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Glitter, Glam, and Contraband: The Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, #3
Glitter, Glam, and Contraband: The Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, #3
Glitter, Glam, and Contraband: The Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, #3
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Glitter, Glam, and Contraband: The Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, #3

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Private investigator, Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in Glitter, Glam and Contraband. In this fast-paced mystery, the Falcon Investigations team is hired to find out who is stealing from the talent at a local drag show. Delanie gets more than she bargains for and a few makeup tips in the process. Meanwhile, a mysterious sound in the ceiling of her office vexes Delanie. She uses her sleuthing skills to track down the source and uncover a creepy contraband operation.

Glitter, Glam, and Contraband features a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations like helping sleezy strip club owner, Chaz Smith on his quest to become Richmond's next mayor, tracking down missing reptiles, and uncovering hidden valuables from a 100-year-old crime with a Poe connection.

Release dateNov 19, 2019
Glitter, Glam, and Contraband: The Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, #3
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    Glitter, Glam, and Contraband - Heather Weidner


    Delanie Fitzgerald hopped onto an empty bar stool at Federico’s in Richmond’s East End. The smallish room looked like it had been last decorated when disco balls and pet rocks were all the rage. The bodies, two and three deep, around the bar and two pool tables did not seem to mind the dated décor. They laughed and drank like this was a second home.

    What’ll ya have? asked the tall bartender. His tight black T-shirt stretched to accentuate his muscles.

    Ginger ale. She scanned the standing-room-only crowd.

    She put a five on the bar, which he picked up when he set the drink down beside it. A ginger ale for a ginger. The bartender smiled and left her change by the glass.

    She smiled back with a little too many teeth and hoped he did not notice her scowl. Redheaded wisecracks were nothing new.

    By the time he moved on to another patron, she had spotted her mark in a booth across the room. The bank executive looked younger in jeans and a teal polo shirt. The photo supplied by her client showed him in a tailored dark suit and the obligatory corporate red tie.

    He sat across from a woman with long blond curls and even longer legs that jutted out from her red party dress. They leaned in toward each other. The man smiled at whatever the woman was saying, and they continued their intimate chat. Delanie watched until the woman slid out of her side of the booth and made a beeline for the back of the bar.

    Delanie waited to see if his companion would return. When it looked like the other woman was preoccupied, Delanie clicked the button for her video camera in her black clutch and picked up her drink. She eased over to the man’s table. Excuse me. Do you mind if I join you?

    That seat’s been waiting for you, he said with a smile that lingered too long.

    She smiled and sat down, setting her purse on the table.

    I’m Fisher. Fisher Benson. And if you’re lucky, I could be your next big mistake. He took her hand and kissed it.

    Delanie batted her eyelashes and smiled again. She stifled a laugh and coughed to try to cover it. It’s nice to meet you. I’m Danielle. He didn’t waste any time.

    Can I get you a refill?

    I’m good for now, she said.

    He nodded. I bet you are.

    Before Delanie could offer a retort, Fisher’s earlier companion sauntered past the table. She nodded at Fisher and approached the seat she had vacated. The woman in red stilettos tripped and grabbed Delanie’s shoulder. Her nails meant business. Oh, excuse me, she said in a pouty voice. I tripped.

    Well, hello again. Fisher slid over and patted the vinyl seat. Danielle, this is Candi. It’s good to see you again.

    My plans changed. I thought I’d swing by to see if you’re still up for some fun. The woman wiggled in next to Fisher.

    I’m all about fun. Fisher scooted closer to the woman whose true age showed under the layers of makeup. The deep crow’s feet made Delanie guess that the woman was in her late forties.

    His smile curled into a leer. Danielle, are you up for some fun?

    Always. She hoped she could keep her poker face during Fisher Benson’s trite come-ons.

    Let’s blow this popsicle stand. My place is around the corner. You can come too if you feel adventurous. Candi looked down her nose at the woman who introduced herself as Danielle.

    Fisher signaled the waiter for the check. Well, Danielle. What do you say? You up for a private party?

    Sure. I’m game. Let’s go have some fun. Delanie licked her lips and stared at Fisher, who dropped a handful of cash on the table. Candi grabbed Fisher’s hand and led him through the throngs. Delanie followed the couple and made sure to capture their exit on her hidden camera.

