Monday, 11 April 2016

Book Spotlight - The Candy Man #amreading @JohnHoltAuthor

Mystery author, John Holt, is on the blog today.

The name’s Daniels, Jack Daniels – just like the whiskey you know. I’m a Private Detective. And I can’t help butting my nose into other people’s business. It’s what I do. You get used to it. It becomes a way of life almost. After a while it comes natural to you, automatic, like breathing, or eating, although not quite as enjoyable. It’s a habit that I just can’t break. I just can’t help it.
But sometimes it can lead you into trouble .....


Book Extract 

I’m just sitting here at my desk, in my office, wondering how I ever got into this situation anyway, ‘the how and the why?’ You know. As for ‘the who’, well I know the answer to that question well enough.

It’s getting late, it’s getting dark, and I’m getting cold. I really need to put on the lights, and put on the electric heater, but I’m either too weary or just too lazy, to get up, walk over and flick the switches.

So exactly how did it happen? Something to do with stupidity I guess, or was I just not thinking straight. Oh certainly it was that alright, but what else? Curiosity, I guess. Oh definitely it was curiosity, no question about that. What do they say about curiosity anyway? Curiosity and something about a cat, wasn’t it? It can get you into a whole mess of trouble, that’s what they say, it can even kill you. 

That’s the trouble with being a private eye. Yes that’s correct, you heard right, I’m a private detective, that’s what I said. That’s me, private detective badge number five-oh-seven, registered with the New York Police Department. 

You know the kind of thing we do, checking up on the wayward husband, you know the one with the roving eye who is playing around; or looking for the missing wife. Or perhaps it’s keeping tabs on some low-life hood; a blackmailer maybe, or a plain old-fashioned thief, or in this case a drug dealer, the Candy Man.

So as I say that’s the trouble with being a private eye, you are forever butting your nose into places where it shouldn’t go. Surveillance they call it, that’s the technical term these days, but to you and me it’s plain old fashion spying. What with listening devices, they call them bugs, and security cameras, it’s all around you. You get used to it though. It becomes a way of life almost. After a while it comes quite natural to you, requiring no conscious thought whatever. It’s automatic, like breathing, or eating, although not quite as enjoyable. It’s a habit that I just can’t break. I just can’t help it.

* * *

And to think that just a few short hours ago – twenty-four to be exact - I was minding my own business having a drink, or three in a bar, sheltering from the rain. All that was on my mind right there and then was wrapping up the case I was working on; then a pizza from Mama Dells, or a Chinese takeaway. Put my feet up, a large scotch in my hand, and then put on some blues records, John Lee Hooker or some Big Bill Broonzy.

Okay so that was my night planned. Funny how things don’t always turn out the way you want them to. Have you noticed that? What do they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go wrong. So I haven’t got it quite right, so sue me. It’s something like that anyway. It means that no matter how well you plan something, you should always expect the unexpected. In other words, just because you think you've done all you can for something to go right, something can still go wrong, and your plans can all get messed up. There’s always a Joker in the pack, remember.

By the way the name’s Daniels, Jack Daniels, just like the whiskey. I should have introduced myself sooner. I’m thirty eight years old, and should have known better. Normally, I’d be more careful, more aware, but this time I made every mistake in the book. I even made some that weren’t in the book. Okay so we all make mistakes. Yes even you, there’s no use in denying it. What do they say? Anyone who doesn’t make a mistake doesn’t make anything. Yes I know that’s not exactly right either, but its close enough. You knew what I meant anyway, didn’t you? 

* * *

So there I was, making my way along Collingwood, just past Kings. I’d just finished a stake out over on Forty-ninth and Larskspur, at the Carlton Hotel to be precise. Ever been there? No, me neither. At two hundred and fifty per night, excluding breakfast, it’s a wonder I was even allowed into the lobby. But hey, I digress. Now where was I? Oh yes, I remember, the Carlton Hotel.

 Anyway, I now had all the evidence I needed for my client, a certain Mrs. Amanda Walker. You may have heard of her. Socialite, married to shipping magnate, Denis Walker, currently seeking to get a divorce. You don’t know her, no matter. As I said, I now have all the evidence she needs. Dates, times, places, and photographs, lots of photographs. This, together with sworn statements from the receptionist, and the bell hop, from the hotel, was proof enough that her husband was doing her wrong, big time, and no mistake.

 Where can I buy this fabulous book?

About the author
Born in 1943 in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. I currently live in Essex with my wife, Margaret, and my daughter Elizabeth; and our cat, Missy, who adopted us. For many years I was a Chartered Surveyor, until I retired in 2008. I had always wanted to write a novel but could never think of a good enough plot. My first novel, The Kammersee Affair, written in 2008. was inspired by a holiday in Austria. The books that followed, The Mackenzie File, The Marinski Affair, Epidemic, and A Killing In The City all feature Tom Kendall, a down to earth private detective. In August 2012 I decided to go down the self published route, and formed by own publishing brand PHOENIX. My latest novel "The Thackery Journal" is a "What If" novel regarding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Recently I have created a new character, Jack Daniels, and so far three novellas have been produced.

Useful Links


THE CANDY MAN – the first novella in a series of (currently) three, featuring private detective Jack Daniels.

The term The Candy Man –is a noun phrase meaning:

A narcotics supplier; a pusher; a peddler (1960s Narcotics)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by
Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Kate so much for this opportunity. I hope that you and your readers enjoy it.