The Ugly Detective Agency In The Case of The Stalker Mum
By: J.E.T. Johnson
Length: 249 pages
Release date: Sep 16, 2013
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Marilyn Harris is a mature-aged womOn. Strangers call her 'sir'. Behind her back, her son Dylan refers to her as COW (Crazy/Cunning/Cantankerous Old Woman). Marilyn has mental health problems, a criminal past, and tattoos. She is a self-proclaimed animal-loving Radical Feminist; Anarchist; Spiritualist; single lesbian mother with a perverse spirit guide who regularly leads her unresisting charge into danger. Her best friends in the earthly realm are King, a pure-bred Doberman, and Sheba, a Bull Mastiff X. Dylan suspects the latter is an American Pit Bull which is largely illegal to own in Australia. However, he has wisely placed the subject of her antecedents on his ‘Pit Bull List’ wherein reside all ‘too hard’ subjects - the origins of which are mostly traceable to his Mother.
Dylan Anthony Spencer Harris (‘Dash’) is a 27 y.o. single, well-balanced, conservative, heterosexual Solicitor. He prefers to be called 'Sir'. He has two budgies, Bruce and Boo. He also has a black belt in ju-jitsu. Unlike his mother, Dylan does not indulge in illegal behaviours and/or substances; alcohol, or tobacco. His one vice is his tailored wardrobe - it is also a rebellion against his mother's harangues on the clothing industry's slave labour conditions and the evils of capitalism generally. A year ago Dylan was employed as a Solicitor in a Sydney criminal law firm. Then, in what Dylan believes was a post-menopausal implosion, Marilyn used his 'well-earned inheritance' to set up a private investigations agency. Her 'spirit guide' helped her locate a serial killer and she almost became his fourth victim. Working with Marilyn’s soon-to-be nemesis Detective Inspector Maurice ‘Youngy’ Young of the Serious Crimes Unit and her PI mentor and number 1 fan Jeurgon Ivanovich, (Russian ex-patriot and suspected ex ASIO/KGB/CIA/MI6/007 and general SuperSecretSquirell), Dylan helped save his mother's life. He then accepted her offer of a business partnership. After purchasing a house in beachside Cronulla which he divided into two units, he and his mother moved in and there they and their animal menagerie co-habit in peace and contentment – mostly.
With COW on a 'witchy retreat', Dylan meets a new client. Christian Shane is the famous face and brains of ‘The Overview’ – which offers a creative new format for current affairs reporting. Shane says he is being stalked by his mother and her 75kg purebred Bull Mastiff, Brutus. Dylan (rightly) suspects the man is a drug addict. Later in the day COW surprises her son by arriving home a week early. The next morning they hear of Shane's abduction. Marilyn determines to pursue the case even though Dylan forbids it and warns that DI Young is involved. Young is not happy when Marilyn offers lodging to Christian’s mother and her dog, and Mary Shane accepts.
Jeurgon assigns Rick Parnell to protect the women but within an hour both he, the women, and their respective dogs disappear from the Harris residence. Jeurgon and Dylan rush to the site only to wake up later in a foul-smelling coffin. They are dragged into the open and see two motionless forms held at gunpoint. Dylan identifies his mother from the background howling of dogs. Meanwhile DI Young is unravelling Shane's investigation into crime boss, Ivan Bazin. Shane had found a link to dog-fighting in Bazin's past which threatened to unravel his business as a people smuggler and drug lord. The DI has identified one of Shane's abductors as Stefano Mancini, Bazin's second in charge. Young becomes aware of the disappearance of the Harris's and Mary Shane, and realises someone in his team is a traitor.
Bazin's forgotten property where the dog-fighting ring is housed, becomes the battleground for survival. Stefano Mancini is desperate. Jeurgon and Dylan are helpless. Rick Parnell and Christian Shane are MIA. The police are too far away to prevent the killing.
Only the ruthless love of a mad COW can hope to overcome the odds.