Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: Javari Press
Publication Date: March 23, 2017
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Veronica has just gotten home after solving a minor case in Mexico involving kidnapping, betrayal, bank fraud, and a Colombian drug cartel when an old acquaintance shows up to hire her. Somebody has been committing impossible murders all over the world, and Veronica is the only person qualified to stop the killer before the body count soars.
The problems start with her client. Can she trust a demon prince not to send her back to therapy or worse for another year? What, if any, is his hidden agenda? Is anything at all as it seems?
Veronica thought she had a handle on magic and demons, but as soon as she starts investigating it’s obvious that all the rules have changed. She’s playing in the big leagues now, and she’s going to have to move heaven and hell to keep humanity alive. Starting with herself.
Now, if she can only survive dinner with her family, a blind date, a small immigration problem, and working with the federal cabinet, it’s possible that all will be well.
Or at least as well as it can be when you have to deal with insane immortals and a talking cat.
There was almost no light in my room, but by the red glow of the numbers on my alarm clock I could see vague shadows in front of me at the foot of the bed. They looked suspiciously like a pair of feet that were blocking my way to the door. My eyes followed the shadows up the dark mass to a quiet blue flame hovering in midair. It moved, becoming brighter for a moment. There was a sound of someone exhaling, and the pungent burning smell became more intense and caught in my throat. The smell wasn’t tobacco.
It was brimstone.
I scurried backward, crab-walking with my butt almost on the floor until my head hit the night table. The lamp on top teetered and fell to the carpet. I felt the lamp shade brush by my hair as it narrowly missed my head. The crunch of a breaking light bulb was close and immediate.
Adrenaline poured through my system again. I chose to interpret it as anger rather than fear. A male voice with a distinctive lisp familiar to a previous generation of movie-goers spoke in the darkness.
“Nice reflexes, doll, but you should put something on. You look cold.”
I knew that voice. It was far too late for modesty, so I stood up, pushed past the figure, and put on the robe that was hanging on the door. I tied the belt by touch, viciously yanking the ends as I did so. I would have a hell of a time getting it undone later, but that was the least of my worries.
I found the wall switch without much trouble and flicked it upward with a satisfying snap. The result was painfully bright, and I couldn’t help blinking several times. It didn’t make any difference to what I saw, which was exactly what I was hoping I wouldn’t.
Humphrey Bogart, circa 1941, stood in my bedroom, dressed in a well-tailored, three-piece, pin-stripe suit. He’d tossed his fedora over the post at the bottom of my bed.
I really liked normal cases. None of them involved Sam Spade showing up in my bedroom at oh dark seventeen. Especially considering what the bastard had done to me the last time we’d met.
He waved the sulphurous cigarette at me in greeting, and took another puff. How do you even smoke sulphur? The stench tickled my throat, and I made a great effort not to cough. I’d be damned before I’d let him make me cough.
“Put that out. You’ll stink up the whole apartment.”
“Whatever you say, toots.” The cigarette vanished as if it had never existed. The smell did not go with it.
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G.W. Renshaw lives in Calgary, Alberta with his lovely wife and Romulus the cat. He likes to write stories that range from the unusual to the bizarre.
He has picked up a variety of skills over the years: gunner in the Canadian Forces, practitioner of Iwama-style Aikido, Krav Maga, and Chito Ryu Karate, computer programmer, Linux druid, Search and Rescue manager, caving, rock climbing, and archery. He learned man tracking from Terry Grant (the original ManTracker on TV). He also learned a variety of medieval skills while in the Society for Creative Anachronisms.
G.W. writes when he isn’t maintaining the website for When Words Collide, being beaten senseless by his young padawan, or working at Mount Royal University, the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, or the Cumming School of Medicine.
He claims to have a firm grip on reality, but seems unaware that it is slowly turning purple. He will happily watch just about any film with monsters in it.
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