I raced in to the sight of her sitting placidly on my couch – completely, utterly, stark naked.
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Only a small blip in the lives of lifelong best friends Arnie Fischer and Zellie Morgan, who with no license and even less practical experience form a detective agency. Their fervent desire for a nice little “find stuff” business rapidly devolves into perilous encounters with a mysterious buxom blonde client, a dead body, assorted mobsters, a sleazy detective, a sinister fashion designer, a car dealership owner only vaguely clinging to reality, and yes, a naked ex-girlfriend on the couch. And even more dangerous – navigating a burgeoning romantic relationship. No problem.
Of course, saving Zellie from the clutches of very dangerous people might be a little more difficult…
Brazen Gambit Book ExcerptWe were sitting at our favorite booth in Audacious Bagel or “AB” as we sometimes called it, sipping our coffee. Audacious Bagel is not a typical deli. They actually employed “bagel baristas” (BBs) to bring you your choice from over a hundred types of bagels. Everything from plain to ‘chocolate chip raisin cinnamon deluxe.’ Personally, I think of a bagel as not including much of anything, and always order a plain one, although Zellie has been known to get a raisin, which I guess is moderately okay, and Ted almost always gets ‘hamburger-infused,’ whatever that is.
Maybe it’s my Jewish upbringing, but I just can’t see a lox and “hamburger-infused” bagel and cream cheese. Last time we were there, my favorite BB, Delilah, personally recommended a pizza bagel. I must admit, it was pretty good. Delilah is great. She went back to school at night to study marketing. She practices her marketing skills on anyone who will listen, and we always do.
When we walked in today, she was wearing yellow pants and an electric-blue shirt with sparkly sequins on it, along with the required Audacious Bagel visor that said in small letters “Audacious Bagel Barista, Changing the Bagel Paradigm,” whatever that means.
“I think it means I’m supposed to sell you new and different bagels, Arnie,” she said, when I asked her once. “You always get a plain bagel in a place known for pushing the envelope on the definition of bagel. If you want a plain bagel, you can have it, but there’s a whole world you haven’t explored.” She added in a whisper, “If you try something new, you might surprise yourself and like it a lot.”
About the author
Eric Small, a long-time public servant who wrote extensively for work, began writing fiction in retirement. A lover of cozy mysteries himself, the genre perfectly fit into his desire to write something containing humor, romance, mystery and just plain fun. As a longtime reader of cozy mysteries, he found such stories a natural fit for his writing. Brazen Gambit is the first of a planned series of Arnie & Zellie Investigations, set in the environs of Middletown, New Jersey, where Eric was born and raised. He now lives in Florida with his wife of over thirty years.