Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pugilist and Philologian

Now, me, in my day,  I slugged some mugs what needed slugging.  But I never knew that my old smoking-buddy Doctor J -- he’s mostly a word man -- never knew he could use his dukes when he needed to.   Check out the action from your ringside seat:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Old Testament Detective Tale

Things have been slow around here of late.  While you’re waiting, you might check out this strange story, over at old Doctor J’s place:

He starts out with a famous tale of sleuthing back in Pharaoh’s time … and segues into an unsolved case of possible sabotage and government cover-up, currently playing itself out in France:

He then serves up some speculations -- some of them true, some of them might be -- aiming to connect the whole thing to the so-called “Riemann Conspiracy” (which he probably just made it up).
So anyhow, enjoy; but, with a grain of salt (and a side of fries).

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Murphy: "The Long Spoon".

[There are quite a number of unpublished Murphy stories, and even a novel.
Sales so far of the published titles, do not justify proceeding with these.
But in an effort to spark interest,  we now begin a series of teasers.
Should reader response warrant, these might be published.]

The Long Spoon

Swooning in a circle  around the groaning board,  now littered with the detritus of a feast  -- crumbs scattered like the aftermath of a bunfight, now sodden in spilt drink, and bones gnawed bloody, half draping off porcelain plates --  Mr. S. Guile, the host, and his guest, Senator Swill,  along with sundry liegemen and attendants,  sank back  in a sort of stupor of pleasure.   The conversation, which had been animated, though saltatory, subsided, as belts expanded a notch over paunch, and napkin patted pout.  The monogrammed linens were of smoothest silk, so that, rather  than abrading or absorbing the grease, they merely smeared it.  All observed a respectful silent as the guest of honor, grease purling from his fatflesh  in rich glinting globs, expanded slowly, like a meat balloon.
            The Senator at last let out a satisfied sigh.  “What’d’ye call that dish again?”
            “Long pork, ”  said Guile with a smile.
            “Long pork!  Gotta get my mistress the recipe.  What’s it made of?”
            “Long pig, spiced and sweetened, then simmered in its mother’s milk.”
            The sated Senator closed his eyes, and seemed about to drift off.
            Guile -- completely alert -- snapped his fingers, as his manservants,  Gammon and Mammon, rushed forth to clear the board.
            At length the Senator, now even more porkly-portly than before, heaved himself onto his gaitered pegs, and, puffing, signaled for his cloak:  which was swiftly and richly wrapped around his ample shoulders.  He wordlessly held out his hand; his opera hat appeared, and then his walking-stick.  Then, swaggering and staggering, he made for the butler, who bowed and swept open the door.  (It is difficult to swagger when you stagger;  but he tried.)
            “A capital chow-down, Sam old chap,” said the Senator, over his shoulder.”  I’ll remember you, at appropriations time.”
            And I… shall well remember thee… at -- appropriation time, thought Guile to himself.

For a selection of individual detective stories,
available for your Nook or Kindle,
visit this site:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Free on Kindle for a Limited Time: I Don't Do Divorce Cases, by David Justice

Click here to download I Don't Do Divorce Cases. It's free on Kindle through Wednesday, February 27.

Michael Xavier Murphy, with his brother Joey, run Murphy Bros Private Investigators. But they won't take divorce cases, which are supposed to be the meat and potatoes of any PI firm! Find out why by reading several stories previously published in Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock, as well as several never before published stories appearing for the first time in this volume. As a special bonus, the book closes with the first chapter of Murphy on the Mount, the first novel length detective story featuring the Murphy Brothers.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Mystery of “Memento”

Ever watch “Memento”?  Ever watch it fifteen, sixteen times -- sometimes with the sound off, searching for subtle visual clues that the noise might distract you from, like a magician’s patter?  Well, we did, me’n Joey.  Now that was one tough case to crack.
Only now, Doctor J may have a lead that could bust the thing wide open.  Check out the investigation here:

[Dr J  in statu proprio]:There is, in fact, a similarity between the Leonard of “Memento” and the Murphy of “Murphy on the Mount”.  Both are engaged in a dogged, almost frenzied quest, in a case with almost no evidence -- and with absolutely nothing in it for them personally.  Both Leonard’s wife, and Murphy’s client (who wasn’t going to pay him anyway) are dead:  but the case has its own momentum, and they pursue its improbable solution,  like a knight  the grail.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Murphy: in Memoriam

Murphy was Catholic to the very core of him;  yet this fact had somehow managed to escape his knowledge.  It was like a small bright afterimage, off-center from the fovea,  which the eyeball swivels in an attempt to catch -- but ever it flees the field of vision.  Here it was not his faith that was off-center, but his sweating, striving conscious mind.   For any time he asked himself the question point-blank:  Are you a Christian?  the answer was uncertain.   “I wish I knew. -- I’m a letch and a drunkard, more concerned about where my next beer is coming from, and what might lie under that interesting skirt, than about what our Lord might require of me.   And I am not about to change that, either!”  (Stubbornly, chin out;  insides turned to porridge.) 
            The times when it was nevertheless brought home to him, that he was indeed a Christian, was when his consciousness was caught off-guard:  an unanticipated answering smile;   an act of kindness, flowing from him or -- through him;   or, wandering down by the pond, spotting a pair of married ducks.

            And how did he wind up, finally?   Did he eventually formally return to the Church?   Was he saved?
            Fie, for even asking that.   Let us   each of us   attend to our own mission, and care for our loved-ones,  seeking to understand the Lord’s will.   As for old Murphy -- well, to be sure, I pray for his salvation;  but as you know,  I pray for the salvation of the Devil himself.