You never know what’s coming – thus the mystery. Copyright © Jim Jesson & Pete Jesson – All rights reserved. All names, places, objects and things are works of fiction. Full disclaimer on home page.
Sometimes there’s just too much politics going on, thinking back to my early PI days…
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Sometimes I just don’t want to hear about politics but Billy Doyle loved election time –
Billy “Buttons” Doyle was a busy man this time of year. He had earned his nickname making political campaign buttons for anyone running for office. This year it was Carter and Mondale, and Billy was stamping them out by the crate.
“It’s where the money is, Jimmy boy,” he said to me one morning as he sipped on his four-sugar coffee at Dina’s coffee shop. A happy-go-lucky type of guy by nature, he wore at least ten buttons on his shirt. He confided in me with a serious face, “Jim, I have an investigation for ya.”
“Sure Billy,” I said with a smile. Billy was a practical joker and always out for a laugh at someone’s expense.
“No, seriously, Jim,” he countered. “You know I have a contract to print a hundred thousand Jimmy Carter for President buttons of various shapes and sizes.”
“Yup, I know,” I replied.
“Well, let me tell you, I found some Reagan buttons in my Carter boxes, Jim, and it’s very upsetting.”
“Is that like finding a Sweet N’Low mixed in with your sugars, Billy?”
“Seriously, detective Jim Jesson, if I ship a box to Dem Headquarters with Reagan buttons, they’ll flip out.”
“You’ve got to be kidding, Billy,” I said. “It’s a prank or something.”
“Prank or not, it’s not funny and could cost me a contract. I really do want you to investigate.”
Billy owned the printing press shop in the rear of the first floor with his partner, Brendan Clark. It was quite a place to behold: not just a print shop but a small machine shop and all the gizmos one could imagine. And they won lucrative contracts, including many of the political events in New York.
“Have you asked anyone else around the company if they know why Reagan buttons are showing up, Bill?”
“No way, JJ,” he said. “They might think I’m daft or someone got the better of me. This is between you and me, and I’ll pay the going rate if you can find out where the buttons are coming from. C’mon and let me show you around the office, Jim.” We left the coffee shop together, heading through the lobby and up a few stairs to the first floor. We talked as we walked the two hallways down to the shop. I knew the area and pretty much everyone who worked there. I had a good relationship with everyone and figured someone was just stirring up the stew for Billy, who had pulled so many pranks on all of them at one time or another.
Billy’s job was final quality control and inspection of all merchandise being shipped, and from the looks of the many boxes of buttons sitting in the QC area under the “Ready to Ship” sign, he was busy.
As we approached the table nearest the double doors he explained, “These are inspected, boxed, taped, and ready to go, Jim.”
We walked to another bench with double-wide tables. “This is where I do the final quality check—you know, for deformed or scratched buttons and that sort of thing. I pour them out of the box gently onto this felt material and sort through them, and then I repack them carefully.”
“Is this where you’ve been finding the Reagan buttons, Billy?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied. “About two weeks ago they started appearing randomly, and I’ve been seeing them in dribs and drabs ever since.”
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The Next Act Comments from Editorial Reviewers: “The drama here is in the nuts and bolts of ferreting out the mystery in some off-beat cases.” – Palmettoreview.com - “A highly entertaining mystery and crime book containing 20 short stories.” TBR- topbookreviewers.com - The story, and its placement, indicates right away that this isn’t your typical detective book… Palmettoreview.com Comments from Amazon Reviews: “I found them to be the most unusual and unique cases, that you normally don’t hear about. Like an office building full of employees who keep getting sick, even after returning from recovering from the illness.” – Amazon review - “Many of the stories have a humorous side to them as well.” - Amazon review - “Jim is often accompanied by his family, primarily his techno-wiz son. I liked this angle, as it shows his family life as well as progresses the current case.” - Amazon review - “Each curious story I read before bed leaves me with a smile.” – Amazon review - “Many of Jim’s cases discussed were sort of off the wall, and it was in that aspect that I really found this book interesting.” – Amazon review Comments from Friends (whom I’ve not asked to give us an Amazon review): “Should be a text book.” – Cathy. “A teaching book.” – Ann “Should be a movie.” – Roy. “I’ve had to put down 4 best seller’s recently, they were boring! I’ve read some stories in, The Next Act, three times already. You won’t be bored, I promise – Davia” – “What funny and odd detective stories” – Brenda. “Better than the book I’m reading now that’s on the best seller list.” – Johnny The Case Book of Detective Jim Jesson. This was our first small book with 10 stories we wrote in 2012. We decided to publish it and is available for .99 cents on Amazon. We’re on – BOOKBUZZ BROADWAY PR.COM NEWBOOKJOURNAL GOODREADS PORTSMOUTH HERALD
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