Diamonds, Clubs, and Rock & Roll

Description & Excerpt

The rock group Doberman’s Stub thought it made a conservative investment when it placed all of its earnings from its only #1 album into a minority partnership at the world’s hottest new resort for millionaires and billionaires. But the blue chip investment quickly turned blood red when two bodies floated past the windows of the resort’s signature undersea club on the floor of La Jolla Cove.

To ensure a thorough police investigation, the group hired San Diego private investigator Jason Duffy, a former bandmate of their lead guitarist, Michael Marinangeli. After determining that the victims were both local club patrons, Jason and Michael put their old group back together to serve as the club’s house band, giving Jason easy access to his top suspects. But his undercover status was nearly blown in his first week on the job when Elyse, the beautiful daughter of an affluent military contractor, used her wiles to crash his staff of psychologically challenged assistants.

Elyse led Jason to a society of local wannabe millionaires whose membership included both victims. On the surface, the society’s motives, goals, affiliations, and secrets appeared obvious. But Jason quickly discovered the downside to making snap judgments, encountering some of the most feared criminals the world has ever known as he dug deeper into the mystery surrounding their deaths.

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CHAPTER 1

“Come on Jack, be reasonable. Is this not the most beautiful pub in the entire world?” asked Donald Quinn, Irish lead singer for Doberman’s Stub.
Jack Pascal, the band’s bass player, looked to his right in time to see a four foot halibut swim past green sea grasses, swaying with the swells. The exterior lights and clarity of the water in La Jolla Cove made the undersea club a big hit with its millionaire/billionaire clientele. An underwater tunnel led to a spectacular resort with an exterior made almost entirely of glass panels shaped like diamond facets. Each facet was outlined in blue/white lights, making the resort look like a diamond broach built into the cliffs of La Jolla from jets leaving Lindbergh Field at night.
“The view is spectacular. It’s the sharks inside the club that make me uncomfortable. You guys can live here if you want. I’m perfectly happy in my middle class neighborhood,” Jack said.
Lead guitarist Michael Marinangeli caught his server’s eye and drew a circle in the air. She nodded and hurried to fill the order, hoping to please the resort’s new minority ownership group.
“Ezra told me we can practice in the Great Chrysanthemum Ballroom whenever it isn’t occupied, day or night. If you move in here with the rest of us you could get your buzz on, practice with your mates on a moment’s notice, and never have to worry about being stopped by one of the guardians of the peace on your way home,” said Donald.
“I get it. Time magazine said Diamonds on the Shoreline is the new #1 resort destination for the richest of the rich. But they’re just not my kind of people. I don’t want to join their club. I have different values. I don’t want to change, and I seriously doubt that you guys can live here and not become different people,” said Jack.
“We’ve been through a shite-load of troubles over the last three years and have come out stronger, smarter, and better musicians for the experience,” said British drummer Ian Davis. “I don’t think a little elbow rubbing with the one-percenters will put us on the highway to hell.”
A hologram of an octopus in a garden slowly circled Flawless Facets, amusing early arrivals for the 9:00 PM classic rock show. The Beatles song that inspired the image began to play as soon as it appeared. The bandmates of Doberman’s Stub opted to watch the holography show created by Michael’s friend, giving Jack a moment to cool down.
“You’ve got to admit, this club is very cool,” said Michael.
“And, New York is a great place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there,” replied Jack.
A group of four men wearing the latest in Barbour and John Lewis resort casual clothing were shown to an adjacent window table. Their loud conversation about servants not grasping the concept of proper deferential treatment toward their employers did not help the band members make their case with Jack. The arrival of a beautiful blond server with another round of drinks relieved the mounting tension.
“I hope everyone’s having a good time tonight,” she said.
Perception did not appear to be one of her strengths. God giveth, and God taketh away.
Donald nudged Michael and pointed a thumb at the window. “It looks like your holography mate can be a bit of a twat.”
A man in a long-sleeved white shirt and tie, with a bullet hole in the middle of his forehead, floated less than six feet from the window. His eyes were open wide and his arms extended out from his sides, as if he were about to give someone a hug.
“Bradley!” screamed our server. Her tray holding Jack’s drink flipped into the air as she spun around to see if her co-workers had spotted the corpse of one of their favorite patrons.

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