Mike Shannon, a debonair, easy-going, hard-hitting private detective lives in the shadow of his famous detective father who was killed when Mike was young because he was investigating a cutthroat gang that has ruled Calgary, Connecticut for the last eighty years. His reluctance to use modern technology in his operation soon becomes an issue he can’t afford to ignore when he discovers a beautiful blonde woman sitting at his desk one day. The woman, Tracy Bryant, is dead and it looks like someone is trying to frame him.
With his partner Cal Smith, they set out to discover who killed the woman and dumped her in his office before the police find out about it. Eventually, they decide to leave the body on the street and let the police figure it all out.
Arriving at Mike’s office, they discover that the body is missing. A woman appears in the kitchen doorway and she is an identical twin to Tracy Bryant. She thinks Mike Shannon killed her sister. Her name is Tammy Bryant. After Mike convinces her he had nothing to do with the murder, she tells them that Tracy was writing a book about the Calgary mob. A man by the name of Willard Dawson runs the town and is a hardened criminal with a nasty past. Tracy had been threatened and harassed. She tells them that Tracy had a black book—a journal—that was solid evidence that the Calgary criminals were drug dealers, murderers and many other things. She thinks Tracy was killed because she was getting ready to expose the mob.
Tammy hires Mike Shannon to find out who killed her sister and to put them behind bars. While they’re talking at Mike’s office, they discover that a bottle of Scotch has been poisoned. Tammy tells them that Tracy had come to Mike for help and that someone else had joined her in his office while she was waiting for Mike to return. They think that person might have been Eric Caldwell, a police lieutenant who works in the Calgary Police Department. Willard Dawson, the mayor of Calgary has supposedly paid the police department and other officials to cooperate with the gang. Mike hires Tammy as an administrative assistant to help with the investigation. She volunteers to pretend that she is Tracy hoping to throw fear into Willard Dawson to get him to confess. Mike thinks the effort would be too dangerous. He calls his friend, Ken Markham a homicide detective with the Waterbury Police Department. Ken is upset because Mike didn’t report the murder right away. Mike tells him he was worried about being framed and was trying to find out who did it. So begins a mystery that will take Mike Shannon into rooms of horror and intrigue he never thought existed.
- Dallas Releford, May 2011
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