A case for Harry Walthenson PI, episode by episode

How thrilled Harry Walthenson, Private Detective, had been to see his name painted on the translucent glass window in the door to his office.

Located in Gramercy Park, in an old building full of atmosphere, he had a space renovated to resemble that of Spade and Archer in a scene right out of the Maltese Falcon.

His desk had an antique phone like those used in the 1930s, and a lamp that cast eerie shadows at night.  Along one wall was a couch, his bed for more nights than he wanted to remember, and on the other a filing cabinet, waiting for the big case files.

Up till now it had been missing cats and dogs.

Then, everything changed…

Starts at episode 1 – The Wrong Place, The Wrong Time


The latest episode: Episode 79 – Angela decides to give some information



In a word: Incline

When you first think of this word, it is with a slippery slope in mind.

I’ve been on a few of those in my time.

And while we’re on the subject, those inclines measured in degrees are very important if you want a train to get up and down the side of a mountain.

For the train, that’s an incline plane, the point where traction alone won’t get the iron horse up the hill.

Did I say ‘Iron Horse’?  Sorry, regressed there, back to the mid-1800s in the American West for a moment.

It’s not that important when it comes to trucks and cars, and less so if you like four-wheel driving; getting up near vertical mountainsides often present a welcome challenge to the true enthusiast

But for the rest of us, not so much if you find yourself sliding in reverse uncontrollably into the bay.  I’m sure it’s happened more than once.


Are you inclined to go?

A very different sort of incline, ie to be disposed towards an attitude or desire.

An inclination, maybe, not to go four wheel driving?

There is another, probably more obscure use of the word incline, and that relates to an elevated geological formation.  Not the sort of reference that crops up in everyday conversation at the coffee shop.

But, you never know.  Try it next time you have coffee and see what happens.

“One Last Look”, nothing is what it seems

A single event can have enormous consequences.

A single event driven by fate, after Ben told his wife Charlotte he would be late home one night, he left early, and by chance discovers his wife having dinner in their favourite restaurant with another man.

A single event where it could be said Ben was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Who was this man?  Why was she having dinner with him?

A simple truth to explain the single event was all Ben required.  Instead, Charlotte told him a lie.

A single event that forces Ben to question everything he thought he knew about his wife, and the people who are around her.

After a near death experience and forced retirement into a world he is unfamiliar with, Ben finds himself once again drawn back into that life of lies, violence, and intrigue.

From London to a small village in Tuscany, little by little Ben discovers who the woman he married is, and the real reason why fate had brought them together.



I’ve always wanted to go on a Treasure Hunt – Part 12

Here’s the thing…

Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.

I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.

But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.

Once again there’s a new instalment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.


Feeling a little miffed at Boggs’ dismissal, I decided to go on my own fact-finding mission. 

Of course, it depended a lot on whether the Cossatino’s still hung out at the same bar, and whether I’d get a foot in the door.

I was going to talk to Nadia, or at least try to.

The Lantern Inn was about as far from the image the name threw up, it was more a place where respectable people wouldn’t be caught dead in.

And, as I recall, a few had.  Seemingly respectable people anyway.

It was the place to go if you were looking for three things, not necessarily all at once, trouble, girls, and drugs.  Soggy, a friend of Boggs and I, had always looked older than his age and was able to get into places like the Lantern Inn, mainly to buy us beer, and we would go down to the beach and drink it before going home.

When I found a spot to keep an eye on the place and assess whether it was safe or not to go in, now I was old enough, I saw old man Gattle, Soggy’s foster father stagger out, on his way home.  It brought back memories of Joel, Soggy’s real name.

Soggy got his name because he was always falling in the water, whether it was a pool or the ocean, and one day, after too many beers, he fell in and didn’t come back up.  Boggs and I almost finished up in jail for that, since we were with him, but there was no way we could rescue him as it was in a spot where there was often a rip, and he had been carried away before we could get to him.

And, the body was never recovered.  I thought, at the time, he may have jumped in, because his life with foster parents was no fairy tale, and he had suffered.  Of course, those foster parents were friends with the Benderby’s so they were never held to account.

It would be easy to lie in wait in a dark alley and simply hit him over the head with a four by two, but I doubt it would make me feel any better.

I watched him stagger and fall several times before I looked back at the Inn.  In days past, the patrons often spilled out onto the sidewalk where there used to be tables and chairs.  Now, it was just the Inn, and it didn’t look like many people were there.

Had it changed from a den of iniquity to something more respectable?

A large truck, an F350 by the look of it, stopped outside the front entrance, the passenger door opened and what looked like Nadia, or another Amazonian woman, got out.  She spoke to the driver, slammed the door, and the truck left.

