Me, Myself and Why? (Cadence Jones Series #1)

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Overview

Sweet and innocent with a twist of girl-next-door, Cadence Jones is not your typical girl and certainly not your typical FBI agent.  Just ask her sisters, Shiro and Adrienne.  (Wait. . .best if you don’t ask Adrienne anything.)  But it’s her special “talent” which makes Cadence so valuable to the FBI and it never comes in more handy than when she and her partner, George, get tagged to bring down the Threefer Killer.  A serial killer who inexplicably likes to kill in threes, leave behind ...

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Overview

Sweet and innocent with a twist of girl-next-door, Cadence Jones is not your typical girl and certainly not your typical FBI agent.  Just ask her sisters, Shiro and Adrienne.  (Wait. . .best if you don’t ask Adrienne anything.)  But it’s her special “talent” which makes Cadence so valuable to the FBI and it never comes in more handy than when she and her partner, George, get tagged to bring down the Threefer Killer.  A serial killer who inexplicably likes to kill in threes, leave behind inexplicable newspaper clippings, and not one shred of decent forensic evidence, soon starts leaving messages that seem to be just for Cadence and her sisters.  Could it be that this killer knows all about Cadence’s special “talent”?  In the meantime, love blooms in the most unexpected place when Cadence meets her best friend’s gorgeous brother who is in town visiting—and she discovers that he knows her secret too!  When attraction burns hot between them her best friend isn’t thrilled with the romantic development and this time Cadence just might agree!

From New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson comes an outrageously funny novel about a highly unconventional FBI agent, a rather odd serial killer, a best friend on the edge, a gorgeous baker. . .and oh, yeah, love.

Suddenly Cadence finds her unbalanced life turned even more upside down as she tries to date a baker who wants to get in her heart and in her bed, dodge a pesky psychiatrist, keep a leash on her sociopath partner, while trying to catch a serial killer who’s now fixated on her. 

 

Some days it’s not even worth getting up in the morning. . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Davidson's odd chick lit thriller cozy, the first in a trilogy introducing Cadence Jones, a federal agent afflicted with MPD (multiple personality disorder), will either delight or horrify. To begin, one must buy into the concept that the FBI would have a covert branch in Minneapolis, the Bureau of False Flags Ops (BOFFO), staffed with operatives like Jones; her sociopathic partner, George Pinkham; and assorted pyromaniacs, kleptomaniacs, and paranoid psychotics. Jones's joking about the various mental challenges of her crew may strike some as creepy in the context of their hunt for the "ThreeFer" serial killer. Meanwhile, Jones's alternating identities hop in and out during the disjointed investigation, creating romantic problems. Davidson (Undead and Unfinished) deserves credit for attempting black comedy, but her paranormal romance fans may be left scratching their heads. 100,000 first printing; author tour. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews

Davidson, bestselling author of theUndead series, has spun supernatural romances around vampires, mermaids and werewolves. Now she's trying her hand at love in the loony bin.

The author has created a fantasy world posing as reality, beginning with a little-known branch of the FBI, the Bureau of False Flag Ops, or BOFFO, that distinguishes itself by employing agents who are all dangerously disturbed. There's a kleptomaniac, an arsonist, an agoraphobic secretary, a sociopath and our heroine Cadence, who has multiple personality disorder. Cadence (blonde and perky) and her two "sisters" (Shiro, a brilliant Japanese fighter, and redheaded Adrienne, a sexed-up killer) form the perfect crime-fighting package. The three will need all their skills to capture the ThreeFer serial killer who is now working on Cadence's home turf of Minneapolis. Bodies are piling up, three at a time, and Cadence and her partner George are far from solving a crime spree that has offered little in terms of forensic evidence and even less in profiling. Then ThreeFer strikes again, with a gift-like offering of clues that Shiro immediately understands—ThreeFer is killing to get Cadence's attention. Meanwhile, romance is in the air as Cadence meets her best friend Cathie's (she and Cathie met years ago at the mental institution where orphaned Cadence was born and raised) brother Patrick. A fabulously wealthy baker, Patrick knows all about Cadence's multiple personality disorder and thinks it's cool! Three chicks for the dinner price of one! Very strange...is he the ThreeFer killer? Or is it sociopath George? Maybe Cadence herself? Davidson's murder mystery has a multiple personality of its own—chick-lit comedy, violent whodunit and some kind of contemporary retread of The Three Faces of Eve, the combination of which deflates the tension and calls into question the taste of its comedy.

Kudos for quirkiness, though the novel is neither quite as funny nor as mysterious as it would like to be.

From the Publisher
Praise for Me, Myself and Why?

