Double Knot (Davis Way Crime Caper Series)

Double Knot (Davis Way Crime Caper Series)

by Gretchen Archer

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635110296
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: 03/02/2016
Series: Davis Way Crime Caper Series , #5
Pages: 262
Sales rank: 235,158
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Gretchen Archer is a Tennessee housewife who began writing when her daughters, seeking higher educations, ran off and left her. She lives on Lookout Mountain with her husband, son, and Yorkie, Bently. Double Whammy, her first Davis Way Crime Caper, was a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist.

Amber Benson is what we call "a maker of things." A prolific writer, she is the author of the Calliope Reaper-Jones urban fantasy series and the middle-grade novel Among the Ghosts. She also has narrated several audiobooks, including Lock In by John Scalzi, and has worked as an actor, director, and producer.

Read an Excerpt

Double Knot

A Davis Way Crime Caper


By Gretchen Archer

Henery Press

Copyright © 2016 Gretchen Archer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63511-029-6


CHAPTER 1

Probability anchored a half mile out into the Mississippi Sound just west of Cat Island at midnight on the last Friday in March. From the shore, from barges, and from the roof of the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, crews from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, BBCA, Travel Channel, MSNBC, CNN, and Yahoo! News lit up the bandwidths broadcasting the event.

It was as if a spaceship had landed.

A masterpiece in naval architecture, the ship was 380 feet long, eighty feet wide, had ten decks, seventeen restaurants, and a submarine. For underwater excursions. Sophisticated and sleek, whispering magnificence, Probability was the largest and most lavish private yacht ever built and came with a cool half-billion-dollar price tag. It was a floating island of luxury and opulence. It glowed.

Commissioned by a conglomerate of three privately-held casinos, the ship was designed in Kuwait City, Kuwait, constructed in Puttgarden, Germany, and registered in the Bahamas. The officers and crew were mostly European. Onboard amenities included all those restaurants, plus an ice bar, a molecular bar, and an oxygen bar, a driving range, a fine art gallery (twenty-four Picassos), a Tiffany & Co. showroom, and a casino. Deck Eight was a casino. Probability, more than anything else and in spite of everything else, was a floating casino. And it would be my home for the next seven nights.

My name is Davis Way Cole. I'm thirty-four years old and almost six months pregnant with twins. Double duty. Cruising with me were my OB/GYN, a neonatologist, and my pregnancy assistant. Who was also a certified multiple-birth neonatal nurse.

Can you say overboard?

My pregnancy had been easy, math notwithstanding, as there were two of them and only one of me. I was perfectly healthy, I'd had an uneventful pregnancy, I felt great, and I was six weeks away from restricted travel. Still, to hear my husband tell it, I was leaving to be air dropped in the middle of the Siberian tundra, where I would probably go into labor and give premature birth to his children five thousand miles from him and five hundred miles from a hospital.

"Your vitamins."

"I know, Bradley. I won't forget."

"And be careful in the sun," he said. "It won't feel as hot as it is. Try to wear a hat or stay in the shade."

"Hat. Shade."

"And sunscreen."

"Sunscreen."

"Have fun," he said, "but quiet fun. Get as much rest as you can. Try to relax."

"Bradley, you need to relax."

He hadn't had the easiest of times since we found out. He was very close to taking a deep breath when ten weeks in, the tech heard two little heartbeats. Fifteen minutes later it was confirmed by ultrasound — twins — at which point, the sonographer had to lead Bradley to a chair.

"No, Mr. Cole, you stay right there. Keep your head between your knees until you're not wobbly. We don't need two patients."

"My wife!" Bradley yelled at the floor. "She's three patients! Three!"

Now he's a textbook prenatal expert, as in there wasn't a What to Expect in print he hadn't memorized. The more he highlighted, paragraph after paragraph in thick yellow Sharpie, the more he worried. His pregnancy jitters completely negated mine. Which is to say if it weren't for constantly reassuring him everything would be all right, I might be anxious too, but calming him down somehow kept me calm. I reminded him every day, with many days to go, I wasn't the first woman to give birth. There were seven billion people in the world. And they all got here the same way.

"Yes, but of those seven billion, how many are twins?"

I kept meaning to look it up.

