Friday, 12 October 2018

Upcoming New Release Spotlight & Excerpt: Right on the Monet by Malcolm Parnell

Right on the Monet by Malcolm Parnell

New York
Claude Monet painting is stolen
Of all the things Harry Chase had imagined in his life, being a drummer on a cruise ship band was not one that would have occurred to him. And yet, there he was. Centre stage, behind a young female singer along with his mates, Dave, Tony and Steve.
Which meant that getting involved in a jewellery theft, an on-board massage parlour and the hunt for an Old Master was even further from his mind as he cracked the snare drum.
And yet, this was exactly how he found himself being questioned by Interpol …..

Just as I was eyeing up the optics, I heard voices as at least two people entered the room. Not wishing to be caught helping myself to a whisky I mouthed a silent curse and dropped down behind the bar out of sight.
Fancy a drink?” a man’s voice asked.
Footsteps approached the bar. I sunk low onto the floor. The palms of my hands moistened, and I began losing weight.
No, and neither should you, we both need a clear head,” another man answered.
Thankfully the footsteps ceased and then retreated.
I suppose you’re right.”
I sat on the floor not quite knowing what to do. Should I pop up like a jack in the box and announce my presence or stay put and hope they both leave soon. I decided on the latter and drank the whisky.
What time does the band start?” the second man asked.
Eleven o’clock. I told you we are too early. There’s no need to hang around; we have plenty of time to get something to eat and come back later.”
Hmm, ok, it’s just good to get out from being cooped up in that cabin and you know I love my music. I hear there’s a new drummer tonight,” the new voice said.
Yes, his name’s Harry, he’s the one who bought the painting.”
My ears pricked up at the sound of my name. How did they know me and how did they know I’ve bought a painting? I wondered who these men were. I certainly didn’t know them although they seemed to know me. Both spoke with American accents, and I was certain that I didn’t know any Yanks.
Are you ok? You look a little pale,” the first man asked.
It’s this Howard Smith business; it’s getting to me a bit.” He spoke with a high pitched nasal voice, as though someone was pinching his nose.
Look, stop worrying, no-one suspects a thing. As far as everyone is concerned he’s gone AWOL. They’ve called off the search, so it’s assumed he’s either drowned or is hiding somewhere on the continent.”
Crouching low and losing more weight by the second I pricked up my ears. I desperately wanted to know exactly who these two goons were but I dare not stick my head above the bar for fear of being seen. As always when in sticky situations I try to imagine what Cara would do. An idea came immediately, and I reached for my mobile phone and switched it to the camera. I then carefully slid it just above the level of the bar. Hoping it was pointing in the right direction, I pressed the photo button before turning it a few degrees and pressing again then a few degrees further I pressed again.
Anyway, let’s leave it for now,” the first man continued, “like I said we are too early, come on, I need some food.” A silence followed broken only by the opening and closing of the door.
A few seconds later I breached the top of the bar and poured myself another whisky. What on earth had just happened? Who were these two and how were they connected to Howard’s disappearance? They obviously knew a lot more about it than anyone else. With that in mind, I quickly checked the camera on my phone. The first picture showed a view of the room, empty except for tables and chairs. The second showed two figures, but both had their backs to the camera, and one was bending over so all that all that could be seen was his backside and legs. The third picture again showed two figures, but both were moving, so the image was blurry and indistinct. Cursing I slipped the phone back into my pocket and headed out the door. I needed to consult with the others.

Malcolm Parnell has a passion for painting and teaches art and drawing skills when he is not working on his next novel.
His other passion, apart from his good lady wife, Marion, is Leicester City Football Club. Becoming an author and Leicester win the Premier League have been two of his greatest ambitions realised.

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