Saturday, March 9, 2013

Inconclusive Death by Carol Carroll: Character Interview and Excerpt



 


 
Today, I am pleased to introduce Private Investigator Aaron Blake from Inconclusive Death. Welcome Aaron. Thanks for dropping by. Ready?
 
If I came to visit early in the morning would you impress me as being more like a chirpy bird or a grumpy bear?
I usually feel more chirpy than grumpy at the start of a new day. I’m a morning person. I like to watch the run rise, listen to the birds sing, and have a hearty breakfast. Then I’m ready to take on what comes for the rest of the day.

Tell us about your family.
When I think about family, the first person that pops into my head is my father. I was nine-years-old when he was killed in an automobile accident. His death changed my life. All of a sudden, I felt the responsibility of looking after the rest of the family. I was the oldest of four children, I needed to take over for Dad in any way possible.
 
My mother did the best she could, but she wasn’t equipped to be the head of a household. My grandmother was the one who really kept our family together. When things were the toughest, she never let any of us give up.
 
I’ve still got my mom; she lives about half-an-hour from me, then there’s my brother, Josh, and twin sisters, Samantha and Carolyn. We call them Sami and Carrie. They were tomboys growing up, turned into charming, young women in their teens though. They all have families.
 
We’re kind of spread out, but we try to get together for holidays. We usually have a family vacation together every summer. Rent a cabin some place near a lake where the kids can run. We like to boat, swim, and do a little fishing. There are always tourist places to check out. It’s hectic, but feels good to get reconnected.


What is your favorite meal?
You’re going to laugh, but honestly, my everyday favorite is a big, juicy hamburger with all the fixin’s, a large order of fries, and an icy-cold Coke. My favorite home cooked meal is roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, a Jell-O salad and glazed carrots. Dessert never hurts either. And I can’t resist a medium-rare rib eye steak with a baked potato and side salad when I go to a steakhouse restaurant. I guess when it comes right down to it; I just like good food of any kind!


What do you do to unwind and relax?
It seems like I don’t find much time for relaxation these days. Let’s see, I guess when I do, I like to sit down and put my feet up in a quiet room, maybe catch a ball game on TV, or read a good book.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?
That’s easy. It would be my grandmother. I’d like to tell her how sorry I am that nobody ever caught the person who murdered her. I was still a kid when some fool broke into her house to rob her. When he found her at home, he killed her, and all for a few dollars in her purse. I promised her, and myself, that I’d hunt down any murderer I could, and make sure they paid for what they did. I’ve spent my adult life trying to live up to that vow.


What makes you happy?
Spending time with the people I love…my family, friends, and my girlfriend. Shutting out the troubled world I live in and enjoying some quality time with the special people in my life always makes me happy as a cat with a big bowl of cream set before him.

What one word best describes you?
Only one word, huh? … Tenacious comes to mind. I stick to things until I get them finished. I hate loose ends.
 
You just won a huge lottery what is the first thing you'll buy?
No contest, I’d buy the newest, cherry red, Corvette Stingray convertible on the market, with all the bells and whistles, and a 427 turbocharged V8 would do nicely.
 
Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?
It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment. - Sherlock Holmes
 
 
 







What happened to the prominent man about town, Victor Ackerman?

Was it an accident? Did his financially strapped heirs give him a gentle hand into the next world? How about his showgirl ex-wife from Las Vegas? Perhaps it was his business partner who wanted him out of the way. After all, he had cheated on her one time too many.

When all else fails to turn up the answers, the indomitable super sleuth, Aaron Blake is contacted.

No one can find a lead better than Blake. But this case will be a challenge even for him. The body of the millionaire playboy is found slumped across his desk. The autopsy comes back with no apparent cause of death. Police detectives have so little to go on they’ve all but given up on the case. Can Blake discover what or who killed the healthy, forty-two year old?

 Amazon  |  Smashwords  |  Goodreads
 


  
Blake’s doorbell rang. Who can that be on a Saturday and right at lunchtime? He laughed and opened the front door. “Hi, Pepper, I’ve been expecting you.”
Stepping inside, Donald (Pepper) Pepples pinched up his face as if he’d just bitten into a sour pickle. “How’d you know I was comin’ over?”
“Oh, a lucky guess maybe.” He clapped his friend on the shoulder and asked, “You had lunch yet?”
“No. Have you?”
“I’m on the way to the kitchen right now.”
Pepper grinned. “What we havin’?”
“I’ll throw a frozen pizza in the oven. You want a Coke?”
“Sure.” He followed Blake into the kitchen. “You’re lookin’ kinda scruffy. What cha been doin’ this morning?”
“Getting the outside work done for the year, I finished it all. Now it can snow and blow for all I care.”
The little man shook his head. “Don’t say that. Once it starts, it stays around forever.” He pulled out a chair and sat. “You get any work yet?”
“Yup, did you hear about a well-known architect being found dead in his house a couple weeks ago?”
“I read about it in the paper. You mean you’re lookin’ into it?”
“I am. This might be the case to get me jump-started again.” Blake winked. He turned on the oven and took a supreme pizza out of the freezer.
With big eyes and honest enthusiasm, Pepper said, “Can I help ya? Tell me about it!”
“Not much to tell yet. I’m snooping around, asking a lot of questions.” He paused for a moment. “You know what? There is something you can do to help. How about doing some research for me? I need to know what shape Apex Publishing’s finances are in. There’s a hint the company’s in trouble. I appreciate how well you find your way around the internet. You’re always diligent and crafty. You’d be perfect for the job.”
“Thanks, I’ll see what I can come up with.” Pepper sat up a little taller and took a long swig of his cold drink.
The oven beeped. Blake popped the pizza onto the top rack. “I haven’t seen you for a few days. What have you been doing?”
“Mostly hiding from Susanna Rice, that girl makes me nervous. She’s always sashayin’ around, smilin’ and gigglin’. I can never think of anything to say. My tongue gets tied up in knots. I wish she’d leave me alone!”
“It’s your own fault. You’re just too darn irresistible.”
Pepper turned as red as a cardinal. “You know that’s not true.”
“It must be, or she wouldn’t keep chasing you.” Blake teased. “You have a nice head of hair. Maybe it’s those hazel eyes, or the cleft in your chin.”
“Knock it off, Blake. You know I’m not a ladies’ man.” He ran a finger around the top of his Coke can, kept his eyes fixed on it.
“You never can tell. There’s no accounting for taste. You might be just what the lady’s looking for.”
Something akin to fear showed on Pepper’s face. “When is the pizza gonna be ready? I’m hungry.”
 
