Woe In Weyburn

  • Publisher: Artemis Publishing Company
  • Release Date: January 8, 2020
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Available Formats: eBook, Print
Don't miss the first of the three novels featuring crime photographer Meggie Monahan, by award-winning author S. A. Stolinsky.

Introducing the newest series by the creator of the hugely successful Counterfeit Lottery books. A sympathetic, but seemingly dependent protagonist; a dead American Indian actor who turns out to be Italian; a small-town rife with corruption; and a set of characters, all looking guilty—what could go wrong?

Everyone thinks crime photographer Meggie Monahan is back home in Weyburn, Massachusetts to rebuild her father’s playhouse—until the dead body of an American Indian crashes through the playhouse’s door in the middle of winter. Then the tables turn: Could she really be the link between hundreds of dead undocumented sex-slave workers and the local mob, hoping to help her husband take over the action?

After a deadly fire that demolishes the playhouse, the kidnapping of her sister, and the passionate love of an ex-police detective, no one is sure of anything except that Meggie is uncovering way too much, way too fast. The fatalities are inexplicable—no motives, a knife as a murder weapon, and no suspects.

Could one person really be responsible for all these unthinkable crimes? Meggie intends to find out—if she lives to tell the tale.


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Excerpt

He was someone I had never seen before in my life. But I knew who it was. I leaned back in the seat, hugging my dog close to my chest.

“Mort Sicarro,” the man said suddenly turning and offering his hand to me. “I used to be a pretty good friend of your husband’s. But now we need to talk. ‘Missy’ is it?”

“Meg,” I corrected him. “Meg Monahan.”

Mort Sicarro was an older man—dapper, but built like a fire hydrant. His suit was obviously expensive and fit him well. The muscle bulge through his well- tailored jacket looked like he worked out in a gym at least three times a week. His shoes were shiny black oxfords. He obviously took pride in his appearance. He rested his arm across my seat and looked comfortable. Then he lit a cigar and Chewy lapped at the smoke. I took in a shallow breath, then coughed. I was sitting with a gangster, the head of a powerful crime family, in his car.

“Let me tell you something, missy,” he began, and let out a long plumb of smoke. “This county brings in a half a billion—that’s with a ‘b’”—dollars a year with human smuggling.”

He glanced over at me casually, like he’d just told me the score to the Knicks game. Probably wanted to see if I was taking in the information. I was.

“We are seeing five to seven thousand dollars per person, and as the numbers go up, those profits are going to turn into two and a half billion or more this year alone.” He smiled at me, neither a happy smile nor a sarcastic one.

“Big business,” I said, stupidly. “And you’re winning right now, aren’t you?”

“Yep. We are.”

Hot Shot

  • Publisher: Fiery Seas
  • Release Date: November 1, 2016
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Available Formats: Print
Payback is a powerful thing...

Actor and bartender, Tyler West experiences a sudden streak of luck — winning poker games. Determined to change his life, he enters the World Series of Poker. His life is suddenly turned upside down when the Russian mafia fronts him 1.5 million dollars to play at the tables. And then…he loses…

Now on the ride of his life, deceit and deception are his key to uncovering the truth. He must recoup the money, but will it come at a price? Can he stay alive long enough or will his time run out?


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Excerpt

Date Night

  • Release Date: May 15, 2014
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1499575644
  • Print ISBN: 1499575645
  • Genre: Mystery Anthology
  • Available Formats: eBook, Print
Plot the murder, find the tape, squeeze the chiseler for all he's worth, but remember, you're the one who accepted the date.

Noir, contemporary, horror and just plain murder, DATE NIGHT, is a novel of the people we meet and the unforeseen dangers we find ourselves. From delusions, to fantasy, to the remarkable push to make something happen that cannot happen, we are always hopeful, forward looking, and trusting that we have control. Sometimes we might, but sometimes we don’t. Each story represents a way we try to control our lives, our environment and our destiny. What we really control is the freedom to tell each other stories of our lives.


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Excerpt

“Date Night”

I picked up the phone. I couldn’t imagine who’d be calling at eleven o’clock at night. My sponsor from AA usually called in the morning to give me hope for the day.