"Davidson is in fine form with the over-the-top humor and outrageous situations that have made her a best-seller. Best of all, this is a fresh new story with nary a vampire or werewolf." —Booklist

 

"Wacky, witty and wonderful! Me, Myself and Why? is on eof the most unique and engaging stories to come along this year. There's nothing typical and everything wonderful about Cadence Jones and her "sisters." Prepare yourself for a wild and entertaining ride." -RT Book Reviews

 

"Me, Myself, and Why? is a nail biting, heart pounding ride on the tilt-a-whirl of craziness and crazy has never been so good!" —Fallen Angel Reviews

 "Laugh-out-loud funny with a twist of suspense." —Romance Junkies

 

“Awesomely original, fast paced and fun, with characters you’ll never forget!” –Lori Foster, #1 New York Times bestselling author  

Praise for MaryJanice Davidson:

“With her hot-selling tales about a beautiful, wisecracking vampire queen from Edina, MaryJanice Davidson has sunk her teeth into a career most writers can only lust after.” —Minnesota Monthly

“Davidson’s witty dialogue, fast pacing, smart plotting, laugh-out-loud humor, and sexy relationships make this a joy to read.” —Booklist

“A bawdy, laugh-out-loud treat!” —Book Page

“Smart, sarcastic, frequently profane and manically inventive.” —The News-Press (Florida)

“When it comes to outlandish humor, Davidson reigns supreme!”—Romantic Times BOOKreview

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312531171
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Series: Cadence Jones Series , #1
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,399,698
  • Product dimensions: 8.82 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

MaryJanice Davidson

New York Times bestselling author MARYJANICE DAVIDSON has been credited with starting paranormal chick lit. She has also hit the USA Today and the Wall Street Journal bestseller’s list for her popular Undead Series. Booklist calls it “Bubbly fun”. She lives in Minnesota with her family. 

Biography

Reading the coyly self-deprecating autobiography on her web site, one gets the distinct impression that MaryJanice Davidson does not have the slightest interest in talking about herself. Perhaps it's because she simply doesn't have the time. Prolific does not begin to describe this chart-busting dynamo, the author of four bestselling series and literally dozens of novellas and short stories.

A writer with a few romances and YA novels to her credit, Davidson had tried for years to interest publishers in her idea for a humorous, tongue-in-cheek vampire romance. After dozens of rejections (and assurances that there was no market for paranormal!), she submitted her manuscript for publication online. An editor at a New York publishing house downloaded the story, was royally entertained, and contacted Davidson to acquire the print rights to Undead and Unwed. On the spot, she was offered a three-book contract.

When Undead and Unwed and its wry sequel, Undead and Unemployed, were released in early 2004, not one, but two stars were born: Davidson and her irresistible protagonist, the reluctant vampire queen Betsy Taylor. A smart, sassy, 27-year-old secretary, Betsy is killed in a freak car accident and wakes up (so to speak) to discover that she is not only a vampire but the much-prophesied Queen of the Undead. Readers loved Davidson's wry take on vampire literature, a genre long distinguished by its gothic self-seriousness. Betsy, with her smarty-pants attitude and passion for designer shoes, is one vampire queen who owes more to Sophie Kinsella than to Anne Rice.

While Davidson has continued to produce more Undead novels, she has also found the time to launch three other romantic fantasy series featuring 1.) a hybrid mermaid named Fred, 2.) an eccentric family of Alaskan royals, and 3.) a cyborg spy. All are infused with her trademark wit and imagination. In addition, she and her husband, Anthony Alongi, have written the Jennifer Scales series, originally marketed to young adults and re-released as fantasy fiction for all ages. Davidson also remains one of the most popular writers of paranormal romantica; her short stories and novellas appear regularly in anthologies.

Good To Know

Davidson is not the only one in her family to achieve fame. Her mother once broke the world record for target shooting.

Before she devoted her time to chronicling the love lives of vampires and werewolves, Davidson was voted Miss Congeniality in her high school.

Even though Davidson is one of the most popular writers of modern monster fiction, in real life she is actually terrified of the undead. In fact, she is currently holding a contest on her web site asking readers to put together a twelve-step program to help her get over her fear of zombies!

As she writes on her website, Davidson lived a transient life as a young girl. Her father's career in the U.S. Air Force led her to live in such disparate locales as Guam, Mississippi, and North Dakota. As she grew older, her life in the working world was just as restless as her childhood. She tried her hand at everything from waitressing to modeling to editing to a stint as a medical test subject (!) before settling on a career as a bestselling novelist. These days, her life may be a bit more settled, but it has hardly slowed down.

