And So It Begins: Tom Vargas #2.

I don’t even remotely have a title for this one, yet. It’s also not being actively worked on, every day, and won’t be until November. And, obviously, it’s not going to be on the publication rotation until at least three projects from now. But… I have a plot, and at least I’ve got a start.


I get a lot of people knocking on my door. I don’t always want to hear their knock, either — but for Daisy I’m always gonna make an exception. It ain’t what you think: Daisy Fukunaga Araujo’s a grandmother and usually a cheerful one, although today she still looked a little sad. But better than she had at the funeral, at least.

Daisy did brighten a little as I hastily cleared off a seat, in the fine old tradition of a New Californian Shamus. I keep those papers around special, just for guests. Dunno why, but clients always like to think that we’re always up to our necks in Cases needing Clearing. Makes ‘em feel special when we take theirs anyway, I guess.

“What can I get for you, Daisy?” I said after she was situated. I keep a cabinet of various things that can be mixed with other things to create drinks; you never know what a client would want to drink. “I can put the water on the boilrock, if you’d like tea.”

She gave me a not-real-strong smile. “Thank you, Tom” — it’s always ‘Tom’ and ‘Daisy’ between the two of us, not ‘Shamus’ and ‘Artisan’ — “but I’d rather a whiskey, if you have one.”

That stopped me cold. Oh, not the whiskey itself; Daisy’s no teetotaler. But if we were starting with the hard stuff then I was already on a Case; and it wouldn’t be an easy one, either.

Not that it mattered, hard or soft. I mean, it’s Daisy.

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