The level of Bradley's anxiety had reached a crescendo, all centered around this week. The week we'd be apart. "What is it, Bradley?" I'd asked a hundred times. "Just tell me." "I don't know," he'd say. "I honestly don't know." Which was a switch; it was usually me who had the funny feelings. The best I could come up with was geography. How physically far apart we'd be. I woke the night before the cruise to find him staring at the ceiling. He said he couldn't put his finger on exactly what had him awake at two in the morning, and I honestly think he was lying there imagining me falling off the ship.

My balance was a little off. But not that off.

The Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi owned one-third of the super yacht my husband would rather me not spend week twenty-four of my pregnancy on. Bradley and I both worked for the Bellissimo; he was the chief operating officer and I was the Super Secret Spy. Well, I had been the Super Secret Spy, lead spy on a team of three. The more pregnant I got, the less spying I did. This trip would be my last official time on the clock before the babies were born. And Bradley's worry aside, a Caribbean cruise on a luxury liner wasn't a bad way to kick off maternity leave. It wasn't like I'd be roughing it. Picasso and all. But when we stepped out on our balcony Saturday morning and got our first good look at Probability on the water, the sheer mass of it taking up half of the horizon behind the Bellissimo, the father of my twins looked a little seasick.

"It'll be okay, Bradley," I said. "It's just a week."

"On that." He tipped his coffee cup.

I squinted in the early sun. "It is big."

"Too big," Bradley said. "Way too big."

As way too big as Probability was, you'd think the Bellissimo would stuff it with thousands of gamblers, right?

Wrong.

Probability accommodated fifty guests. Fifty very wealthy guests. I would be traveling with one-tenth of the Forbes 500, a few I'd heard of, most I hadn't, and I'd be working. I was on special assignment.

I came to the Bellissimo three and a half years ago, joining an elite undercover team whose job it was to sniff out bad guys, both in the casino and all too often, in our own ranks. The Bellissimo is the largest casino property in the United States outside of Las Vegas, with gross gaming revenues of $700 million and a staff of 4,000. The 4,000 mostly counted the $700 million, and believe it or not, they weren't all honest. Some of them wanted to keep a little of the $700 million for themselves. Half of my job was to keep that from happening. The other half of my job was Bianca Casimiro Sanders.

Bianca, almost ten years older than me, was married to the owner of the Bellissimo, Richard Sanders. And she was preggers too. One of those September babies, unexpected in every single solitary way a baby could be unexpected, a shock all the way around. She was two weeks from giving birth and I still couldn't believe it.

Bianca and I looked like we swam our first laps in the exact same gene pool. To see us side by side, you'd think she was my older sister. Because we looked so much alike, lucky me, I was her celebrity double. I made appearances for her, sat on charity boards for her, and since she'd been pregnant, I'd done everything but inhale and exhale for her. She hadn't lifted a finger in eight and a half months except to dial my number.

In a way, she didn't get that I was pregnant too.

In another way, she did.

Bianca Sanders's pregnancy made headlines. "Whoa, Baby! The Bellissimo's Bianca Sanders: Fab, Fortyish, and in a Family Way!" The press all but packed Bianca's bags and moved her to Hollywood to join the ranks of celebrities who waited until well into their forties to have children, and every mention of her was accompanied with photographic evidence of Bianca wearing it superbly well. Except the photographs weren't of her — they were of me. And that's why I was leaving my husband and my home to go on a cruise. At six months pregnant with twins, I was on a modeling assignment. Bianca had me cruising around the Caribbean for one final documentation of how great she looked and felt just days before giving birth. But the pictures wouldn't be of her, they would be of me, because the truth was she wasn't wearing it well at all. And she was wearing it worse by the minute. As easy as my pregnancy has been, she's gone out of her way to make hers as difficult as possible. Granted, she had legendary morning sickness — I'll give her that. But she traded one set of problems for another when she turned that corner and began feeling better in a very deep dish way. At forty-three years old, Bianca had her first slice of pepperoni pizza and now Papa John was her new best friend.

At four months along, Bianca woke up one morning after an extra-large double-pepperoni double-cheese stuffed-crust party for one, stepped on the scale, fainted, and took to her bedchambers. Since then she'd managed to gain forty additional pounds, her feet looked like balloons, and she refused to get out of the bed. She insisted her self-imposed bedrest was the only thing keeping her alive, and the baby's health was also singularly dependent on her absolute confinement. If you ask me, there wasn't a thing wrong with her except for the fact she was scared to death someone would see her other than her husband, me, or Jorge.