“Hello?” I said, feeling queasy.

“Hey, baby,” I could hear Clarence’s phony tone. He always sounded like that when he wanted girls to do things for him. He was an asshole, but he was the only asshole in town right now for me. One more DUI and I was through. They’d threatened to put me in Lynwood Correctional and throw away the key. Fuck them. Fuck Clarence. I put on my navy pea coat. I knew I was going to the bar. If I didn’t he’d fire my ass.

“It’s a councilman,” he said. “A big, fat councilman. You can show him all you got.”

I thought I’d puke. I yelled into the kitchen to my mother and said I didn’t know when I’d be back. I shoved my hair up into a loose pony-tail. I’d take it down at the bar.

It was a rusty night. Lots of people think I talk funny, but when I say “rusty” I mean it was windy and brisk-like. You could feel the sharp edges of the wind on your face. I love that. I closed the front door. I don’t know whether my mother heard me or not and frankly I could care less. She wouldn’t give a rat’s ass anyway. Ever since they took my kid away. She hates me for giving up her grandchild. But I liked the couple that adopted him. They were professional, you know? People who had money. They’d do good by him, I knew that.

Outside I got in the truck. The driver’s side door was stiff and creaky. Needed oil or something. If Eddie ever found out I was drivin’ it at night, he woulda kicked my ass. But hell, he’s in jail. He’s lucky somebody’s taking care of his old junk-heap anyway. And I’m still pissed at him for showing my picture to all his con friends inside. That was private. You never know who’s seeing your shit all over the net now. I swear. There I am in my birthday suit and he’s showin’ it all over the cell block. And he’s in the shadows of the picture. Probably embarrassed he’s got like a two inch dick. I hate that man sometimes.

It’s only like ten minutes from the trailer park to the bar. Ma and me got lucky with the trailer. It was the only one left and it was newly painted. The guy who sold it to us even left the green awning. He went to live on his son’s boat or some shit, I forget.

The evening was cold, but it was clear. I turned left out of the trailer park into the main street and it was empty. I mean, empty. Not a car in sight. I went slow. You never know when some dork’ll come slamming out of his driveway and t-bone you, especially if he’s been drinkin’.

I rolled drove a block to the interstate. I could see the neon flashing on and off in the distance. One of those tipsy electric cocktail glasses that flicker on and off with “Bar, Bar, Bar” under ‘em. Like I say, the joint was only like ten minutes away. That wasn’t the point. I was just tired. My breath smelled like the bottom of a birdcage even though I gargled with mouthwash before I left the house.

Counterfeit Lottery

  • Publisher: Timberlake Press
  • Series: The Lily Handy Caper, Book 1
  • Release Date: October 1, 2012
  • eBook ISBN: 0982884753
  • Print ISBN: 978-0982884751
  • Genre: Comedy Suspense
  • Available Formats: eBook, Print
Lily Handy has problems...

Lily Handy has problems. Her agent hanged himself in the shower, her television series has been cancelled, and her self-esteem is badly flagging. When she goes to Brandauers department store to redeem a free cosmetic gift, she finds instead that someone has dropped the twenty million dollar Tanzanian diamond into the pocket of her Lauren Bacall trench coat. The thief is trying to retrieve it, Lily’s acting class, especially the mob connected Jonnie Bizotti, and the exotic dancer, Casey Bennett are trying to help, but when Lily gets too close for comfort, bodies start showing up and Lily realizes she better find the thief before she ends up in someone’s pocket.


