Today we’re celebrating the release of crime caper, Weasel Words by Dale E. Lehman, with an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a print copy of the book!
Weasel Words (Bernard and Melody Capers Book 1)
Expected Publication Date: February 15th, 2021
Genre: Humor/ Crime Fiction
Between them, Bernard and Melody Earls have looks, charm, brains . . . everything but money. That’s why they steal from the rich and give to themselves. So when Alexander Hamilton Plaskett hires them to nick a silver statuette of a pine marten from his brother Paul Revere Plaskett, they’re happy to oblige. But it won’t be as easy as it looks. For one thing, the little beast is guarded by Fitzroy Fortresses, the best security system money can buy. For another, the five Plaskett siblings are obnoxious buffoons. Still, a job is a job, and this one may offer more than it appears.
At least, that’s Bernard’s theory. The pine marten isn’t particularly valuable, so why do the Plasketts contest its ownership so fiercely? To find out, he and Melody insinuate themselves into the Plasketts’ world and enlist a college geek to hack the unhackable Fitzroy system. Failure means poverty. Discovery means prison. And the biggest obstacle to Bernard’s brilliant schemes? Melody’s penchant for running off-script!
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Bernard had to admit to some fascination at the floorplan being revealed in shaky lines by Ruggles’ quaking hand. If it proved at all accurate, he could use it to plot his movements almost to the second. “Pretty good for having seldom been there,” he commented.
Ruggles tapped his temple. “Muskrat trap.”
“Not much gets away from one of those, huh?”
“Not much the size of a muskrat. Bears would be another matter.” The butler set the pen down and pushed it and the napkin back to Bernard.
“And you are walking into a den full of bears, Mr. Earls. If you ask me, Bear Trap Falls is aptly named.”
“Bears and one weasel. Got it.” Bernard tucked the napkin and pen into an inside pocket.
“Do you take this matter at all seriously?”
“Very seriously, Mr. Ruggles. Seven thousand dollars plus expenses seriously.”
Ruggles gave Bernard’s suit careful scrutiny.
Admittedly it wasn’t a Christian Dior, but surely it didn’t warrant that dismissive smirk. “Do you consider that a large sum?”
“For a few hours’ work, sure.” Bernard performed a quick burst of mental math. “It equates to an annual salary of over four and a half million, you know.”
Had he been standing, that revelation would have rocked Ruggles back on his heels. Sitting on the bar stool, it nearly dumped him backwards onto the floor. He grabbed the edge of the bar just in time and righted himself. “I didn’t realize that.”
“Oh yes, there’s good money in my business.” If only, he didn’t add, we could actually work something approaching full time. As it was, they were lucky to pay the rent some months.
The bartender returned and slid a plate of cheese fries in front of Bernard. “Hot,” she said.
He thought she probably had been, a decade or so back, but she couldn’t hold a candle to Melody, not then and not now, so he didn’t give her a second thought.
“Just relax,” he told the butler, who didn’t seem capable. “Here. Drink your drink and eat some of these. They say the bacon is real good.”
Ruggles watched the bartender move down the bar to another customer. “No doubt you wish to inspire confidence.” He pulled a fry from underneath the mass of gooey yellow, then held it as though it were poison while it dribbled cheese all over the bar. “So why am I more terrified now than when I came in?”
Bernard shook his head and shoveled a few fries into his mouth.
The bacon, it turned out, was nothing to write home about.
Dale E. Lehman is a writer, veteran software developer, amateur astronomer, and bonsai artist in training. He principally writes mysteries, science fiction, and humor. In addition to his novels, his writing has appeared in Sky & Telescope and on Medium.com. With his wife Kathleen he owns and operates the imprint Red Tales. They have five children, six grandchildren, and two feisty cats. At any given time, Dale is at work on several novels and short stories. Visit Dale at https://www.DaleELehman.com for information on his books, activities, and more.
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