First, a little business. My publisher’s treat to you: Working the Beat is free for Kindle users for two days only, Feb. 12 and 13. After that it costs $3.99, which is not a terribly lot of money, but free is free. Here’s the link: mybook.to/workingthebeat
I was cleaning out files in my computer in preparation for getting a new one, when I found this piece I haven’t published on my website. I wrote it two years ago for my editor Miriam Drori’s blog series, Letters from Elsewhere. The letter, which I’ve updated, is written by Jack, one of the characters in my Isabel Long Mystery Series. Jack is the owner of the Rooster Bar and Grille, where Isabel works part-time. The two of them have developed a loving relationship. Jack’s a country guy through and through. Isabel will always be a newcomer to that town. She uses her skills as a former longtime journalist to solve cold cases in the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts as a P.I. And that worries the heck out of Jack. Here I’ll share what he wrote her.
I’ve never written a letter to a woman before. But I wanted to get a few things off my chest. Don’t worry, I ain’t breaking up with you, honey. I would lose the best bartender I ever hired if I did that. Yeah, I’m kidding.
The reason I’m writing is that I’m scared to death something bad is going happen to you being a private investigator. In your first case, you got knocked in the head so bad, I had to carry you out of the woods. Remember? Then you broke your collar bone when that ass drove you off the road. I do suspect something really bad almost happened when Gary Beaumont hired you. What really went on at that cliff? I’m guessing you’re holding back some, so I won’t worry about you. You’re right. I’m afraid to hear the whole story.
Then, I heard from my cousin Fred you might have been dealing with crooked cops. Isabel, what am I going to do with you?
You’re on your fifth case. I know your mother helps you out, but she can’t be with you all the time. Besides, she’s 93. What is she supposed to do to save you other than to try talking some sense into you?
Then, there are the characters you meet like that guy Victor Wilson. You and I both know what he’s up to on his property. Then there are those Beaumont brothers. How in the heck did I let you talk me into letting them drink at the Rooster. Oh, yeah, that dumb ass brother Larry saved you when that guy tried to bump you off. I won’t give either of those guys an inch.
We’ve been together since last November, well, except for a couple of months. I don’t want to get into that. I can say I’m one happy man when we’re together, and I’m not just talking about when we’re in bed. You’re different than the other women I’ve been with. Maybe I don’t tell you enough what you mean to me. I guess I’m kinda shy about that since the only other woman I told that to is dead. I don’t have to tell you who that was since she was your first case.
I understand why you are doing these investigations. You want to help people. I have no power to stop you. I just want you to be more careful although I know you’re as stubborn as hell and that what I say isn’t going to stop you from finding out what went wrong in these towns. I just don’t want you to get hurt. I don’t want to lose you cuz I love you.