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Reviews

“If you want to bet on a sure thing when it comes to great reading entertainment, Counterfeit Lottery is for you. S.A. Stolinsky transports Carl Hiaasen’s ribald South Florida crime world to Los Angeles, only edgier and even more satirically scathing in a way that only Hollywood can produce. Donald Westlake may be gone, but thanks to Stolinsky the comic caper novel is alive and well. A major debut that’s side-splitting, laugh out loud, zany fun.” — Jon Land, bestselling author of the Caitlin Strong series “S.A.’s writing is like her heroine— witty, charming, compelling, and a little bit naughty. She takes the idea of a caper romp to a new level with a quirky look at the characters of Los Angeles and its environs… It would be a crime to miss it.” — C.E. Lawrence, author of the critically acclaimed Lee Campbell thrillers, Silent Screams, Silent Victim, Silent Kills and Silent Slaughter “With LILY HANDY, Stolinsky has written a knockout first novel. Witty, suspenseful, featuring great, entertaining characters, wannabe actress (S.A. knows that territory) Lily finds herself unexpectedly in possession of a priceless, world-famous diamon, and because of it, Lily and her buds are in very deep doo-doo. A truly fun read! — Thomas B. Sawyer, author of No Place To Run

 

Excerpt

© S.A. Stolinsky 2012, All Rights Reserved

Chapter 1
“No, no, my agent’s dead?” I screamed into the phone. “I just signed with him last night. You’re sure he just doesn’t want me? Lily Handy. He called me Lil.” “I know who you are, ma’am. He’s dead,” Sammy, Mr. McNulty’s trusted caretaker told me, patiently. George, my husband, stared at me across the breakfast table, egg white dripping from his lips. He mopped it up with a paper napkin and continued to stare at me. I listened to the voice at the other end carefully so as not to miss one word that might enlighten me, give me a clue why the first agent who ever signed me, Clovis McNulty, agent to the stars, was suddenly dead, and my shot at being the great all-American actress was fading yet again. “How did he die?” I groaned. “He was ninety-eight years old, ma’am. He just sort of up and died.” “No, no one just up and dies. What is this, the old West? This is the twenty-first century, they have diagnoses. I mean I knew he was wheelchair bound when I met him last night — all those fuzzy brown blankets across his lap. Does this mean that I won’t get lines in the series?” “Well, if you must know, they discovered him in the shower. He had a cord around his neck.” There was a pause. I took in the information. “You can come and pick up your pictures and resume any time, Miss Handy,” Sammy said with finality. He hung up. I looked across the breakfast table at George and told him what Sammy had just said. “How the hell did a man that age climb up on the stool, string the cord around the shower head, put his head into the noose and then jump off the stool?” “Erotic asphyxiation,” George said, looking at me sympathetically. “That is absolutely disgusting. He hung himself in the shower while — doing himself?” George wiped his face and got up. “It’s usually kids that do that. But older people need sex, too. Maybe someone hoisted him up in the shower and he fell off the stool and got a concussion.” George, always the optimist. “Well, I’ve got to go, a big post to do today. Old man Brandauer, the guy that owns all those fancy ladies stores, was brought in last night. Autopsy will take most of the morning. I’ll get the blood work and the slides sent off today.” George was the deputy medical examiner for L.A. County. He kissed me on the nose and put on his blazer. God he was good looking. I sat sipping my orange juice. I couldn’t eat. My mind was still on “float.” I watched him as he slid his stethoscope into his pocket. “I can give you some money,” George said. “No. I want to be able to make my own money. This is humiliating, living off of you, doing nothing except waiting for an agent to me up, promise me lines in a series and then sexing himself to death!” I started wailing. Normally, I can hold that stuff off, but I’d waited five long years to start establishing myself as a working actress. And I was going nowhere fast. “I mean, babe,” I wailed, “Mr. McNulty didn’t look well, he looked, you know, really old, up in years, but he was still high spirited. Sammy wheels him around or at least wheeled him around.” George shook his head in commiseration and picked up the car keys from the ashtray on the washing machine. “Don’t expect me before six tonight.” He left through the garage. I heard the car start up and then he was gone. I bolted off the chair and opened the refrigerator. My bottle of Chablis was half finished. I looked at the clock. Nine in the morning. Oh, well, like my best friend and acting buddy, Jovana Lawrence, always said, it’s howdydoody time somewhere. I poured a flute and took a sip. I trudged back upstairs into the bedroom and called her. “But Jo, now I’ll never get lines. And I don’t have enough credits to get a big agent right away. He took me because Richard Bizotti put in the good word for me and got me that series. Rich is connected.” “He is not.” “Of course he is. I’m telling you. He brags about it all the time in class. Oh hell, let’s not argue about that right now.” I could hear Jo sigh. She always sighed when she thought she had the answer, and the rest of us plebeians were just dopes. “McNulty handled actors in the 1930s. “Nobody knows him now,” she said, her English accent getting thicker