Artie is beginning to rethink his profession when he again meets a stunning woman outside the door of a store he has just robbed. This one only wants him to use his lock-picking skills to open a door across the alley. Until, that is, she’s attacked, kills her attacker and demands Artie pull the guy inside. They’re not quite even now, but close. She knows he robbed the store. He knows she killed a man. Then he leaves, thinking he’ll never see the green-eyed woman again. Unfortunately for Artie, the woman soon reenters his life, and now she wants him to open even more locks for her. It seems Artie can never refuse a beautiful woman needing a favor. This one almost gets him killed. Will he ever learn? Another Artie caper combining the clever robber and a beautiful woman. Third in The Artie Crimes short story series.
Excerpt from Artie and the Green-Eyed Woman
Artie Applegate stepped into the dark alley and closed the jewelry store door behind him, his hands still gloved. As he turned to sneak away, he bumped into a soft something. For a moment he just stared at the woman in front of him. She stood at least an inch above his six feet. A swift up and down glance confirmed that her body could grace any James Bond film. But the most striking thing about her were her eyes. Green as emeralds. Cool as ice. Absolute gems.
Artie’s burglar heart thumped in his chest. She couldn’t be a cop, could she? He almost lost his grip on his athletic bag, full of recently acquired fine jewelry and expensive watches.
The impression of cop intensified as he watched her draw a gun from beneath her short, black leather jacket and calmly point it at his chest. Said chest seemed to shrivel, and a slight moan escaped Artie’s frozen lips. His grip on the bag loosened. It bounced nosily on the pavement.
“Do not worry,” she said in a throaty voice. “I will not shoot as long as you do as I say.”
“Uh huh,” Artie managed. He couldn’t take his eyes away from hers.
“Pick up your bag. See that door over there?” She pointed with her other hand to a blue door across the alley. “I need you to open it.”
“You heard me. Let’s go.”
Artie picked up his bag in a daze and started walking toward the other door. He could sense her behind him. And the gun.
Artie didn’t like guns. He never carried one. They tended to go off at inconvenient times, as often killing or maiming the person who owned one as it did anyone else. Guns were trouble, with a capital T.
A trickle of sweat made its way down his back as they arrived at the blue door. Someone had obviously attempted to pick the lock – it was badly scratched. The green-eyed woman? He doubted it. She looked too confident to ever fail at anything she attempted.
It’s amazing what a talented author can do with relatively few pages.
I usually think page turners can only come in novel form, but this short story had me hitting the button on my e-reader trying to figure out what was going on and what the green eyed woman was up to. Just when you think you’ve got it all straightened out the author did a great job taking the story in another direction. I won’t give anything away because it would spoil the story for you but the ending took me by surprise.
It’s quick paced, dialogue is snappy and it’s peppered with interesting characters including Artie who I felt myself rooting for. If you only have time for a ten minute read and love a mystery, this is a good pick.
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