Krapp's Last Cassette: A Novel

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9780345498441: Krapp's Last Cassette: A Novel

Quinn, a sharp-tongued private investigator in Seattle who’s been busy waving goodbye to her philandering husband while fanning her hot flashes with her other hand, has just bumped into a case that threatens to expose the compassionate heart beneath her hard-boiled exterior.

A fifteen-year-old named Danny has suffered hideous abuse at the hands of his twisted parents, and now he’s battling a life-threatening illness. Danny’s saga has been turned into a bestselling memoir that is about to be adapted into a made-for-TV movie. The screenwriter, Alex Krapp, has talked to the weak, reclusive Danny only over the phone. But now a cynical reporter who believes that the kid doesn’t exist is about to put his suspicions in print. Can Quinn find and vindicate Danny before he dies?

Quinn is not only moved by the tale but a little attracted to Krapp himself. And yet something seems strange. Why does the story have so many similarities to her high-profile murder case, and why has Krapp hired her? While Quinn gets in touch with her feminine side, her suspicions force her to keep one hand on her Smith & Wesson LadySmith.

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About the Author:

Anne Argula was born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania and raised there and in Ringtown, She currently lives in Seattle, Washington. This is her third novel in the Quinn series.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One



Live in Seattle and you learn to layer. I was locked into the first-class can, hurling through the night, thirty thousand feet above Oregon’s sleepy charms, struggling to peel off my clothes before spontaneously combusting and turning Alaska Flight 291 into a fiery ball with no direction home. Really, they shouldn’t let me through security. If hot flashes were detectable to scanners, a whole demographic, the one that kept Matlock on the air for so long, would be grounded for their own safety and the safety of others.

Locking my knees and bracing my hands against the bulkheads, I gave a fleeting moment’s thought to all those nameless, shameless shaggers who have at times partied in similar spaces and then bragged to their friends about it. Even in the days when I was having sex I wanted it on silk sheets, with some scented candles about, not in a public crapper the size of an upright coffin.

At last I got down to my bra, sweating out enough salt to corrode the plumbing. To be honest with you, the amount of perspiration pumping out of me would have left space in a thimble for my old lieutenant’s heart, but it felt like Niagara. I held a handful of paper towels under the faucet, hammering it with my other hand to keep the water flowing. I ran the wet towels over my face and torso and under my arms. I looked at my reflection in the mirror and saw my hair uncurling. I took three deep breaths, and then I took three more. If I had a happy place, I would have gone to it.

In any case, my flamethrowers backed down and reset to safety. Crisis passed. Quinn has once again been defused. We will survive.

And then—how startling and wonderful—a blip broke the flat line that was the sexual me. A twinge. An echo of a feeling long, long forgotten, and I knew why: that man. That man sitting next to me in the first-class cabin. Without drying, I layered my clothes back on and had a serious look at myself. Did I need this? For sure, not. So why did I have this half a fantasy of dragging him in with me and doing the Mile High thing? Oh, what a feeling! Was I ready for the club?

I youksed the door, fighting a small panic of entrapment, before I figured out to accordion the thing and managed to set myself free.

The stewardess, not much younger than I, and maybe a kindred spirit, offered me another Corona. I jumped on it.

I sat down again, next to that man and the slight odor of cloves. We smiled at each other. And, lo, in Little Sahara, falls a dewdrop.

“Here’s to it,” he said, and tapped his scotch against my beer. “Drinking in the sky.”

When we landed in Seattle, my head was on his shoulder, and I was fast asleep.

Chapter Two

I don’t like flying, which doesn’t mean I prefer trains, boats, or buses. I don’t like to travel, period. As the Zen Buddhists say, why go to distant lands when you have a perfectly good place to sit at home?

Most of us, though, are obliged to do more than sit, and so occasionally even I have to dangle in the air.

First class makes a difference. I’d never flown first class before, but then I’d never flown on anybody else’s dime before, either. I was not used to being treated that way, not as a cop, not as a PI, not as a woman.

