Rabbit Shine Jake Eliam ChickenBone Mystery Series Book 1 by Cliff Yeargin Genre: Southern Fried Humorous Mystery
RABBIT SHINE A Jake Eliam ChickenBone Mystery
Book # 1 in the Award Winning Southern Fried Mystery Series
Jake Eliam spent a lifetime in baseball, until a chance turn that led him into the Atlanta neighborhood known as ChickenBone, where he ended up a part time private investigator thanks to a timely meeting with the man everybody called Catfish, the owner of the legendary 3 Pigs BBQ. When the top big league prospect for the Atlanta Peaches is killed in a car accident, the city mourns” But was it an accident? So in between his part time job of making custom baseball bats in his shop in ChickenBone, Eliam is hired to find out the truth. Along the way he runs into a wealthy former member of Congress with a penchant for quoting scriptures, two rednecks named Tater and Booger, an ex-con hired killer who scrapes up dead chickens for a living, a tattooed stripper, a flop eared dog named Chance, and a former sheriff turned moonshiner. And the truth gets lost in a mix of greed, ambition, jealousy, regret, and murder.
˃˃˃ And follow the series in book #2 HOOCHY KOOCHY Awarded The 1st Finalist Silver Medal for GEORGIA AUTHOR OF THE YEAR
Jake goes deep into the world of snake handlers and snake farms of the south to track down a guitar player missing for 20 years DISCOVER JAKE ELIAM TODAY AND GRAB YOUR COPY
I pulled into the first place I saw that looked like a mechanic. It was a faded blue concrete building, surrounded by stacks of old tires, and a hand-painted sign over the door that said JUNE BUG’S TIRES. Maybe they would know a mechanic around here. I pulled to a stop, steam rolled out from under the hood.
My headlights landed on an older black man, wearing smut-covered overalls, sitting on a grease bucket eating fried chicken from a box with his weathered hands. I got out and went over to him.
“You June Bug?” I asked.
“That’s what the signs says, don’t it?” he said.
“I don’t need tires, but I was wondering…”
“Water pump,” he cut me off.
“Yeah,” I said. “Can you help out?”
“Gotta finish my chicken first,” he said and pulled out another drumstick.
June Bug told me that he had closed for the day but would take a look anyhow and see what he could do. I agreed and asked him if there was a place nearby that I could get something to eat while I waited.
“Chicken place done closed,” he said. “Next best place is ‘bout a mile away, 3 PIGS up that way,” he pointed up the street. “Best damn barbecue in ChickenBone.”
“That’s where you are, young buck,” he said. “Good living, but hard living.”
“I’ll walk up there while you take a look.”
“Carrying,” he said as he worked on the drumstick.
“What the hell you think, big man? A gun.”
“No, I don’t have a gun.”
“Then, fellow look like you don’t wanna be walking up this street in the dark.”
I went around to the back of the Jeep, took a 34-inch blonde-and-brown bat out of my equipment bag, gave my keys to June Bug and said I would be back a little later.
“You one crazy-ass white boy,” he said as he shook his head and went back to working on his chicken. Make a note: A man who eats his dinner with his hands while sitting on a grease bucket will always treat you right.
Jake Eliam ChickenBone Mystery Series Book 2
HOOCHY KOOCHYA Jake Eliam ChickenBone Mystery
NAMED 1ST FINALIST IN THE 52ND ANNUAL GEORGIA AUTHOR OF THE YEAR AWARDS FOR MYSTERY/DETECTIVE NOVELS
After a long season of making baseball bats all Jake Eliam wants to do is relax and watch the World Series. But when his friend Catfish calls with what he says is easy money, his other job as a Private Investigator intervenes. Catfish’s former fraternity brother is looking for his own payday if can reunite all the original players in his "One Hit Wonder"college band and is willing to pay big bucks to track down the one missing member, the lead guitar player. The only lead, his classic Fender that went missing at the same time. The trail meets up with a late night DJ, a beautiful hippie turned wealthy housewife, a stoned drummer with a shaky trigger finger, a mysterious son of the Dixie Mafia and a church where snakes are served up along side apple pie. The search ends up on a snake farm run by a fellow named Sweet Thang who has a penchant for old TV shows and speaking in rhymes. As secrets come crawling out like copperheads, Jake Eliam begins to think he just might end up a "One Hit Wonder" himself.
