived first at the Greenbrae residence of Allen Schaffer. They had the scene pretty well secured before Lewis and Barnes arrived, but they still ended up spending a couple of hours at the scene.
Now Lewis was trying to ignore the hunger pangs that pounded in his belly. He was supposed to meet Frank for a late dinner, but that possibility was looking grim. Getting assigned to work with April Barnes on this case was a disappointment, but Sergeant Wallace wouldn’t budge. Barnes was new and Wallace wanted the one person he could count on most to break her in. Staring at the open road ahead of him, he wondered how such a gentle little thing ended up as a Marin County Sheriff. And before he could stop himself, he was already asking her.
“I’m from a huge family,” Barnes said. Her elbow rested on the open window and she brushed away a piece of dirty blonde hair that flew across her face. “Not just brothers and sisters either; cousins, aunts, uncles. Our house was filled with people all the time. I was pretty close to being the youngest and got pushed around a lot.” She glanced over a few times as she spoke, but Lewis kept his eyes on the road. “I guess I sort of became a major advocate for fairness. I knew some day I’d be doing something that involved the law.”
Lewis couldn’t help but drift away from her story and back to the crime scene; his mind mentally scanning every inch of the living room that Schaffer was found lying in. He knew it was time to cut her story short, but couldn’t think of a polite segue. “So, April, what did you think about all that white at Schaffer’s?”
“If you don’t mind, I prefer Barnes.”
This time Lewis did look over, uneasiness filling the car. “Okaaay,” he said.
“Well, what do you call Detective Costas?” she asked.
“Oh, well I still prefer Barnes if you don’t mind. It sounds more professional to the civilians.” Her tone was stoic. “And I’ll call you Lewis.”
“Great, cuz that’s what everyone calls me.” He flashed her a wry smile and then rubbed his hand across his thick brown hair. “So what about the house?” Lewis was referring to the unusually white decor of Allen Schaffer’s home. There was almost no color what so ever including the carpet, furniture and paint. It looked like Caesar’s Palace. John had noted upon arrival the contrasting, almost beautiful bright red blood splattered across the stark white carpet. The victim himself had been dressed all in white as well.

Leave a comment below and one winner will receive a free Kindle gift of A Hint of Murder: The Bouncer. 

A Hint of Murder: The Bouncer is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble 

Also available:

A Hint of Murder: The Writer (Amazon) (Barnes and Noble) 

A Hint of Murder: The Doctor (Amazon) (Barnes and Noble)

A Hint of Murder: The Series on Amazon


  1. I am hooked would love to read the whole book.

    1. Hi Rhonda: I hope you see this. Note below on how to get your prize.

  2. This looks as if it'll be fun to read!

  3. So far, so good. I'm liking Barnes already.

  4. I'm liking amazon already. :) and loving your books

  5. Well, due to the low number of entries I'd like to give everyone something. I wrote all four names down and randomly picked one. That was Rhonda. So, Rhonda will receive a gifted kindle version delivered straight to your kindle. Just need your email. You can email me at

    For the others, you can use this coupon code HH84G to download a free ecopy of the story here on Smashwords. and it can be read on your computer or transferred to your kindle.

    There are two more stories in the series if you enjoy this. Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

    Thanks for entering!