with self-righteousness. “He was still an agent. He knew all the producers. And, he was going to try and get me a speaking part, instead of all that ‘ugging’ and sputtering. Oh, I’m sick.” I held the phone away from my ear as my friend screamed back at me. “Clovis McNulty wasn’t composmentis. He probably jerked off with an actress with less credits than you, who wanted him to ‘handle’ her too.” “Yeah, well, I don’t do that to get work, okay? And, and I wasn’t aware anyone had less credits than I do. Listen, I’ve got to get to my fitting. We’re shooting the fourth episode next week and they’re creating three or four new cave woman outfits for me. All dark, brown fur.” I took another drink and burbled something about being in class tonight and hung up. Her commiserations hadn’t helped. Richard had gotten me a real chance in the television series, Cave Man, about a man who had fallen out of a tree in the twenty-first century and fallen into a cave where he’d lived a hundred lifetimes ago. I got the part of his wife. There was no dialogue, but a lot of “ugging” which is called “business” in the industry, which is just as important as dialogue. Three episodes were already in the can, and they would be aired later in the year. I laid back on the bed feeling guilty. I shouldn’t be sleeping in the middle of the morning anyway. I thought about crying, but I really didn’t know poor Mr. McNulty that well. Richard was trying to leave his “family” in Vegas for the bright lights of Hollywood, and had gotten waylaid when a drug cartel used him as a “chemist” to check the purity of their product. He got to know all the big players in Hollywood. Richard had his lab in an abandoned horse barn off the 15 Freeway. He’d just left when the cops came in and threw the top brass of the gang in the slammer. Richard had introduced me to a producer, who introduced me to a casting director, and I landed the series without an agent. That’s when Mr. McNulty picked me up. And shock of shocks, the old agent signed me without even seeing me. Over the phone he’d said he could tell by my voice I had stardom in me. I finally met him for the first time last night. How could he do that to himself? I took a drink in his honor. I looked over at my closet. I didn’t need to dress up for a wardrobe fitting, I was just going to show up and they’d take measurements. The phone rang. I answered. “Jo?” “No, Miss Handy, this is the Cave Man production office. We’re sorry, but we’re not going to need you to come in today.” “Why not, has the shooting schedule been pushed up?” “No, Ho-un. The series has been cancelled.” I stood, my mouth agape, the phone hanging on my shoulder. I thought about fainting. “No, no, that can’t be. Is it because Mr. McNulty died?” “Who, Hon?” “My agent? I mean, I thought we had six more episodes already ordered.” “They did, but the suits upstairs decided to can us. We’ll work together again, I’m sure. Bye.” She hung up. And that did it. I took another drink. I had to make something of my life. Being a great actress, a star, meant I’d be remembered by the kids in high school who never knew I existed. It meant feeling like I was somebody. I could see my face on magazine covers, stories about how I lived, how I created my roles and what my interests were. Where George and I went skiing. It all made me important. My self-esteem was flagging badly. Now I’d have to submit my picture and resume all over again, and that isn’t cool in Hollywood. Kind of like jumping over studio fences to hand-deliver pictures and resumes to whatever producer you can find. I heard the mail truck stop in front of my house at about ten o’clock. I fell off my bed and tumbled downstairs. Getting the mail is one of the more exciting moments in my daily life. So, wine flute in hand, I headed for the front door. The mailwoman waved at me and tooted as she drove slowly to the next house. No bills, but I had gotten a postcard from Brandauers Westwood store, which was a block from the UCLA campus, offering a free gift in the cosmetics department, a lipstick and two eye shadows. That got me totally jazzed. I didn’t need more cosmetics; I’m a relatively young thirty-two year-old actress. I had enough makeup to start my own company. But the gift was free. Free made a difference. A free gift was just what I needed to perk me up. I turned the postcard over in my hand as I lumbered back upstairs and got onto my bed. I sighed. What the hell? I had nothing to do all day. Acting class was at six-thirty. Richard had cancelled the rehearsal for this afternoon, saying he had important business with his uncle in Vegas, which meant he’d be hitting the twenty-one tables. It left me with nothing to do. I leaned back on the pillow. I was gearing myself to get up to go to Brandauers. Recently I’d been listening to various renditions of “Nearer My God to Thee” on YouTube, and reading the obituaries in the Times. I had to know what others had done with their lives. Mine felt so empty. My husband was seriously considering taking me to a mental health clinic to talk to a therapist about depression. I pulled myself out of bed, pinched my cheeks for color, put on a pink lipstick and pressed the ice cold wine flute against the bags under my eyes to minimize them. Brandauers was only ten minutes away. And a whole lot cheaper than therapy. I put on my jeans, a tee-shirt, my long tan trench coat, and my gorgeous Kate Spade gray boots. I put my hands in my pockets like Lauren Bacall in To Have or Have Not. I got in the car and drove west. A free gift was worth it.

