Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Murphy on the Mount is now available!

Murphy on the Mount is the first full novel featuring the
Murphy brothers. They face their toughest case ever. No
clues, no leads, and now not even a client. They will sink
into the deepest dregs of the underworld and hope to
emerge with answers to the mysteries of this case and life

Here are some excerpts from Murphy on the Mount:

Chapter One
So one June, one afternoon, we’re sitting around and I say: “You know what I think, Joey?”
“What do you think, Murphy.”
“I think we need a secretary.”
He looks at me like my strait-jacket’s slipped, he’s thinking I bust outa my bin. “A secretary? Murphy we got no customers, whadawe need a secretary for?”
“You know, some slick broad, class up the front office, handle our calls.”
“Murphy Murphy, nobody calls us. The front office, that’s just the front a this office, the place where the beds fold up durina day. We don’t got but one room!”
“Not counting the pool room,” I astutely note.
“Dang right I’m not countina pool room, whacha gonna do, yagonna put ’er in there? In back? Plus first you know you’d hafta move out that moose head, Murphy —”
“Oh don’t get on to me about that moose head again.”
“An ’en all them pizza boxes, all piled up, like it’s a tower to heaven —”
“It is, it is! ‘Smatta wichoo, you never played with blocks?”
“An ’en-a tires, Murphy, o-o-o-o-o-oh, the tires…”
“Yeh well you know how it is.”
“That I do, Murphy, that I do. Other guys pick up stray cats or stray diseases; you, you pick up stray tires.”
“You know it, Joey. Tires what had no home.”
“I know it, Murphy. I’m not knocking your tires.”
“They’re nice tires.”
“The best — in their day. But just — Mu-u-ur-r-phy….”
And right then — bingo — a knock at the door.
“Now see what I mean, Joey? A customer! Don’t you wish we had a secretary right now? She could deal with ’em while we hide in back, say we’re too busy, say that we died.”
“C’mon, Murphy, party’s gonna get tired knocking. Opena door.”
“You open it. Makes me nervous, customers.”
Joey opens it and — Ooh, Wah, Doo: a customer — and what a customer! It’s a dame, — but that don’t describe it. I mean, your mother’s a dame, if it comes to that. No I mean like, a da-a-ame dame: with everything on it. She got shiny hair, so clear you could shave your face in it. She got lips like a paint sale. She got teeth, make a dentist say: I’m ready, Lord, I seen it all, you can take me now. She got eyes like ice, and it ain’t melting. A neck, would make the Boston Strangler just throw up his hands, he wouldn’t hardly know where to begin. Then a blouse, a white blouse, the front part of it all scooped out, like a dish of ice cream. And below, oh, the double dip, I’m peeking through my fingers; and her waist is like a sugar cone. Then all that flesh that was left over from the middle, they just slabbed it onto the hips with a trowel. And then she goes and tapers down again, she’s like a spinning top, you’d a think she’d fall over, just these slim little feet and tall high heels and the shoes come to a point like a kick-knife.
“You a shamus?” she says, looking at Joey.
He blushes and mumbles, “Me an’ him.”
She looks me over, half her mouth does this little stab at a smile. “You’ll do.” And I think: You too.


So I’m fishing around in the papers I already read, done all the crosswords as far as I could do ’em, reading about recent guys that died, only none with a bearing on this case. And now I’m out of stuff to read.
Well okay here’s the puzzle page. It’s called “The Sixty-Four Dollar Question”, and it tries to stump the readers, then gives the answers. Any number can play. And today’s stumper goes like this:
WHAT… is the ‘Unpardonable Sin’?
Never heard of it but it makes my skin crawl, just the same — just the name. Kind of thing I would’ve learned in catechism if I’d gone parochial instead of first public and then hooky and then reform. Even as it is, I know enough from just what I picked up in the gutter, to know that it’s not one of the first things that might come to mind, like rooting for the Yankees, or having it off with your own mom or anything like that. I chew a pencil-end for a minute, see if I can suck it somehow out of the wood, then I give up and turn to page 54.
If you answered, “Despair”, give yourself half credit. The correct answer is:
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
My blood runs cold. Could I of done that? Not real likely — I can sin up a storm but I do watch my tongue. But even worse, what about Joey? He’s a sweet guy but he does have a temper sometimes, specially if he misses breakfast. Hits his thumb with a hammer or loses a Pop-tart behind the sink, and he blasphemes like nobody’s business, cussing something awful, mostly yapping on about the First and Second Persons, but who knows, maybe one time he got extra hot under the collar and was running out of G-words and J-words, he might’ve just gone and clipped one to the Ghost. Mighta done it, mighta not. — Never did hear him messing over the Virgin, though.
Jeez — I mean Jeepers, this looks bad. My own brother, maybe even me! Cause it doesn’t say: Badmouthing the Spirit over sixty times, like a speed-limit, or even ten. It says: Just once, Jack, near as I can tell. And —”unpardonable” — do they really mean that? can they? Is that even possible? A buddy can pardon you anything if he feels like it, or you fork him a fiver or whatnot, so they must mean it’s God who’s doing the pardoning or not pardoning. And it sounds like in this case even He can’t do it, infinite mercy be blowed.
Joey’s out, and I’m alone, and I start to panic. He could get run over by a pie truck or something, in a state of… This is awful. I think of calling up a priest, then I remember my name is mud with those guys. But I just got to find out the facts.

[For a dramatic reading of a key passage, by Murphy himself, click here.]