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  • Writer's pictureLaura McBride

A teaser from the second Shelf Barker mystery

Key_West_Sunset by Soeren Rothe.jpg

Shelf is in Key West. Don't ask. Just figure that in his second excursion as a reluctant PI, he had to be someplace. Someplace that would tax his skills to the max. England is too easy, at least when his ex-wife Chloe helps him out. But on holiday? Who will come to his rescue? You can see what he's like, even when he encounters a small, wee bit of strangeness in the pool of his hotel.

From the upcoming Pool Full of Death:

“Mr. Barker, please,” the manager, began....He stopped when he saw my spindly phys seemingly in suspended animation in the pool, my legs clamped together, my torso hunched and my hands before my face, like a cartoon girl who realizes her knickers are showing. I'm no girl; I was protecting my immense manhood from potential attack, but this Brit didn't.

Then he looked across the pool, where I was looking. There, on the edge of a flower pot, was a large, long, green bug...and a headless butterfly. The large, long, green bug was chewing on the butterfly's head, but recently snatched from its body by the massive jaws of the large, long, green bug.

It was horrific. What kind of paradise was this? A sort of National Geographic for perverted sun-worshippers? Did my WIFE know about the large, long, green bugs that ate other bugs' heads off?

About that time, she came out of the room and across the veranda in her dressing gown. She looked at me, looked at George, the manager, then looked where we were looking. And started to laugh.

I was not amused. But still, she was laughing, and then George was laughing, so I had to lighten up. No biggie. One bug eating another. Sort of like an insect Mafia; I should be used to that.


If you haven't been properly introduced to Shelf Barker, non-politically correct UK driving instructor and PI, you can meet him in Car Full of Death, available from, here and, here. Available in paperback and for Kindle on both sites.

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