Okay, okay, they’re not books, really. They’re short stories. I have two you can download from multiple places for free. This is not a limited time offer. They will always be free.
Both are Eamonn Shute tales.
October Moon takes us back in time. Eamonn Shute is a recent arrival to the USA, Miami in particular. The lovely owner of a rare and collectibles book store he frequents calls on him for help. Nicky’s cousin, her only living relative in the USA, is dead and she doesn’t believe the coroner’s finding of heart attack.
Eamonn took a sip of his espresso. “Start from the top. Your cousin has died, and that’s sad, but why come to me for help? Shouldn’t the police be involved?”
“Oh, they say he’s died of a heart attack. No investigation.”
“So he’s older?”
“By four years. He is,” she hesitated. “Julio was 35.”
“Young for a heart attack. Was he unfit?”
“That’s exactly my point Eamonn. He was in good shape. Before he hooked up with that psycho bitch we used to do a morning beach run together.”
“So you were close? Yet he didn’t try to contact you for what, four years?”
Nicky had a sip of her coffee and chased it with some ice-water. “She was strange. How she got her hooks into him, I’ll never know. The last few months he’s dropped me short emails to say hi. We’ve slowly been getting back into regular communications. In two weeks he was going to come over for my birthday. That bitch killed him, I’m sure of that, but nobody believes me.”
“Why, if as you say she’s got her hooks into him – I do like that turn of phrase – would the ‘psycho-bitch’ kill him? It’s not unheard of for a young man to have a heart attack.”
“I have suspicions, but nothing definite. Maybe she thought he was getting ready to leave her.” She sat forward in her chair. “I don’t know, but my gut is telling me she did. I don’t know how, but she did.”
Eamonn shook his head and drank the remainder of his coffee. “I appreciate your faith in my intellectual abilities. However, I need a lot more information than this to help you. A suspicion on your part and an uncharacteristically young heart-attack is not enough information.” He smiled at her. “Not even I am that smart. When you finish your coffee, then we will go to the ‘scene of the crime’.”
“Where?” asked Nicky
“Where he had the heart attack.”
“Oh.” She took another drink of coffee. “That would be Mary’s house in Homestead. We really need to go there?”
“I assume Mary is the, what did you call her, the ‘psycho-bitch? Yes, we really need to go there. If she did kill him, it’s the scene of the crime, after all. Best place to start.” He leaned back in his chair and watched Nicky. He could watch her do anything, all day. “Out of curiositywhy do you refer to her as a ‘psycho-bitch?”
Nicky put her cup back on the table and smiled. “Not really fair, you’re probably thinking. After all, I only met her a few times when my cousin hooked up with her.”
“So the interactions must have been pretty intense then, for you to come to that conclusion. ‘Psycho-bitch’ doesn’t leave much room for ambiguity, does it?”
Nicky shrugged. “What can I say? She’s one of these hardcore, granola crunching, sandal-wearing, tree-hugging, militant eco-nuts. Would be as happy as a pig in shit, excuse me, to be up against Japanese whaling boats in a dinghy, or against the seal culling crew up north with a cross-bow.”
“That was four years ago though, Nicky. People change.”
Nicky swallowed coffee, chased with ice water and shook her head. “No. Not her.”
“You seem sure.”
“Julio has been dropping hints. The short emails. Nothing explicit, but the subtext has been around getting back to a normal, mainstream lifestyle. And he couldn’t do that with Mary at his side. She wouldn’t stand for it.” She finished her coffee, picked up her cup and Eamonn’s and stood. “Where do you want these? Where’s your kitchen?”
“Ah, yes. Good. Give me those, and let’s get going. You have the address, right?”
Nicky started reciting a street address in Homestead. Eamonn put up his hands, surrendering. “Wait a minute dear. Wait until we get in the car and I can setup my ‘digital’ bitch.”
Nicky looked quizzical. “Who?”
“My onboard GPS. She’s a bit of a nag.”
(If you own a Kindle, you can download an appropriate file from Smashwords)
The Whack Job occurs after the events of Book ‘Em. Eamonn Shute and his girlfriend Nicky Muniz find their relaxing day torpedoed when they come across the dead body of one of Eamonn’s friends. Eamonn, being the person he is, just has to stick his nose in.
Miami Beach PD was in control of the scene, the Crime Scene Squad poring over the immediate area around a body on the beach. A white cloth covered the corpse. The sheet had either been placed carelessly or the onshore breeze had adjusted it. Eamonn should see the right foot, part of the left hand and the crown of the head.
“Bloody hell.” Eamonn turned to Nicky. “I know him. I’ve got to talk to the police.”
“Are you serious? You’re virtually a tourist here, and seem to get involved with every single big thing that goes on.” She craned her neck and stood on her tiptoes. “Who is it?”
“Wait here.” He pushed through the crowd until he reached someone who looked in charge.
“Ma’am? You’re with the Miami Beach PD, correct?” She nodded. “I think I know that man.” Eamonn pointed to the body on the beach.
“And you are?”
Eamonn held out his hand. “Eamonn Shute, ma’am.”
She smiled. “You’re kidding. Really? Aim-n-Shoot?” She shook his hand. “I’m Detective Shirley Jones. And I thought I got laughs with my name. Your parents must have really disliked you.”
“It is spelled E-a-m-o-n-n S-h-u-t-e. A good Irish name ma’am. And me ma loves me.” He smiled. “But back to what I was saying…”
“Okay, first, for God’s sake, stop calling me ma’am. My hair’s not in a bun. Shirley will do. And second, why do you think you know the victim?”
“The ring on his left pinky finger. It’s a jade signet ring. I have a friend with a ring just like that. It’s pretty unique. I’d be surprised if two males of roughly the same age, race, hair style and body size would own that specific ring.”
Detective Jones looked at the large Irishman for a couple of seconds, then at the covered body on the beach. Shrugged. “Okay. Let’s go see. Follow me.” She held up the crime scene tape. He still had to almost double over to get under it.
“When was the body discovered, Detective?”
“We got a call about three hours ago from a wake boarder out here for some early morning fun. Thought he hit a log. It was the back of the victim’s head.”
Eamonn winced. “Ouch.”
“Not so much. The vic was dead. The M.E. has made a preliminary estimate of the time of death.” She looked up at him. “Around 1:00 this morning.” She squatted by the body. “Ready?” Eamonn nodded and squatted beside her. She lifted the side of the sheet away from the crowd, exposing the victim to only her and Eamonn’s view.
Eamonn sagged. “Steve.” Steve Sheppard’s naked body was heavily bruised, long welts across his torso, bruises around his neck, face and forearms.
“So you do know him?”
He nodded “Steve Sheppard. First guy I met when I moved here a couple of years ago.”
“When did you see him last?”
“Last night, close to 11:30, about three blocks south on Collins. We had just left a club. I offered to give him a ride home and…”
Detective Jones was writing in her notebook. “Whoa. I think we need to talk to you in a bit more detail. Not here.” She checked her watch. “Can you come by the station in two hours? Around 11:00. I should be back by then. I need to help wrap things up here.”
(If you own a Kindle, the appropriate version can be downloaded from Smashwords)
For the purists, there are inconsistencies between these short stories, written in 2009, and the novel-length Eamonn Shute book, Book ‘Em. Don’t stress about it. None of it’s real.