Taking place sometime after Dead Don’t Bother Me, Slim’s night of Scrabble with his daughter, Anci is interrupted by his friend, Jeep and a former co-worker, Snake.
Don’t you just love the names of these characters?
Anyway, since leaving the coal mines, Snake has made a little money here and there, and has a few rental properties now. His nicest place is being rented by the nicest young couple, but Snake has family that needs it, so he has to evict the nice folks. Which is where Slim and Jeep come in. Because when Snake visits the house, its overrun with bikers and met and all sorts of property damage. The local law stops by everything looks fine and the housewife is as pleasant as Snake thought.
So now, Slim and Jeep need to do two things: 1. See if things are really as bad as Snake thinks, or if the police are right (well, I should say, confirm Snake’s version) and 2. Serve the tenants with an eviction notice. All of which goes just as easily as you’d expect. Excitement and sleuthing ensues.
The best part of this story is Anci — her relationship with her father is wonderful and it’s the kind of thing you want to read more of. Like Spenser and Hawk at their best, or Lydia Chin and Bill Smith, you just want to read pages and pages of their conversations. It took about 6 sentences from Anci for me to note, “Oh yeah, that’s why I loved her.” Slim’s easy to like, too — I’ve got notes aplenty about some of his lines, but I won’t quote any because the story is so short, I don’t want to ruin anything for you. Great dialogue, great Chandler-esque narration, and lot of action. That’s all I need to be satisfied.
This is listed as 62 pages, but I’m guessing at least 20 of those are promotional pages for the 2nd novel — it’s so hard to guess at Kindle length. It was long enough to justify reading, and short enough that you can breeze through it.
I’ve been nagging myself lately to get around to Red Dog, and getting this short story only served to make that a more pressing desire. Which I’m pretty sure was most of its purpose — I’ve got to spend more time with Slim, Anci and the rest in Little Egypt. Read this and you’ll feel the same way.