Thursday, September 15, 2016


Looking For Answers
Christiane France
When P.I. Marcus D’Angelo is asked to investigate the rumors of shakedowns and extortions in Little Italy involving Sal Ravello, he enlists the help of new neighbor and unemployed news reporter, Jake Reilly. Peninsula Heights has never had a problem with organized crime and Marcus doubts they have one now. He figures it’s most likely a falling out among friends that’s turned into an old-fashioned vendetta. Whatever the cause, it’s the perfect opportunity for Marcus to find out if the attraction he feels for Jake is mutual or merely wishful thinking on his part. 
By the time the microwave pinged to announce dinner was ready, I’d decided I hadn’t a hope in hell of figuring it out by myself. I had nothing to work with except a feeling there was more behind it than stiffing old Sal out of a few bucks. If I was to accomplish what the chief wanted, I needed help.
I had other investigators who were good with the routine jobs such as stakeouts and skip tracing, but they didn’t have any actual investigative experience. I needed someone like Mr. Overseas News Service across the hall who undoubtedly did. A news reporter would be far more qualified than me to tap into gossip. Especially if the people he spoke with knew he was legit and thought there might be payment involved.
I decided to go over and talk to him. If he’d mentioned the rumors on the off chance I knew something, perhaps we could work something out. If not, maybe I could pique his curiosity into giving me a hand.
I took my dinner from the oven and put it on a tray along with a knife and fork. There were a couple of other interesting things about that chance meeting at the elevator I’d been wanting to follow up on… The little frisson of awareness that made it clear he was as interested as I was in more than a casual chat. Then, knowing he had my attention, I’d loved the bold way he’d said, ‘By the way, my name’s Jake Reilly. Maybe we can get together for a drink sometime soon.’
I quickly ate some gooey paste that tasted like cardboard even though the box informed me it was lasagna, and finished my beer. Then, before I could change my mind, I went across the hall and knocked. I couldn’t hear anything, but the peephole showed a light on inside. I decided to wait a couple of minutes. If he wasn’t home, I’d leave and come back later.
I was on the point of doing that when Jake opened the door wearing track pants and a ripped tee, and smelling like he’d just stepped out of the shower. “Hey, this is a surprise.”
“Hi, yourself. Marcus D’Angelo, right?”
He was taller than I remembered by several inches, and I just loved his smile. It was the kind that made me feel all warm inside and… “Umm. Yeah, that’s me.”
At least I think it is.
I took a deep breath in an effort to pull myself together. First impressions were important, and the last thing I wanted was to come across like a lunatic.
He raised an eyebrow. “You here to take me up on that drink?”
“I was hoping I can talk you into giving me a hand with something.”
“You want to hang a picture and need someone to hold the nail?”
“It’s a little more complicated that.”
“In that case, why don’t you come in?”
As Jake stepped back, I followed him into the apartment, then closed the door behind me. 
Christiane France
Cool mysteries and hot romance -

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