Today I’m featuring book three of the Damien Dickens Mysteries: The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper.
During the month of April, I’m recommending to you the Damien Dickens Mysteries series by author Phyllis Entis.
You may recall that Phyllis’ novels about the husband-and-wife private detectives Damien and Millie Dickens follow in the great sleuthing-duos tradition of Agatha Christie’s Tommy & Tuppence Beresford and Dashiell Hammett’s Nick & Nora Charles.
The Dickens Detective Agency is in 1980s Atlantic City, but cases take them from Montreal to Miami. Settings are authentic, plots are twisted, and the action moves forward at a steady pace.
Enjoy this excerpt from chapter four of book three in the series: The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper.
By the time I reached the office, it was approaching 7pm. There was no sign of Millie’s car in the parking lot, but I decided to go upstairs anyway, in case she had left me a message. When I got to the top of the stairs, I noticed an intermittent flicker of light shining through the frosted glass of our office door. I moved silently down the hall, keeping close to the wall. As I approached the door, I crouched down below the level of the glass pane and reached automatically for my pistol, before remembering that it was locked in the trunk of the car. Heart in my throat, I grasped the doorknob, turned it slowly, and edged the door open just enough to allow myself to slip inside.
The outer office was in chaos. Millie’s desk had been ransacked, the drawers hanging open and askew. Her files and notes were strewn over the desktop and spilled onto the floor, where they were joined by the contents of the filing cabinet. The intruder was in my office with the door closed; I could hear him shuffling through the papers on my desk. I tip-toed past Millie’s desk. My hand was on the knob to my office door now. I eased it open gently, but a squeak from one of the hinges cut through the silence. The intruder spun around at the sound and tried to flee past me. At the last second, I caught him ankle-high with a shoestring tackle. He fell heavily, dropping his flashlight as he hit the floor. We both scrambled for it, but he was closer and got there first. In a single, smooth sweep of his arm, he slammed the flashlight into my skull.
Contact author Phyllis Entis:
Phyllis is also the author of a non-fiction book, Food Safety: Old Habits, New Perspectives. She is a free-lance writer and retired food safety microbiologist with degrees from McGill University and the University of Toronto and lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Phyllis and her husband enjoy sharing their house with an Australian Cobberdog, Shalom.