Done Rubbed Out
Reightman & Bailey Book 1
by Jeffery Craig
Genre: Crime Mystery, Thriller
In this first book of the Reightman & Bailey Series, deceit, corruption and murder tangle together with vivid, unconventional characters in a story of unlikely new friendships and their power to change us.
Things are going well at the Time Out Spa, but the night young proprietor Toby Bailey discovers his former lover naked and dead on a massage table, more things are spoiled than just his white leather shoes. Detective Melba Reightman and partner, Sam Jackson are called in to investigate and soon become embroiled in the most perplexing homicide case seen in years.
After a Hunting knife engraved with Toby’s name is found in a pile of wet, bloody laundry, he’s arrested for the murder of Geraldo Guzman. He enlists the aid of Madame Zhou Li, practicing attorney and owner of Green Dragon Chinese Herbs and Teas. The peculiar octogenarian seems an unlikely choice to defend him, but has a few tricks up her sleeve. Toby joins forces with Reightman and Jackson and a shocking string of clues leads them closer to the killer. The bad news? Successfully solving the crime might unleash a firestorm on this southern city, and come with a price none of them are prepared to pay.
Reightman & Bailey Book 2
In this second Reightman & Bailey thriller, Detective Melba Reightman is distraught over the murder of her friend and par
tner, Sam Jackson. The Guzman murder case has been closed, but she knows the real killer is still out there somewhere. Toby Bailey’s discovery of a set of incriminating photos proved there were more people involved in Geri Guzan’s death than just Dr. Lieberman, but getting anyone to listen is more of a challenge than she’d ever imagined. She’s going to need help convincing the powers that be that the case needs to be reopened, but she’ll find a way to do it. It’s the only choice she has if she wants to discover who’s behind it all.
Toby’s still struggling with Geri’s death and the shock at having been the target of a hitman. Detective Jackson took the bullet meant for him and saved his life, and he doesn’t understand how things could have gone so very wrong. No one should have known about the evidence Geri left behind, but it’s the only explanation that makes any sense. He has a hunch things are going to get worse, so he’ll just have to pull up his pants and get on with whatever needs to be done to help Detective Reightman figure things out.
And as for
John Brown? He’s just worried he won’t get paid after botching the hit on Toby, and can’t help wondering what will happen next. It wasn’t really his fault. Mistakes were bound to happen when things got complicated, but who knew this would be such a hard job?
Things are heating
up in this southern city.
& Bailey Book 3
In Skin Puppet: Reightman & Bailey Book Three, the whole gang from Capital Street is back and almost ready for business. It’s just two weeks until The Reightman & Bailey Agency officially opens, but Melba Reightman and Toby Bailey have things pretty much under control. After the horrific events of the last six months, things are starting to feel normal again.
An inconvenient lisp from a busted lip isn’t slowing Toby down, but it makes him sound embarrassing like a cartoon character. And there’s the whole awkward situation with Jon Chiang. One minute Zhou Li’s nephew is cold and distant, and the next minute…well, Toby could swear the guy might be interested in something more. It’s all very confusing.
Melba’s got her hands full completing last minute paperwork so they can open for business. There’s the huge stack of invitation
s Madame Zhou dropped off, all needing to be hand-addressed. Melba doesn’t see the need for a huge grand opening party, but there’s no point in arguing with the bossy owner of Green Dragon. To top things off, Zhou Li is strongly hinting that Melba needs a new dress.
With so much going on, the reports of children missing from the local area haven’t really registered on anyone’s radar. The single flyer posted by a desperate mother looking for her daughter was disturbing, but it’s really a matter for the local police, not the Reightman & Bailey Agency. Right?
Wrong. Things are never that easy.
WARNING: This novel deals with mature subject matter.
Jeffery Craig is the writing pseudonym of the author, used for fictional works. Jeffery resides in the southeastern United States and shares his life with his husband and partner, and a menagerie of much-loved pets. For several years, he worked as a executive providing technology and consulting services to help clients meet business needs. He’s an avid supporter of the arts and co-owns a local art gallery/gift store that provides an outlet for area artists to showcase and sell their works.
When he isn’t writing, he might be found working on a painting or enjoying the covered front porch of his historic southern home with a good book in hand
What can you expect from you in the future?