At six o’clock, Sarah answered Blake’s knock on the door. She was wearing a form-fitting, black dress with a gold autumn leaf pattern. It had a V-neck, long sleeves that were rolled up, held with button tabs, and the hemline fell to just above her knees. Black pumps with two-inch heels adorned her feet. All in all, the outfit was exceedingly flattering.
Blake raised his brow and looked her up and down. He whistled. “Wow, you are beautiful. I like the dress too.”
Sarah stood erect and held her head high. “Thank you, kind sir. You look mighty handsome yourself.”
He glanced down at his lavender shirt, black slacks, and matching sport coat. Then leaned toward her slightly and looked into her eyes with a soft, clear, and steady gaze. “Thank you.”
Sarah blinked. Feeling self-conscious, she looked away.
“I’m happy to see you’re all ready. I like a punctual woman. Too many think it’s cool to keep a man waiting.”
“I believe in being on time. I hate it when people are habitually late. I think they do it on purpose for the attention, and it’s rude. Let me grab my purse and we can be on our way.”
She says what she thinks. What you see is what you get. I like this girl more all the time. Whoa! Remember it’s alright to like her, just not too much, he told himself.
He placed his hand on the middle of her back and walked her to his car. With a critical eye, he sized it up. In his opinion, it was definitely not a good enough ride for this woman. Embarrassment troubled him until he noticed that Sarah didn’t appear to notice the old Dodge at all. Her eyes were on him, and she was smiling. He opened the car door to help her into the front seat, and then went around to slide in behind the steering wheel.
The host at Luigi’s greeted them with a pleasant smile. His Italian accent sounded authentic, which added to the ambiance of the ristorante. He sat Blake and Sarah in a nice booth along the right side of the room. High backrests gave the illusion of privacy.
There was a good Saturday night crowd, yet it didn’t feel packed, nor was it noisy. The low lights and candles on the tables lent a romantic atmosphere to the entire dining room. Red and white checkered linens dressed the tables. Romantic Italian love songs were played by a talented violinist in a corner of the room that was set up as a mini stage.
“I’ve never been here on a Saturday night before. Looks like they go all out,” Sarah commented while she looked the place over.
“The violinist is new. I like his music.” Blake sat back and watched the man play for a minute. His white shirt and suit brought out his dark features. He played his violin like he was making love to it, so sweet, so sensual. Blake turned back to Sarah. “He sure can make that violin sing.”
“He sure can.”
“I hope you’re hungry. I certainly am. I worked up a big appetite being out in the fresh air most of the day.”
“I love the lasagna here. It’s the best in town. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since you called.”
The waitresses flitted from one table to the next, taking good care of their customers, but at the same time they were as unobtrusive as possible. Blake couldn’t have chosen a better place for his first date with the lovely Sarah.
She looked into his eyes. “I’m curious what made you become a private investigator.”
“I was a cop for nearly seven years. I got tired of all the restrictive rules and orders, so I went to work for myself. Now I have the freedom to do a better job. And I don’t have to live with seeing criminals set free because they have good lawyers who know how to twist things around in a courtroom, not nearly as much anyway.”
“It must be difficult for police to work so hard to find and arrest a guilty person and see him go free on technicalities. I guess it’s better than an innocent person going to prison though.”
“There’s a lot lacking in our judicial system. It’s the best our society has been able to come up with though.”
“I’m afraid so. How long have you been working on your own?”
“Six years last May. It’s been quite a ride.”
“You must be doing well to be in it so long.”
“It has its ups and downs. Since its how I want to earn a living, I have to work hard at it. I’d hate to give up my business. What I really want is to make it grow. 


 
 
 

Carol Carroll is a senior citizen in years, but she’s still very young at heart! She has a super husband who is also her best friend, two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandsons. Family comes first in her heart, the close and the extended.

She enjoys traveling, woodworking with husband, Marv, bicycle riding, and photography. She also loves to read and write books. She can get lost in the pages, see new places, meet new friends, and use her vivid imagination.

What a ride! Right now she’s starting out on a brand new adventure. It’s called publishing. For years Carol has been content to write the short stories she enjoys putting on the computer to share with family, friends, and with the other writers in website groups. She really can’t say what triggered her renewed interest in getting published. One day it dawned on her, being published was a goal worth pursuing, so she decided to write a cozy mystery/detective story and see where she could go with it. 

After a lot of searching on the internet, she decided on self-publishing. Her novel, Inconclusive Death an Aaron Blake Mystery is now an e-book on Smashwords.com and in print through Amazon.com. 


 


 
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