A few fun outtakes from our interview with Davidson

"I'm a former model -- worst job ever, honestly."

"I'm a gigantic sushi hog -- it's pretty much my favorite meal."

"The more terrible and groaningly awful a horror movie is, the more I like it."

"Um, I like bubble baths? Seriously. I know that sounds like something a Playboy Bunny would say, but I really do."

"I like taking my kids to new restaurants and encouraging them to try new dishes -- we did "Dim Sum" just the other day."

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The lilting strains of thrash metal crashed through my skull and I sat bolt upright in bed, clutching my ears. Someone—probably my psycho sister—had set my alarm to WROX and cranked it. It was a lot like being awakened on an airport runway by an approaching DC-10.

I clawed for the snooze button, missed, swiped again, knocked the radio to the carpet, slithered off the bed, fell on top of the snooze button, and, mercifully, the Sweet Jerkoffs’ new release, Raining Hell on Your Stupid Face, stopped.

Don’t ask me how I knew the song and the band. I won’t tell.

“Too early,” came a sonorous voice from the bed above. What the—? “Sleep more.”

I cautiously peeked over the edge of the bed. A strange, nude man was tangled up in my Laura Ashley sheets. His long dark hair covered half his face and fluttered as he resumed snoring. He had a tattoo of Donald Duck performing a sexual act on Daisy; it was almost four inches across!
And—what the—?—I was naked, too.

Over his slurred protests (he smelled like he’d fallen into a tequila vat on the way to my apartment), I pulled him out of bed as efficiently and politely as I could. I found his jeans under the bed, his shirt hanging over my bedside lamp, his boxer briefs on top of the heating vent, one of his shoes in the bathroom, and the other in my kitchen sink. It was tough work getting him dressed while not looking at his penis, but I managed.

Don’t ask me how; I won’t tell.

After the stranger was gone, I set about cleaning up the empty tequila bottles, the gnawed lemon slices (one was nestled beside my toothbrush like a bedraggled yellow comma), the spilled salt shakers (my moo cow shaker! in the toilet! darn it all!), and something that looked like a small purple whale.

I was studying it, hoping it wasn’t what I knew it was, when it started to buzz in my hand and I dropped it. What was that doing in the fridge?

Never mind. Never mind. I—I had to get to work. Mustn’t be late! Mustn’t be late!

I kicked the vibrator across the kitchen floor until it was close to the garbage, then darted into the bathroom. I took a quick shower, dried at light speed (my blond hair looked all right, but my eyes were bloodshot—what had my sister been—never mind, never mind), and dressed in my best conservative navy suit.

Then I grabbed a breakfast Hot Pocket (ham & cheese) and headed out the front door. I had a splitting headache, but some iced coffee ought to fix that nicely … along with about ten Advils. No time for makeup, but I twisted my hair up into a large barrette.

“Morning, Ms. Jones,” Ben, the doorman, said on my way out. “Late night, huh?”

I had no idea what he was talking about, as my last memory was of walking down Lake Street at 5:30 p.m. the day before (a peek at the newspaper assured me of the date), but nodded and waved my Hot Pocket at him.

It took ten minutes to find my Mitsubishi Eclipse—I was thankful it hadn’t been towed again, intruding crookedly on the sidewalk as it was—and another twenty-five to drive (a bit more quickly than usual) to BOFFO headquarters, located on Marquette Avenue in Minneapolis. It looked like an office building, maybe the corporate headquarters for Target or one of those financial-adviser firms that did so well until 2008. But this was no office.

Well, it was in that there were printers and desks and things, but it was actually a branch of the FBI, the Bureau of False Flag Ops.

After I parked, I took the elevator to the correct floor, slid my key card through the slot, waited for the retinal scan, then popped in. Five minutes early! Victory was mine.

As always, I was greeted by Opus, the custodian for my floor.

“Hi … Cadence.”

“Hi, big guy. Have a nice night?”

Opus gave the question careful thought before answering. “Yes.” Opus didn’t understand the concept of small talk—he had savant syndrome (never, never use the phrase “idiot savant”; soooo twentieth century!)—but he could do incredible things with numbers, even if he couldn’t write out a grocery list. He was a shambling bear of a man—well over six feet tall, with shaggy brown hair, bushy eyebrows, mud-colored eyes, and thick forearms. His two-piece brown uniform made him look not unlike a grizzly bear. With a mop.

I’ll admit, I had a soft spot for the man. I’d had to defend him from occasional taunts from some of my less sensitive co-workers, “rain man” being a popular insult.