˃˃˃ AWARD WINNING SOUTHERN FRIED MYSTERY SERIESBegin your time with Jake Eliam with Book #1 in the series RABBIT SHINE
Reviewers rave about the characters and places in this entertaining new mystery series:
"Every page seems to breathe with life and atmosphere. The inside of Jake’s head is a wonderful place to be."
DISCOVER JAKE ELIAM TODAY AND GRAB YOUR COPY
The door swung open with a bang. We both jumped. Sweet Thang was holding the huge pot in both hands.
“Ain’t gone lie, got no sweet tater pie, all we got is stew, but it gotta do,” he sang out loudly. “Bless this meat, let’s eat.” The screen door slammed behind him.
One hour and two episodes of Hogan’s Heroes later, we had nearly finished off the whole pot of Mulligans Stew
“Where did you learn to cook like this?” JD asked Sweet Thang.
“Ain’t no cooking,” he said. “You just kill it, skin it, boil it, and eat it. Take a lot, throw it all in a pot.” Make a note: When you eat with Sweet Thang, always check the meat for a pulse.
“Since you boys dug such a fine snake pit,” he said, as he popped up out of his chair, “you deserve some homemade dessert.”
He disappeared into the kitchen and came back a minute or so later with three red plastic cups and a jar of clear liquid. He sat them down on one of the little tables.
“Moonshine?” I said, “For dessert?”
“Grade A, certified, bonafide, Georgia corn liquor. Handmade, homemade, and one hundred percent guaranteed to tickle your toenails.”
“You make this?” JD asked.
“Nope, this here batch was made by my cousin Scooter.”
“He in the business?” I asked.
“Was. Run out by the Jehovah Witnesses, biggest moonshiners in the county.”
“Nothin’ like door to door to drive up your sales. Now, shut your pie hole and let me watch my shows.”
He hit the button on the remote and the theme music from Green Acres blared out of the large screen. He took a big swig of his drink and plopped back into his chair.
“This here is a classic. Arnold Ziffel opens up his own bank account and ends up solving a bank robbery. He’s a legend, shoulda won the Oscar for this one.”
I didn’t make it to the end of the show and all of Arnold’s performance. The corn liquor and ten hours of digging a snake pit knocked me out cold. When I woke up, it was a little after two in the morning. I felt the crinkle of paper in my shirt pocket and reached in to pull it out. It was a folded old worn envelope, torn open. On the back was a note scribbled in blue ink. It was from Sweet Thang. Hear tell you headed into town. Get my list and do not dilly dally Beer—Taterchips—Sodicrackers--Bacon pork rinds--White bread—Mustard--TP And go see if Rusty has my spark plugs PS I done checked your truck top to bottom Ain’t no snakes nowhere
There are times in your life that you realize that somehow you have taken a turn down some road you can’t find your way back from. I had turned down that road and become the errand boy for a man who milks snakes for a living. Catfish wasn’t going to believe this one, or maybe he would. Hell, far as I knew, Catfish might even know Sweet Thang. If not, I hope he at least knew Rusty.
