The Pride Trilogy: Kyle Callahan 1-3

BOOK: The Pride Trilogy: Kyle Callahan 1-3
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The Pride Trilogy

3 Kyle Callahan Mysteries

Murder at Pride Lodge
Pride and Perilous
Death by Pride

Mark McNease

Copyright © 2015 by Mark McNease

ISBN-10: 0991627989

ISBN-13: 9780991627981

MadeMark Publishing

New York City

www.mademarkpublishing.com

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, situations and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Also By Mark McNease

Kyle Callahan Mysteries

Pride and Perilous

Death in the Headlights

Death by Pride

Kill Switch

Other Books & Writing

Outer Voices Inner Lives

(Co-Editor and Publisher)

Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Anthology

In Harmony with the Seasons

By Herbalist Cathy McNease (Publisher)

Stop the Car (A Kindle Single)

Rough & Tumble, A Fiction Short

The Seer, A Fiction Short

Contents

A Word About the Mysteries

Murder at Pride Lodge   Book I

Prologue   Los Angeles

Chapter 1   Pride Lodge

Chapter 2   Cabin 6

Chapter 3   Room 202

Chapter 4   Lonely Blue Pool

Chapter 5   Room 202

Chapter 6   Cabin 6

Chapter 7   Detective Sikorsky

Chapter 8   Room 202

Chapter 9   The Show Goes On

Chapter 10 An Offhand Remark

Chapter 11 A Table for One

Chapter 12 The Master Suite

Chapter 13 All the Jack-O-Lanterns

Chapter 14 Stanley and Oliver

Chapter 15 Happiness is a Warm Gun

Chapter 16 The Master Suite

Chapter 17 An Intimate Encounter

Chapter 18 A Little Night Music

Chapter 19 Natural Causes

Chapter 20 Room 202

Chapter 21 The Past Catches Up

Chapter 22 Breakfast at Epiphany's

Chapter 23 A Late Start

Chapter 24 On the Ropes

Chapter 25 Cabin 6

Chapter 26 Teddy's Room

Chapter 27 Cabin 6

Chapter 28 Room 202

Chapter 29 The Master Suite

Chapter 30 Unhappy Halloween

Chapter 31 And the Winner Is …

Chapter 32 In the Rearview Mirror

Chapter 33 Check Out Time is 11:00 a.m.

Pride and Perilous   Book II

Chapter 1   Bluejacket, Oklahoma-1978

Chapter 2   A Rainy Night in Brooklyn

Chapter 3   Wedding Bell Blues

Chapter 4   Hotel Exeter, Hell's Kitchen

Chapter 5   The Katherine Pride Gallery

Chapter 6   Margaret's Passion

Chapter 7   Hotel Exeter, Hell's Kitchen

Chapter 8   Apartment 5G

Chapter 9   A Corner Table at Osaka

Chapter 10 The Hamilton Inn, Philadelphia

Chapter 11 A View of the Cloisters

Chapter 12 Penn Station

Chapter 13 Hotel Exeter, Hell's Kitchen

Chapter 14 Tokyo Pulse

Chapter 15 Margaret's Passion

Chapter 16 Lunch at the Stopwatch Diner

Chapter 17 Lunch at the Stopwatch Diner (Meanwhile)

Chapter 18 Brooklyn Bound

Chapter 19 The Katherine Pride Gallery

Chapter 20 Apartment 5G

Chapter 21 Hotel Exeter, Hell's Kitchen

Chapter 22 Sunrise on 8th Avenue

Chapter 23 Claude Petrie, Esq.

Chapter 24 Tokyo Pulse

Chapter 25 The Katherine Pride Gallery

Chapter 26 The Stopwatch Diner

Chapter 27 The Katherine Pride Gallery

Chapter 28 Hotel Exeter - Checkout Time

Chapter 29 The Katherine Pride Gallery

Chapter 30 Buenos Aires - Two Months Earlier

Chapter 31 The Carlton Suites

Chapter 32 Twelve Floors Above SoHo

Chapter 33 The Katherine Pride Gallery

Chapter 34 Twelve Floors Above SoHo

Chapter 35 Opening Night

Death by Pride   Book III

Epilogue

About the Author

A Word About the Mysteries

A
few things
were true when I first had the idea for a mystery series featuring older characters, centered on a male couple who were my age, give or take a year. One was that I was writing it for the fun and experience of seeing an idea through to its end. The other was that if the first book,
Murder at Pride Lodge
, gained a few dozen readers I’d probably write a second one, and, if that was the case, I might as well make it a trilogy. Doesn’t everyone write trilogies? So that’s what I did, with a side trip to write
Death in the Headlights
as a sort of break, and to give Detective Linda her own story to lead.