Counterfeit Book #2

  • Available Formats: Print
 

Excerpt

Sherlock Holmes: “Date Night”

  • Publisher: Wildside Press LLC
  • Release Date: Fall 2012
  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4344-4142-3
  • Genre: Suspense
  • Available Formats: eBook, Print
From "Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #8" Anthology


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Excerpt

© S.A. Stolinsky 2012, All Rights Reserved

It was a rusty night.  Lots of people think I talk funny, but when I say “rusty” I mean it was windy and brisk-like.  You could feel the sharp edges of the wind on your face.  I love that.  I closed the front door.  I don’t know whether my mother heard me or not and frankly I could care less.  She wouldn’t give a rat’s ass anyway.  Ever since they took my kid away.  She hates me for giving up her grandchild.  But I liked the couple that adopted him.  They were professional, you know?  People who had money.  They’d do good by him, I knew that. Outside I got in the truck.  The driver’s side door was stiff and creaky.  Needed oil or something.  If Eddie ever found out I was drivin’ it at night, he woulda kicked my ass.  But hell, he’s in jail.  He’s lucky somebody’s taking care of his old junk-heap anyway.  And I’m still pissed at him for showing my picture to all his con friends inside.  That was private.  You never know who’s seeing your shit all over the net now. I swear.  There I am in my birthday suit and he’s showin’ it all over the cell block.  And he’s in the shadows of the picture.  Probably embarrassed he’s got like a two inch dick. I hate that man sometimes. It’s only like ten minutes from the trailer park to the bar.  Ma and me got lucky with the trailer. It was the only one left and it was newly painted.  The guy who sold it to us even left the green awning.  He went to live on his son’s boat or some shit, I forget. The evening was cold, but it was clear.  I turned left out of the trailer park into the main street and it was empty.  I mean, empty.  Not a car in sight.  I went slow.  You never know when some dork’ll come slamming out of his driveway and t-bone you, especially if he’s been drinkin’. I rolled drove a block to the interstate.  I could see the neon flashing on and off in the distance.  One of those tipsy electric cocktail glasses that flicker on and off with “Bar, Bar, Bar” under ‘em.  Like I say, the joint was only like ten minutes away.  That wasn’t the point.  I was just tired.  My breath smelled like the bottom of a birdcage even though I gargled with mouthwash before I left the house. The interstate had some cars comin’ in the other direction, but it sure was quiet for a Saturday night.  Suburbs outside L.A., man, you’d think there’d be more action.  Sometimes they’re quieter than the boonies. I turned left into the bar’s parking lot.  One of the red lights of the neon was out of course.  God forbid Clarence, the owner’d, spring to get it fixed.  It’d probably cost him a dollar to do that.  Uh un.  Not Clarence.  He’d rather have the place look like the out-of-town dump it was. I got out of the car and let my hair down. It’d grown at least four inches since I got out of rehab.  Practically down to my waist.  Everybody always says when you’re in your early twenties your hair grows like crazy.  When you hit thirty it slows down.  Man I’m only twenty-four.  I can’t even imagine hitting thirty. I walked toward the entrance. You should see this place.  The door’s got these little square-like peek-a-boo windows surrounded by wood.  Like it’s been hand carved, right?  Probably mass produced in some half-lit garage somewhere downtown L.A. The door handle is this big old brass thing you have to take in both hands and then press a lever to make it open.  It’s a bar and a pool hall, for Criss’ sake.  Not the entrance to Graceland.  The entrance is like hidden under a wood roof that kind of hangs over the front door.  I guess to save people from getting wet if it rains.  