Jorge was her Papa John's delivery guy.

The woman would not get out of the bed and she was driving me batty.

I'm not sure if I was more excited about the big ship, the calypso blue of the Caribbean, or getting away from Bianca for a few days. Not that I hadn't grown genuinely fond of Bianca through the years — maybe that was my pregnancy talking — and I did want to be here when Ondine was born.

Yes, Ondine.

Bianca was naming her daughter Ondine. Ondine Eugenie Casimiro Sanders.

Ondine.

For the next seven days, I would be on a half-billion-dollar superyacht posing as the woman naming a child Ondine.

So in addition to my medical staff, also traveling with me was a photography crew of ten: four photographers, three hair and makeup people, two stylists, and one wardrobe girl. I met with one of the stylists earlier this week to go over the Armani Collezioni details one last time. She, believe it or not, was pregnant too, must be something in the water, and I asked if her husband was anxious about her cruising the Caribbean with fifty billionaires. She said, "Are you kidding me? He can't wait to get rid of me for a week." Her husband was celebrating and mine was hoping Saturday afternoon would never come.

It did.

At two o'clock, Bradley looked at his watch. "It's almost time."

The bellman brigade would be here any minute to load the huge trunks, cavernous suitcases, and rolling wardrobe going with me. Ten percent was what I'd packed and the other ninety was what Bianca was sending for the maternity shoots. Sitting to the left of the Louis Vuitton showroom at our front door was a lonely brown leather duffel, matching hanging bag, and a briefcase stuffed full of Labor and Delivery textbooks that weren't cruising. They were going with Bradley, because he was traveling today too. For the next five days, he'd be keynote-speaking at the Global Gaming Expo in Macau, China. Since the day we met and certainly since we married, we'd never been this far away from each other for this length of time.

He inventoried our luggage one last time, then turned to me.

These would be our last moments alone.

"Davis." He ran a hand through his blonde hair; he shifted his weight. "You're beautiful." He swallowed. "And I love you more than life."

"Bradley —" I opened my mouth to call the whole thing off when a knock on the door interrupted. Several knocks, in fact. Sharp insistent knocks. With one last kiss to the top of my head, I could feel his heart beating against my cheek, Bradley, jaw set, opened the door. It wasn't the maritime moving company.

"Davis, what in the world are you blubbering about? And you look like a botanical garden. Surely to goodness you're not planning on wearing that. For one thing, you'll catch pneumonia. For another, it's too bright and busy." A crooked finger pointed down the hall. "Go change out of that right now."

That was a really cute Chanel floral sundress covered in bright pink and mint green rhododendrons, a cropped three-quarter-sleeve pink sweater, and Kate Spade Melanie heels in fuchsia with a matching shoulder-strap bag. It was a perfect mommy-to-be ensemble for embarking on a luxury liner with fifty billionaires, a crew of four hundred, a medical team, a glamor squad, and my mother.

"Caroline." He kissed her cheek.

"Hello, Bradley, dear." She squeezed his arm, then turned to me. "Davis. Change clothes. Right this minute."

Right that minute, my phone rang in the shoulder-strap bag somewhere just behind me. Bradley had it out of my purse and in my hand before I could get past the babies. It was my pregnancy buddy, calling to wish me bon voyage.

"Bianca?"

"David, get up here. I need to discuss my birth plan with you."

* * *

My birth plan was simple: get the babies out of me.

Bianca's, on the other hand, had kept a staff of twenty hopping for months with the only end in sight being the actual birth of the baby, because she wouldn't stop changing her mind. Last week she fired the caterers and hired a new crew out of Charleston, South Carolina. "After all," Bianca said, "I'm giving birth to a Southern Belle." (We'll see about that.) (And childbirth caterers? Have you ever?) Before it was over, I fully expected her to change her mind about physically birthing the baby and tell me to do it for her.

"I'll be right there, Bianca."

"You don't have time to go anywhere," my mother said. "You need to change clothes or you'll be late."

"It'll be fine." Bradley put an arm around Mother's shoulders and pointed her toward a set of royal blue club chairs beneath an abstract oil painting the size of a garage door. "The ship won't leave without her. Have I told you how nice you look, Caroline? Very sporty."

