“Sam Raynor was the biggest slug that ever oozed across my path. Anyone who wanted to kill him would have to take a number and get in line.”
That’s one of my favorite lines from my third Jeri Howard book, titled Take A Number.
Like many of my books, there’s a story behind the story.
Some years ago I read a newspaper article about a man in rural Missouri who was shot to death in the middle of the day, in the middle of whatever small town he lived in. Lots of witnesses, none of whom stepped forward to tell the police who murdered the man. It seems the dead man was so universally disliked that no one cared about his death or was willing to identify his killer.
So I wrote a book with a murder victim named Sam Raynor, a guy one reviewer described as “deliciously despicable.” Jeri’s client is Raynor’s estranged wife, who is divorcing him and wants to know where he’s hidden his money. After Raynor is shot and his wife is hauled in as the prime suspect, Jeri works hard to clear the woman. In writing the book, it was great fun to have a large cast of suspects and let Jeri eliminate them one by one.
I particularly like the man who is sitting in a pickup truck outside Raynor’s funeral, whistling that old tune, “I’ll be glad when you’re dead, you rascal, you.”
Download a copy of Take A Number and see if you can figure out who killed him.