    After some banal chatter on the curb in the cool, late fall evening, the plan was for Delanie to follow Fisher, who would follow Candi to her place. Delanie climbed in her black Mustang, kicked off her heels, and set her clutch purse on the dashboard. The camera rolled to capture whatever happened.

    The caravan pulled into an apartment complex after a short ride behind Fisher’s black Mercedes GLS. They drove around the clubhouse and pool and parked near a building at the back of the neighborhood near the dumpster.

    Delanie watched the couple walk up the stairs to Candi’s place, and she turned her purse to make sure she captured their entrance to the second-floor apartment. Fisher paused and looked over his shoulder. Then he followed the older woman inside. Delanie clicked the button on the camera and pulled slowly out of the lot. Fisher’s escapades with two dates would be plenty of fodder for Mrs. Benson’s divorce attorney. Another successful night of pretend dating for the private investigator who just wanted to go home to a hot bath and a good book.


    Delanie Fitzgerald’s phone rang as the woman at the drive-thru handed her an iced mocha. Thanks. She looked at the caller ID and took a deep breath before she clicked the button on her Mustang’s steering wheel. Hi, Chaz. What’s new with you?

    Chaz or Charles Wellington Smith, III, the owner of The Treasure Chest, a local gentlemen’s club in downtown Richmond, turned out to be Delanie’s best cash-paying client. She had spent last summer helping him clear his name when he was accused of murdering the mayor. And somehow, he always thought of her when something new popped up in his orbit.

    Hey, long time no speak. How are you? Thanks for getting me that information for my campaign so quickly.

    After Delanie had cleared Chaz of the former mayor’s murder, he decided to throw his hat in the ring for the special election. Delanie was not sure how this would turn out, but she would assist if he wanted to keep her firm on the payroll.

    No problem. What can Falcon Investigations do for you?

    The first mayoral meet and greet went as I expected. This town’s not ready for me, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to turn it on its ear. There’s a debate coming up, and I need more info on the competition. Do you have time to do some digging?

    Sure. Duncan and I will be glad to work on it. Send me the names. When do you need it? She would have to break the news to tell her partner, Duncan Reynolds, that Chaz, the T&A king, was still one of their clients.

    You’re a peach. The next couple of days will be fine. If you’re downtown, stop by the club. We’d love to see you. You’d be surprised as some of our recent changes.

    What happened at the meet and greet? she asked.

    You know. What always happens. The self-righteous ones got on their high horses and acted like I didn’t belong there. They don’t realize how much my club generates in taxes for the city. After a pause, he continued, And I probably shot my mouth off too much. But now they know I’m a force to be reckoned with, and I’m running for mayor. Thanks for being on Team Chaz.

    Okeydoke. Send me the names, and we’ll get right on it. See ya soon. Delanie clicked the button to disconnect the call and headed to the office. She wondered if Chaz’s mayoral run was a publicity stunt. Shrugging off the thought, the private investigator decided to help him with the opposition research. It would be interesting to see what the unconventional Chaz would do when surrounded by Richmond politicos. He came from a wealthy family, but his antics always seemed to put him at odds with polite society.

    She parked in front of her office, next to her partner’s Tweetie bird yellow Camaro and hip checked her car’s door. Unlocking the front door to the empty reception area, she said, Duncan. Hey, Duncan, you here? Falcon Investigations inhabited a small suite in the middle of a strip mall.

    We’re back here, he yelled.

    Wandering past the kitchenette and her office, she noticed Duncan’s office was empty, too. Her computer geek partner sat with his feet on the conference room table, and the TV was tuned to a local news station. His sidekick, Margaret, the wonder dog, snored loudly from the corner of the room. The English bulldog had sinus problems, so she sounded like a cross between a lovesick moose and an angry water buffalo when she snored or snorted.

    Whatcha doing? Delanie sidled up next to her partner’s chair.

    Watching the local news. I saw your boy Chaz doing an interview. He’s on TV every chance he can get. Duncan took his feet off the table.

    Speaking of our dear friend, Chaz, he called me this morning. He has more campaign research he wants us to do.

    At least he pays in cash. Duncan sighed. What does he need? He grabbed the remote and muted the volu