It was almost funny that anybody who worked for BOFFO would have the nerve to insult anyone else who worked for BOFFO. After all, we all had—

“Cadence!” George Pinkman was actually dancing from one foot to the other. “I got the new Halo! You should come over and help me blow shit up.”

“Some other time,” I replied sweetly. George gave me the creeps. A textbook sociopath, he didn’t think anything was real except the world of violent video games. Why BOFFO needed him I would never understand, but I was certainly in no position to complain or judge. I mean, jeepers! I was a federal cop, not King Solomon. “But thanks.”

“Maybe your sister, then.”

I shivered and moved past him to my desk. He really was crazy. Well, sure. He had a BOFFO ID card, didn’t he? And he’d fooled a lot of people with those big green eyes, aquiline nose, and firm jaw. His eyebrows were slashing commas across his forehead, and although he had a slim build, he held no fewer than three black belts. He often dressed and talked effeminately to provoke the local rednecks. Then he’d lure them out into the parking lot and break various bones. All in the name of self-defense, of course, while sporting one of his huge collection of incredibly garish and tasteless neckties.

The one he wore now featured a single cartoon puppy in a dead-Christ pose, against a background of rainbows.

I scanned the morning faxes, checked arrest reports, did some work on the computer, and heated up my Hot Pocket, which I gobbled in six bites (so hungry!). I got a Frappuccino from the vending machine, balanced it on my Hello Kitty mouse pad, and began gulping it with a few Advils. This would, I hoped, take care of my hangover.

“Cadence Jones!”

I swung around in my chair, nearly spilling my drink. My supervisor, Michaela, was framed in the doorway of Da Pitt (where all her field agents congregated to fight crime and work on their Secret Santa drawings). She was a fifty-something woman with silver, straight chin-length hair and amazing green eyes. Pure green, not hazel. Like leaves! Hair the color of precious metal, eyes the color of wet leaves—she’d have been gorgeous if she hadn’t been so scarily efficient and surrounded by cubicles and printers and mail carts. And today, as usual, she was dressed in Ann Taylor.

I squashed the urge to shake the ringing out of my ears—the boss lady had the volume and pitch of a steamer whistle. “Weren’t we going to work on our inside voice?”

“Debriefing! Thirty minutes!”

“I know, I saw the e-mail.” I pointed at my computer screen. “But thanks for assuming I hadn’t learned to read in the first grade.”

“Leave the mouth at your desk!” Thankfully, she vanished through another doorway.

Now how was I supposed to do that? Physically, it was impossible. Figuratively, it didn’t make any sense, since my mouth was essentially what made me valuable to BOFFO. Maybe Michaela was coming off an odd night, too.

George shoved, hard, and his chair shot over to my desk. “It’s Miller time!” he chortled, pounding his fists on his thighs.

It was a bad joke, of course. Connie Miller, who had poisoned four of her five children in seven years (Why did she let the oldest live? What was it about the others? Why why why did she) was being remanded for trial this morning; George and I were to baby-sit her until the local cops came. It was essentially some last-minute paperwork before transfer. Strictly custodial. Mornings like this reminded me that for fearless minions of the federal government, an awful lot of what we did was cleanup. For which we received full medical and dental, so it wasn’t all bad.

Connie Miller creeped me out as much as George did, but for entirely different reasons. Call me old-fashioned, but it was against the laws of nature when moms killed their kids.

And Munchausen by proxy? Getting off on the attention you got when your kids got sick (by your own hand) and died? Weird. Repulsive. Horrifying. I was superglad my sister had helped make the collar; there was no way I could have taken her on my own.

It had become a matter for BOFFO when Miller moved from California to Minnesota. George and my sister had man-aged to track and nail her. Now the only thing left for BOFFO was routine paperwork, and putting the dead babies out of our minds. Two of the babies she had killed she’d conceived only after spending a great deal of time and money on fertility treatments.

Baffling.

We moved through various secure areas, slipping key cards through scanner after scanner. There were very few security guards at BOFFO: too many of us were paranoid and would begin acting like inmates. (Some of us, I suspected, had been in the past.) So what ever security could be automated, was.

Connie Miller was sitting quietly in an interrogation room, dressed in a lime jumpsuit with BOFFO printed in black letters on the back and sleeves. She was handcuffed in front, as she was deemed docile, cooperative, and even oddly friendly, not to mention in her early forties and overweight.
“Ms. Miller!” George called. “Ready for your day in court?”

“I can’t wait,” she replied, twinkling up at George. Her blue eyes (almost, I hated to admit, the exact same shade as mine) were wide and practically glowing. “The jury will believe me, once I explain everything.”

