“The parking lot was just around the building, and in it, my Escalade. The trip to freedom was interrupted by a powerful odor and the sensation of someone’s arms around me. It wasn’t a hug.”
When I woke up in the abandoned factory, I was of course unaware that it was an abandoned factory because I couldn’t see through the tarp that had cocooned me, as I dangled in the air by my feet.
What would Jim Rockford do? I don’t think my fictional TV idol had ever been hung upside down with a tarp around him. So I had to just imagine what he would do. And first, he would wait until his captors took the tarp off. Then he would find a way to…to get away.
I am fucked.
“You feel better today?”
“Maybe not as delightful as you two, but yeah, I feel better.”
I frowned at her. “Excuse me?”
She grabbed her chest and started panting dramatically, “Yes! Oh Baby!”
Now my face was red. I looked over and Phoebe was leaning onto the counter, her hands over her mouth, her body bouncing with suppressed laughter.
“I’m going to have to find a place to live. I can’t be hearing all that.”
“You have a problem with gay people?”
“No. I have a problem with gay people who have sex when I’m not having any.”
“Can’t help you there,” I muttered.
“So, what’s on your resume? What are you good at?”
“I don’t want to get paid for what I’m good at.”
Ginger let that remark sink in, and chose to ignore it. “What sort of jobs have you had in the past?”
“Well, let’s see…I was the Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia.” Izzy pulled one hiking boot off and tossed it on the floor.
Ginger stifled a laugh. “You’re not helping your case, here.”
She got up and looked in the fridge, and then back over at me. “Anything besides furry pickles?” The cabinet contents didn’t please her either. “Look at that…every possible flavor of Ramen noodles…” She closed the cabinet and sat back down. “You’re on a liquid diet, right?”
“I knew I was going to look up to you.”
“Izzy. You’re a survivor. Just like me. When something is happening it feels like you might not get through it. But then when we think back to all those times in our lives, we forget to notice that we’re thinking back on them, because we did get through them. And so it doesn’t really kill us, even if we thought it would.”
Ginger got out and stepped toward him. “Yo, Tito.”
He looked up at her, jerked his head to the right and saw Perez approaching in the black and white, and jumped up.
“Denver P.D., stop!”
He bolted down the walk on the passenger side of the Galaxie, with Ginger behind him.
Izzy opened the door and braced it with her foot and Tito didn’t see it in time, and caught it with a smack, slamming to the ground. Ginger was on him, flipping him, her knee in his back as she cuffed him. His earphones were around his neck, now.
“Chica, it wasn’t me!” he pleaded.
“You’re under arrest for failure to appear.”
“You, Mr. Munoz, have the right to remain silent.”
Perez took him by the arm, hauling him to the squad car and pushing him over the hood to search him.
Ginger got back in the car. Staring out the front toward Perez, who was now reciting the Miranda rights and folding Munoz into the back. She turned her head slowly to regard Izzy. “What was that?”
“My hand slipped on the door handle. Reflex. Sorry.”
“What, you have Alien Hand Syndrome?”
Izzy grinned salaciously. “If you only knew.”
Ginger shook her head.
“I stayed in the car as instructed,” Izzy defended.
Ginger sighed and called it in to dispatch, dropped the handheld radio in the seat, and made a U-turn back the way they had come.
A few minutes later, Izzy stepped out of the bathroom, wearing only the Spandex bike shorts, with the dildo installed. She moved her hips back and forth and the dildo swayed comically. Ginger laughed. “That’s just scary.”
Izzy giggled. “Wait until you see how I’m going to frighten you in a minute.”
Ginger set her wine on the coffee table and got up to check out the goods. She grabbed the phallus and tugged it. “Oh…it feels so soft…pretty close to the real thing…”
“You’ll have to tell me about that real thing sometime, but not now. It’ll spoil my image that I’m about to take your virginity.” Izzy frowned. “Are you going to take off your coat and make yourself at home, or you wanna do it with your clothes on, standing up?”
Ginger grinned and took her coat off, moving over to the bed, and getting undressed in only firelight. “So, what are you planning to do, just hop on and go to town?”
“Of course not. That would be tacky. Foreplay will be had by all. It’s just less awkward if you already have it on when the time comes.”
“Good, because this conversation does not inspire my arousal.”
“..in true AKA Investigations style, events conspire to spiral out of control, testing the fortitude, depth of feeling and sheer courage of each of the characters. Nail-biting action and heart-stopping tension take the reader on a roller-coaster ride through the pages, piling one catastrophe on top of another and testing the characters to the limit.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series so when I sat down to read this one I was sure I was in for a treat. And I was right. This book features the two main characters from the first book, this time ensconced in a different city and getting on with the job of being happy and working as Private Investigators. This time however, two more, very interesting and appealing characters are added to the mix and the narrative swaps easily between each viewpoint, adding depth and interest. Then, in true AKA Investigations style, events conspire to spiral out of control, testing the fortitude, depth of feeling and sheer courage of each of the characters. Nail-biting action and heart-stopping tension take the reader on a roller-coaster ride through the pages, piling one catastrophe on top of another and testing the characters to the limit. I wasn’t sure they’d all make it out alive in this one, but it sure had me turning the pages to find out. Baeli is at the top of her game here, delivering a book at once touching and full of odd, often humorous bits of wisdom and a storyline of exciting misadventure and action.There’s something about the main character’s voice that delights me every time – self-depreciating humour and phrasing that reminds me of all the best pulp PI fiction but is at the same time refreshing and entertaining in this unashamedly lesbian adventure story.
Many front-matter pages include an author’s declaration, “I could not have written this book without so-and-so” but I find that largely disingenuous. If the author’s name is on the cover, he or she actually wrote the book. And although someone else may have been supportive and inspiring, or brought coffee and sandwiches to their desk, they don ‘t usually merit an accolade like that. (I, incidentally, had no one to bring coffee and sandwiches to my desk. I have one cat with opposable thumbs, but she can’t get the hang of it).
However, having said that, there are people who make the work more tolerable, more exciting, more inspiring, and who might have offered outstanding support and ideas that the author used, and even been a collaborative or brainstorming partner. In that case, I must acknowledge Tanya Penny-Gotcher. While she didn’t write this book, she was so intimately involved in the process, especially at the beginning stages, that I would be not only remiss not to mention it, but deserving of a swift kick with steel-toed boot.
Tanya is one of my dearest friends and I have been so fortunate to have her support and enthusiasm for my writing. She is the one who convinced me to write this sequel to Armchair Detective. She is the one I confided in, bounced ideas off of, and who provided insight that I would have been hard-pressed to provide for myself. She has been a true friend and this writer’s newest most cherished confidant. I adore you, Tanya, and I thank you with all my heart for your presence in my life.