I’ve now written five Kyle Callahan Mysteries. Kyle and I are four years older than we were when I took that fateful photograph of the empty blue pool at Rainbow Mountain Resort, the inspiration for Pride Lodge. Something about that picture and that forlorn empty pool in early winter made me say to my partner, “This would make a great place to set a murder mystery.” For what else would you expect to find at the bottom of an empty swimming pool than a dead body? And that was that.

I wanted to provide the Pride Trilogy as a complete book, which is what you’re reading. It makes it easy to flow from one book into the next, see how the characters develop and where the story arcs go. I hope you enjoy them collectively as much as readers have enjoyed them individually.

Will there be another one? I really have to leave that up to the characters. It’s much more a matter of them being finished with me than me being finished with them. If they nag me enough, I probably won’t have any choice. I hear them calling now …

Thanks for riding with me on the mystery train.

Mark McNease

New York City

Murder at Pride Lodge

Who killed Teddy the handyman - if anyone killed him at all? Was it Sid, one of the new owners of Pride Lodge whose past gets darker the closer you look? Was it the woman whose name was once Emily, when she witnessed the murder of her parents in a burglary gone bad, and who has waited thirty years for vengeance? Was it young Happy Corcoran, promoted to bartender only to vanish three days before Teddy was found dead at the bottom of the empty pool? Find out as Kyle Callahan refuses to believe it was an accident, doggedly pursues the truth in his friend’s death and does his best not to join him. Kyle and his life partner Danny Durban live in New York City, where murder never seems to be more than a subway stop away. In this first story, they head to Pride Lodge, their favorite getaway from the City, over what they expect to be a festive Halloween weekend. What they find instead is a web of murder, deceit, and revenge served cold as a knife blade.

Pride and Perilous

The Katherine Pride Gallery is the center of high art and low death in Pride and Perilous, book II of the Pride Trilogy and the second of the Kyle Callahan Mysteries. Kyle, an amateur photographer, is about to have his first exhibit at the gallery, in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. As time ticks away, bodies begin to fall and Kyle realizes somebody wants this gallery closed forever. Join the chase as Kyle and his partner Danny Durban reunite with Detective Linda Sikorsky from the New Hope, PA, police force. They met solving the murders at Pride Lodge, and Linda has come to town for Kyle’s opening, only to find herself joining forces with him again to capture a killer ... before he captures them.

Death by Pride

The Pride Trilogy concludes with ‘Death by Pride.’ It’s Gay Pride weekend, the most festive weekend of the year in New York City. Hundreds of thousands of partygoers arrive to show the world how to have a good time.

Stalking the party is the most successful serial killer the city has ever seen. He claims his victims in threes and has just begun his newest spree. Detective Linda Sikorsky comes to town to visit Kyle Callahan and his husband Danny Durban. It’s her first Pride Parade and may well be her last. Harmless fun turns to terror in a frantic effort to stop the killer once the first body floats to the river’s edge. This time it’s personal, and this time one of them might not make it out alive

M
urder at Pride Lodge

Book I

Prologue

Los Angeles

S
am Tatum was
found flat on his back in a parking garage three blocks from the Glendale Galleria at three o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon. Had it started raining an hour later he would have parked on the street and died in a puddle, his face wet with drizzle and his eyes staring up, unblinking, as rain flushed the life from them. The garage had been fate’s one courtesy, saving him the embarrassment of dying even more publicly than he did, insofar as corpses can be embarrassed. It was an ignominious death. While he’d expected to die from one too many lines of cocaine up his old man’s nose, or murdered, even, in a fit of pique by one of the hustlers he’d been too fond of for too many years, ending his life on the concrete floor of a parking garage, his head in an oil stain, was too seedy even for Sam. Had he been able to think once he was dead, he would have found it a tawdry end to a tawdry life and been glad it was over.

The woman who found him, walking with her 12-year-old daughter to their newly purchased Prius parked three cars to the left of Sam’s Camry, had worked as a nurse before marrying well and was familiar enough with dead bodies to make the call. The poor guy was old, out of shape, uncommonly pale, and obviously lived an unhealthy life. He was lucky to make it this far, she thought, more disturbed that her child had seen a corpse than that he was actually dead. She didn’t know him, what was it to her? Mostly it was an inconvenience, since she had the decency to call an ambulance, knowing it was much too late to save the poor slob, and stay around to speak to the police. She’d considered making it an anonymous 911 call, since her daughter’s ballet class started at 3:30 and this would mean missing it for sure. But something in her, that old nurse calling, that instinct to do the right thing, made her give her name and location and wait patiently for the paramedics who would try to resuscitate a man she knew was dead. His eyes were open, for godsake, and what life had been in them had slipped away some time ago. Anyone could see that.

