Monday, November 11, 2013

A Bucket Full of Lies by Full of Quick Wit, Zany Dialogue...and, of course, So Many Lies It's Hard to Solve the Murders!
"You had better boot scoot out of here, Roosevelt," my Guardian Angel warned me trying to look like he really cared. "If you don't, you are going to get trapped right in the middle of a murder, a multiple kidnapping, a gun and heroin smuggling ring, and to top it off everyone you meet will only lie to you. And if that is not enough, you are going to get hurt, maybe even killed."
AKA Robert Swisher as Bob Roosevelt
"Please, I'm in Iowa, nobody knows me here," I said. Besides, I'm in a quandary." 
"What's new about that?" my Guardian Angel stated bluntly. "You're 62 years old and you have never found yourself or the love of your life - being in a quandary is all you know." 
"You're job is to help me not ridicule me," I said defensively, although he was telling the truth. Since I was twenty I have tried to discover who I really am and searched for the love of my life, neither of which has ever happened. "Does the truth hurt?" my Guardian Angel taunted like a Catholic who had pulled a fast one on a Buddhist. 
"I am the only person who can hear my Guardian Angel and when I talk to him it is only through my mind, which is a good thing, if not, people would think I talk to myself all the time. And, thank God, I am the only person who can see him. He is not a pleasing sight. My Guardian Angel is a 14th century monk with a shaved head. He is 5'2" tall and in his early 60' s and more than a little over weight – in fact he is as round as a basketball. His eyes are tiny brown slits that show he is not to be trusted. His eyebrows are so bushy birds could nest in them. He has a splotchy uneven black beard and his complexion is close to watery flour paste. He wears sandals with no socks and a knee length, stained, brown wool robe, which exposes mats of black curly hair on his bowed legs. To top it off he does not bathe saying vapors cause disease – people from the 14th century were not known for their intelligence. 

A Bucket Full of Lies:
 Bob Roosevelt Mystery Series
By Robert Swisher

I love multi-genre novels, do you? If you enjoy humor, you will want to give this tale a close look! First Warning: Every conversation you read will have at least three voices involved. You see, this Vietnam Vet had at least one close call back then and was assigned a permanent Guardian Angel... Seriously, now I know why they always say "those who live by the gun die by the gun." That is, unless God's looking out for you.  Maybe He knew that this soldier was honor-bound to keep fighting for good... Now he's a P.I. and his G.A. has certainly been earning his pay--that is, if he wasn't a dead monk, turned G.I. He admits openly that God didn't like him... Personally, I think he paired the two to help the monk more than the other way around...You'll see what I mean when you read it...

Second Warning. Don't believe a word you hear from anybody, and I do include the monk in this statement. Oh yes, he does speak up, but sometimes that bullet is already on its way... An early tip: this monk drank when he was alive and now spends all of his time eyeing up each and every female that is in the vicinity...a voyeur doesn't always catch the bad guy fast enough... So if you ever get a G.A. assigned to you, be on the alert since they may be, ah, working off some type of penance???

"Roosevelt, if you are from Mexico and not born rich,

 there is only one way you can ever get ahead, crime. 
The system is set up to keep you down. 
Unlike America, there is no middle class in Mexico.
 In Mexico there is only the have and the have-nots."
 "Big business and the government are trying
 their best to make it that way here also," I said.
 "America is very treacherous," Manuel agreed.
 "In Mexico, you know who are the crooks, 
but here, the people you least expect are the crooks,
 and crooks a lot of times are the good guys."
 "You've been here long enough to understand," I said. 
"I have been here long enough to miss my country,
 but I know there is no need for me to go back.
 I could not pick lettuce and tomatoes now and be
 satisfied. I have seen too much."
 I looked at Manuel's lizard boots and his gold bracelet.
 He saw me looking at them. "They are nice, no. 
In Mexico I would never be able to buy such things."
 I thought about all the Mexicans in the country
 slaving away picking crops and washing cars,
 mowing yards, doing jobs that most people will not do,
 and yet, they were making more money than they
 ever dreamed they could back in their own country - 
that is, when the people they work for pay them. 
If you get the idea that I was thoroughly enjoying this in-head interaction between the two (after I got used to having a third person respond as well), you are right and I'm so happy that this is the first of a series...Do check it out ASAP so you don't get into a later book and wonder what's going on! By the way, it is a little irreverent so don't think this G.A. will be winning any pious medals... LOL...but he probably will be keeping The Big Guy shaking his head and, maybe, sometimes, stifling a chuckle...

I also might have enjoyed it a bit more than some of you because I found Roosevelt and I had a lot in common as he throws out opinions on politics, the government and other philosophical thoughts that crosses the minds of those that grew up pre- and during the 60s... 

Well, the G.A. had already warned Roosevelt of what was coming. Still when he accidentally met one of his old Hippie friends in a little chili place and went home with him, it never occurred to him that it would be Sam, that friend, who was killed...