The light over the door shone on her face, yes, it was a woman, and yes, it was Nadia.  By herself?  Was that Vince who dropped her off, or Willy, her younger brother, and why didn’t they join her?

I guess I was not going to get any answers from where I was sitting.

Time to make my first foray into the place my mother always told me never to step foot in.

© Charles Heath 2019

“The Things We Do For Love” – Coming soon

Is love the metaphorical equivalent to ‘walking the plank’; a dive into uncharted waters?

For Henry the only romance he was interested in was a life at sea, and when away from it, he strived to find sanctuary from his family and perhaps life itself.  It takes him to a small village by the sea, s place he never expected to find another just like him, Michelle, whom he soon discovers is as mysterious as she is beautiful.

Henry had long since given up the notion of finding romance, and Michelle couldn’t get involved for reasons she could never explain, but in the end both acknowledge that something happened the moment they first met.  

Plans were made, plans were revised, and hopes were shattered.

A chance encounter causes Michelle’s past to catch up with her, and whatever hope she had of having a normal life with Henry, or anyone else, is gone.  To keep him alive she has to destroy her blossoming relationship, an act that breaks her heart and shatters his.

But can love conquer all?

It takes a few words of encouragement from an unlikely source to send Henry and his friend Radly on an odyssey into the darkest corners of the red light district in a race against time to find and rescue the woman he finally realizes is the love of his life.

The cover, at the moment, looks like this:


Conversations with my cat – 36


This is Chester.  He’s still the same grumpy cat I left 12 days ago.

He hasn’t even had the courtesy to ask how the holiday was.

But, despite his surliness, I’m happy to tell him all about it.

And, I know he’s listening, even when he’s pretending not to.  After 16 years, he’s losing his edge.


China for the uninitiated.

The cats are different.  Met one, just like you, except it had a different face.  No, it didn’t speak Chinese, but then neither do I so it could have been saying anything and I wouldn’t know.

But the angry face, yep, just like yours.

We climbed up a wall, much the same as you drive me up the wall, but these steps are steeper and not all the same height.

We visited statues, and no, they didn’t speak, they were made of terracotta.  No, you have no idea what terracotta is, and neither do I though I suspect it’s some form of clay to begin with.

And for some odd reason the emperor wanted to kill all the workers to keep his statues a secret and look how that turned out, and few acres that make up a huge jigsaw puzzle.  Perhaps he would have more luck rounding up the cats and making statues out of them.

Ah, now I have his attention.

No, I don’t want to talk about it anymore.  Boring stuff, you know, a few high-speed train rides, boring museums that had stuff thousands of years old, restaurants that didn’t serve cat food, hotels that would barely fit a cat (no I didn’t try swinging one as a measurement guide), and it was hot.  And cars, you would not survive longer than two minutes on one of their roads.

You try dodging 4.8 million cars.

And those silent assassins, the electric scooters driven by madmen who stop for nothing.

OK, you can stop looking for the tyre marks; I was quick enough to get out of the way.

It’s the end of the month … again

How quickly time flies, although I have to say I spent 12 of those May days in China or what could only be described as a whirlwind tour.

Did I get any inspiration?  Well, I have to say I was gobsmacked on more than one occasion, but yes, there was ample material that I could, and will, eventually, use.

And, yes, I did start another story, but I didn’t get too much done because the others were impinging on my thoughts.


The treasure hunt continues, but our hero is starting to obsess with Nadia.  Who is Nadia, well, if you don’t know, you will have to go and read

url – http://bit.ly/2UNl3q6

Then there’s the what happens after the action-packed start, what I call the desert story, our hero is now being taken back to a past secret mission.  Obviously, someone wants to know something, it’s just working out who that someone is to recognise the significance.

No, torture’s not on the table yet

url – http://bit.ly/2WwJnhx

Then there’s the surveillance gig, one that got caught up in building demolition, no, sorry, a building that was blown up by some over-enthusiastic bank robbers.  Our man on the spot is now looking for his target or is it the other way around

You be the judge, url – http://bit.ly/2VQkdJm

Back at the Castello di Briolio, man and dog got separated, at least the dog had the good sense to get away, and our hero is languishing in the cells.  Well, all that’s about to change

url – http://bit.ly/2YLaE0i

I’m working on some more ‘a picture paints a thousand words, or less’ posts, with another five due soon.

The reason, you ask why I’m working on so many storylines at once, well, it seems my mother has dementia, and I’m trying to avoid it by overworking my brain.  The problem is I’m getting on in years, so anything can happen.  I just hope it’s the ability to write more episodes for these stories.

With that, don’t forget to keep up with Walthenson, P.I.

Read the latest episode here – url – http://bit.ly/2JKiwvJ

And be on the lookout for his next case.

As for everything else, sorry, there’s no time left.

Until next month…