John Straley Has A New Book Coming!


Shame on him for not telling me! I had to find out by hitting his website like any commoner. And I’m certain he got — despite his wishes — a few BCCs of emails from me recently. So he knew I was alive (if not alive and still annoying!).

Straley is unfortunately someone I neglected to put in my fast list of 21st-Century writers that Suits such as Michael Eisner ignore in favor of writers who are like detergents.

I wrote about Straley in my old blog. His Cecil Younger series is terrific. Let me douse all of you with another excerpt from that series so you can see how deprived your reading has been by missing out on this:

The door to the interview room opened a crack and the dispatcher’s small red nose appeared. She was timidly trying to keep someone else from hearing. “Mr. Younger’s attorney is here,” she said in an agitated whisper.

The door banged open and Dickie Stein stood behind her in the doorway with his surfer shorts pulled up high on his waist and his red high-top sneakers unlaced.

“Hi, Carl. I’ve seen the warrant. It’s shit. Let’s get out of here, Cecil.” Dickie lives for moments like this. There are so few opportunities for drama in the law, he jumps at every one he can get.

The chief looked crestfallen, not at the news about the warrant but at the fact that Dickie was on the scene at all. Everything about Dickie depressed and irritated the chief. It was the basis of their professional relationship.

“Dickie, you know you will get your chance at the warrant. But we’re still going to hold him.”

“Chance at the warrant? Chance at the warrant? Some chance. It’s based on the affidavit of one Lucinda Music a.k.a. Lolly.” Dickie was rolling and he spit out the a.k.a. like mouse turds in the soup. “She said there was a pack in a certain room. No description, nothing. Then she said it was gone. What the fuck is that? Chief, you know the informants used in a warrant have to be reliable. Re . . . li . . . able. Now. Lolly has many fine attributes. She may be charming, witty, gay, and even . . . exotic.”

The chief was sitting down and now was cleaning the mashed potatoes off the rim of his shoe. He was rocking slightly with the cadence of Dickie’s rant.

“But she is not, by any stretch of the imagination, reliable. In fact, I talked to her on the phone already once this evening and will tell you that her affidavit was not filled out by her but by the police, and she was under some type of duress when she signed.”

The chief looked up, and waited a full five seconds in silence. “You done?”

“No. How much is bail?”

“We’re getting the magistrate, which. by the way, I don’t have to do. He should be here in a few. We’re going to ask for ten thousand in cash.”

“Get the fuck out of here! You can chop your wife into crab bait in this town and get out for five.”

“Mr. Stein. you can talk to George Doggy. It’s his case, he’s the one that is upset. We’ll have the hearing and call it a day. I don’t need this.”

Dickie slapped down the brick of money that Altman had given me. The chief stared at it and then groaned.

Dickie was still wearing his U.S. OUT OF NORTH AMERICA T-shirt with a wool halibut jacket on top of it. He slipped his wire-rimmed glasses out of the front pocket and stared at the chief. “This will cover it. You start on the paperwork, Carl. and Cecil, you shut the fuck up.”

I was not all that sure I wanted out of jail, but I was in the system and I had asked for my lawyer. That was the last anyone would hear from me.

–The Curious Eat Themselves by John Straley; pgs. 67-69

This is going to be a great year for reading! Christopher Fowler, Victor Gischler, and now John Straley!

Explore posts in the same categories: Books - Fiction, Writers - Living, Writing

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