Stephen Banister The St. Charles House

ISBN 13: 9780981986630

The St. Charles House

3.69 avg rating
( 13 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780981986630: The St. Charles House

A rollicking, irreverent rock & roll murder mystery set in the famous--and infamous--6th Street party district in Austin, Texas. This is the first novel in Banister's series chronicling the mis-adventures of poker-playing, wise-cracking slacker sleuth Emerson "Tuck" Tucker, his side-kick, Pig Dog, and their odd assortment of cronies. Sixth Street in Austin, Texas, is notorious for its party atmosphere and its strange goings-on, but things get just a little too strange when bartender Anthony Court takes a terminal swan dive off the roof of the St. Charles House Hotel. When easygoing Emerson "Tuck" Tucker, who won the old residence hotel/office building in a poker game, starts to clear out his recently deceased tenant's apartment, he finds a large stash of cocaine hidden in a brass spittoon and an AR-15 rifle cached behind a concealed panel. The cops maintain that Court's death was a suicide, but Tuck thinks different. Drugs and guns aren't that hard to find on Sixth Street, but what he found was more coke than your average bartender would have, and way too much rifle. Tuck can't leave the question of Court's death alone. When he starts to nose around, someone breaks into his apartment in the St. Charles House and puts a bullet into Pig Dog, his beloved, if somewhat socially challenged, golden retriever. As a warning and a threat, shooting a Texan's dog is just about as effective as drawing to an inside straight. The people responsible are about to find out just how rough a poker-playing slacker of a good-old boy can play their game.

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About the Author:

Stephen Banister was turned on to writing by his high school English teacher, who not only allowed him to write his term paper on the women of James Bond but loaned him all of her Ian Fleming books as a reference. He didn't start writing seriously until about twenty years ago when he sold his insurance business and took a year off to write the Great American Novel ... a six-hundred-page cold-war story which pitted the USA against the USSR, and which was set in San Antonio, Texas. Shortly afterward, Mr. Gorbacheve followed Mr. Regan's suggestion and tore down the wall, and Stephen's dream of publication along with it. For the next ten years, he followed pretty much the same pattern. While he again day-lighted in the insurance industry, he spit out a novel manuscript from January through April, he golfed from May through August, and he followed college football from September through December, and then he started the cycle over. Thus he produced eleven manuscripts, two of which, The Devil's Due and The St. Charles House, have been published in limited editions. The latter novel introduced a loveable yet wise-ass character by the name of Emerson "Tuck" Tucker. DarkStar Books plans to continue Tuck's adventures with the second book in the series, Cerveza, Texas.

Review:

In Stephen Banister's The St. Charles House (DarkStar, $15.95), the protagonist is so busy cracking jokes that he's unaware of the danger that surrounds him. Emerson Tuck Tucker is a slacker gambler who has won a small Austin, Texas, apartment building in a poker game. No longer forced to work, he spends most of his days and night prowling the lively Austin music scene. When one of his tenants takes a dive off the top of his building, Tuck suspects that his death wasn't suicide. During his rather casual investigation (remember, he's a slacker), he meets the woman of his dreams. That's when his life really gets complicated. Tuck and his golden retriever, Pig Dog, make fine companions for a cold winter's night, especially when Tuck's propensity for humor is given free rein. Let's hope this merry prankster returns soon. --Betty Webb, Mystery Scene Magazine, 2010 Summer issue, #115

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