"Sporty?"

"Sophisticated," he said. "I meant sophisticated."

Mother, who's never been in a canoe that I know of, much less on a cruise ship, was dressed as Mrs. Fleet Admiral in Christmas red double-knit pants with a navy blue cotton blouse buttoned up to her chin. Over the blouse, she wore a crisp white linen jacket with gold piping and big gold anchor buttons. On her feet were red Easy Spirit crisscross sandals with a wide wedge heel. The only things she needed were stars, stripes, and a marching band behind her playing "Anchors Aweigh."

"Very stylish," my husband said.

My mother blushed. Shaking my head, I crossed the room the other way for the elevator in the closet.

Bradley and I lived on the 29 floor of the Bellissimo in more than ten thousand square feet of the casino manager's residence. We'd recently redecorated, and by redecorated, I mean we stripped it down to the bare bones and put it back together in a contemporary way with lots of windows, cherry wood floors, beamed ceilings, clean lines and open spaces. Included in the remodel was a (Jack and Jill nursery!) private elevator that only passed between our home and the one above us. Where Richard and Bianca Sanders lived.

I pushed the up button. This would get me out of changing clothes. Except it didn't.

"David, you look like a pregnant twelve-year-old."

"How are you today, Bianca?" I lowered myself into a gray slipper chair at her bedside, my sundress blooming around the babies. The chair had no arms, so it would be up to me to hoist myself out of it when the time came.

"I'm miserable, David. Perfectly and completely miserable. You realize my very life and that of Ondine's is gravely jeopardized. How dare you ask how I am. How would you be, David, if you didn't know if you'd live to see tomorrow?"

Tomorrow, Bianca, I'd be in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.

Last week, she finally got her wish and was diagnosed with an actual complication of pregnancy, this one not imagined and no laughing matter — gestational diabetes. Who knew pizza had so much sugar? She was on the lowest of the low end of the diabetes scale, and her team of doctors said she could enjoy safe blood glucose levels immediately, within the hour, if she'd just get out of the bed and stop with the Papa John's.

Thus the misery.

"I need to sit up, David."

It was like two sumo wrestlers trying to help each other off the floor. I got behind her, then counted down. "Three, two — "

Mission accomplished, and we were both out of breath.

Bianca fanned her puffy face with both hands. "What time do you sail, David?"

(It's Davis.) "At seven."

"Good. You have plenty of time to change clothes."

