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Authors: Glen Cook

Gilded Latten Bones

BOOK: Gilded Latten Bones
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Gilded Latten Bones

Garrett P.
I. Book 13

GLEN COOK
 

 

 

 

For Garrett, P. I., loyalty and love come a close second to survival... Garrett’s attempt at domestic bliss with the fiery Tinnie Tate is sidetracked when he waylays a pair of home intruders and learns they’ve been paid by an unknown source to kidnap Tinnie. But as Garrett rushes to find out who is trying to push his buttons, his best friend is attacked. Now, Garrett has to track down both malefactors. Unless they’re really one and the same-in which case Garrett might be next...

Praise for the Garrett, P.
I., Novels

“A wild science fiction mystery that never slows down for a moment.”


Midwest Book Review

 

“Garrett, private detective, returns after too long an absence.... Cook makes this blending of fantasy with hard-boiled-detective story seem easy, which it isn’t, and manages to balance the requirements of both genres superbly.”


Chronicle

 

“Cook brings a dose of gritty realism to fantasy.”


Library Journal

 

“Eminently satisfying.”


Booklist

 

 

The Garrett, P.
I., Series by Glen Cook

Sweet Silver Blues

Bitter Gold Hearts

Cold Copper Tears

Old Tin Sorrows

Dread Brass Shadows

Red Iron Nights

Deadly Quicksilver Lies

Petty Pewter Gods

Faded Steel Heat

Angry Lead Skies

Whispering Nickel Idols

Cruel Zinc Melodies

 

 

 

Gilded Latten Bones

GLEN COOK

 

ROC

Published by New American Library, a division of

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,

New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,

Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:

80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

 

First published by Roc, an imprint of New American Library,

a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

 

First Printing, November 2010

This 
ePub edition v1.0 by Dead^Man Jan, 2011

 

Copyright © Glen Cook, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-451-46371-5

eISBN: 9781101454589

All rights reserved

 

REGISTERED TRADEMARK — MARCA REGISTRADA

 

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

 

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

 

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

http://us.penguingroup.com

 

1

For a long time it always started with a beautiful woman at the door, sometimes in the middle of the night. That had ended. Good things do. I wasn’t in that racket anymore. There was only one beautiful woman for me. She was on my side of the door already.

Tinnie Tate. Tinnie had wreaked all sorts of changes in my life.

Tinnie had the word out: Garrett, that most marvelous specimen of former Marine, was no longer one of TunFaire’s serious players, however you cared to define that term. Mama Garrett’s boy was now devoutly monogamous. He reserved his vast professional acumen for the benefit of the Weider brewing empire and, more importantly, for that of the Amalgamated Manufacturing Combine. The man hadn’t hit the mean streets in a rat’s age. Which was pleasing to many and unpopular with a much smaller crowd.

Bottom-feeders and parasites really liked the new Garrett. He was out of their lives. The reverse was true for workmen at the breweries and Amalgamated. Garrett had this habit of turning up just when some underpaid and underappreciated genius was about to enhance his income by reassigning ownership of company property.

My wondrous new life.

 

 

2

It did begin with a beautiful woman in the middle of the night
 

a stunning redhead bereft of any perspective other than her own. She gouged me in the ribs with a specially sharpened fingernail. “Wake up, Malsquando.”

“Again? What? Are you trying to set a new record?”

“We’ll work on that tomorrow night. We have another problem, now. There’s somebody downstairs.”

We lived in two-story quarters we had carved out of a little-used part of the Amalgamated Manufactory Annex. Something rattled down below, followed by a vague, exasperated curse.

I was awake now, my head filling with subjects I might offer for discussion once we got out of whatever this was. Like maybe the fact that this situation could not have come up had we made our nest at my house.

I was like liquid getting out of bed. Silently flowing. Not even a gurgle. I armed myself with an oaken head knocker that no amount of fussing or whining had compelled me to divorce.

Just in time.

The bedroom door opened with a faint creak. I was behind it, wound up. The villain entering carried a damped-down lantern. That cast just enough light for someone whose night vision had fully adapted. It revealed Tinnie lying there mostly uncovered and wearing nothing, apparently asleep. An impressive sight, I’ve got to admit.

Lucky me, I’d seen it enough not to be distracted. Much.

“There’s something wrong here, Butch.” The whisperer leaned in just far enough to offer the back of his mostly bald head.

I seized the day, whacked that mole. Down he went. I spun around the edge of the door
 

to stare down the length of twelve pounds of razor-edged steel. I couldn’t imagine anybody having forged a sword that big. The eyes behind that monster did not belong to somebody in a merciful mood, nor even somebody truly sane.

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