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Thanet Blake Private Detective


The Ferguson Murder

Written By: Wayne Greenough
Series: Thanet Blake Private Detective #1
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

If you’re deep in sleaze, see Thanet Blake, Private Detective.     The standard privat...

The sign is right. It’s a mean world full of mean mindless people. Okay, so I don’t understand the human race, we do seem to be a commodity of no value. Everywhere, people are killing people and nobody seems to care enough to stop the continuous slaughter. A year ago, the world situation became too much for me. I unhooked the cable from my television and told the cable company to cancel my subscription. I stopped reading newspapers. I do my damndest to hide from reality. However, because my body demands food, drink, and cigarettes, I have an occupation.

I’m Thanet Blake, Private Detective, and like every shamus, dick, peeper, whatever you might want to call me, I have memories, some good, some not so good, and some damned scary.

It was Wednesday, my birthday. I had become officially thirty-five years old when my wall clock chimed three times. I was very busy sucking on a rye bottle, smoking my favorite brand and singing, If the ocean were whiskey and I was a duck, I would dive to the bottom and never come up. I couldn’t remember the rest of the song so I sang happy-birthday-to-me and mumbled, “To hell with the murderous human race. Give me the isolation of an asteroid miner.”

She didn’t walk into my office. She appeared right after the air became electrified. In the movies, all blondes are goddess-lovely and have green eyes that hypnotize your soul. The vision smiling in my direction had both of those highly desirable qualities. I eyeballed the designer jeans molded to a figure that would cause a century old man to shed eight decades, a T-shirt that hid nothing, and athletic shoes. In addition, I did wonder about my soul.

“Are you Thanet Arthur Blake, the Private Investigator?”

Her voice was husky and sensuous, one you could listen to all day, and hardly wait to hear her say spend the night with me. It could launch ships, melt steel, and talk me into anything. I remember thinking that my friend, Police Officer Lieutenant Gilhoolie, usually pulled a gag on my birthday and this one was a real ripsnorter, a blonde and a private detective. The blonde would, of course, ask the detective to solve a desperate problem as her eyes batted seductively and her breasts bounced like two dribbling basketballs. I managed not to laugh. I couldn’t stop a wise-ass smile as I decided to play along with Gilhoolie’s birthday gag.

“Yeah, I’m Blake,” I said and accidentally belched a rye. “The sign on the door should say so unless my landlord changed it. He does that when I haven’t paid the rent, which is this month. Then I become Lousy Deadbeat Private Dickhead.”

She gave me a bewildered look, brushed the dust from the chair in front of my desk, and sat down. “I want to hire you,” she said.

This time, I couldn’t stop my laughter before saying, “You’re good, lady. Where did Lieutenant Gilhoolie rent you?” She opened her mouth to speak. I raised my right hand and said, “Say no more. I’m a year closer to old age today and in no mood for gags.”

She closed her mouth and I dialed police headquarters. The chain of command, starting at the bottom and working upward, stalled for about two minutes before I finally got whom I wanted.

“Happy Birthday, Thanet.”

“Yeah,” I said. “I’m sitting at my desk and staring at the birthday present you sent me. How come she didn’t pop out of a cake? And where are the chains, the whips and leather outfit? It’s an old Hollywood formula, Gilhoolie, a gorgeous blonde hiring a downbeat dick to handle a desperate problem that only he can solve. Anyway, she is quite a present and I thank you.”

Gilhoolie began laughing loud enough to vibrate down a brick building. It took him a full minute before he could talk.

“She’s a client, Thanet. However, if you want to make her into a present, go ahead. This year, I’m just sending you a birthday card.”

If you’re deep in sleaze, see Thanet Blake, Private Detective.
 
 
The standard private eye gimmick in Hollywood is to have a gorgeous blonde breathing minted mouth perfume at a downbeat detective as she asks him to handle a problem only he can solve.
Real detectives are never lucky enough to get that type of client. That is until now. And she’s standing in front of my desk. I’m Thanet Blake, Private Detective.
Price: $4.99
The Private Eye Murders

Written By: Wayne Greenough
Series: Thanet Blake Private Detective #2
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Guys like Marlowe and Spade like murder cases. I don’t. I make it a point to hide from them. Too often, they...

An hour later, over bacon, eggs, toast, and coffee for the both of us, Jennifer began talking. “Thanet, you’ve been on my mind since I helped you solve The Ferguson Murder.”

I gagged on my coffee over that one. She reached over and tapped my left shoulder. “Don’t worry. I didn’t mean it that way. You’re too old for me. I am nineteen. Do you know I’ve been following you for days?”

“No, I didn’t know. You’re kidding me, aren’t you?”

“Here you are, a private eye, and you don’t know when you’re being tailed? How come, when this city is being quickly emptied of people of your profession?”

