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Gerald W Darnell

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Carso Reno Mystery Series - the early years
by Gerald W Darnell   

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Books by Gerald W Darnell
· Carson Reno Mystery Series - the beginning
· Dead End
· Justifiable Homicide
· Fingerprint Murders
· Murder in Humboldt
                >> View all



Publisher:  cr Press Type: 


Copyright:  July 1, 2015

Price: $1.99 (eBook)
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Carson Reno Mystery Series

Books 4 thru 6 in the Carson Reno Mystery Series.

Revised with a new format and new illustrations, these are 3 early novels from Gerald Darnell's Carson Reno Mystery Series. 'Horse Tales' 'SUnset 4' and 'the Everglades' are offered as one complete book. Enjoy 511 pages of vintage Carson Reno as he and his usual characters take you across the US and to an occasional foreign country. Each novel is complete with many new color illustrations added for the reader's enjoyment. Excerpt
My office address is officially listed as 149 Union Avenue – L6, which means I occupy office 6, located just off the lobby of The Peabody Hotel – Memphis, Tennessee. I actually would consider my address to be 3rd Avenue – not Union, but the address has its perks.
The location itself is also handy. All my phone calls come through the hotel operator, which is also my answering service. I eat lunch and breakfast in the employee dining room at a great price. I have a beautiful lobby to greet potential clients - and please don’t forget the duck show, it happens twice a day. Aside from the perverts who hang out in the lobby restrooms, I can’t find a lot of fault with my office arrangements.

Besides, these are the 60’s and people are accustomed to the modern ways of doing business. Appearance is everything, or at least a close second to whatever is first. The new real estate buzz is ‘location, location, location’ – I think I have one of the best.
The hotel directory and telephone yellow pages show L6 occupied by The Drake Detective Agency. That can be confusing, because the name on my office door reads:
Carson Reno – Private and Confidential Investigations
I am Carson Reno and always have been. There has never been a Drake working from this office, or any other in Memphis, that I’m aware of. However, when I opened the agency I just could not find any rhyme or rhythm in ‘The Reno Detective Agency’. Besides, everybody who has watched Perry Mason knows Paul Drake, and who knows, people may think this is a branch office or something! A little free publicity and promotion never hurt any business, just as long as they call or show-up with money.
A large number of my clients consist of damaged spouses looking for dirt and evidence on their unfaithful partner. It is possible that infidelity has made me what I am today – not a rich man, but I can pay my bills. Occasionally, I get some insurance investigation work – searching for someone who has successfully snookered the insurance company for their own goodwill, or some poor schmuck who filed false claims and skipped. But, mostly I deal with the underbelly of our society – where you find some very bad people and never make friends with anyone.
When I’m not specifically working on a case, I try to spend as much time as possible in or near the office. Another advantage of the Peabody is having access to restaurants, bars, shops and the downtown activity. So staying close is never a problem.

Afternoons and early evenings will usually find me at the Starlight Lounge – just off Winchester. Not only is it a good place to ‘hang-out’, it is a great place to look for clients or, in fact, look for those my clients have hired me to find! The Starlight has live entertainment starting at noon daily. Yes, I said noon. Everyday it is loaded with housewives who use the early part of the afternoon and evening to visit The Starlight for some drink and dance before the husband comes home from work. They cook dinner early, put it in the oven and dance on over to the Starlight for an afternoon of wine and martinis at the ‘tea dance’. I have a friend who calls the place "Club Menopause” – I think that is an appropriate name.
Of course with the ladies come the men, generally just in search of some companionship, but sometimes in search for much more. Regardless, these are my clients, or potential clients, and I see no harm in getting to know as many of them as possible.
Rita is the head hostess at the Starlight and works some unbelievable hours. In fact, I don’t remember a time when she wasn’t the first to greet me – regardless of the time. She was once crowned Miss Memphis, and as I understand, had a brief acting career. This lady hasn’t lost a thing with age; she still has those terrific looks and manner that won her so many awards and titles. No question, she is one knockout and a classy lady who knows her stuff and knows her customers. Rita always makes sure I get an opportunity to ‘meet and greet’ those who are in ‘distress’ and might need my services. She’s so good at it that I should put her on the payroll – assuming I had a payroll! However, I do make sure she gets tipped properly – whenever I get the opportunity.
My other hangout is home, or close to it. Home is a 12th floor, one bedroom apartment at the 750 Adams Complex on Manassas. A great place to call home - they have a small grocery/deli on the ground floor and a little bar in the basement called the Down Under. Regardless of your condition, it’s always just a short elevator ride home, and sometimes that makes good sense. Every weekend they offer live entertainment to a usually packed house. Being small, space is always limited. But, my friend, ‘Andy’ the bartender, can always seem to find me room.

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