SNOOPY. SNARKY. SMART.
When retired Bank Manager Kevin Rodgers got an idea in his head, it took a stick of dynamite to dislodge it.
He’d decided that one of the charter boats moored in The Seascape Cove Marina was running drugs, and his chatter was making all the Captains pretty darned angry. He almost got into a fist fight with the owner of Judith’s Folly, the newest boat in the charter fleet.
Drat it, Police Chief Trent Marlow wasn’t taking him seriously either, so Kevin decided to prove once and for all he was a better detective than the professionals.
For over a month, Kevin spent every night perched on the cliff above Seascape Cove, scanning the horizon with his telescope. He knew everybody in town was laughing behind his back, but he was sure he was on the right track!
One night somebody came up behind him, knocked him out and threw him over the cliff.
Nobody was laughing now…
BUY the book now, and find out how Kevin’s suspicions play out.
Targeted Age Group:: ALL AGEST
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I love to write books that have good characters, a good plot and a touch of humor
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I started the series with a cast of characters in mind and plan to develop them and add some more over the next few books. The hero of this book was a supporting player in the first, and so on…
It was mid-August and the small coastal community of Seascape Cove ninety two miles north of San Francisco was sweltering. August temperatures usually hovered in the low 70’s, but for the last two weeks there’d been a heat wave the old-timers claimed was the worst they could remember. The temperature today was 93, and it was only noon.
It wasn’t cooling off much at night, and people were finding it hard to sleep. Hardly any of the homes in the small village – it was a stretch to call it a town – had air conditioning. They usually didn’t need it with the steady Ocean breezes blowing in off the Pacific but this year everybody wished they had it. Tempers were frayed and stupid arguments were springing up everywhere.
So it didn’t surprise Cressi Harris when a fist fight almost broke out in her restaurant, The Dockside Cafe.
Kevin Rodgers, the retired bank manager and authority on almost everything you ever wanted to know and quite a few things you didn’t was expounding his latest theory to anybody who’d listen, and today two of his cronies had joined him for lunch so he had a captive audience. They were sitting at Kevin’s usual table in one of the windows. The casements were wide open so the three gentlemen could enjoy the warm wisps of a summer breeze that now and then fluttered in and almost cooled their sweaty brows.
“Did you see the news last night on Black Rock Cable TV?” Kevin asked his companions.
“No,” said Sterling Myers, the retired post master.
“I did,” said Michael Gallagher, the retired accountant. “Which item caught your interest, Kevin?”
“They ran that piece about the increased number of drug overdoses in the North half of the State this year. They figure there’s a new strain of cocaine getting into Northern California, Sterling, and it’s laced with something that gives it a kick – and sometimes it’s a deadly kick.”
“I saw that,” nodded Michael as he picked at his Crab Salad. “They say it’s flooding in and they’re afraid the younger generation is going to be knocked off like flies. Not just the street people, but kids looking for a high.”
“I’ve given the matter a lot of thought,” he began….
Cressi could hear him in the kitchen. She rolled her eyes and Harry, her assistant chef smiled.
“There he goes again, Cressi. I wish he’d put a sock in it or get a new hobbyhorse,” said Barbie, their apprentice. “It’s the same tripe he was on about when he was here for breakfast with Helen. Honestly! My friends and I are too smart to play around with drugs!”
“You wouldn’t knowingly try the stuff,” said Harry who happened to be the young woman’s father, “but you and your crowd go to a lot of clubs and somebody could spike your drink while you’re on the dance floor, Barbie. I worry about you every weekend, but what I really worry about isn’t cocaine. Some pervert could slip a date rape pill into your drink, and ten minutes later he’s got you unconscious and helpless in the alley, having his way with you, young lady. I saw a program all about it last week.”
“You worry too much, Daddy,” said Barbie, heading into the cooler to get more cucumbers.
Kevin’s voice carried back into the kitchen.