I smiled at her before saying, “You’re right. Thanks for calling what I do a profession, by the way. Now, Jennifer, why are you sitting across the breakfast table from me, and do your mother and father know you’re here? If they do, how good of a shot is your father?”

“My parents think I’m downtown shopping and Father’s an expert shot with his Mauser Broomhandle. As to why I’m here, I’m doing research work for my third detective novel I’ve titled, The Inept Detective. It’s going to be about a private eye that knows nothing about solving murder cases. He’s always about ready to be offed by some bad guy. He can’t shoot, knows nothing about detection…in fact, he couldn’t even apprehend a cold. Oh, and everybody around him gets offed, which is handy for him simply because if there is only one person left alive, then that person is the guilty person. That’s the plot. What do you think? Do you like it?”

“It sounds great, Jennifer, and also a little familiar. How did you think of the title?”

“It just popped into my head one night, shortly after I did that computer work for you. Are you sure it sounds familiar? Gee, I thought it was an original idea.”

She finished her coffee. I poured seconds for both of us and stared at the kid sitting across the table from me. She wasn’t more than five feet tall, ninety-five pounds dripping wet, and with an intelligence quotient that had to be up there in lights. She was terrific.

“The police hired you to look into the private detective offings. Never mind how I found out they had, just tell me about it.”

It took two full hours. Jennifer asked a million questions and wanted every minute detail. She suggested I write some things down. I did. As a result, we drank lots of coffee and even had a light lunch.

“You’re obviously missing some vital clues, Thanet. Think through everything again.” She kissed my cheek and left.

 

I did a lot of thinking while driving to my office. As I parked the old ‘56 Ford in the parking lot, my brain was busy lining up what I thought might be clues. As I walked the six blocks to my home away from home, things were beginning to make sense. As I opened my squeaking office door, I knew the offer’s identity for about two seconds before someone sapped me on the head.

 

I don’t know how long I was out, but I do know it was long enough for me to be stripped naked, draped flat on my desktop with my hands and feet tied to the desk’s legs. A scent of perfume invaded my nostrils, one I recognized. I opened my peepers and saw a completely naked Dusty. She was holding two silver-plated, ivory-handled, engraved Colt .45 automatics and wearing three inch stiletto shoes. She was gorgeous—and deadly.

Guys like Marlowe and Spade like murder cases. I don’t. I make it a point to hide from them. Too often, they find me.
 
 
 
Some people are convinced that Private Eye Thanet Blake is a social pariah. Others believe having contact with him insures them of having a short life. A few are convinced he works for the city’s mortuaries and drives a hearse.
When Captain Holt of the Police Department informs Blake that PI’s are being offed by an unknown person, he asks Blake for help. “We don’t have a single clue as to who is doing the offing. We need your help to do some nosing around for us, come up with clues that will lead us to the perp. I’ll even put you on the payroll.”
That starts another murder mystery for Thanet Blake, the shamus who hates murder cases because too many of his friends end up dead, or forever hurt. Who will he lose this time?
Price: $3.99
Holiday Spirit

Written By: Wayne Greenough
Series: Thanet Blake Private Detective #3
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Thanet Blake is a hardboiled, no nonsense Private Eye—that is, except when it comes to children and holidays...

I looked beyond the shot glass full of rye, held tantalizingly close to my lips, and didn’t see anybody. When it occurred to me to look downward, I saw a cute, blue-eyed kid with a scared look on his face. He couldn’t have been older than seven, or maybe six months shy from eight. On his head, he sported a faded blue baseball cap that failed to cover his black curly hair. He was wearing a dark-blue heavy jacket, resembling a Navy coat, covering him down to his waist. The coat matched his black jeans and athletic shoes.

I put my rye down on my desk and smiled. “Yeah, I’m Thanet Blake. What’s your name?”

“I’m Jimmy MacWilliams. My dad talks about you lots of times. He told me where to find your office. And he was right.”

I sighed and hoped his father had the sense not to tell him the usual jokes about me. They aren’t the kind a little kid should hear. Why was this kid here to see me, anyway? And more importantly, why was he alone? This might be the season for good will toward others, but that didn’t mean there weren’t unscrupulous people waiting to take advantage of the innocent. Maybe someone was scamming me. Maybe the scammer sent an innocent kid—a kid who couldn’t possibly know the straight skinny of the deal—to set me up. Maybe I’m too cynical. It was time I found out immediately or, if possible, sooner. “Well hi there, Jimmy. Are your parents nearby?”

“Mom’s shopping at the big store about a block away. I told her I was going to see you.”

I concluded that his mother wouldn’t have heard him over the din of bargain hunters. “I’ll tell you what, Jimmy MacWilliams. If your mother doesn’t show up soon, we’ll go looking for her. What do you say to that?” At a brief nod of agreement, I asked the question that burned foremost in my mind. “Now, can you tell me why you left the safety of your mother’s side to come visit me?”

