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James Henry Littlefield's California Mysteries
In a white-hot seller's market even a sweet deal can kill you!
Location is critical!
And in compulsively-competitive Silicon Valley no address is more highly-prized than tech-savvy, politically-correct, safe and secure Palo Alto, where the white-hot housing market inspires bidding wars, and money falls on the lucky seller like blood gushes from an open wound. Here, even a sweet deal can turn deadly!
Part-time P.I. Trucker Deal knows zilch about real estate until he agrees to help his girlfriend, Attorney Kim Lockwood, checkout the shocking death of an edlerly client. Suddenly awash in a roily pool of predatory developers, pushy Realtors, tight-lipped loan sharks, an evasive millionaire who's a wannabe action hero, a defensive heir and her less-than-stand-up family, pin-striped thugs, a mightable mother, and a very spooky bodyguard, Deal finds the real estate game so twisted and dirty that whodunit's the least of his problems as friends and enemies rev-up for a lethal clash!
When the high-bid rules, murder's the only bet, so slide by New Deal Investigations where stacked decks are routine, P.C. procedures are an afterthought, and results are what counts!
Barmenti shifted his weight as if ready to bolt, and as I focused on him I suddenly found a Ruger .32 pointed at my head in Lydia's shaky two hands. Now what?
"Drop it and kick it away!" Barmenti ordered me with a confident smile. "Shoot him if he doesn't," he added to Lydia.
The Ruger wasn't that shaky, and she held it like she'd used handguns before, so I complied and kicked my revolver onto the sparse lawn. I watched Barmenti pull out a Baretta nine.
"That's better," he said like this was an everyday conversation.
Christina Slawinski had joined us by now and took the gun from Lydia, telling her "Good job, Honey. I knew you could handle it." She wore blue jeans and a moroon fleece jacket.
Lydia frowned and her head shook. She looked unhappy and sounded scared. "This is crazy!"
"It's a serious game," Barmenti agreed. He smiled at me, relaxed and confident. "Look, you two finish up, and I'll handle this clown."