Now available on Amazon for pre-order at US$3.99, with a release date of December 6, 2019
SET AND FORGET
If you are interested in reading about Damien and Millie’s latest caper as soon as it is released, place your order now and receive an automatic download to your Kindle reader or Kindle app on December 6th.
A TASTE OF THE ACTION
Here’s a snippet from Chapter Three to whet your interest.
We climbed up 12th Avenue, turned left onto Dolores, and set a brisk pace for the last block. Millie was winded by the time we reached the corner of 11th and Dolores, and I gave her a minute to catch her breath before opening the front gate to Casa Encantada.
Millie preceded me up the flagstone walk, climbed the four steps to the front door and pressed the doorbell. I could hear the four-note ‘Big Ben’ chimes ringing from somewhere inside. The sound of yapping dogs emanated from an upstairs window as we waited for our client to answer the door.
After a minute or so, I reached past Millie and gave the doorbell an emphatic double hit, which triggered a second round of barking from the dogs, but nothing else. Millie and I looked at each other. “Now what?” I asked.
“Maybe she’s napping and didn’t hear the bell?” Millie offered.
“She would have to be dead not to have heard that racket,” I replied.
As the words left my mouth, Millie turned away from the door. “Let’s check around back,” she said.
We followed the flagstone path that led along the north side of the house next to an ivy hedge that separated Durocher’s property from her nearest neighbor. As we dodged stray branches from the unpruned ivy, Millie stopped and sniffed the air. “I think I smell smoke,” she said, and broke into a jog.
I was right behind her as we reached an irregularly shaped stone patio. The smell of smoke was stronger here. I peered through the glass of the French door at the rear of the house. The door led directly into a large kitchen, which was filling with smoke. Turning my head to scan the room, I spotted the source. The oven of a large gas range had blown open, and was belching dark grey smoke. Through the haze, I could also see a skillet on top of the range, its contents on fire.
“Kitchen fire,” I called out to Millie.
“Any sign of Malvina?”
“Still looking,” I shifted my position to get a better look at the rest of the kitchen. The smoke wasn’t as dense away from the range. I saw a shoe lying toe-up, its sole pointed in my direction, then a second shoe next to it.
“She’s in there,” I called out. “On the floor, probably out cold. I’m going in.”
From the corner of my eye, I saw Millie remove a scarf from around her collar. She raced over to a hose bib protruding from the side of the house, drenched the scarf, and wrung out the excess water before handing it to me. “Get help,” I told her, as I tied the wet scarf over my nose and mouth, bandit style.
The door was locked. I looked around for something to smash the glass, and found a large rock in the back corner of the yard. The single-pane window broke easily, and I was able to reach through the opening and release the latch.
Taking a deep breath and holding it as long as I could, I raced inside the kitchen to where Malvina Durocher lay. She was half under the table with one arm draped over the seat of a chair, as though she had toppled over while seated. I skirted the table, bent over and, grabbing her under the armpits, I dragged her out from under the table.
Fighting the smoke and the urge to breathe deeply, I struggled with my burden until, coughing and drenched with sweat, I made it through the door and out onto the patio. Once clear of danger, I bent over, hands on my knees, gasping for breath. I saw Millie running toward me and motioned her to check on Malvina. “I’ll be okay,” I rasped between coughs. “How is she?”
Millie knelt beside the unconscious woman, pressed her fingers to Malvina’s neck, and put her ear to Malvina’s chest. “She’s alive! I can feel a pulse and she’s breathing.”
OLD FRIENDS, NEW DANGERS
You’ll reconnect with some old friends in The Blue Moon Caper, including Bruno Caravaggio, everyone’s favourite sidekick, who gets himself into some serious trouble this time around. Gus is back, too, and a couple of characters from the The Green Pearl Caper make cameo appearances.
This isn’t “same old, same old” though. There are new villains for Damien and Millie to contend with. New challenges for them to overcome.