Jake Eliam ChickenBone Mystery Series Book 3
Billy Ray Kincaid is in the catbird seat. He owns a TV Sports Network that showcases Cissy, a sexy young sideline reporter and televises the top college football game each week. But the self proclaimed turnaround artist went cheap and now BTSN is about to go bust. Enter Jake Eliam, a lifetime baseball man, who scrapes by making baseball bats on the edge of a train yard known as ChickenBone. When cash runs low his best friend Catfish, the owner of the 3 PIGS BBQ, steps in with hot pulled pork, cold cash and work as a private investigator. When Alabama faces Georgia in the biggest game of the year, Catfish wrangles Jake to play bodyguard to Cissy who is the subject of an unusual stalker. The easy payday soon turns into a blocked punt of greed and deception. As the trail winds to the old Dixie Dew Pickle Factory in the North Georgia mountains, Jake rounds up his friends and a team of misfits including a drunken former Bulldog they call Dumptruck and a reclusive ex-con named Boobytrap. His ragtag team has time to run one last play on 4th and long or end up permanently benched.
************* From the author of HOOCHY KOOCHY The 2016 Georgia Author of the Year Silver Medalist Finalist comes another SOUTHERN FRIED MYSTERY
Catfish jumped on the line.
“The last time a dead man called me I hung up on him.”
“Last I checked I’m not dead, but the night is young,” I said into the crackling phone.
“That’s not what’s on the TV news,” Catfish said.
“The news says I’m dead?”
“Watching it now.”
“Any details you care to share?” I asked.
“Yep,” he said. “Says you were killed when Billy Ray’s security goons rescued Cissy.”
“Rescued Cissy from me?”
“You and your associates they say.”
“I have associates?”
“And we’re all dead?”
“According to Channel 10.”
“Breaking news,” I answered.
“Tragic. They still got your name wrong.”
“So, I suppose now would be a good time to fill you in on what’s really going on up here?”
“I was standing by for your call.”
“Billy Ray has been lying out his fat rear end since he was knee high to a billy goat.”
“And now he’s lying about this. You ready for the real story.”
“Talk fast. You running out of time.”
“How can I be running out of time if I’m already dead?”
“Cause Billy Ray has called the GBI and every damn news truck in two states.”
“How much time?”
“Hour at the most.”
“We need to get a move on, but can I ask you a question, first?”
“Make it quick,” Catfish replied.
“Did you just say this wasn’t your first call from a dead man?” I asked.
“I was drinking one night and I think I got a call from my dead high school football coach.”
“You’re not sure?”
“Could’ve been a dream or it might have been the whiskey.”
“Well you did start up with the bourbon two hours before kickoff today. You still drinking?”
“Why stop now,” Catfish said. “I’m talking to a dead man.”
BirdDog Boogie Jake Eliam ChickenBone Mystery Series Book 4
The latest in the Award Winning ChickenBone Mystery Series Sammy ‘Shoestring’ Stubbs wasn’t a very good Major League ballplayer, but he was a Hall of Fame thief. During his short time in the big leagues, Shoestring stole every piece of baseball memorabilia from teammates and opponents that he could get his greedy hands on. Back home in Georgia, a nasty poker game turned into a double murder and Shoestring and his loot disappeared. Decades later, the scout who signed him has a lead on where it all might be hidden. Enter Jake Eliam, a former player turned PI, who teams up with an odd cast of characters that would rival any baseball team to track down the treasure. The cast includes his best friend Catfish, a wise worm farmer, a nosy reporter who dresses like a surfer, a bounty hunter named after Jerry Lee Lewis, a strip club owner that resembles the Fat Elvis and a guide famous for burning down a burger joint. Toss in a 150 year old ghost along with deep secrets hidden beneath a mysterious and dangerous shoals and you have got yourself one Southern Fried BirdDog Boogie. “If you’re a Southern guy, the kind that loves MLB, College Football, and food from the Varsity, you’re going to love Yeargin’s books. Think Lewis Grizzard, okay.” Shelton Stevens, Atlanta, Georgia
“I know dead, and she’s dead.”
The man who made this pronouncement leaned in for a closer look. Ashes from the cigarette in his lips dropped off. He poked at something. I cringed at the sound.
“Yep, she’s dead,” he said.
He looked at me, cocked his head, and pointed at his partner.
“Tell him, Henry.”
