The Jake Eliam ChickenBone Series
Jake Eliam spent a lifetime in baseball, until a chance turn that led him into the Atlanta neighborhood known as ChickenBone, where he ended up a part time private investigator thanks to a timely meeting with the man everybody called Catfish, the owner of the legendary 3 Pigs BBQ. When the top big league prospect for the Atlanta Peaches is killed in a car accident, the city mourns …But was it an accident? So in between his part time job of making custom baseball bats in his shop in ChickenBone, Eliam is hired to find out the truth. Along the way he runs into a wealthy former member of Congress with a penchant for quoting scriptures, two rednecks named Tater and Booger, an ex-con hired killer who scrapes up dead chickens for a living, a tattooed stripper, a flop eared dog named Chance, and a former sheriff turned moonshiner. And the truth gets lost in a mix of greed, ambition, jealousy, regret, and murder.
After a long season of making baseball bats all Jake Eliam wants to do is relax and watch the World Series. But when his friend Catfish calls with what he says is easy money, his other job as a Private Investigator intervenes. Catfish’s former fraternity brother is looking for his own payday if can reunite all the original players in his ‘One Hit Wonder’ college band and is willing to pay big bucks to track down the one missing member, the lead guitar player. The only lead, his classic Fender that went missing at the same time. The trail meets up with a late night DJ, a beautiful hippie turned wealthy housewife, a stoned drummer with a shaky trigger finger, a mysterious son of the Dixie Mafia and a church where snakes are served up along side apple pie. The search ends up on a snake farm run by a fellow named Sweet Thang who has a penchant for old TV shows and speaking in rhymes. As secrets come crawling out like copperheads, Jake Eliam begins to think he just might end up a ‘One Hit Wonder’ himself.
Billy Ray Kincaid is in the catbird seat. He has his own sports network, Cissy, a sexy young sideline reporter and the best college football games on TV. But the self-proclaimed turnaround artist went cheap and BTSN is about to go under. When Cissy is stalked and harassed the news cameras come running and Billy Ray welcomes the free publicity. Enter Jake Eliam, a lifetime baseball man who now struggles to pay the bills making baseball bats on the edge of a train yard known as ChickenBone. If money runs low his best friend Catfish steps in with pulled pork, cold cash and work as a Private Investigator. When Alabama faces Georgia in the showdown of the year, Catfish summons Jake to play bodyguard to Cissy. The easy payday soon turns into a blocked punt of greed and deception. As the trail winds to an old pickle factory in the mountains, Jake looks for help from his friends, along with a drunken former Bulldog named Dumptruck and a reclusive ex-con they call Boobytrap. On fourth and long his rag-tag team has one last play to run to stay alive or end up permanently benched.
The latest in the Award Winning ChickenBone Mystery Series
Sammy ‘Shoestring’ Stubbs wasn’t a very good Major League ballplayer, but he was a Hall of Fame thief. During his short time in the big leagues, Shoestring stole every piece of baseball memorabilia from teammates and opponents that he could get his greedy hands on. Back home in Georgia, a nasty poker game turned into a double murder and Shoestring and his loot disappeared. Decades later, the scout who signed him has a lead on where it all might be hidden. Enter Jake Eliam, a former player turned PI, who teams up with an odd cast of characters that would rival any baseball team to track down the treasure. The cast includes his best friend Catfish, a wise worm farmer, a nosy reporter who dresses like a surfer, a bounty hunter named after Jerry Lee Lewis, a strip club owner that resembles the Fat Elvis and a guide famous for burning down a burger joint. Toss in a 150 year old ghost along with deep secrets hidden beneath a mysterious and dangerous shoals and you have got yourself one Southern Fried BirdDog Boogie.
Catfish Wilson is a football man. Jake Eliam a baseball man. The Southern Nights Baseball League needs investors, so Catfish switches sports to become part owner of the Tully City TaterHeads. Despite sensing a bad mojo, Jake signs on as Manager for a fat paycheck. The brains behind the league, Billy Bonz, cares more about pig races and ticket gate monkeys than baseball. During the season’s biggest promotion, a legendary car from a famous TV Show barrels through the outfield fence and disappears into the night. Jake is forced to form a new team to find the car or everybody goes home broke. The lineup includes Sugar, a Smokey & The Bandit wannabe. BoDilly, an ex-con who hangs out with a beer drinking hog and his pals, Polecat and RoadKill. This team of misfits face some high heat from a mean back-woods clan, a corrupt Sheriff and the Tully City Peanut King. With two out in the ninth, they have one last chance to steal a win or end up on the wrong end of a suicide squeeze.