Date Published: September 7, 2015
Harry Starke is the first novel in the Harry Starke series of murder mysteries.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Why Did Tabitha Willard Throw Herself off the Walnut Street Bridge?
It's almost midnight, bitterly cold, snowing, when a beautiful young girl, Tabitha Willard, throws herself off the Walnut Street Bridge into the icy waters of the Tennessee. Harry Starke is there, on the bridge. Wrong time, wrong place? Maybe. He tries, but is unable to stop her. Thus begins a series of events and an investigation that involves a local United States congressman, a senior lady senator from Boston, a local crime boss, several very nasty individuals, sex, extortion, high finance, corruption, and three murders. Harry has to work his way through a web of deceit and corruption until finally.... Well, as always, there's a twist in the tale, several in fact....Harry Starke is a hard-boiled private detective, an ex-cop, a tough guy from right side of the tracks with finely tuned senses, good instincts, and friends in high places. He’s single, successful, well educated, and yes, he will hurt you if he needs to.
Now here she was in the wind and snow, running, frightened, looking back over her shoulder as if she were being chased. Then she tripped, stumbled, almost fell. I started toward her, but as soon as she saw me, she stopped. She put her hands to her mouth, looked desperately about her, then turned, ran to the rail, and started to climb.
“No!” I sprinted the few yards that separated us, but I was too late. She was on the rail before I could reach her. She looked wildly around, first along Walnut and then at me... and then she jumped. I dove the last couple of yards, my arms outstretched, and I managed to grab the collar of that fancy parka with both hands. I slammed into the rail. Man, was she heavy. I hung onto the fabric, hauled on it as hard as I could, but it wasn’t enough. She simply threw her arms over her head, slipped out of it, and fell. I barely heard the splash over the noise of the wind howling through the ironwork overhead. I leaned over the rail and looked down. Nothing, just the white caps on the river some eighty feet below. She wouldn’t last more than a few minutes in those icy waters, supposing she’d even survived the fall.
“So, whaddaya want, Starke?”
Phuttt. The seat cushion almost exploded as he dropped his fat ass down into the chair behind his desk and ran his fingers through his greasy brown hair.
I sat down in the only other chair in the room, one of those steel-framed folding things.
“You been to bed yet, Benny? You look like shit.”
“Yeah, well. I got lots to do, and no time to do it. I’ll maybe take a nap when Lorie gets here. Nothin’ much happens till after ten, as you well know. Come on, Starke. Spill it. What do you want?”
“I was in here last night, Benny. Remember?”
He nodded. “How could I forget?”
“Do you remember the girl in the black dress and white coat?”
“Come on, Harry. There were lots of girls in here last night. You know that. You were here, for God’s sake. The place was packed.”
“Yeah, I was here. And so were you. This was around midnight. She had dark red hair and an expensive white coat. She was with a couple of brothers. Nasty-looking types.”
“Oh yeah, I remember her. Who wouldn’t? She was hot.”
“Yeah, well, she’s not so hot now. She’s pretty cold. She’s dead. What do you know about her?”
“Dead? Dead? How? I don’t know nothin’, not a thing. I ain’t never seen her before. Who killed her?”
“Nobody killed her, Benny. She threw herself off the bridge. So. What about the brothers?”
“Killed herself, huh? Wow! Um....” He hesitated. “Nothing. I ain’t never seen ‘em before either.” He looked away as he said it.
I said nothing. I just sat there and watched his face.
“What?” he said, when he had gathered up enough courage to look me in the eyes again.
“You’re about as transparent as that window, Benny. Maybe more so. It’s filthy. Now tell me the truth.”
“Screw you, Starke. I don’t have tell you nothin’. Get the hell out of my office, and stay outta the bar, too.”
Blair Howard is from a small town in England, near Stratford-upon-Avon, on the edge of the English Cotswolds. He is Kentucky Colonel, an honor bestowed upon him in 2008 by the then Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Steven L. Beshear. Until 2015, he wrote sweeping historical epics, and is the author of five historical novels. In July of 2015 he decided to try his hand at writing mystery novels, thus we have Harry Starke. The first in the series, Harry Starke, was released in mid-September 2015. The second novel, Two for the Money, was released October 19 the same year, Hill House, in mid-December 2015, and Checkmate in February 2016, and there are more to come.
Blair is the author of more than 40 books, including the Harry Starke series and five novels of the American Civil War. More than 4,500 magazine, newspaper, and web articles. His work has appeared in many national and international publications, including Delta's Sky Magazine, PHOTOgraphic magazine, The Mail on Sunday, The Walking Magazine, Petersen's Hunting Magazine, The Boston Herald, The Detroit Free-Press, The Anchorage Times and many more.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KHQS30