“Don’t forget to mention how you used peach puree to cover up the acidic taste of the poison,” George suggested amiably. He yawned and scrubbed his face with his palms; he’d been up until the wee hours playing computer games, no doubt. “The jury will eat it up. Get it? Eat it up? Heh. You do realize your poor dead babies are going to be waiting for you in hell, right?”

I resisted the urge to kick him in the ankle. For one thing, George was an atheist. Rather, he did believe in God, and he believed he was that God. For another, he wouldn’t have minded if Miller had killed twenty babies. George, like all sociopaths, lived for fun, passion, and challenges. Morality wasn’t just an alien concept for him, it was utterly unknown.

No, he was just fucking with her. It was cruel, even for someone like her. What ever we were, we were professionals.

I forced a smile, ignoring the throbbing in my temples. “If you could just sign here. And here. And initial here.” It was a little like accepting a package from FedEx. “And sign here.”

Connie obediently scribbled with the soft-felt-tip pen I’d handed her.

George sprawled himself in a chair opposite her and stroked his dead-rainbow-Jesus-dog tie. “Your problem is, you got greedy. One baby, okay. Two? Prob’ly would’ve worked. But four? And you crossed state lines? And let every hospital have your chart?”

“I can explain everything,” she muttered, her red hair falling into her eyes as she huddled over the paperwork I was handing across the table.

“Tell it to the judge, sweetie.” Like many sociopaths, George was charismatic and could make an insult sound like a flirtation. He was even leering at her, which would only confuse the poor woman.

It wasn’t the first time I’d questioned Michaela’s judgment in putting a pure sociopath on the team. They were just so darned unpredictable, not to mention unreliable when it came to pulling their weight at the Secret Santa party.

“You can’t talk to me like that,” the killer said primly. “The Lord has blessed me with many babies and many challenges.”

“Challenges!” George hooted.

“Stop it,” I pleaded. What was his point, other than to upset her? She had been caught. The jury would put her away. She’d spend the next thirty years in Shakopee. There was no point to this and it was upsetting the prisoner.

Excerpted from Me, Myself and Why? by MaryJanice Davidson.
Copyright © 2010 by MaryJanice Davidson.
Published in October 2010 by St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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First Chapter

Me, Myself and Why?


By MaryJanice Davidson

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2010 MaryJanice Davidson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312531171

