Bad to the Boneby Katy Munger
At first, Casey proves a sucker for the fragile blonde who claims her estranged husband has disappeared with their child. But when Casey
Don't mess with North Carolina's Casey Jones - smart mouth ex-con, unlicensed PI and reluctant partner to a Barry White wannabe. Casey's big and bad, with attitude to match her altitude. Especially when she's been double-crossed.
At first, Casey proves a sucker for the fragile blonde who claims her estranged husband has disappeared with their child. But when Casey locates the fugitive spouse a little too easily, she begins to suspect that the lovely Tawny Bledsoe has played her for a fool. Especially when Casey gets stiffed on the fee, then finds herself embroiled in a murder case with Tawny's name written all over it. Bad check in hand and a bad taste in her mouth, Casey resolves to stop Tawny once and for all, but the battle quickly turns personal with Tawny proves more than a match for the the irrepressible Casey. Ego rattled, Casey laces up her high-tops to track her nemesis to Florida for a Saturday night cat fight. Casey must leave her sweet-and-sour southern ways far behind in order to prove that Tawny Bledsoe is one bad to the bone babe who belongs behind bars - no matter what it takes to bring her down.
From Publishers Weekly:
Raleigh, N.C., gumshoe, 160-pound Casey Jones (first introduced in Legwork) has more than her usual hassles. Her current beau, a cop, is berating her for agreeing to look for evidence that could overturn a woman's death sentence. The woman supposedly killed her husband, another cop. Not only does Casey run smack into several police departments who won't help her, but someone tries to kill her. And whenever she seems close to getting a break on the case, she turns up near a dead body and the police are certain she's involved. All the while, Casey tries to fortify herself with doughnuts, fried chicken and just about anything else, at least until she can sort out her case and her love life. Casey's size and tough manner belie her Southern roots; in fact, she wants a man to wait on her and woo her but only on her terms. ("I've kept telling him that he's going to have to kiss my .45 caliber ass for the next twenty years in order to atone.") The atmosphere is thick with greasy foods and pervasive corruption, but Casey makes this is a delightfully funny read, perfect for a rainy afternoon or long train ride.
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Read an Excerpt
"Christ," Bobby groaned as the bell tinkled. He sank into his seat without looking up. "We're busier than Krispy damn Kreme. It's too cold for this shit. I'm ordering me some hot wings from Domino's to warm up."
I didn't answer. I was too busy staring. The woman shocked me as much as Jeff. From behind, she'd looked like a Playboy bunny waiting on the steps of an Aspen ski lodge. From the front, she looked like the lead in a driver's ed film the morning after the prom. Ugly bruises crept over her cheeks beneath her right eye and a huge scab ran off the end of her chin. Her left arm was in a sling tucked beneath her coat. Metal splints bound two fingers together. I'd have guessed she'd been boxing Mike Tyson, except both of her cars were intact and her honey-streaked hair was tucked behind them to prove it.
"Can I help you?" I asked calmly, though the sight of a battered woman always sent a vague fear skittering through the deeper recesses of my brain.
"Are you Casey Jones?" she asked in a cultivated drawl. An old money try, but not quite there.
"Yes," I admitted. "In the flesh." All 170 pounds of it, at the moment, though I was not about to tell this 105-pound beauty what I weighed.
The mention of flesh caused her to unconsciously caress the bruise on one of her cheeks. "My name is Tawny Bledsoe. My husband did this to me. I want you to find him."
"And do what to him?" I asked, imagining the cornucopia of violence I would visit on a wife-beater if I had the chance.
"Get my child back from him," she said. "He's got my little girl. The courts say she's supposed to be with me."
Bobby D. cleared his throat nervously andpretended to rummage in one of his junk food drawers for a snack. We both hated domestic cases involving children. Parents will do things to each other in front of kids they claim to love that will make your faith in mankind shrivel up and die.
"Your husband beat the shit out of you, kidnapped your kid and you just want me to find him?" I asked, to be sure I understood. "That's all? You don't want me to snatch the kid back or anything?"
"That's right," she said, and her accent made it sound more like "That's rat"which was probably closer to the truth. "Just find him."