“My dad said you were a real cheap gumshoe. I want to hire you. Are you for hire, Mr. Blake?”

I looked hard at the kid. The expression on his face pleaded for me to say yes as tears welled in his big blue eyes. I’m a lollipop for tears. I wanted to cry myself—in sympathy, mind you. Yeah, this wasn’t a scam. Whatever was going down was on the up and up.

“Jimmy, before I can answer that, I’d like you to tell me what the trouble is.” There was something wrong with my voice. It didn’t sound hardboiled.

Tears streaked his face. His voice cracked with emotion. “Holiday Spirit is missing. He can’t be found by anybody.”

“Holiday Spirit, Jimmy? Is that your cat, a dog, or maybe a horse?”

Between heavy sobs Jimmy said, “No, Holiday Spirit is a man at our church. We love him, and now he’s gone.”

Finally, the name struck me. Holiday Spirit was the guy who always came to visit this city during November and December. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I’d heard great things about him.

I directed Jimmy to sit down in my one and only chair for clients. Once Jimmy sat down, I walked to my mini-refrigerator, grabbed a can of soda pop, opened it, and handed it to him along with a box of tissues. He dried his tears, sipped a little, and slowly explained why Holiday Spirit was a special guy at church.

“He’s Santa Claus. He gives gifts to everybody. He makes everybody happy, and now, he’s disappeared. No one knows where he is, not even the police. I want you to find him, Mr. Blake. Please say you will.”

Thanet Blake is a hardboiled, no nonsense Private Eye—that is, except when it comes to children and holidays. Then, he falls to pieces. Wouldn’t you know it, it is Christmas time and a cute adorable, seven year-old boy enters Thanet’s office and asks for his help. Payment for Thanet’s services? One gumball. Yes, he’s a softy.
It seems a man named Holiday Spirit is missing. Holiday Spirit plays a real life Santa Clause…giving presents to everybody he comes across, both adults and children alike, If he can’t be found, there will be no Christmas celebration for countless people. Our favorite booze laden, cigarette smoking, clueless gumshoe sets out to find the man, all the while hoping he’ll be found alive and well.
Price: $2.99
Memorial Day

Written By: Wayne Greenough
Series: Thanet Blake Private Detective #4
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

In trouble you can’t solve? See Thanet Blake, Private Detective.   All graveyards are sad. Moth...

It has been written many times, and verbalized a lot more often, that hardboiled detectives are cynical and old fashioned. They will take no live prisoners because they enjoy the sound of gunfire and the viewing of corpses. They believe in nothing because they have seen it all. In addition, what’s happening in the world around them makes them bone tired, weary, and stone-faced to where they never smile. A cloud of cigarette smoke is always surrounding them. They constantly booze on cheap liquor, are rough in speech and manner, and only by luck do they ever manage to solve their cases.

Every word in the above paragraph is true. I ought to know. I’m Private Detective Thanet Blake, and I’m sure as hell hardboiled in my attitude on life. My voice has a deep growl. Every word I say is slow, to the point, and reeks with danger. My face is overly rugged and has the appearance of a logging truck running over it.

In trouble you can’t solve? See Thanet Blake, Private Detective.
 
All graveyards are sad. Mother and I visit three of them to pay our respect to those who have gone on. But this graveyard is different. I keep hearing a male voice. No matter where I look I can’t see him. I’m cold sober.  I haven’t had a drink since last night. There’s the voice again. Who is it?  Why can’t I see the guy?
Price: $2.99
Jennifer

Written By: Wayne Greenough
Series: Thanet Blake Private Detective #5
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

If the police can’t help you, see Thanet Blake, Private Detective.   Jennifer has never phoned...

I ordered six bottles of Guinness Extra Stout and walked to Rumpott’s table. On my last beer, a man sat down across from me. His grin was an obnoxious triumphant smile as he put a Colt .32 automatic on the table. I stared at it. It was pointing in my direction.

“Beautiful weapon, isn’t it, a real collector’s item,” the guy whispered. “I took it from a lady who doesn’t have a need for it anymore. Thanet Blake, I’ve been looking for you. Finish your beer and then we’ll take a little walk in the alley behind this joint.”

His voice became Hollywood gangster deadly. It matched the deadliness of the weapon that was now in his right hand. I finished my beer.

In the alley, I sweated weight from my body while trying to keep from pissing my pants. I was scared, like I’d been scared only one other time in my life. I came out of that one with a whole skin. I doubted that I could this time.

In the shadows, his voice came to me. It was still deadly. “Before I make you into a morgue study, I want you to know that I’m the web guy responsible for your internet publicity. Did you like it?”