Chapter One
The lilting strains of thrash metal crashed through my skull and I sat bolt upright in bed, clutching my ears. Someone—probably my psycho sister—had set my alarm to WROX and cranked it. It was a lot like being awakened on an airport runway by an approaching DC-10.
I clawed for the snooze button, missed, swiped again, knocked the radio to the carpet, slithered off the bed, fell on top of the snooze button, and, mercifully, the Sweet Jerkoffs’ new release, Raining Hell on Your Stupid Face, stopped.
Don’t ask me how I knew the song and the band. I won’t tell.
“Too early,” came a sonorous voice from the bed above. What the—? “Sleep more.”
I cautiously peeked over the edge of the bed. A strange, nude man was tangled up in my Laura Ashley sheets. His long dark hair covered half his face and fluttered as he resumed snoring. He had a tattoo of Donald Duck performing a sexual act on Daisy; it was almost four inches across!
And—what the—?—I was naked, too.
Over his slurred protests (he smelled like he’d fallen into a tequila vat on the way to my apartment), I pulled him out of bed as efficiently and politely as I could. I found his jeans under the bed, his shirt hanging over my bedside lamp, his boxer briefs on top of the heating vent, one of his shoes in the bathroom, and the other in my kitchen sink. It was tough work getting him dressed while not looking at his penis, but I managed.
Don’t ask me how; I won’t tell.
After the stranger was gone, I set about cleaning up the empty tequila bottles, the gnawed lemon slices (one was nestled beside my toothbrush like a bedraggled yellow comma), the spilled salt shakers (my moo cow shaker! in the toilet! darn it all!), and something that looked like a small purple whale.
I was studying it, hoping it wasn’t what I knew it was, when it started to buzz in my hand and I dropped it. What was that doing in the fridge?
Never mind. Never mind. I—I had to get to work. Mustn’t be late! Mustn’t be late!
I kicked the vibrator across the kitchen floor until it was close to the garbage, then darted into the bathroom. I took a quick shower, dried at light speed (my blond hair looked all right, but my eyes were bloodshot—what had my sister been—never mind, never mind), and dressed in my best conservative navy suit.
Then I grabbed a breakfast Hot Pocket (ham & cheese) and headed out the front door. I had a splitting headache, but some iced coffee ought to fix that nicely … along with about ten Advils. No time for makeup, but I twisted my hair up into a large barrette.
“Morning, Ms. Jones,” Ben, the doorman, said on my way out. “Late night, huh?”
I had no idea what he was talking about, as my last memory was of walking down Lake Street at 5:30 p.m. the day before (a peek at the newspaper assured me of the date), but nodded and waved my Hot Pocket at him.
It took ten minutes to find my Mitsubishi Eclipse—I was thankful it hadn’t been towed again, intruding crookedly on the sidewalk as it was—and another twenty-five to drive (a bit more quickly than usual) to BOFFO headquarters, located on Marquette Avenue in Minneapolis. It looked like an office building, maybe the corporate headquarters for Target or one of those financial-adviser firms that did so well until 2008. But this was no office.
Well, it was in that there were printers and desks and things, but it was actually a branch of the FBI, the Bureau of False Flag Ops.
After I parked, I took the elevator to the correct floor, slid my key card through the slot, waited for the retinal scan, then popped in. Five minutes early! Victory was mine.
As always, I was greeted by Opus, the custodian for my floor.
“Hi … Cadence.”
“Hi, big guy. Have a nice night?”
Opus gave the question careful thought before answering. “Yes.” Opus didn’t understand the concept of small talk—he had savant syndrome (never, never use the phrase “idiot savant”; soooo twentieth century!)—but he could do incredible things with numbers, even if he couldn’t write out a grocery list. He was a shambling bear of a man—well over six feet tall, with shaggy brown hair, bushy eyebrows, mud-colored eyes, and thick forearms. His two-piece brown uniform made him look not unlike a grizzly bear. With a mop.
I’ll admit, I had a soft spot for the man. I’d had to defend him from occasional taunts from some of my less sensitive co-workers, “rain man” being a popular insult.
It was almost funny that anybody who worked for BOFFO would have the nerve to insult anyone else who worked for BOFFO. After all, we all had—
“Cadence!” George Pinkman was actually dancing from one foot to the other. “I got the new Halo! You should come over and help me blow shit up.”
“Some other time,” I replied sweetly. George gave me the creeps. A textbook sociopath, he didn’t think anything was real except the world of violent video games. Why BOFFO needed him I would never understand, but I was certainly in no position to complain or judge. I mean, jeepers! I was a federal cop, not King Solomon. “But thanks.”
“Maybe your sister, then.”
I shivered and moved past him to my desk. He really was crazy. Well, sure. He had a BOFFO ID card, didn’t he? And he’d fooled a lot of people with those big green eyes, aquiline nose, and firm jaw. His eyebrows were slashing commas across his forehead, and although he had a slim build, he held no fewer than three black belts. He often dressed and talked effeminately to provoke the local rednecks. Then he’d lure them out into the parking lot and break various bones. All in the name of self-defense, of course, while sporting one of his huge collection of incredibly garish and tasteless neckties.
The one he wore now featured a single cartoon puppy in a dead-Christ pose, against a background of rainbows.
I scanned the morning faxes, checked arrest reports, did some work on the computer, and heated up my Hot Pocket, which I gobbled in six bites (so hungry!). I got a Frappuccino from the vending machine, balanced it on my Hello Kitty mouse pad, and began gulping it with a few Advils. This would, I hoped, take care of my hangover.
