Jim Honeycutt, a fifty-something Hall of Famer who can still throw 90 MPH fast balls, is missing his three-hundredth career win baseball, and an anonymous note points to his four scheming daughters. But in this case, there aren’t just four women involved, but six—and they all are suspects: four lovely yet scheming daughters, their seductive mother, and their mother’s best friend.
Eli Sharpe, an ex pro-baseball player based in Asheville, North Carolina, who investigates cases related to his former profession, sets out to delve into the complicated family dynamics of the Honeycutt clan. Other than the daughters, there are the various men who trail after them as well as the over-the-hill writer who lives in the Hall of Famer’s basement, supposedly writing Honeycutt’s biography. The culprit has to be someone in Jim’s circle. So how difficult can it be to expose them? Even Eli, with his already close acquaintance with human treachery, isn’t prepared for what he will find.
|Publisher:||Down & Out Books II, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Max Everhart has a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. His short stories have been published in CutBank, Elysian Fields Quarterly, Slow Trains Journal, and juked. His short story, "The Man Who Wore No Pants," was selected by Michael Knight for Best of the Net 2010 and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Dzanc Books' Best of the Web Anthology. He lives with his family in Hartsville, South Carolina. Split to Splinters is the second book in the Eli Sharpe Mystery series, which began with Go Go Gato. You can find Max on the Web at www.maxeverhart.com.
Read an Excerpt
Eli followed the driveway around back and stopped short when he spotted a woman in a white bikini sunbathing by the pool. She was wearing black sunglasses and a white floppy hat that would be perfect for the Kentucky Derby. Joining her poolside, Eli squinted up at the overcast sky.
"A bit chilly for tanning." No response. Eli flashed his private investigator's license. "My name is Eli Sharpe. Jim Honeycutt hired me to find something of his."
"Someone stole an important baseball from his office."
"Does it have sentimental value?"
"It's worth a lot of money."
The sunbather put her book down. Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie. She removed her sunglasses and hat, shook out her honey-colored hair.
"I told you to call me Tess. Now be a dear and do my back." She pointed to a bottle of suntan lotion that had a picture of a voluptuous, dark-skinned woman in a teal bikini on the front.
"No, thanks," said Eli.
"You're not afraid of an old biddy like me."
"Afraid isn't the word I'd use."
She slapped him playfully on his leg, her smile wide enough to see every tooth. "Forgive me. I was having fun at your expense. You've come to see if I know anything about my husband's precious ball."
"I've come to see if you stole it."
"You're being rude. In my house."
"Technically, we're not in your house."
"Are you mocking me?"
"Perhaps we should start over." Eli rose, bowed like a well-trained servant. "If you would permit, madam, I'd very much appreciate the opportunity to question you regarding your esteemed husband's stolen merchandise."
She snorted, quickly covered her mouth with a bejeweled hand. "Good God, that is the worst British accent I've ever heard. But you're adorable. Apology accepted."
Eli didn't bother to say he hadn't apologized and didn't intend to. He got out his fountain pen and notebook.
"Where were you when the ball went missing?"
"Saturday I had a dinner date with Linda Rogers."
"The redhead? Drives an Audi?"
"She's my best friend. We met at Mars Hill College, but I refuse to say how long ago that was."
"You don't look a day over thirty," said Eli in his awful British accent.
She laughed, lilting and feminine. "We're wannabe scribes, Linda and I. Or is it Linda and me? Anyway, we read and critique each other's writing. It's a rewarding hobby. You should try it. You have a certain way with words."