The new story I’ve been promising is almost here. Brains Bennette: The Case of the Missing Mother is an 82-page novella (just under 30,000 words) in PDF form. It is currently in the final stages of editing and proofreading. I hope to release it on this website, free of charge, this upcoming Saturday, June the 16th. (Just in time for Father’s Day, although given the title of the story that’s probably not terribly relevant.)
In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1.
For teenage sleuth Brains Bennette, the disappearance of his mother, a private investigator herself, is the beginning of a mystery that will transform his life.
I’m Jimmy Marsdon. I’m just a regular guy, like most people, but I know someone who isn’t much like anybody else, probably in the whole world. That’s my best friend, Brains Bennette. He’s a little guy but you’d never know it by the way he acts. The guy bleeds confidence. And he gets better grades than anyone else, even though he skipped a year somewhere along the way. I guess you could call him a genius, but he wouldn’t like it if you did.
This story begins in August of the year we were supposed to start college. I’d just returned from my family’s annual vacation up in Canada—the area known as Lake Country, north of Toronto, if it matters—and was headed over to the Bennette house on Chestnut Drive. It had been over a month since we’d closed our last case, the one about phishers stealing people’s banking information from the basement of their bakery, and I was wondering if Brains had anything new on the boil. He was never the kind of guy who could sit still for long.
His mother opened the front door before I got there. “Hello, Jimmy,” she said sweetly, ushering me inside. “How was your trip?”
I muttered something about it being okay. Don’t get me wrong; I can talk to women, but Barbara Bennette is something else. First off, for a lady in her mid-thirties, she’s seriously gorgeous. My own Mom would kill to have her figure. Seriously, I’ve never been able to look her in the eye—and today she was wearing a dress that showed a fair bit of cleavage. And to top it all off, she’s a real-life private investigator too, so she’s just as smart as Brains.
“Sounds nice.” She smiled. “So, are you here to see Blaine—or me?”
I froze. What was the right answer? I have no idea what I said, but it made her laugh and she touched my hair the way she’d been doing since I was six. What’s worse is that I liked it. That’s the effect she had on me. (… to be continued!)