How do you talk when fear has made your mouth into a desert? You manage to croak. “Am I really worth ten thousand dollars, dead?”

“No! Your value is the cost of a bullet in your head. I cancelled The Thanet Arthur Blake contest. However, as I will not delete it, it will always be on the web. Think of all the dumb asses that will still come looking for you. How many do you think will visit your gravestone? I’ll do that you know, one time only. I’ll pour rye on your grave after I’ve strained it through my kidneys.”

I couldn’t control my bladder. It cut loose, forever wrecking my slacks. I thanked the wetness flowing down my legs for the anger that made me ask, “Why are you doing this?”

“For the memory of my brother, that’s why. You helped end his life.”

Who was his brother? Before I could ask, he began mumbling.

“Yes, my brother. Never mind that we always hated each other. He was my brother. He was family, and when family is murdered, you do something about it. This is my second time at gunning you. My old Forty-Five just sort of fell apart. Very sorry about botching the job, but this time you’re dead meat for certain. I’m using my new gun on you.”

In the dim light coming from the alley doorway of the watering hole, I caught the glint of the automatic as he moved it to where it was now pointing at my head. This was it. I said goodbye to the world.

If the police can’t help you, see Thanet Blake, Private Detective.
 
Jennifer has never phoned me until now. She said come at once and be careful about being followed. I broke the speed limit through the city’s usual traffic problem. The sound of her voice over my Ameche said she was in trouble. God, what was going to happen to her next? Her parents were murdered, and she was brutally raped. How could I protect her from further harm? How?
At Jennifer’s I found out things about her I didn’t know how to correct. She wished for revenge against men who raped and murdered women and I feared she meant to carry out that revenge in a deadly way. As for me, I’m plastered all over the Internet. Ten-thousand dollar reward for Thanet Blake, dead!
Price: $3.99
The Boa Murders

Written By: Wayne Greenough
Series: Thanet Blake Private Detective #6
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

I’m Thanet Blake, Private Detective. Ladies, if your husband is sniffing somebody else’s panties besid...

I heard the shots, three of them, far back in the alley. I stopped at its entrance and did some thinking. My body did not need a new hole. Whoever was doing the shooting surely had more bullets. I’m a big target. But maybe it’s the serial killer. He used a gun on Malone. Come on, Blake, act like a bullet, go once more into the gun barrel.

I crept into the alley with my bowels roaring, feeling the icy clamminess of its right wall with my right hand for stability. Stygian darkness surrounded me, invaded my body, my soul, my nerve. A little man inside me hollered, “Don’t be stupid. Run the hell out of here.” I told the sonofabitch to shut up. Seconds dragged into minutes before I stumbled over something that groaned. I knelt and felt a human body.

Knowing I would become the impossible target to miss, I snapped on my pen flashlight. I needed to know who was down. I didn’t count on there being three bodies. Seconds later I knew that Jiggers Davis was dead, Pack Rat Louie was dead, and Jokester Jones was dying.

“Blake, is that you…?”

“Yeah, Jokester, it’s me.”

“Good…I’m buying the farm…aren’t I…?”

“Yeah…”

“My brothers…?”

“They’ve gone on ahead of you…Jokester…Can you tell me who did this to you…”

“No. The bastard never gave us a chance…Never thought you’d know the answer to my joke…”

“Gum, Jokester, gum…”

I don’t think he heard me. I put him down next to his brothers. As I stood I heard a voice. The killer was still in the alley.

“You’re next, Blake.”

I’m Thanet Blake, Private Detective. Ladies, if your husband is sniffing somebody else’s panties besides yours, come and see me. Men, if you discover briefs in the laundry and you wear boxers, come and see me. I deal in sleaze.
 
One look at the two teenagers told me they were scared as much as humans can be and with good reason. They were wearing scarlet Boas, a symbol for a certain group of streetwalkers who were being murdered by a maniac the police hadn’t been able to nab. They introduced themselves as Doris and Maisie and asked me for help. I said I would. But how? The police had zero information on the killer. That meant I was on my own.
Price: $2.99
Thanet Blake

Written By: Wayne Greenough
Series: Thanet Blake Private Detective #7
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

I avoid murder cases like I would avoid the plague. Unfortunately murder finds me and I have to deal with it. ...

Police Captain Sebastian Holt called me into headquarters. He put me on the payroll and ordered me to find out who offed the serial killer, barber, Stanley Sudowsky.

“Milk your squeals for info, find the bastard.”

“Okay, Holt, I’ll see what I can do. Fill me in on your suspects.”

“We have none, Blake. To be frank we know Jack shit nothing.  That’s why I called you in.”

Oh boy.

I avoid murder cases like I would avoid the plague. Unfortunately murder finds me and I have to deal with it.
 
Price: $1.99