Nicoli Hunter Mysteries
MURDER ON THE MENU
My name is Nicoli Hunter. I know it sounds like a cliché, a private investigator named Hunter, but it’s not what you think. My father chose the name when he arrived at Ellis Island. It’s just a coincidence that I ended up making my living as a kind of hunter.
Most of my work involves bar and mystery shopping, although I do the odd insurance investigation and on rare occasions agree to follow unfaithful spouses. Tonight my friend Elizabeth and I were dining and barhopping at the expense of four of my regular clients. We’d started our evening at a Microbrewery in the Union Square area of San Francisco, and had worked our way around the city. (read the rest of this chapter)
MURDER OVER COCKTAILS
My name is Nicoli Hunter. I’m a private investigator licensed in the state of California. My office is in a marina complex in Redwood City, where I also live aboard a forty-six foot Cheoy Lee sailboat. When I was in my twenties I worked for a department store; first in cosmetics, and later in security management, but at the age of thirty-one I went looking for a career change. I chose to become a PI because I’m naturally inquisitive and analytical, because I have a compulsion to see that justice is done, and because I wanted to be my own boss.
Prior to obtaining my license I spent twenty-four grueling months as an apprentice to a crusty old PI named Sam Pettigrew. Sam was ornery as hell, but he had integrity and he was obsessive about details, which made him an excellent teacher. (read the rest of this chapter)
DINNER AND A MURDER
My name is Nicoli Hunter. I’m a Private Investigator licensed to practice in California. My office is in Redwood City in a marina complex where I also live aboard my forty-six foot sailboat, Turning Point. I’ve been living aboard since I got divorced, earned my PI license, and opened my own office just over two years ago.
Most of my customers are bar and restaurant owners who hire me to conduct covert employee surveillance. However, in the last few months I’ve handled two murder investigations during which I brushed up against the Grim Reaper, so lately I’ve appreciated the simple things in life more than I used to. For this reason alone, when an invitation to my high school reunion arrived in the mail, it appealed to me. (read the rest of this chapter)
MURDER A LA CARTE
My name is Nicoli Hunter. I’m a private investigator working out of a marina complex in Redwood City, California. I became a PI because I need to be in control of my own destiny, because I’m compelled to see that justice is done, and because I’m very good at spotting dishonesty in others. I developed this skill early in life.
I’m thirty-six years old, divorced three times, childless but not dogless, and living aboard a 46-foot Cheoy Lee Motorsailer. I lease a ground floor office in the marina where my boat is docked.
Most of my business comes from the restaurant and bar industry. I evaluate cuisine, ambiance and, above all, employee performance and honesty. I also participate in exit interviews when I catch an employee stealing from one of my clients and they need to be terminated. (read the rest of this chapter)
MURDER SERVED HOT
“I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself,” Brooke Evans began, “so you’ll understand the choices I’ve made.”
“Okay,” I said, already curious.
“I’ve always been attracted to bad boys. You know the type. Slightly dangerous, extremely macho, emotionally distant. Most of them are assholes. The last guy I dated was a major jerk. After we’d been seeing each other for a few months he tried to get me to have a three-way with him and another woman. We got back to his place after dinner one night and he said he had a surprise for me. There was a naked woman in his bed, waiting for us. She was really slutty-looking too. Probably a prostitute. (read the rest of this chapter)
A SIDE ORDER OF MURDER
It was early May and eighty degrees in the shade at ten o’clock in the morning. I was grateful that I lived on the water where the wind picks up in the afternoon.
My name is Nicoli Hunter. I’m a Private Investigator, licensed in the State of California. I specialize in covert restaurant and bar surveillance, including quality of cuisine, ambiance, and employee performance. I’ve been a PI for five years now, give or take. Licensed and on my own for almost three. I became a PI because of my compulsion to see that justice is done and my need to protect the innocent, because I need to be my own boss, and because I’m obsessively curious. (read the rest of this chapter)
Abetha Mimbo sat across the desk from me, ensconced in one of my comfortable visitor’s chairs. She wore a flowing Hawaiian print sundress in startling shades of orange, royal blue, and yellow and was clutching a black and tan straw hat in her lap. She didn’t look like an Abetha to me, or a Mimbo for that matter. Instead, her name conjured a vivid image in my mind of a voodoo priestess wearing a fruit basket on top of her head. The woman in front of me looked more like she was of Italian descent. She appeared to be in her early sixties, about five foot six and maybe a hundred and fifty pounds, with shoulder length dark hair and an olive complexion. She smelled like my favorite Victoria’s Secret perfume counter, a fusion of sandalwood and vanilla. (read the rest of this chapter)
MURDER SERVED COLD
My name is Nicoli Hunter. I’m a licensed Private Investigator working out of a ground floor corner office in the marina complex where I live aboard my yacht. The marina is located in Redwood City, twenty-five miles south of San Francisco. I specialize in covert bar and restaurant surveillance, also known as mystery shopping. I also handle the odd insurance fraud case and, occasionally, I get involved in a homicide investigation.
I’m thirty-six years old, five feet seven inches tall, and weigh a hundred and thirty-five pounds at the moment, thanks to frequent visits to the gym. My hair is long, curly, and chestnut brown. My eyes are ocean-blue with black rims around the irises, one of the few things I inherited from my father the Cossack. (read the rest of this chapter)