Gumshoe Points Gun, Questions at  FBI Special Agent Edwards

Gumshoe Points Gun, Questions at FBI Special Agent Edwards

In chapter 6 of, The Woman in the Yellow Dress, author Robert Forte introduces the reader to the diminutive, quirky, yet resourceful Special Agent Clovis Edwards of the FBI. In this excerpt, private investigator Patrick Miles Atwater greets Agent Edwards with a gun and questions pointed at Edwards. A FREE Kindle version is available on amazon.com. Please add a review after reading this excerpt, and enjoy the community of the Forte Fan Club.

 

* * *

Excerpt, Chapter 6 – The Woman in the Yellow Dress

Copyright 2016
By Robert Forte

As I left the building I had this deep nagging feeling that something very bad was going to go down.

And soon.

I just hoped I would be ready when that something happened.

I opened the front entrance door and two men in suits, one tall white guy and the other a medium built fellow of Spanish descent, walked past me without speaking. I pegged them for detectives right away by the bulges in both of their suit jackets and the abundant lack of brown polish on their scuffed up shoes.

A young boy was on the comer selling newspapers.

“Extra! Extra!” he shouted. “The great Bambino dies of heart failure.”

The kid eyed me straight away and ran up waving one of his papers in my face.

“Paper, mister?” he asked.

I felt bad for the kid and tossed him the nickel for the news. As I pretended to read all about the death of baseball’s greatest, I saw my little friend sitting in the Dodge across the street.

I walked to my car, headed out on Wilshire again, and noticed the big Dodge following close behind.

I saw a Walgreens up ahead, quickly pulled into the small lot and dashed inside. I thought my little guy in the Dodge would figure I had stopped for a quick bite at the food counter, and would park himself somewhere in the rear of the lot where he could hide in plain sight and still keep his eyes on the coupe.

I walked straight through the place and went directly to the rear door.

I looked out and saw the Dodge parked at the perfect angle for me to do what I knew I had to do.

The little guy behind the wheel wore a decent suit and tie and looked like he had just gotten himself a haircut a day or two before. His eyes were clearly focused on my parked vehicle next to the store when I quietly walked up and hard pressed the cold steel of my .38 into the bare side of his neck.

“You have until I count three to tell me who the hell you are and why the hell you are following me!” I demanded and instantly began counting.

“One. Two.”

The little man quickly raised both hands up and started chattering away like a small scared monkey who just discovered he could speak.

“Don’t  shoot!! My name is Clovis Edwards. I’m a Special Agent with the FBI!”

I pressed the gun in harder.

“Okay.  I got who. Now what do you want with me? Same drill pal. One. Two.”

“Please?  Do not shoot me! Don’t. Shoot. Me,” he pleaded.

He waved as if he was about to do a sleight of hand magic trick, and slowly and extremely carefully reached into his suit pocket and with only two fingers, took out his federal identification and held it up for me to see.

I read the I.D. and pressed my gun in harder.

“Okay. You’re a Special Agent with the FBI. So. Why the hell are you following me?” I repeated.

“The Bureau is looking into Stone Realty. One of the late Jonas Stone’s companies. When his daughter Rachel came to see you last night I was ordered to follow you and report all your comings and goings. Do you have a proper license to carry the weapon you’re holding against my throat?”

“Yes I do,” I replied. “And I can also fire it if I have to.”

“I can assure you, Mr. Atwater, that won’t be necessary.”

“You know my name?”

“I do, sir. Yes.”

“How tall are you, sonny?”

“My name isn’t sonny. It’s Edwards, Special Agent Edwards and I am sufficiently tall enough. And? I graduated third in my class at the academy.”

“Third?  Impressive for a special agent man of your stature.”

I reached in and took out my license and put it in front of Agent Edwards’ face.

“I’m only doing this as a courtesy because I suddenly like you, Special Agent Edwards. And? Shooting you today, I think, would be a grave mistake on my part.”

“Thank you,” he said.

Agent Edwards let out a huge sigh of relief, put his hands down on the steering wheel and I put the .38 back in my shoulder holster.

“Tell me this? Why is the FBI looking into Stone Realty?” Agent Edwards adjusted his tie and looked at me.

“I’m not allowed to divulge that information,” he said. “It is privileged.”

I looked him straight in the eye and smiled.

“You won’t divulge that information because you don’t know why. Do you?”

Agent Edwards smiled slightly back at me and I could tell he was finally calming down.

“No,” he said. “I don’t know why.”

“You’re all right, Special Agent Edwards. Let’s you and me step inside this Walgreens here and have us a cup of Joe.”

“You mean coffee? Correct?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “Coffee. Correct. Come on. I’m buying.”

“I could use a cup of coffee,” he said and got out from behind the wheel. “And maybe a donut or two?”

I brushed a small piece of lint off his right shoulder and gave him the once over.      “You’re not much taller standing up. Are you?” I asked.

“As I said? I’m tall enough.”

Buy a copy of The Woman In The Yellow Dress today
and receive a free Kindle!