I pulled the door open.  It was a heavy sucker. Inside there were three or four heaves, you know the big guys, too much pumping iron at Gold’s Gym, maybe ‘roids, although with the guts these guys had, maybe not.  I walked to the bar and lifted the rail.  Philie was tending bar—servin.’  Here real name is Philimina.  She’s from one of those islands in the Pacific.  Her skin’s nice, and she has huge black eyes and shoulder-length straight black hair, but I know she’s not as pretty as me.  That’s why Clarence got me out here.  I’m tellin’ ya, for him—anything for a buck. Clarence was in the office, a cubicle room with no windows hidden behind dirty maroon colored curtains on a rod. “Hey,” Philie says to me, like I’m her best friend now. “So you made it, huh?” “I’m here,” I says, “so, yeah, I guess I did.” She comes in close.  I hate that, people who come up real close to you like they’re gonna tell you the secret of the ages or some shit.  The three assholes drinking beer from the tap look up.  One of ‘em gives me the smile that says my ass is tight. I think I know that dorko. “Hey, baby,” one fat slob says. “How much?” “Shut the fuck up.” I says. Clarence yanks the curtain aside and comes out just as this guy slips off the stool, like he’s gonna come at me.  I don’t think so.  Not with Clarence right there. “Tell your ‘hoes to watch their mouths, C,” he says. Clarence nods and then comes up to me and opens a couple of buttons on my coat so my cleavage shows good.  I’m wearing what I wore to work this morning, but nothin’ underneath, you know? He says, “Hey, baby, get in something comfortable.  I’m gonna introduce you to Mr. Right.” “Mr. Right?  Is that his real name?” “No, baby, but he wants anonymity.” Clarence says, putting his face close to mine like we’re gonna rub noses.  He pushes my hair behind my ears.  Then he kisses my forehead.  “Big pay day tonight.” I don’t know why, but I could feel myself gettin’ madder and madder.  I like money and when the woman who adopted my kid sends me a picture at Christmas I’d like to send a little extra cash to the kid, with a note, if she’d let me.  I suddenly feel like crying.  I take things real hard. Anyway, Clarence goes in the back and I go to the ladies room and there’s this off the shoulder spandex thing with sequins around a real low neckline and the same sequin pattern on the sleeveless arms holes. It’s hangin’ on a rod that must have been a shower fixture at one time.  There’s no pants, so I’m assuming Clarence doesn’t care what I wear on the bottom.  The thing is see-through, too.  Like that clear handkerchief type see-through.  It looked like a rodeo skank’d wear it.  It wasn’t L.A. I put it on and walked over to the office an slid back the greasy curtain separating his office from the main area. Clarence was sittin’ in a swivel chair behind a big desk which took up most of the room and had a land line phone and lots of papers and shit on it.  Made him feel important, I guess. “You changed?” He said, sitting forward and putting his elbows on the table.  He was smoking a cigarette and it was down to the last ash.  Stank up the whole room. I opened up the pea coat.  He sat forward and laughed out loud. “Show Mr. Willfield here, will ya, baby?” I turned, holding my coat flaps open. “This is Mr. Bob Willfield,” he said, from the far corner of the room where there was no light. I looked over. I couldn’t see anyone, but I could hear someone breathing real loud, like they were a smoker.  I was surprised I hadn’t heard it when I came in.  Then as my eyes got used to the dim of the room, I made out a small fat guy in a black or grey business suit, it was hard to tell in the dark, wearing a tie on a dark shirt. He took a bottle of Jim Beam and two shot glasses out of his briefcase lying next to the chair and put them on the table.  He poured two shots and handed me one. “You comin’ with me tonight, baby,” he said.  “We gonna have us some fun.”


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