Let me tell you about my daughter. First off, she calls herself Eddie Shoes. Can you imagine? Okay, I get it. Edwina Zapata Schultz is a bit of a mouthful, but seriously, Eddie Shoes? What kind of name is that? Of course she ended up being a private investigator, what else would a girl who calls herself Eddie Shoes do for a living?
That wouldn’t be so bad, if she investigated important things, like murders. But no, she does background checks on nannies and home healthcare workers. Mostly sits at a desk all day. What fun is that? Sam Spade is turning over in his grave and Philip Marlowe says she should give up her PI license.
Yes, I know, those are fictional characters and my daughter is a living breathing, licensed, insured and bonded PI, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a reputation to live up to. A few shoulders to stand on, fictional or not. What she hasn’t realized is I can help her do that.
She’s just lucky I decided to move to Bellingham and spice her life up a little bit. Granted, Western Washington isn’t exactly my cup of tea, it’s always raining here! But still, what would she do without me? Not only did I help her solve that murder she got entangled in last year, but I’ve just helped her out again. On an even trickier case. Bodies piling up everywhere. She’s lucky I can’t move back to Las Vegas any time soon, who knows when she might need me next.
Speaking of Las Vegas, did I mention I’m a professional poker player? That’s right. I’m one of those rare few who can actually play the game at a profit, not a loss. Want to know why? Because I understand the game better than everyone I play against. Like a shark going after minnows, I know who to sit down with. If you want to succeed at poker, and by that I mean win more money than you lose, a big part of the battle is who you pit yourself against. Ego will kill you. Play against the best and statistically, your profit goes down. Why would you do that? Play to win. That’s my strategy for life. Play to win. At any cost.
That’s how my daughter should think about her career. Take a few risks. Be a shark, not a minnow.
Of course, she does have a Colt .45 and knows how to use it. I’ve seen that firsthand. She’s also pretty levelheaded when things get dicey. She doesn’t panic when the chips are down or bullets start flying around in abandoned buildings. She’s also not too bad in a car chase or when someone gets kidnapped. Not that I would know anything about that.
So I guess Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe might actually be impressed with her. She’s tough. Smart. And just ethical enough to keep from getting thrown into jail. But don’t tell her I said those things. I like to keep her on her toes. That always felt like the right thing to do as a single parent. I had to be both mother and father to her, so it was my job to make her self-reliant.
I was just sixteen when she was born. What did I know about raising a kid? I lost my own parents young too, so it was just the two of us. She had to learn how to take care of herself, because that’s how the world works. No one else is looking out for you.
Although, now that I’m living with her, I have noticed she’s got some other people who have her back. Her best friend Iz is a no-nonsense girl if I’ve ever met one. She’s been looking out for Eddie ever since Eddie moved to Bellingham from Seattle. It doesn’t hurt she works for the Police Department and has access to all sorts of interesting information. Then there’s her friend Debbie Buse. Now that is a woman with a good head on her shoulders. I’m sure she would have done a better job raising Eddie than I did . . . Eddie thinks I’m jealous of Debbie, but the truth is, I’m glad she has her to turn to. As a first time dog owner my daughter needs all the help she can get and Debbie is like Cesar Millan the dog whisperer, in a dress. Then there’s Franklin. I love that dog like he’s my own. Eddie says he’s hers, but I know he’s really mine. Franklin knows that too.
I guess all in all, Eddie is doing okay. I must have done something right.
You can read more about Chava in Two Heads are Deader Than One, the second book in the “Eddie Shoes” mystery series.
Private Investigator Eddie Shoes is enjoying a rare period of calm. She’s less lonely now that Chava, her card-counting mom from Vegas, is sharing her home. She also has a new companion, Franklin, a giant dog of curious ancestry.
Hoping for a lucrative new case, Eddie instead finds herself taking on a less promising client: her best friend from her childhood in Spokane. Dakota has turned up in Bellingham in jail, where she is being held on a weapons charge. Eddie reluctantly agrees not only to lend her friend money for bail but to also investigate who is stalking her. Soon after Dakota is freed, she disappears again, leaving Eddie to answer to the local cops, including her ex-boyfriend Chance Parker. Has Dakota been kidnapped? If not, why did she jump bail? What are Eddie’s business cards doing on the bodies of two murder victims?
The key to these mysteries lies in Dakota and Eddie’s shared history, which ended when Eddie left home after high school. As a person of interest in both murder cases, Eddie is forced to go in search of the truth, digging into the past and facing her own demons.
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About the author
Elena Hartwell spent years in the theater before turning her dramatic skills to fiction. She writes the Eddie Shoes Mystery Series. One Dead, Two to Go, Two Heads Are Deader Than One, and Three Strikes, You’re Dead (launching April 15, 2018). According to Peter Clines, Eddie Shoes is “the most fun detective since Richard Castle stumbled into the 12th precinct.”
Elena lives in Twin Peaks, called North Bend, Washington in the real world. The perfect place for a writer, especially one who kills people for a living.
All comments are welcomed.
Two Heads are Deader Than One is available at retail and online booksellers or you can ask your local library to get it for you.