Trouble in Rooster Paradise, by T.W. Emory
Seattle, 1950. When men were men, thanks to WWII, and fine dining meant a steak at Canlis.
Trouble in Rooster Paradise (256 pages) is a work of mystery/suspense by debut author T.W. Emory. While investigating the death of a high-end shop girl, a lone private eye comes up against some deadly and powerful local characters.
Trouble in Rooster Paradise is Book 1 in the Gunnar Nilson Mystery series.
“Seattle-area writer T.W. Emory’s debut, Trouble in Rooster Paradise is an affectionate nod to noir fiction and its tough guys and dolls…. Good, vivid stuff. And who can resist a book with a cover featuring a fedora-wearing private eye, a shapely dame … and the Smith Tower?” Read more….
—Adam Woog, The Seattle Times
“Emory’s first novel vividly evokes the ambiance of classic American hard-boiled crime writing.”
“The story has numerous twists, the characters are interesting, and there’s plenty of local history. I’d gladly read another book featuring Gunnar Nilson and his friend Walter.”
—Jeff Powanda, in “Ten Seattle Novels”—Read+Write+Watch
Recuperating from an injury and prompted by an eager young nurse, old-timer Gunnar Nilson looks back at one of his big cases as a private eye in 1950. At that time memories of World War II were still fresh, and Seattle was a cultural backwater. The Ballard neighborhood where he hung out his shingle teemed with working-class folk of Scandinavian descent. Gals with hourglass figures and gimlet eyes enticed men in gray flannel suits with cigarettes dangling from their lips.
The case he recounts involves the murder of one of these beauties. Gunnar’s business card is in her pocket, but she’s no client. She’s just a gal he met at the movies; he gave her a ride home and helped her lose the creep who was tailing her. It’s none of Gunnar’s business who killed her, not until he discovers she dated the godson of a wealthy client, a man who’s willing to pay big bucks for Gunnar to nose around.
Nose around he does, in the perfumed rooms of Fasciné Expressions, a “rooster paradise” that employed the murdered girl and is frequented by the godson. Schooled to be class acts by a former showgirl, these fine-feathered hens know how to inspire a man to spend big on gifts for his lady.
Gunnar believes the victim was killed by one of her customers, but the heady fragrance of perfumed female can make it awfully tough for a guy to think clearly, especially when the killer is also breathing down his neck.
Says T.W., “Ballard in the year 1950 seemed a fitting place and time for my story, given some of my family history. My maternal grandparents emigrated from Sweden in the late 1920s along with my mom and her older sister. Their family enlarged and grew up, and by the late 1940s my grandparents moved to Ballard, where for several years they took in fellow Swedes as boarders. I can still remember a boarder or two when I was a little kid and when their home was a hub of activity for aunts, uncles, and many cousins.”
Born into a blue collar family in Seattle, Washington, and raised in the suburbs of the greater Seattle area, T.W. Emory has been an avid reader since his early teens. In addition to writing, T.W. enjoys cartooning as a hobby and provided the illustrations for the cover of Trouble in Rooster Paradise. He currently lives north of Seattle with his wife and two sons. For more information, click here.
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