Black Gray Eaves & Step

The Johnny Casino Casebooks - Past Imperfect

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My name is Johnny Casino. I'm a retired P.I. with a past. I just hope it doesn't catch up with me. Before I went legit, I ran numbers in Jers
ey for Big Louie "Fingers" D'Abruzzo and then busted heads in Miami for Big Eddie "Mambo" Fontaine. But at the ripe old age of twenty-four, Little Johnny beat a hasty retreat to L.A. when somebody slipped the cops a hot tip and all of a sudden I became the fall guy for the Mob.

The Johnny Casino Casebook 1 - Past Imperfect is a series of short stories told in the most past in chronological order. They start three years after Johnny inherits money from a client and retires from the private detective business. He moves to Logjam, CA, a fictional town in the mountains above Los Angeles, but for Johnny, things can get complicated, like the two dead mobsters he has to explain as his past starts to catch up with him in "You Can Only Die Twice."

He solves the case, but ends up explaining to the sheriff, a friend, about his past in "The Family Business." It takes us back to his Mafia roots in New Jersey.

When Johnny started out as a P.I., he billed himself as "Johnny Casino - Hollywood Detective. Johnny tells the sheriff another story about the first big movie star who sought his help in "Masks."

"Hot Ice" brings us back to the present when Johnny helps an aging star who currently rents his big house in L.A. find out why someone has been stalking her for decades. The Iris Sherwood character and her inimitable butler pop up in several cases.

It is during "Strange Bedfellows" that Johnny finally gets back into the detective business. He is asked by a philandering senator to find out what happened to his missing intern. It isn't what you think.

"Just Like Old Times" gets him mixed up in a sting with a batch of old Hollywood actors who need to return a dead body to the actual killer.

"Past Grievances" brings back a character from Johnny's other past, when he was a P.I. the first time. Somebody is killing off people from his present life.

"That's What Friend's Are For" has Johnny and Sheriff Donn Tyler from Logjam, CA, tracking down the sheriff's errant wife. The outcome isn't good, so on the ride back to Logjam, Johnny tells Donn how he got into the detective business in a revealing reversal of fortune story entitled "High Maintenance."

"The Widow" takes Johnny to Miami when his "wife" asks for money to keep her mouth shut. Only thing, Johnny doesn't have a wife.

As you go through all these stories, you learn more and more about Johnny, and he learns things about himself. But by the end of this book, after he solves the last case and is putting this one particular person on a plane back to Italy, he gets the distinct feeling there is more to his past than he knows and the last thing he wonders is: Who the hell am I?

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Black Gray Eaves & Step