Meet Fitzroy…From KILLER ODDSPosted: December 1, 2012
The Delta Club was one of many blues clubs on Memphis’s famous Beale Street. It was a small, dark nightspot dedicated to classic blues. The clientele were mostly regulars who didn’t mind that the menu was shorter than the drink list. They either came for the blues or they came for the companionship of like-minded, if not necessarily reputable patrons. Carlton Fitzroy was a true blues devotee and a silent partner in the club. He used it as an office for his exclusive investigation business. It was exclusive because he didn’t advertise and only worked for people he knew. His methods often pushed the envelope, but he was effective.
The club was quiet and dark. Soon the cleaning crew would tackle the previous night’s debris, but for now the place was empty, except for a bartender stacking glasses and the manager adding up receipts at the end of the lighted bar. The side door creaked open, letting in the harsh late-morning light and briefly silhouetting a small man as he stepped inside. Fitzroy was 5′ 7″ and wiry. His light brown hair showed streaks of gray and curled over his ears in an unruly manner which complemented the stubble on his face. Dressed in black jeans, black tee shirt and black pinstriped vest he looked as hard as he was and older than his fifty-two years.
The manager lifted a folded piece of paper from the bar and held it between two fingers as Fitzroy stepped up onto a barstool next to him.
“What’s this?” said Fitzroy.
“Phone message. She didn’t leave a number.”
Fitzroy snatched the paper and read the message. He didn’t need a number. He had Matt’s number committed to memory. His head was still bent over the message when the bartender set a cup of coffee down in front of him. Fitzroy dragged it toward himself as he spun the stool around and slid off in the direction of his office.
As he sat down at the desk, Fitzroy removed the small 9-millimeter handgun from the holster at his back and laid it on the desk next to the coffee cup. He dialed Matt’s number on a disposable cell phone as he leaned back to plant a heavy black boot on the corner of the desk.
KILLER ODDS, the new Matt West novel will be available soon…