Early that morning a limo had picked me up at my apartment down in Pioneer Square. It was one of those days when the weight of the cold gray northern sky made it tough even to push open the front door.

The car was waiting for me on Yesler. I tried to get inside without my three Indians noticing. The boys had taken up permanent residence—as permanent as it got for them—under the pergola across the street. Drunk as they always were, they never missed much of what was happening.

Clifford Everybodytalksabout got to his feet fairly fast and shouted out, “Yo, Quinn, livin’ large, baby!”

The other two struggled to get off the bench, using each other for leverage. The singer, David Hidesbehindthesmoke, yelled, “Paris Hilton! It’s Paris Hilton!”

“Fuck you,” I yelled back pleasantly. “Can I drop you somewhere? Like down a hole?”

They didn’t need a second invitation. They staggered across James and Yesler where the streets come together, just managing not to get killed by traffic. I took them to Muscatel Meadows.

“Where’re you goin’, Quinn?”

“I’m going to Hollywood, baby!” I said, sounding like one of those American Idol hopefuls, but in my case the enthusiasm ran false. I didn’t want to go anywhere, but I had a cleared desk and I didn’t want my bank account to resemble it.

I gave them a ten. They left a pungency behind, and although the driver was cool about it I could tell he saw this as the start of a bad day. Suffer.

So there I was, flying first class, compliments of a heavy-hitting screenwriter with the unfortunate name of Alex Krapp. Later, nearing what I thought was the end of my day with him, after a nice dinner at the Ivy and a bottle of chardonnay, I asked him why, since he was in show business, he hadn’t changed his name. He told me he had, and some of the expensive wine flew out of my nose. “You chose Alex Krapp!”

He smiled sheepishly. “I know.”

“Nothing wrong with it, but . . .”

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Anne Argula
Published by Ballantine Books, United States (2009)
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Book Description Ballantine Books, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Original. Language: English . Brand New Book. Quinn, a sharp-tongued private investigator in Seattle who s been busy waving goodbye to her philandering husband while fanning her hot flashes with her other hand, has just bumped into a case that threatens to expose the compassionate heart beneath her hard-boiled exterior. A fifteen-year-old named Danny has suffered hideous abuse at the hands of his twisted parents, and now he s battling a life-threatening illness. Danny s saga has been turned into a bestselling memoir that is about to be adapted into a made-for-TV movie. The screenwriter, Alex Krapp, has talked to the weak, reclusive Danny only over the phone. But now a cynical reporter who believes that the kid doesn t exist is about to put his suspicions in print. Can Quinn find and vindicate Danny before he dies? Quinn is not only moved by the tale but a little attracted to Krapp himself. And yet something seems strange. Why does the story have so many similarities to her high-profile murder case, and why has Krapp hired her? While Quinn gets in touch with her feminine side, her suspicions force her to keep one hand on her Smith Wesson LadySmith. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780345498441

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Anne Argula
Published by Ballantine Books, United States (2009)
ISBN 10: 0345498445 ISBN 13: 9780345498441
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Book Description Ballantine Books, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Original. Language: English . Brand New Book. Quinn, a sharp-tongued private investigator in Seattle who s been busy waving goodbye to her philandering husband while fanning her hot flashes with her other hand, has just bumped into a case that threatens to expose the compassionate heart beneath her hard-boiled exterior. A fifteen-year-old named Danny has suffered hideous abuse at the hands of his twisted parents, and now he s battling a life-threatening illness. Danny s saga has been turned into a bestselling memoir that is about to be adapted into a made-for-TV movie. The screenwriter, Alex Krapp, has talked to the weak, reclusive Danny only over the phone. But now a cynical reporter who believes that the kid doesn t exist is about to put his suspicions in print. Can Quinn find and vindicate Danny before he dies? Quinn is not only moved by the tale but a little attracted to Krapp himself. And yet something seems strange. Why does the story have so many similarities to her high-profile murder case, and why has Krapp hired her? While Quinn gets in touch with her feminine side, her suspicions force her to keep one hand on her Smith Wesson LadySmith. Bookseller Inventory # FLT9780345498441

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