"The Vera Wang jumpsuit."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Double Knot by Gretchen Archer. Copyright © 2016 Gretchen Archer. Excerpted by permission of Henery Press.
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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Double Knot 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
Fans of Davis Way will be delighted and worried about her latest adventure. Both Davis and Bianc are pregnant, Davis with twins. They have set sail on the Casino's newest endeavour, a gambling ship called the MS Probability. This is not really a vacation as Davis has two jobs; the casino's security spy watching over the operations of the debut cruise and to once again serve as casino queen Bianca Sanders's body double. In the beautiful suite, she has Fantasy, her mother, a butler and suite attendant all in tow. They have even snuck her cat, Anderson Cooper on board. This one of the ship's PR people in the suite, there is a glitch and they get locked in. When they realize it is not just a glitch, but that their is a high-tech heist taking place.Can Davis escape? Will she save her boss? Will she deliver early? Will she kill her mother? With this being the fifth book in the series, I am beginning to wonder if being in or working for a casino is safe. This is a fun story where we find out some very personal information about Davis' past. We also get to see her interactions with her mama, that was a hoot. This story had some bittersweet spots, but most of it was fun. Once again, Davis finds a way to save the day. I am looking forward to her next adventure in Double Jinx.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Davis Way (Cole) books are all fabulous! They are incredibly entertaining and fun to read. But read them all - you'll love them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another fun read. I love Davis Way and hope she is around for a long time.
Judy-Ree More than 1 year ago
I have been having a fabulous time with this series. Every book has topped the last, each one taking me from literally laughing out loud to breaking my heart in anguish and despair. I wondered at the end of the last book how things could possibly be topped in the next. I mean, the level of chaos that surrounds Davis is astounding. By setting the series in a casino and dealing with all the money available to win or lose, the outrageous is almost a given. The book opens with a pregnant with twins Davis, and a ready to pop Bianca. So if you have been following the series, you know right there, that anything that can go wrong probably will. Now add in that fact that Davis will be doubling as Bianca on the maiden voyage of the Probability, a casino yacht worth a cool half a billion dollars meant to cater to the extremely wealthy. Oh, and Davis' mom is on board with her. Yeah, I mean, seriously, what could possibly go wrong? Have ya'll read the other books in the series? Honestly. Things were a bit different with this book. Pregnant Davis couldn't get into nearly the physical transformations and costume changes that she normally does. Plus with them confined to the ship, and most of the book, to their room, the action was different than it normally is. Except for when it's not. In some ways, this was exactly like prior books, with it's ability to take my emotions on a roller coaster ride, and and absolute crazy cast of characters. In other ways, it had a deeper more profound message than normally found in the books. Or maybe that was just me and what I took from it. Either way, I had a fantastic time with Davis and can't wait to see what the next installment will bring. Another 5 star read. Thanks to Netgalley and Henery Press for the opportunity to read and review the book.
FionaST More than 1 year ago
OMG! Gretchen Archer outdid herself on this one! I was pulled in from the very beginning to the very end. The pages seemed to turn themselves. I'm afraid to say too much for fear of giving out spoilers, but there is a lot of suspense, a lot of secrets, & lots of humor & fun. All in all, a laugh out loud mystery thriller with a very satisfying conclusion. Can't wait till the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the characters,great stories.Now have to wait for the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to get these books!
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Double Knot - Davis Way Crime Caper 5 Author: Gretchen Archer Published: 4-12-2016 Publisher: Henery Press Pages: 262 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Humor & Satire; Amateur Sleuths; ISBN: 9781635110296 ASIN: B01AWTXVWC Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 5 Stars . Davis Way, Fifty Billionaires, Anderson Cooper and her mother, oh joy! What starts as a promising cruise soon turns dangerous. When the door to suite 704 closes and locks and stays locked. It seems someone has hijacked The MS Probability. It's up to Davis to find out the who, what and why of it all. I started reading the Davis Way Crime Caper series a few years back and became enamored with it. Gretchen Archers style of writing is filled with humor and even her suspense usually has a quirky twist to it. Double Knot is no exception. From start to end you will be chuckling as you read through this fast paced, book with characters that you will soon be calling friends and the you get to know them the better friends you will become. If you are looking for a cozy series that is definitely on the lighter side. This the one you have been waiting for. My rating is 5 stars out of 5.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great book; this is the fifth book in the A Davis Way Crime Caper series by Gretchen Archer. Davis Way works on the elite security team for the Bellissimo. She sets sail on a Caribbean cruise aboard the MS Probability to take fifty billionaires to the Cayman Islands. What can go wrong? Well everything if you are Davis. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
Davis Way is back!! And I, for one, have missed her. She is undoubtedly one of my favorite characters. Her antics are hilarious and she is always finding herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. I do have to say that this one was my least favorite though. I guess since Davis is carrying twins, it's kind of hard of her to get into too many precarious situations, so I can let that slide. That being said, it was still pretty funny just not as outrageously as funny as the others. However, that doesn't spoil it for me and my pal Davis Way. I'm on her band wagon forever. I've never seen a girl get into so much trouble. I just love her!!! Again, Stephanie who? Huge thanks to Henery Press and Net Galley for the opportunity to spend the day with Davis in exchange for a review. Life couldn't get any better! Ha! (less)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
[ I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising] "What do you do when someone has a gun on you? Whatever they say." Davis Way Cole, six months pregnant with twins, is on her last assignment prior to maternity leave: to again "be" Bianca Sanders' double prior to Bianca's own maternity leave. Davis has been Bianca's double for years, much to her chagrin. She might get to play one of the world's richest women, but gets little in return. Davis and fifty other gazillionaires are on a floating casino's maiden voyage. But in a "series of unfortunate events", pandemonium breaks lose and she and her crew are electronically locked out(in?) watching the whole thing play out. And did anybody notice she's pregnant? In an improbable, laugh out loud/ cry your eyes out storyline, you might think Archer was channeling Lucy and Ethel coupled with the Three Stooges and Groucho Marx. This is a way out there tale that will have you amused, confused and anything but snoozing. After all, that is the Davis Way!