A Promise Kept by David Bishop

A Promise Kept

A Promise Kept by David Bishop (Rick Carnes Cozy Mystery 1)
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 3.0 MB

Sergeant Edmund Jones died saving the life of Captain Rick Carnes. His last request, “Please, Captain, help my family they’ve got troubles.”
Rick Carnes musters out of the U.S. Army a few weeks later. Determined to keep that promise, he heads for Angels Camp, California. A town, the chief of police calls Peyton Place West.
In this twisty cozy mystery, Rick uncovers the real story behind the Jones’ family troubles, solves a murder, and makes new friends. Along the way, he may have found the woman of his dreams, and perhaps a new career.

I wouldn’t be in Angels Camp if it weren’t for Jonesy. Fact is, I wouldn’t be anywhere if it weren’t for Sergeant Edmund Jones.

The bus station in Angels Camp, California, was across from a flat rustic wall of businesses. In the center, a neon sign: Bill’s Tavern. It wasn’t much of a name, but enough to tell me the business of the establishment—what more can you expect from a sign.

I tossed my travel bag down from the bus to the sidewalk and squeezed the driver’s shoulder. “Thanks.”

He nodded.

The stories Jonesy told during our time together resulted in my deciding not to rush right up to his family’s front door. My initial plan was born from my training: reconnaissance, adapt, improvise.

I got off and hefted my bag up from the sidewalk. A sudden clap of a distant train captured the air as I jaywalked toward the tavern. The clack of the tracks grew fainter, likely headed north toward Sacramento or perhaps for the port at Frisco.

Taverns tend to either be full of light and action, for those who seek loud distraction, or soft lighting and easy music for drinkers wanting to wallow in whatever crowded them when they were alone. Bartenders and wait staff fall into a similar either-or thing. Across America and around the world, you find the bars Sinatra sang about: Set ‘em up Joe, I got a little story I think you should know.

These establishments have empathetic listening bartenders who regularly learn their own problems are less than those carried by the people for whom they poured. The other category of taverns feature cleavage for patrons opting for the quiet stimulation they hope will temporarily shield them from their recurring memories.

Bill’s Tavern was illuminated by indirect lighting and one large-screen television high over the bar. The bartender, clearly not the pudgy tell-me-your-troubles type, headed toward me. She featured cleavage. Her pupils were dark. The muted lighting made them appear black. Her straight white teeth flashed as she chewed gum.

When she got closer, I read her name badge—Susan. She didn’t fit the lyrics of the bluegrass song, Black-Eyed Susan. She smiled but didn’t say anything.

I settled on a bar stool. “A draft, please.”

Susan’s soft voice brought my head up. Her mouth gave her gum a rest. “What’s your call?”

She was close enough to reveal her eyes were green, her cleavage considerable, and her eyebrows matched her black shoulder length hair. Her face was centered by a right-sized mouth and a nicely shaped nose.

“Whatever you pour a lot of is fine.”

She grabbed a frosty mug and faced a row of draft pulls. A neat bow on her backside snugged her bar apron at her waist. When she turned, I noticed her apron fully hid her black shorts. She dropped a bar coaster in front of me and centered it with a cold Coors.

“Don’t know you.” She set her hands on her hips. “Passing through or moving in?”

“Read about your town. Thought I’d look around, then decide.”

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