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Sep 06 2012

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FIRST INKY BLACK STORY LAUNCHES ON AMAZON KINDLE MONDAY SEPTEMBER 10

 My new hero INKY BLACK is a bit of an odd ball, an eccentric character in anybody’s book. You’ll find this out for yourself next Monday, September 10 when he comes to an Amazon Kindle near you. Yes, he’s making his official e-book debut on both sides of the Big Pond  in a short story with the intriguing title Inky Black and the Case of the Missing Moggy.

 Why Inky? I mean why the name Inky? Some say it’s because his initials are N K. Some say it stems from his newspaper background and has something to do with printers’ ink. Others claim the moniker came about because way back when he was growing up he was never the cleanest kid on the block. Whatever the reason he’s never too keen to talk about it – so there’s no point in pressing him.

Inky is a self-employed Private Inquiry Agent. At least that’s what it says on the sign over the front door of his dingy little office in East Belfast, Northern Ireland. Most folk would simply call him a private detective, a private eye, a sleuth or a Seamus. The official police find him a bit of a nuisance at times and Northern Ireland’s criminal fraternity aren’t exactly quaking in their boots at mention of his name.

But, to paraphrase that doyen of all consulting detectives, Sherlock Holmes, Inky has his methods – even if they are occasionally somewhat unorthodox. His big problem is that work in the detecting business has all but dried up. Even though the troubles are a thing of the past, as Maggie – his formidable ex-Girl Friday – puts it succinctly  “honest decent crime isn’t what it used to be.”

Things hadn’t been too bad when Black’s Private Investigative Agency first opened its doors almost three years before. There had never been what could be classified as a rush, but there had been enough cases to keep the pair of them afloat. Then business had tapered off after five or six months and Inky reluctantly had to let Maggie go.

Although things showed little signs of improvement and cases were few and far between, Maggie had taken to dropping by the office most days, bringing a carrier bag full of knitting wool and assorted needles and occasionally a packet of digestive biscuits to share over a couple of mugs of steaming coffee.

One of Inky’s weird eccentricities was an abiding love of all things American, not least old Hollywood gangster and detective movies of the 1930s and forties. Although from an era long before he was born, he had accumulated a collection of old black and white videos featuring the likes of Jimmy Cagney, George Raft, Paul Muni, Edward G Robinson and Humphrey Bogart.

He was intensely knowledgable about these films as well and could quote whole passages from the scripts. Much to Maggie’s chagrin – he had taken to wearing an old trench coat and a Dick Tracy-style fedora which he felt were in keeping with the image he sought to portray.  Worse still in Maggie’s eyes, he had cultivated the habit of flicking his fedora at the topmost prong of the hatstand whenever he entered the office, totally undeterred by a dismal strike-rate which his Girl Friday (sic) reckoned was no better than one-in-ten.

How Inky sees himself

He was prone to using American phraseology at every opportunity. Thus East Belfast became Belfast’s East Side, two-hundred yards up the street became two blocks away and his battered old motor car was now his automobile or auto.

Another of Inky’s eccentricities was an almost uncanny ability to mimic some of his heroes. One day he would glance over at the knitting Maggie, curl his upper-lip into a Humphrey Bogart snarl and grate “Okay Blue Eyes, drop that ball of wool and start the kettle. I reckon we could both use a coffee.”  The next he would be a slightly stammering Jimmy Stewart lamenting “W-w-well Maggie, if things don’t pick up soon we might have to shut up shop for g-g-good. What ya think?”

The neighbourhood kids thought he was hilarious and would follow him in Indian-file along the sidewalk, aping his John Wayne swagger or his Jimmy Cagney strut. Lately though, with things as bad as they were, he had little enthusiasm for such gaiety.

Girl Friday Maggie

Just when things were at their lowest and Inky had decided to pack the business in permanently and go back to being a newshound, along comes a case which begins  as a bit of a joke as he searches for a missing pussycat and ends with our tame detective involved in violence, revenge, drugs, kidnapping and murder.

 Pick up your copy Monday September 10 at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk and be sure to keep an eye peeled for further Inky Black adventures in the near future. His second short story A Hard Day at the Office releases on Monday October 7. Watch this site, Facebook and Twitter for further announcements.

 

 

 

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6 comments

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  1. dingtonia

    Nice one, Brad! Well done and many congratulations…..

    Candy

  2. Brad Fleming

    Thanks Candy love. Hope you are able to read and enjoy it. Not sure if you are a cat person, but there are a few other elements as well.

  3. deetteanderton

    I can’t wait for the stories to be available! They are very good! And, by the way, I love the photo of Maggie! Best of luck!

    1. Brad Fleming

      Thanks DeEtte. It’s amazing how many people like pussycats, isn’t it? Fingers crossed the stories prove popular. Yes, Inky’s Girl Friday Maggie is quite a gal.

  4. krhughestlburns

    Love it Brad! Cannot wait to get my hands on a copy and read it for myself. I love Maggie by the way too! I bet Inky is a bit like you in many respects, isn’t he?

    1. Brad Fleming

      Many thanks krhughestlburns for your encouragement. I hope you enjoy Inky Black and his eccentric exploits. Yes, Maggie is certainly one of life’s characters. As for Inky being a bit like me? Well, he’s much better looking for a start, but I’m probably just as eccentric!

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