Well, my file of book ideas is pretty big right now! I think I have about thirty working ideas and about a third of those are outlined in some form or fashion. There’ll be the next two books in this series, of course. I have two stand-alone novels underway, and I hope to have the first (currently untitled) out late summer/early fall of this year. The fourth book of Reightman & Bailey, Little Deaths, will follow that and next spring the second-stand-alone (Street Change) will be published. Ride the Dragon, the fifth and final book in the series, will come out next summer. I have an epic fantasy lined up after that.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I have a few, and have them saved in a safe place so one day I can provide some ‘outtakes’ for interested readers. There are several sections I had to cut from the final version of the books, for either length or for propriety’s sake. Although my protagonist is gay, I didn’t want write something that veered too far into erotic fiction territory. There’s a little bit of ‘up close and personal’ in the books, but I wanted to focus primarily on the characters and the plot. I cut some pretty vivid scenes, because they didn’t seem to fit the style of the rest of the book. I also cut some fun sections that provide more detail into the three main characters, but didn’t move the plot along enough to be included. I may use some of those, or the ideas behind them, in other books down the road.
Where were you born/where did you grow up?
I was born in a little town in the Texas Panhandle, and although my family moved a lot when I was a child, I always think of it as where I grew up. Both sets of grandparents were there. Although I couldn’t wait to get out into the great big world when I finished high school, I look back on that community, and the harsh, changeable climate with affection and thankfulness. Although time tends to soften and romanticize things, there were a lot of positives. People didn’t lock their doors, were always willing to help a friend, celebrated and grieved together and had built their foundations on faith. There were less wonderful aspects too. The world view tended to be narrow, and sometimes faith turned into dogma. When I look back now, I think for the most part, the people there appreciate the simple things in life and that’s a lesson I’ve had to learn time and time again. I don’t miss the climate, but I miss the sense of community and the hard working, pragmatic approach to life so many of the people who live there possess.
If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I’d try to spend it showing the people in my life how important they are to me. The human connection is the most powerful and precious thing we have going for us. After that, I’d want to have a good glass of wine, along with the best slice of pizza in the world, surrounded loved ones.
Who is your hero and why?
My heroes are those every day, unnoticed people who do whatever they can to write wrongs, help someone in need and speak up when they see or hear something bigoted, untruthful, or morally and ethically wrong, They don’t do it because it will play well on the news, or to gain recognition or praise. They do it because it’s the right thing to do. They are the people that will ultimately change the world.
What were the hardest lessons you learned when you began your writing journey?
There were, and are, so many lessons! I guess some of the biggest ones seem like the simplest, but aren’t. Here are a few.
Realizing not all my friends or family members were intensely interested in my work was an eye opener. Some people just don’t read for pleasure.
Knowing where to ask for help is hard, and finding the right person to provide assistance is sometimes scary and confusing. Not everyone has your best interest at heart, and no one will care about your book the way you, the author, does.
There are no silver bullets —it’s all hard work, although often exhilarating work. There will always be errors in the finished product, or things that could have been better. Accept it and the responsibility for it and don’t make excuses. Learn from the experience, and try not to make the same mistakes again. Repeat as needed.
Learn how to do the things you hate well, so you don’t have to spend as much time doing it.
Don’t let the tough times or obstacles lessen the joy you feel when you write. Otherwise, you’re sweating for the wrong goal.
Finally, it takes a long time to get the word out about how amazing you are. Be patient and keep jogging. It’s not a timed race.
What kind of advice would you give a new author?
I have four pieces of advice. 1) Write every day, even if you’re feeling blocked. Write about the cereal you had for breakfast, or about what the cat is doing right now. You can’t edit or revise a blank page, and anything you write will be better than those things you didn’t write. 2) Don’t take criticism personally. Everyone perceives a story differently. Some people will love your style of writing, and others won’t. That doesn’t make you —or them —bad people. It’s just the way it is. 3) Hire people to help. Get the best end product you can by using a skilled designer, a professional editor, and a formatter, if needed. This won’t guarantee success, and won’t catch every error, but it’ll help immensely.4) Tell the most truthful story you can, by making sure the situations and characters are believable, even if your story takes place on a far away, imaginary world. That world has its own truths, so show them. Write the story that interests you and tell it well.
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