“Cadence Jones!”
I swung around in my chair, nearly spilling my drink. My supervisor, Michaela, was framed in the doorway of Da Pitt (where all her field agents congregated to fight crime and work on their Secret Santa drawings). She was a fifty-something woman with silver, straight chin-length hair and amazing green eyes. Pure green, not hazel. Like leaves! Hair the color of precious metal, eyes the color of wet leaves—she’d have been gorgeous if she hadn’t been so scarily efficient and surrounded by cubicles and printers and mail carts. And today, as usual, she was dressed in Ann Taylor.
I squashed the urge to shake the ringing out of my ears—the boss lady had the volume and pitch of a steamer whistle. “Weren’t we going to work on our inside voice?”
“Debriefing! Thirty minutes!”
“I know, I saw the e-mail.” I pointed at my computer screen. “But thanks for assuming I hadn’t learned to read in the first grade.”
“Leave the mouth at your desk!” Thankfully, she vanished through another doorway.
Now how was I supposed to do that? Physically, it was impossible. Figuratively, it didn’t make any sense, since my mouth was essentially what made me valuable to BOFFO. Maybe Michaela was coming off an odd night, too.
George shoved, hard, and his chair shot over to my desk. “It’s Miller time!” he chortled, pounding his fists on his thighs.
It was a bad joke, of course. Connie Miller, who had poisoned four of her five children in seven years
(Why did she let the oldest live? What was it about the others? Why why why did she)
was being remanded for trial this morning; George and I were to baby-sit her until the local cops came. It was essentially some last-minute paperwork before transfer. Strictly custodial. Mornings like this reminded me that for fearless minions of the federal government, an awful lot of what we did was cleanup. For which we received full medical and dental, so it wasn’t all bad.
Connie Miller creeped me out as much as George did, but for entirely different reasons. Call me old-fashioned, but it was against the laws of nature when moms killed their kids.
And Munchausen by proxy? Getting off on the attention you got when your kids got sick (by your own hand) and died? Weird. Repulsive. Horrifying. I was superglad my sister had helped make the collar; there was no way I could have taken her on my own.
It had become a matter for BOFFO when Miller moved from California to Minnesota. George and my sister had man-aged to track and nail her. Now the only thing left for BOFFO was routine paperwork, and putting the dead babies out of our minds. Two of the babies she had killed she’d conceived only after spending a great deal of time and money on fertility treatments.
Baffling.
We moved through various secure areas, slipping key cards through scanner after scanner. There were very few security guards at BOFFO: too many of us were paranoid and would begin acting like inmates. (Some of us, I suspected, had been in the past.) So what ever security could be automated, was.
Connie Miller was sitting quietly in an interrogation room, dressed in a lime jumpsuit with BOFFO printed in black letters on the back and sleeves. She was handcuffed in front, as she was deemed docile, cooperative, and even oddly friendly, not to mention in her early forties and overweight.
“Ms. Miller!” George called. “Ready for your day in court?”
“I can’t wait,” she replied, twinkling up at George. Her blue eyes (almost, I hated to admit, the exact same shade as mine) were wide and practically glowing. “The jury will believe me, once I explain everything.”
“Don’t forget to mention how you used peach puree to cover up the acidic taste of the poison,” George suggested amiably. He yawned and scrubbed his face with his palms; he’d been up until the wee hours playing computer games, no doubt. “The jury will eat it up. Get it? Eat it up? Heh. You do realize your poor dead babies are going to be waiting for you in hell, right?”
I resisted the urge to kick him in the ankle. For one thing, George was an atheist. Rather, he did believe in God, and he believed he was that God. For another, he wouldn’t have minded if Miller had killed twenty babies. George, like all sociopaths, lived for fun, passion, and challenges. Morality wasn’t just an alien concept for him, it was utterly unknown.
No, he was just fucking with her. It was cruel, even for someone like her. What ever we were, we were professionals.
I forced a smile, ignoring the throbbing in my temples. “If you could just sign here. And here. And initial here.” It was a little like accepting a package from FedEx. “And sign here.”
Connie obediently scribbled with the soft-felt-tip pen I’d handed her.
George sprawled himself in a chair opposite her and stroked his dead-rainbow-Jesus-dog tie. “Your problem is, you got greedy. One baby, okay. Two? Prob’ly would’ve worked. But four? And you crossed state lines? And let every hospital have your chart?”
“I can explain everything,” she muttered, her red hair falling into her eyes as she huddled over the paperwork I was handing across the table.
“Tell it to the judge, sweetie.” Like many sociopaths, George was charismatic and could make an insult sound like a flirtation. He was even leering at her, which would only confuse the poor woman.
It wasn’t the first time I’d questioned Michaela’s judgment in putting a pure sociopath on the team. They were just so darned unpredictable, not to mention unreliable when it came to pulling their weight at the Secret Santa party.
“You can’t talk to me like that,” the killer said primly. “The Lord has blessed me with many babies and many challenges.”
“Challenges!” George hooted.
“Stop it,” I pleaded. What was his point, other than to upset her? She had been caught. The jury would put her away. She’d spend the next thirty years in Shakopee. There was no point to this and it was upsetting the prisoner.
Excerpted from Me, Myself and Why? by MaryJanice Davidson.
Copyright © 2010 by MaryJanice Davidson.
Published in October 2010 by St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.