“…Yes, Sterling, that’s exactly what I think – I think one the sports fishing charter boats in the Marina is rendezvousing with a trawler offshore and bringing the drugs into the country in small loads – well, relatively small loads, probably twenty five or thirty pounds at a time. Since Seascape Cove has the deepest natural harbour in the area and we’re home to most of the charter boats as well as our fishing fleet, I think the drugs are entering California from that dock right in front of us!”
Kevin gestured grandly toward the Seascape Cove Marina across the road which had two long docks with about forty berths. About a third of the space was filled with either charter boats or commercial fishing vessels. The rest was occupied by smaller pleasure craft.
He went on for another five minutes expounding his theory until a deep, angry voice interrupted him.
“Shut your mouth, Rodgers. You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about! It’s all nonsense.”
“Oh, oh,” said Cressi and hurriedly dried her hands. “I better get out there or there’ll be a real fight. That’s Craig Walcott’s voice and we all know he’s got a short fuse…”
She hurried out to the dining room.
“I have a very good idea what I’m talking about, Walcott,” boomed Kevin, standing now, “and you darn well know I do. You just want to shut me up because you know I’m pretty damn close to the truth. What have you got to hide, Walcott? This new boat of yours is a lot bigger than the one you had last year when you moved here. I bet it’s worth a Quarter of a Million if it’s worth a dime. How did you get the money to buy it? Smuggling drugs yourself? You call it Judith’s Folly – Huh, maybe a more accurate name would be Mary Jane’s Train!”
Kevin almost doubled over laughing at his own joke.
Sterling looked confused and Craig’s face was red with anger.
“Mary Jane’s Train? That’s funny name for a boat, Kevin,” said his old friend.
“Mary Jane is slang for marijuana,” Kevin pontificated, “and by Train I’m referring to the way they’re railroading this contraband into the Bay Area and points North, Sterling.”
Craig was looming over Kevin’s table now, and his hands were clenched into lethal looking fists.
The two men’s chins almost met over the salt, pepper and vinegar in the middle of the table.
Craig pulled his arm back, lining up for a swing at Kevin’s jutting chin.
Cressi got there before he could actually do any damage to her Aunt’s boyfriend.
“Calm down, Craig. And Kevin, you better change your topic of conversation. I don’t think Craig or any of the other charter boat owners need to hear any more about the subject,” she said firmly as she took Craig’s arm and led him back to his own table.
“He’s doing all the charter boats a lot of harm with that viper’s tongue of his, Cressi,” said Craig. “That kind of talk could really hurt our businesses if too many tourists hear the old fool! It’s hard enough to make an honest living without that kind of malicious gossip going round town.”
“I’m sure he doesn’t mean any harm, Craig. It’s hot and tempers are frayed…”
“He’s just a snoopy, snarly old man who has too much time on his hands and not enough to occupy his brain, Cressi,” spluttered Craig. “If he doesn’t stop his evil gossip, I’m going to the Police about him!”
“Yeah, Craig, let’s go lodge a complaint against the old bugger. Snoopy and snarly…yeah, that about describes the jerk!” chimed in another boat captain from a nearby table. “I’ll go with you. Let’s go over there as soon as we finish lunch.”
Cressi rolled her eyes again.
“Gentlemen, I don’t think that will be necessary. I’m sure Kevin will drop the subject. Anyway, let me buy all you charter boat owners a piece of apple pie and ice cream as an apology because you’ve had an unpleasant experience in my cafe.”
Four charter boat captains took Cressi up on her generous offer. She shot Kevin an angry look as she headed back into the kitchen. She was fond of the man and he was her Aunt Helen’s boyfriend, but honestly! Sometimes his mouth caused trouble!
“Craig thinks he’s gonna complain about me to the Police?” Kevin said quietly but incredulously to his pals. “I’m obviously hitting him where it hurts, gentlemen. I must be onto something here.”
The other two old men nodded and changed the subject before Cressi could come over and give them a piece of her mind.
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