My name is Donald Alexander Youngblood, Private Investigator. I used to work on Wall Street. I used to be a rich, carefree, confirmed bachelor. I used to live with only one black male standard poodle. Those days were simple; those days are gone.
Some years ago I fled New York City with my best friend, Billy Two-Feathers, and came home. Home is Mountain Center, Tennessee. After filling out the required paperwork, I was granted a private investigator’s license by the State of Tennessee and, after completing the mandatory class, a gun carry permit. With license and carry permit in hand, Billy Two-Feathers and I opened Cherokee Investigations. Billy is a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. He doesn’t carry a gun. He carries a knife, or two.
For a while things were quiet. Then our first big case landed on our doorstep followed by another and another. Quiet has taken a permanent holiday.
Along the way I have acquired a wife, a daughter and another black male standard poodle. Mary Sanders and I just recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Mary is a cop on the Mountain Center Police force. While we were at it we adopted Lacy Malone who decided she wanted to be known as Lacy Malone Youngblood. How she came to be with us is another story. The new poodle is Jake’s son, registered name: Son of Jake. We call him Junior. Jake went to stud, lucky dog, and I got the pick of the litter. Father and son are doing fine. I am also doing fine but I must admit there are times…
I was up early working out at Moto’s gym. Moto is an Asian- American who most of the time is pretending to be more Asian and less American by channeling Mr. Myiagi from the Karate Kid. He grunted at me when I came in and nodded when I left, his version of being friendly.
I showered at my office; a two suite second floor spread overlooking Main Street in downtown Mountain Center and went down the block to the Mountain Center Diner for breakfast. Doris Black, the owner, keeps a table for me in the back with a reserved sign on it, a reward for investment advice. Doris has made a lot of money on a few of my tips.
I never know who in my inner circle might be sitting at my table. It might be Billy or Big Bob Wilson, Chief of Police and best friend in high school or it might be Roy Husky, a dangerous but righteous ex-con who has risen to VP status at Fleet Industries and has covered my back on more than one occasion. Today the table is empty. I order my favorite, a feta cheese omelet with rye toast and home fries and settle in with a USA Today.
By the time I get back to the office Gretchen is in. Gretchen has been with me over a year now and has made herself indispensable. Her official title is Office Manager but she is much more than that. In my office we discussed appointments, investment strategies, emails, phone calls; well, you get the idea. We were interrupted by the opening and closing of my outer office door. Gretchen was out of her chair and into the outer office like Superman in search of a phone booth. She closed my door as she went. I heard an exchange of low voices. It went on for about a minute. Gretchen came back in my office and shut the door.
“I have a Mrs. Crane out there who says her husband might have been murdered,” Gretchen said.
“Might have been,” I said.
“Yes,” Gretchen said. “Might have been.”
“And you told her the police handle murder investigations,” I said.
“I did,” Gretchen said.
“So I assume the police do not think it was murder,” I said.
“You would be correct,” Gretchen said.
“What do the police think it was?”
“The county medical examiner ruled the death as natural causes so the police agree with the ME. According to Mrs. Crane, the police are incompetent and could not tell a murder from a bad cold,” Gretchen said.
“One of those,” I said.
“Her husband just died, Don. Cut her some slack,” Gretchen scolded.
“Okay,” I said. “Give me a minute.”
She went out the door to the outer office closing it behind her.
A guy dies from natural causes and the widow wants me to prove that it’s murder. Well, this ought to be fun. Naturally, I end up taking the case and find myself knee deep in a twenty year old mystery.
You can read more about Donald in THREE DEADLY DROPS, the fourth book in the “Donald Youngblood” mystery series.
** Thanks to the Keith, I have one (1) copy of THREE DAYS DEAD, the second book in the series, to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends September 4. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **
Meet the author
Keith Donnelly grew up in Johnson City, TN where he graduated from East Tennessee State University with a degree in Economics and soon after found himself in the New York City world of publishing.
In 1999 Donnelly, just for fun, started the Donald Youngblood Mystery Series. Much to his surprise, Three Deuces Down was published in 2008 followed by Three Days Dead (2009), Three Devils Dancing (2011) and in September of 2012 Three Deadly Drops.
Keith and wife, Tessa, divide their time between Gatlinburg, TN, Singer Island, FL and Salt Lake City, UT where Keith indulges in his passion of downhill skiing. His motto: have laptop, will travel!
Donnelly is currently working on book five in the Donald Youngblood Mystery series. Visit Keith at www.donaldyoungbloodmysteries.com
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.