One jaded Rose is a light-hearted caper, the first in the series written by James Byron Books. Rose needed a plus-one, but not for the usual wedding or party. She was going to a funeral and needed a quiet, unassuming type, but when Nic Thorn arrived, he was anything but a wallflower. Rose and her BFF, Sandy, have time on their hands, and soon find that Nic will fill the void. He coerces them into his madcap investigations of scams, frauds and misunderstandings. This modern-day adventure leads them from one lively caper to another, involving portrait provenance, invoice inaccuracy, and a recycler's relapse, on their travels from Brisbane to Adelaide and across the South Australian border.
Brushing down the light chiffon dress trying to take the creases out, Rose allowed herself to feel pretty. After all, being able to buy off the rack was easy when you still had your youthful shape, and access to couture stock at wholesale prices.
She was miles away in thought when someone rapped softly on the car window. Pulling herself out of her reverie, she looked at who was making the intrusion. It was a parking inspector, and as they were still parked on a yellow line in Eagle Street, knew she was in trouble. Damn you Nic.
She smiled at the man, then upon second look she decided it might be a woman, and attempted to open the gullwing door then realised she didn’t actually know how to. She raised her palms with a defeated gesture, but the woman still wanted her to step out of the car anyway. Damn it Nic, where are you?
Finally, Nic was coming towards her. He was all smiles and chummy with the buyer/ owner, and she knew that they had not yet realised the dilemma with the parking inspector, so she pressed on the horn. It sounded like a soft whine, instead of the musical note Eb that the pre-1960’s Mercedes are known for. Finally Nic saw her, jogged up to the car and let her out, all the while maintaining his ‘business as usual’ composure.
Rose climbed from the car and nodded to the parking inspector, trying to explain that she really didn’t know how to get the door open, but she was being ignored. Nic had now taken control of the situation. In one movement, he gave the new owner the keys, stopped the traffic to allow his departure, and turned back to the inspector. All in less than 60 seconds.
He then held out his hand to the inspector and placed his other hand onto her shoulder. Rose thought it was very assuming of him to take this approach, but it seemed to be working. Soon they were both smiling, and with a polite thanks, Nic said something about dobbing in the real parking abusers. The inspector started to move away. Rose realised it might be an opportune time to again offer an apology, but the woman just sneered at her.
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The author is a long-term banker by profession, and a lifetime musician, songwriter and inveterate dreamer. His writing is a creative escape that he needs to keep his mind active and fingers supple, ready to write his next caper, penned as James Byron Books. The author lives in South Australia in a renovated church, with a very shy cat. He has been fortunate to have visited many places that are worthy of a peek, and enjoys including them in these stories.
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