Crooked Man: A Hard-Boiled but Humorous New Orleans Mystery (Tubby Dubonnet Series #1) (The Tubby Dubonnet Series)

Crooked Man: A Hard-Boiled but Humorous New Orleans Mystery (Tubby Dubonnet Series #1) (The Tubby Dubonnet Series) by Tony Dunbar Read Free Book Online

Book: Crooked Man: A Hard-Boiled but Humorous New Orleans Mystery (Tubby Dubonnet Series #1) (The Tubby Dubonnet Series) by Tony Dunbar Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tony Dunbar
Tags: Humor, Mystery, Hard-Boiled, cozy, funny, legal mystery, New Orleans, Noir, lawyer mystery, Tubby Dubonnet series
having,” the big one said.
    “About three fingers of Wild Turkey,” said his partner.
    “You got it,” she told them, and went back inside. She called down to the bar on the house phone and asked Jimmy to send up the waiter with a beer and a whiskey and a cranberry juice for her. The big fellow followed her in and sat beside her on the couch. He offered her a Marlboro, which she accepted, and he lit it with a big butane lighter.
    He asked her name and she told him. She asked his, and he said Jack Daniels. He was shitfaced already, she could tell. He had plenty of muscles, but he seemed to be in a good mood. He got cozy in stages, seeing what the rules were. A young waitress brought up the drinks, and he tipped her ten dollars from a roll. He had a lot of money and wanted Monique to know it. The slim man came off the balcony once to go back to the bathroom or maybe talk to Darryl. Monique couldn’t tell where, but he was gone. Jack Daniels brought out a plastic pill bottle and tapped about a quarter teaspoon of white powder onto the card table.
    “You want some of this?” he asked.
    She said okay, and he played around with it for a minute with a small gold pocketknife, then they both sniffed some up through a rolled-up twenty. It was good stuff, and Monique completely spaced out. Jack Daniels got real friendly then and had his hands all over her while they talked and he shot the bull. She remembered that they ordered up more drinks. She kept enough of her wits about her to make him give her some money. He managed that without much of a break in the action. She asked what about his friend. Jack Daniels said something like he’s just a fucking little old lady; he doesn’t care about the finer things in life. They dipped into his pill bottle a couple more times. She jerked him off right on the couch. They went downstairs and had a drink. She remembered taking a ride out to the boat launch in his car. They did it in the backseat. He was a little too rough. She remembered he had a gun strapped to his chest. Put it together with the facts that he was big and muscular, with the beginnings of a beer belly, and she concluded, without too much brainwork, that he was a rogue cop. At least he came with all the trappings of cophood as she knew them. He dropped her off at her place and scratched off before she could find her keys.
    Monique felt completely wrecked when she woke up late the next morning. After she finally got herself moving, she took her bike outside and rode all the way down Lakeshore Drive and back to try to clear her head. She reported to work a little early and tracked down Darryl to get a read on the situation. He acted like it was no big deal, nothing to forgive. Later on he mentioned that he was sorry he’d fixed her up like that. Those guys could be bad actors, he said. She should stay away from them. So what was she supposed to make of that?
    Monique had a problem of her own. She had a prior conviction in Alabama—for possession with intent to sell. She had never told anybody in New Orleans about it. It was part of the degrading time of her life with Ned that she wanted to bury forever. She knew Darryl had a prior, too, but since he didn’t talk about it, neither did she. It was one of the things they hadn’t shared yet.
    What’s worse, she was still on probation. Except for her party nights, and except that she might keep a little grass or coke around for home consumption, she tried hard to stay clean. In other words, she didn’t cut up much in public or do any dealing. She realized that Darryl did, but that was his affair and she kept out of it.
    Sometimes Darryl would go away for a day or two, on business. It was none of hers. They weren’t married. He sometimes made her wait in the hall for a few minutes before buzzing her into his office, and he had even once sent her outside while he took a phone call. She was naturally curious but not too concerned. She didn’t think that it involved another

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