“He knows dead,” Henry said and wiped his face with the sleeve of a dirty white t-shirt.
I stood in the ditch next to the road. The sun had drifted below the pine trees behind me. Nothing in view, left or right, except a long two-lane tar and gravel road. The man asked me where I was from. I told him.
“What you doing way down here?”
“Was on my way to see a man about a piece of machine gear.”
He looked me over and rubbed a hand across the stubble on his face.
“So, what do we do now?” I asked.
“Well, getting dark.” He looked up at the sky. “I guess me and Henry can haul it back to my yard and take care of it for you.”
“How much is that going to cost me?”
He took a long drag off the cigarette and tossed it in the ditch. “Five hundred dollars.”
“Look, son.” He turned to face me. “I don’t know where you’re from, but where I come from, five hundred dollars is a lot of money to give somebody for a 1974 Ford truck with a blown engine and rusty parts and I’ve still got to haul it back to my junkyard. A tree will be growing through it before I make my money back. Five hundred. Take it or start walking.”
“I’ll take it.”
“Go get the tow truck, Henry.” He fired up another cigarette.
An hour later, I was sitting on a stool outside a convenience store in the dark. I had five hundred bucks in my pocket. I was one hundred miles from home. I had a cardboard box with the remains: two screwdrivers, a hammer, a handsaw, three cans of motor oil, four baseballs, two bats, and a soon-to-be-empty bottle of Wild Turkey to mourn the loss of a good truck. May she rest in peace.
Jake Eliam ChickenBone Mystery Series Book 5
Catfish Wilson is a football man, Jake Eliam a baseball man.But when the Southern Nights Baseball League needs investors, Catfish switches sports to become part owner of the Tully City TaterHeads. Despite sensing a bad mojo, Jake signs on as Manager for a fat paycheck.The brains behind the league, Billy Bonz, cares more about pig races and ticket gate monkeys than baseball. During the season’s biggest promotion, a legendary car from a famous TV show barrels through the outfield fence and disappears into the night.Jake is forced to form a new team to find the car or everybody goes home broke. The lineup includes Sugar, a Smokey & The Bandit wannabe. BoDilly, an ex-con who hangs out with a beer-drinking hog, and his pals, Polecat and RoadKill. This team of misfits faces some high heat from a mean backwoods clan, a corrupt sheriff, and the Tully City Peanut King. With two out in the ninth, they have one last chance to steal a win or end up on the wrong end of a suicide squeeze.
I felt a poke in the ribs and turned to see Cool Breeze with his cane. He looked me up and down.
“Baseball is a funny game, ain’t it?”
“That it is. Especially tonight.”
“Ice cream,” he said.
“You like a good ice cream cone?”
“I do too. But these days you try and get that ice cream cone and some fool will cover it up with all sorts of things. Little sprinkles, crumbles, runny syrup and even jelly beans.
“How did we get to talking about ice cream?”
“Done mucked up baseball like my ice cream cone,” he said. “Can’t find the game under all them jelly beans.” He poked me in the ribs again with his cane and headed off toward his seat. “Game is still down there underneath somewhere. Just keep looking.”
I heard a giggle. A familiar one. Alex. She was dressed in khaki pants, white t-shirt, her black carry vest, a hip bag and one camera around her neck.
“I just had a chat with your friend from the Bandit.”
“The one and only. Dressed in white pants, red shirt and pink sunglasses.”
“Didn’t ask. Don’t want to know.”
“Did he ask you for a date again?”
“He did indeed.”
“The Bandit doesn’t give up easily.”
“He said I would come around sooner or later because as he put it, ‘he knows things’”
“What kind of things?”
“Didn’t ask. Don’t want to know.”
