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'Life's a Bitch. So am I.' Rachel Cord, P.I.
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“Nothing like this ever happens to Kinsey Millhone! . . . R. E. Conary plans on being anything but formulaic.”
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“A great detective novel with sarcastic humor and gritty realism.”
“(G)reat detail and some huge surprises! It had me sitting on the edge of my seat to the very end.” —Reader Views
“Rachel Cord is a tough take-no-nonsense kind of gal.”
Hard-boiled detective Rachel Cord searches for a runaway teen and for answers as to why gay performers are being beaten at Miss Kitty's Kathouse Kabaret. Answers she may live to regret.
Book Excerpt from Life's a Bitch:
My curse preceded me into the squad room. I hate it. A dozen faces swiveled, work ceased, sound stopped. A dozen mouths gaped in slack-jawed awe. It’s a reaction I get all the time. I hate it, but it’s the albatross I bear.
Polite people say I’m buxom. My breasts are huge. I didn’t ask to be built like an unmilked Guernsey. The weight and strain can leave me in tears. I keep promising myself I’ll get them cut down to a modest C-cup. Or better yet, a B. That would be heaven. Meanwhile, they’re a pain I live with; especially when they don’t get me the kind of respect I feel I deserve.
I walked over to the first occupied desk. The nameplate read “DET. JABLOWSKI.” I didn’t wait for the fat slob sitting there to force his eyes up to my face.
“Is Captain Rodecker in?”
“Who wants to know?”
“I do.” I handed him my card.
“Hey, Carson,” he said turning to his neighbor. “Check this out. We got us a dickless dick.”
Jabba the Hutt thought he was cute, but I’d heard it before. That and other tasteless comments. That’s one of the things I mean about no respect.
“Better than being a useless one.”
I let him cogitate about which one I meant -- in his case it could be either. I don’t take crap from anyone, especially men.
Before the slob thought of a comeback, Carson got up, took my card, and read it as he came around the desk. It’s a nice card. Crisp, white, high-quality cardstock. Black lettering. Engraved, not raised. It has my name, Rachel Cord, Confidential Investigations, an address and a phone number. Very professional. Just like me despite my affliction. Oh, yes, one more thing -- my agency motto: “Life’s a bitch. So am I.”
I don’t claim originality for the phrase, but the motto fits my attitude. When I chose this business, the detective who taught me said I’d need an attitude to survive. Life’s difficult at best, and at times it’s downright nasty. When things get tough, I try to be tougher.
Carson’s eyes went directly from my card to my eyes without a pause along the way. I raised him a rung on the evolutionary ladder.
“Is Captain Rodecker expecting you, Miss Cord?”
There was a bit of questioning emphasis on the "Miss." I didn’t see a wedding ring so maybe he was wondering if I were available. Not my type, but let him wonder.
“No, but I think he’ll see me if he’s in. We used to know each other.”
“I’ll check if he has time to see you.”
Carson headed for a glass-walled office with its blinds closed. Jabba gave a last glare before pecking at his computer keyboard. Everyone else went back to doing whatever it was they were doing before I walked in. Two “ladies” handcuffed to a bench seemed to be comparing my attributes to theirs and probably discussing the business pluses of getting implants. I wanted to tell them it wasn’t worth it, but, hey, who was I to judge.
Captain of Detectives Rodney Roderick “Hot Rod” Rodecker III came out of the office with a big grin on his face. He hadn’t changed a whole lot since our Army days during Desert Storm: hair thinning, maturer maybe, but all in all the same rock-hard force of nature I remembered.
“Rachel Cord, it’s great to see you. Come on in.”
I noticed several interested stares as we went into his office, which was half the size it needed to be and overflowed with paperwork. He closed the door and offered me coffee. Then he sat behind his desk and I took one of the chairs facing it.
“God, you bring back memories. Your card says you’re just across the river. What took you so long to look me up?”
“Serendipity. I didn’t know where you were until I read about your recent promotion. How many Rodney R. Rodeckers can there be?” Besides your father and grandfather, that is. “I don’t usually work outside the city, but I needed to come over here. It seemed pleasantly fated that you were here too.”
“What, you don’t think we’re a city? We’re thirty thousand strong and shrinking. ” Rod flashed his grin again. “Anyway, how long’s it been?”
“Twelve years. Not since you shipped out for OCS.”
“Right. I remember hoping you were my going away gift.”
“It wasn’t in the cards, ‘Hot Rod’.”
He blushed and raised his hands. “Please, easy with the ‘Hot Rod’ stuff. I hope I’ve left that reputation behind. But I may have trouble with the rumor mill I think you just started.”
“Okay, Rod. But first, settle one question I’ve always had. Was I the only female on base you didn’t bed?”
“You and the African Queen.” He tried to be glib, then turned redder. “Seriously, Rachel, there must have been two hundred women there. I couldn’t possibly have slept with them all.”
True, but not from lack of trying. Rod was wild and carefree back then -- a nineteen-year-old, long-horned, Oklahoman stud fresh off the range -- sniffing at anything that showed an interest. How he avoided court-martial or paternity was anyone’s guess. “Hot Rod” did not refer to Rodney, Roderick or Rodecker. Not that I was any less randy -- truth to tell -- just more discreet. Many of those women he failed to entice were curled in with me.
Oh, and the African Queen. There’s a sweet memory. Captain Helen Abernathy, the toughest, stracist MP commander any soldier would wish to follow. And I would have followed her to bed if she’d been bent the right way. She encouraged Rodecker to apply to OCS. She also convinced me, in a motherly and subtle way, that no matter how good a soldier and cop I wanted to be, the Army was not the best career choice at that time for someone of my persuasion.
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