"Heed my warning, Roosevelt," my Guardian Angel said with a truly worried look on his face. 
"Bob Roosevelt," echoed through the cafe once again. 
"A sinking feeling shot through my heart. I turned apprehensively to look at whoever knew me. Seeing Sam Wrench jolted me back to the 1960' s. 
"You’re a sight for sore eyes," Sam said, lumbering toward me like a polar bear with bad feet. 
"Murder and kidnapping, heroin and gun smuggling, bodily pain all over your body," my Guardian Angel recited while shaking his finger at me. 
"I hadn't seen Sam in over 45 years. "You haven't changed a bit," I lied, standing up - my Guardian Angel's words sending distress signals up and down my spine. Sam embraced me and pounded on my back like he was beating the dirt out of a rug. In truth, Sam hadn't changed that much. In the 60' s Sam looked like a long haired guard for a pro football team - only now the muscle has turned soft - his hair is short, though still coal black, and he doesn’t have a beard. Although Sam is a big man, back then he was one of the gentlest men I had ever known. 
"I'll get my own beer," Sam bellowed over to Greasy Ed. 
"Greasy Ed gave Sam a dirty look, which I guess meant, yes. Looking at Sam, I could picture him in the past with long black hair, an earring in one ear and a peace sign hanging around his bull-like neck. He was one of the few hippies in New Mexico the cowboys didn't try to knock the snot out of. They tried to knock me around a few times but found out it was a mistake. Sam poured me another beer and came back around the counter with two for himself. Without a comment we went to a table. Sam drained one beer without stopping, wiped the froth from his lip, and smiled distantly, like remembering a fond memory. "I sure miss the 60' s," he said. 
"I bet the 60' s don't miss you guys," my Guardian Angel smirked. 
"I had to smile, thinking back to New Mexico. "Those were the days," I said to Sam, trying to ignore the fact I really can't remember, except in fragments, what had really gone on during my hippie days in a commune in New Mexico. 
"Don't blame your memory loss on substance abuse," my Guardian Angel said. "One has to have intelligence to lose his memory." 
"It's too bad we all grew up and had to accept reality," Sam said. "The drugs made us lose credibility," I said. "They were a bad thing," Sam agreed. "I haven't messed with any since." 
"Me either, and I wish I never did," I said. Sam laughed and I laughed - the type of laugh used to cover up things that no longer should be mentioned or should be forgotten. Sam took another gulp of beer. 
"We were all dreamers," he said, his mood suddenly going dark. 
"You were all stupid," my Guardian Angel said like he had a college degree in human nature.

So instead of meeting with the wife and kids as planned, Roosevelt found himself meeting Lisa, who he knew had to be his second "trophy" wife and offered to help find out who killed Sam...

Boy, you talk about sending out mixed signals. This cool lady didn't seem at all upset to have lost her husband, except that she was now free to spend some time with Roosevelt, which G.A. was quite interested in seeing happen!

But Roosevelt was an honorable man (that's why I think the Big Guy set him up with this particular monk) and even though he agreed to stay there at the house and Lisa was offering quite often, he never once touched her...

Then, he met Sam's first wife and seemed to be getting the same vibes from her...

What had he gotten himself into? Then as he started asking questions about who might have killed Sam, Lisa admitted that Sam's kids had been kidnapped! While Sheila their mother told him they were at camp... But neither wanted to get the police involved...  G.A. once again had been correct as he was now trying to determine the whereabouts of the three children...

At the same time, no matter what, Roosevelt knew he had to play by some of the rules at least and contacted the detective in charge of Sam's murder to see if he would be willing to share information. Owens was not anxious to, but was at least willing to talk, as long as Roosevelt kept him involved... Owens had shared that they were looking at a man named Moralis who owned several businesses in town that were believed to be fronts for money-laundering, drugs and certainly prostitution...

In the meantime, Greasy Ed, the cook at the chili place, got a bullet in his head...

Roosevelt started looking around the big home Sam had bought when he married Lisa... Where was he getting the money?! Tennis Courts, swimming pools, all in the right neighborhood... so that his search ultimately led him to being near their neighbors house and seeing some weird things that raised questions... Like...why would empty horse stalls be locked...  Same with the Tennis Courts? 

And then he heard a voice he recognized talking to Manuel, who worked for the neighbors. A voice that surprised him to even be there...

Aside from Roosevelt getting shot at, beat up, imprisoned underground, wounded...and totally surprised by what was happening, it did finally work out, as we all knew it would and, of course, with Roosevelt being so curious, he made sure that every single mystery, every single lie, and a whole lot of details as to who shot who after he was hit, were all cleared up for us... Then he was satisfied he could get into a newly repaired and painted Matilda, gratefully paid for by somebody else and he and his Guardian Angel started singing...heading for some trout fishing...

"I started Matilda. "Somewhere on this road off life you'll find yourself and a person to love," my Guardian Angel said. "There are no guarantees," I said. 
"Keep rolling the dice, Roosevelt," he said. 
"Driving away from the rest area my Guardian Angel and I were humming an old Beatles song - something about yellow submarines. I felt good. I was alive. The bad guys had lost. I was going trout fishing in Colorado. This story has a happy ending. Many don't. Good had come out of a bucket full of lies.

I tell you one thing, with all the lying going around, there was no way I could even begin to figure out what was really happening, although I had some good guesses... As to who killed Sam? I hadn't a clue...

Have fun with this one!

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