Continues...

Excerpted from Me, Myself and Why? by MaryJanice Davidson Copyright © 2010 by MaryJanice Davidson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 87 )
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(27)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    zany dark humorous police procedural

    In Minneapolis, the FBI Bureau of False Flags Ops (BOFFO) Agent Cadence Jones suffers from multiple personality disorder, which is an asset for the mission of this unit filled with psychotics and an occasional functional neurotic. She and her partner sociopath George Pinkham are assigned to ending the reign of terror of Threefer Killer, who murders people in groups of three leaving behind newspaper articles and nothing else.

    The serial killer begins sending messages to Cadence and her two sisters Shiro and Adrienne. Depending on which MPD is working determines whether Cadence is concerned or not. However, anyone who is from the Twin Cities knows better than to mess with the Jones. More concerned to Cadence as she switches from one personality to another is she falls in love with her best friend's visiting brother.

    Clearly over the top of the Prospect Park Water Tower and Deming Heights Park combined, Me, Myself and Why? Is a zany dark humorous police procedural. Not for all of MaryJanice Davidson's fans especially the paranormal shoe lovers, this tale lampoons how easily society conveniently catalogues people to make them fit inside a file drawer. The strong radically offbeat edgy cast make for a madcap Minnesota mystery, in which ironically MPD sufferer holds the plot together as readers will wonder whether to label her as the main character or characters.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 22, 2011

    Quirky and amazing.

    I liked it. Yes, it was kind of weird, but I thought that the story was original and fun to read. It takes a bit to get used to what is happening and what the pace of the book is like. once you are in since with the characters, you are in for a fun ride!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Ugh

    I just couldn't read it. And, I LOVE the Betsy books! I tried and tried. What a dissapointment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Eh

    It was OK...I'd rather read the Betsy Taylor series though ;-)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2012

    Unique and funny book! A must read!

    I couldn't put it down! It's funny and surprising amounts of suspense. I can't wait to get more from this author!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Not a good read

    Didn't really like hopping from one of her personalities to the next very hard to get into very hard to like the character

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing!!

    Wow! I haven't read anything by MaryJanice Davidson that I didn't LOVE!
    This was no exception. This book is hilarious. I laughed out loud so many times. It was even better because I listened to it. I think I would have missed out on something with Adrienne if I just read the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2011

    Awful

    If I could have given this book a half star, I would have. It was easily one of the worst books I've read. I love this author and was disappointed with this book. It's confusing and seems to try to make mental illness something funny and sexy. The worst part is that this book is a series! Save your money and purchase any of her other outstanding books but skip this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Refreshing

    If you were like me you read other peoples reviews before deciding to purchase a book. Let me explain the varying range that was present. The book is your classic who-done-it murder mystery with a few red herrings thrown it. What makes the book refreshing (thus 5 star rating) or agrevating (thus 1 star rating), is that the first person point of view has multiple personality disorder. The main character is an FBI agent, who works in a branch that consist of other people with psycological issues. Due to their nature, they can "think outside the box" and solve mysteries other 'normal' agents can't. Our main character has three distinct personalities. So the series is told from three very different and disjointed points of view. Personally, I feel its an interesting concept and a well written book. Looking forward to the 2nd book and finding out how the main character deals with the balancing act of her own psyche, a budding romance, and of course solving a murder.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Bleck

    I've read other books by this author that were clever and made me laugh. This one was not like those. I never cared for the mystery in it, and the mental illness was disturbing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2011

    Don't waste your time!

    I love the Queen Betsy and werewolf books. In this book, I found the main character(s) annoying (that transition?? urgh!!), most of the characters unengaging, and (even while embracing 'suspension of disbelief') the plot premise unsustainable. I thought 'where can this trilogy go from here??' Only up, I suppose. She should fire her editor for letting this one slip through the cracks. I was VERY disappointed and look forward to less of THIS nonsense and more Queen Betsy-type paranormal stories.

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  • Posted November 29, 2010

    All the wacky energy of this book comes through in the lively reading!

    Candace Jones is an FBI operative in a very special, super-secret branch of the organization. She, and all her collegues have various mental disabilites that make them uniquely suited to hunting down and bagging the criminals they seek. Candace, dealing with multiple personality disorder, and her partner, a sociopath, are on the trail of a notorious serial killer. This is an outrageous, over-the-top, tongue in cheek kind of book. If you are looking for something believable or a serious mystery this is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for a few laughs and a pleasant distraction I recomend you give it a try. I really liked Candace and all her collegues and the mystery started out entertaining enough. The story got a little too outrageous for me towards the end, I wish the mystery part had been written better. Still, the characters were great and the idea was pretty original. This is the first book by Mary Janice Davidson I've read and I will likely read more. I listened to this book on audio, read by Renee Raudman. She does a fantastic job with the narration. Candace's three personalites are very distinct, it's always easy to tell which one is present, yet they sound similar enough to be related. All the wacky energy of this book comes through in the lively reading. This is an audiobook that I imagine is an improvement on the print version. The perfect distraction for a long commute!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 20, 2011

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    Posted July 6, 2011

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    Posted March 7, 2011

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    Posted November 10, 2010

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    Posted March 7, 2010

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    Posted January 28, 2011

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    Posted March 3, 2011

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    Posted March 24, 2011

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