We were rudely interrupted by a blast of loud music from the ballpark speakers. Sharp horns in a familiar tune. The crowd inside began to cheer and point toward center field. We made our way to the fence next to the dugout. A black van with a red stripe and red wheels turned sideways in the middle of the field. The rear doors flew open and a big man leaped from the van. He wore jeans, no shirt that showed off big muscles, a huge band of gold necklaces ran down his chest. He sported a thick beard and his hair was cut in a tall mohawk. He flexed his large muscles and let out a big scream. Mr. T from the A-Team had arrived at the ballpark. Alex grabbed her camera and pointed it toward centerfield. “Pity the fool that misses this shot.”
“Jelly beans,” I said.
Cliff Yeargin has spent his life as a ‘Storyteller, traveling the U.S. as a Writer/Producer/Photographer and Editor in Broadcast journalism.
He began his career in the mountains of Western North Carolina where he worked with two college buddies, both who went on to become Sports Broadcasting Legends. Yeargin did not, but he did shoot the only video of the first 3-Point goal in the history of NCAA College Basketball. This is NOT fiction…you can look it up!
His travels as a broadcaster have taken him to dozens of Major League ballparks, World Series, Super Bowls, Final Fours, NASCAR, National Championships and he managed to convince his bosses for many, many years that staying at a Baseball Spring Training camp for two months involved hard work and sacrifice.
He has written stories in more places than you can count. In dugouts with rats under his feet, smelly locker rooms, planes, trains, hotel bars, buses at 4AM outside Detroit. All while submitting a staggering number of falsified expense reports.
He grew up on a rural cattle farm in Georgia, which taught him many valuable life lessons, such as never poke a big bull in the rear with a big stick.
A proud Bulldog graduate of the University of Georgia, he has now returned to his native state and lives in a downtown Atlanta neighborhood.
There is no Atlanta neighborhood known as ChickenBone…but there should be.
The first question I usually get when a reader picks up one of my books is “What exactly is a ChickenBone?” Well, ChickenBone is not a what, it is a where. It is a fictional neighborhood near downtown Atlanta filled with old rundown buildings, a working trainyard and the setting for my series.
The books are mysteries, but it’s not your Mamas’ mystery. When the last word in the Sub-Title is MYSTERY, folks immediately think about the ‘traditional’ mystery. You know the kind. Page one, somebody is whacked, a murder, a body and in comes a slick investigator and for the next 300 pages, readers are taken on a wild ride of twist, turns, thrills and clues and then on page 299, you are STUNNED at the surprise twist at the end. Well, if you picked up one of my books expecting this…you have made a serious purchasing error…The ChickenBone Series is more about the JOURNEY. Jake may have a little problem getting the truck started, but once it is rolling down some backwoods dirt road, it will eventually get you to where you’re going, and you will meet some dang interesting and odd folks along the way.
You see, if you pick up a ChickenBone book, you’re just picking up a dang good STORY. It’s more like a bunch of friends sitting around a fire and one guy starts telling a tale. He’s Rambling, running off into the ditch, the beer is getting warm and you’re saying to yourself…when the heck is this fool ever going to get around to telling us what happened.
Then an hour, two beers and a few logs later, you are leaning into the fire, hanging on for the ride to the finish. You just have to empty the cooler and burn through a pile of good oak to get there.
It’s real simple. The folks that end up reading the entire ChickenBone Series is the same person who would have absolutely no guilt or remorse when it comes to plopping down in a recliner with a bucket of fried chicken and watching a ballgame from start to finish without moving an inch.
So, I feel like I need to add a DISCLAIMER of sorts. Everything has got a disclaimer on it these days. Toothpaste has one, eggs have two and whiskey, oh boy, whiskey has a long list in small print to avoid any legal or personal repercussions. So, on the advice of my semi-licensed lawyer, Rufus B Bailey, a proud graduate of The Gilly Gilbert School of Law and Muffler Repair, I am officially posting this disclaimer just in case you grab a ChickenBone Mystery and go looking to
find some CIA guy chasing a Russian spy. That ain’t gonna happen. Disclaimer…Said and done.
All correspondence and complaints should be forwarded to Rufus. If you find him, let me know…he owes me money.
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