"I assume you're separated?" I asked. "You mentioned the courts?"
She nodded, waiting for my answer. Her left eye twitched. Probably permanent muscle damage.
"Come back to my office and we'll talk about it there," I said, aware that Bobby was starting to sweat like a hog roasting over an open fire. Bobby hates crying women, and the fact that this one had yet to turn on the faucets was a minor miracle. Tawny Bledsoe must be one tough cookie, even if she had lost her last bout by a knockout.
She followed me without a word and took a seat in the visitor's chair after lining it with her fur coat. I'm not on a first-name basis with domestic pelts, so I had no idea what kind of critters died to make her fashionable. But I could tell that her coat had wiped out a generation's worth of some poor species. Underneath it, she wore a pink cashmere sweater and black designer jeans. This was no thrift shop junkie sitting before me, the lady invested in her wardrobe big time.
She sat with perfect posture and daintily crossed her legs. It was impossible not to stare. She was built like a five-foot Barbie doll, with perky breasts jutting out above a waistline so narrow I fought the urge to ask her to lift her sweater so I could count her ribs. Surely a few had been sacrificed for size.
"Tell me about yourself," I said.
'What do you want to know?" Her plucked eyebrows arched. It was difficult to tell, given the current state of her face, but I was pretty sure she was a stunner beneath the bruises and makeup. Her facial proportions were perfect and her eyes were almond-shaped pools of pale blue. Some people have all the luck.
Not that she looked too lucky at the moment.
"General stuff, like where you come from. That sort of thing," I explained. "I like to know who I'm representing."
"Oh." She stared at the wall. "I was born in Kannopolis, that's near Charlotte. My daddy worked for Canon Mills. In upper management. I went to UNC-Wilmington for a while, but I dropped out to get married."
I examined her more closely. Minute lines were starting to form around her eyes and mouth. The lady was well over thirty, though she wore it well.
"How long ago was that?" I asked. I was being about as subtle as her perfume, which was starting to make me sneeze.
"A lady never tells her age," she said, holding her chin high. "But that was another husband."
"I see." I was starting to sound like a shrink. "Any kids with the first hubby?"
"No." Her lower lip trembled. "That's one reason my first husband left me. The doctors told me I couldn't have children. My frame was too small. That's why it was such a miracle when I had Tiffany." Her eyes filled with tears. "I don't care what it costs. I fear for Tiffany's life. You must find her for me."
"I'm sorry, but I haven't decided whether or not to take on your case." Especially if she had a daughter named Tiffany. Despite her claims about Daddy being in upper management, I'd already gotten. . .
Meet the Author
Katy Munger is the author of fourteen novels, all published by major traditional publishers, writing under her real name as well as her pseudonyms, Chaz McGee and Gallagher Gray. She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, raised in North Carolina, lived for a number of years in New York City and now calls North Carolina home. She is a former book reviewer for The Washington Post, a co-founder of Thalia Press and an original author of Thalia Press Author's Co-op, which seeks to connect established writers with new e-book audiences. All of her work is also available in e-book format. You can learn more about the author and her work at www.katymunger.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Katy Munger has come through with even more excitement in this, the fourth book in her series about Casey Jones, the big, blonde unlicensed North Carolina PI with a past that includes doing some unjust jail time. What's more, in this book, Katy Munger has created one of the most dastardly and despicable female villains you're likely to come across, North or South. When Tawny Bledsoe poses as a battered wife to get Casey Jones on her side, Casey falls for the scam. As a result of Tawny's manipulation, an innocent man, her husband, is being charged with murder, his child has been kidnapped, and to add insult to injury, Tawny has foisted a bad check on Casey. All this is enough to set Casey out to bring Tawny down, rescue the child, and clear the innocent man. Along the way, Casey's ex-husband gets into the act, as does a police detective who has lusted after Katy (and she for him), and the action moves up and down the east coast from North Carolina to Florida. This one is a real page-turner and hackle-raiser -- and the writing is of such a high quality it puts Katy Munger head and shoulders above many other mystery writers. She's a genuine novelist.