She’d told her daughter Kelly to get into the car the moment she saw the man’s feet come into view. Kelly, being a precocious, ballet-class-taking 12-year-old, wanted the full view and instead of doing what she was told rushed around ahead of her mother to get a good look. She had never seen a dead body before and she could tell by her mother’s lack of urgency that the man was probably beyond help. After an inappropriate but predictable, “Cool!” she obeyed her mother and skipped ahead to their car. Once inside, she tweeted that she and her mother had found a dead guy, and waited for her friends’ texts to start flooding in.

Sam’s death was twelfth-page news, not more than a brief item for the curious, a paragraph about a man found dead near the Glendale Galleria. The reporter for the Glendale News-Press gave it a quick once-over, not bothering to call the coroner’s office or find out any significant details about Sam Tatum’s life and death. News had to flow constantly these days, and most of that was from wire services and Google alerts. Real reporting was a dying profession, and the News-Press hack was happy not to expend too much energy on dead old fat men in parking garages. If the death wasn’t important enough to make the L.A. Times, why the hell should he bother with it? So it ran as a sidebar, a snippet, given about as much notice as Sam Tatum had been given most of his life.

There was one website, however, that specialized in unusual deaths, which Sam’s turned out to be.
DeathWatchLA.com
had begun in the 1970s as a sort of gossip rag for the morbidly obsessed. Back then it was just a couple pages offering lurid details of murders both sensational and obscure, so long as they were noteworthy for their gruesomeness or peculiarity. An accidental decapitation could sell an extra thousand copies. Run of the mill heart attacks didn’t make the grade; as it turned out, Sam Tatum’s death was not run of the mill.

With the arrival of the internet the creepy little paper became a big attractive website, and even though its founder had died in a way befitting a banner headline—found stuffed in the trunk of a Lincoln town car—his sons knew a gold mine when they had one and turned the site into a million-hits-a-month bonanza. They expanded with sister sites (
DeathWatchNYC
,
DeathWatchCHI
, even a
DeathWatchMinneapolis
), death tours, both walking and by hearse, and planned to launch their own malt liquor in a few months. Meanwhile, they had content to keep up and readers to satisfy, and as much as one might not expect it, there were fans of the peculiar who found a parking lot death-by-ice pick as fascinating as a decomposed celebrity. For that is how Sam Tatum had really died: an ice pick (as close as the coroner could guess on a murder weapon) slipped quickly, almost expertly, into the base of his skull, shoved at an upward angle to ensure instant death and very little blood loss. It seems someone had wanted Sam dead and had found the perfect opportunity—the third floor of a parking garage with no more than a dozen cars parked in it and no eyewitnesses. How his killer came upon him was anyone’s guess. There appeared to be no signs of conflict, not even a sign of alarm. Had it been someone he knew? Or simply someone he felt unthreatened by? No one would ever know, but
DeathWatchLA
certainly posed the questions.

Thus it was that someone on the other side of the country who happened to read
DeathWatchLA
took notice and knew that the email he’d gotten from Sam two weeks earlier was not the panic of a man who had used too many drugs and bought too many young men. Sam Tatum was dead. He had not been paranoid, but convinced someone was after them, and he had been right. Three months earlier there had been another death, a man named Frank Grandy, this one in Detroit. Neither of them had spoken to Frank in years, and it was only when Frank left Sam $2000 in his will as a very belated repayment of a loan, that Sam knew their old partner in crime was dead. No suspects had been named, no one identified, but the report mentioned an antique pocket watch Frank was selling on an internet auction site. The watch case was there, but the watch was gone. Robbery, they assumed, but the investigation had gone nowhere. That was what rang the alarm bell for Sam, the watch. He was surprised Frank had kept it all these years, but not surprised it had led to his death. The past, it seems, had been waiting patiently to find them, and it had.

The two deaths spoke not of coincidence, but of a plan, with a planner and only one target left. The
DeathWatchLA
reader logged off his computer, swiveled around in his desk chair and cheerfully took a cup of coffee from his partner, smiling as if nothing had changed and they were simply beginning another gorgeous day. Time to get started.

BOOK: The Pride Trilogy: Kyle Callahan 1-3
11.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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