Author Robert Forte Writes “Racy,” “Intriguing”, “Whodunit” in First Novel The Woman in the Yellow Dress

Author Robert Forte Writes “Racy,” “Intriguing”, “Whodunit” in First Novel The Woman in the Yellow Dress

When screenwriter, now author Robert Forte wields a pen, audiences laugh, cry and certainly, hold their breath as his first novel, The Woman in the Yellow Dress, gives readers heart-pounding excitement from the lens of gumshoe private investigator Patrick Miles Atwater during the post-World War II revival of Hollywood glitz and crime. Kindle version FREE.

Published by Fifth Wind Books last month, initial reviews call The Woman in the Yellow Dress an “edgy,” “racy” and an “intriguing” “whodunit” mystery that’s a “great weekend read.”

Forte’s knack for painting word pictures comes from more than 20 years entertaining audiences with his screen and stage plays, television sitcoms, thrillers and even a musical.

Forte said the wonderful response from his new book encouraged him to start the Forte Fan Club, to help his fans know about his upcoming work and appearances. According to Forte, fans can expect to have the next book Magenta Dairy in March, and War of Ghosts in time for this Summer. Robert has also started a blog, going between-the-lines for fans, offering VIP perks and insider information such as “The ‘Other’ Woman in the Yellow Dress.”

Meet Robert Forte at an upcoming book signings and events:

  • #FineThings Online Video Interview with Robert Forte
    February 9, Pre-recorded LIVE online video here.
  • Church Mouse Emporium — Book signing, question and answer with Robert Forte
    February 16, 7-9 p.m. EST, 828 Diamond Blvd., Johnstown, PA 15905
  • Classic Lines Bookstore — Book signing, question and answer with Robert Forte
    February 24, 2-4 p.m. EST, 5825 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217

“Forte’s filmmaking background certainly benefits his narrative style. By describing and moving through each scene as though it were a single frame on a roll of celluloid film, he paints a picture so real it’s easy to imagine his characters and settings right in front of your eyes. If you dare to lose yourself in the dark underbelly the 1940s Los Angeles, The Woman in the Yellow Dress is available for purchase on Amazon.”
— Johnstown Magazine, Book Review by Erika Fleegle

ABOUT ROBERT FORTE
Robert Forte is a multi-talented American writer and producer based in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Forte has written numerous stage and screen plays, television sitcoms, and now his first crime novel, The Woman in the Yellow Dress, based on his original screenplay and the first in The Patrick Miles Atwater Trilogy. Robert has also invented a board game, writes original music and has six screenplays in development. Learn more at RobertForteBooks.com.

Read the live press release here.

 

Buy your copy of The Woman In The Yellow Dress today
and receive a free Kindle!

Meet The Woman in the Yellow Dress

Meet The Woman in the Yellow Dress

The Woman in the Yellow DressIn chapter 2 of his new crime thriller, The Woman in the Yellow Dress, author Robert Forte introduces the reader to the stunning heiress of a fortune with a problem. A FREE Kindle version is available on amazon.com. Please add a review after reading this excerpt, and enjoy the community of the Forte Fan Club.

 

 

 

* * *

Meet Robert Forte at an upcoming book signings and events:

Church Mouse Emporium — Book signing, question and answer with Robert Forte
February 16, 7-9 p.m. EST, 828 Diamond Blvd., Johnstown, PA 15905

Classic Lines Bookstore — Book signing, question and answer with Robert Forte
February 24, 2-4 p.m. EST, 5825 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217

* * *

Excerpt, Chapter 2 – The Woman in the Yellow Dress

Copyright 2016
 By Robert Forte

As I sat in my back booth at Barney’s I had no clue about what my next case might be. Turned out to be a case like no other I had ever encountered. A case I called The Woman in the Yellow Dress.

I sipped my Scotch and watched as she stepped through Barney’s front door. I didn’t know it then, but her name was Rachel Stone Barbieri. She was tall, beautiful, and rich. When I say tall and beautiful she was clearly that, but saying the word rich was a wealth I could never have imagined. I learned that Rachel was heir apparent to a family fortune that had been around since the early 1800 with an estimated worth around seven hundred million. Her great-grandfather made a fortune manufacturing and selling steel parts for just about every piece of machinery ever invented over the last hundred years, and now the Stone family was highly invested in the manufacture of weapons and ammunition, hotel construction, and real estate world-wide.

World War II alone almost doubled their entire worth.

Like some bomb in the night sky bursting through my ice and glass, her image instantly ignited the entire room.

Slowly, I lowered my drink and focused on her.

Everyone in the entire bar also saw her. Even Betty took notice. It was almost as if time stood still when she stepped into the place with her questioning look, cream colored skin, and those long shapely legs.

Barney suddenly dropped his blue towel and stopped cleaning glasses.

He blinked his one good eye several times and then stood there like some statue, as if struck by lightning, suddenly growing a long limp tongue that fell slowly out of his gaping mouth and rolled down onto his chin.

She carried a small black purse with tiny yellow sparkles and wore a very short, tight, bright, matching yellow dress with matching shoes. Her shining auburn hair flowed down onto her shoulders like soft manicured clouds. Everything about this woman was perfectly put into place from her head right down to her toes.

Even from my booth in the back I could see a humongous diamond ring resting on her finger, three carats easily, and I sensed in that instant, that this lovely little creature, this belladonna from God knows where, was going to become bad news for me.

Very bad news.

Rachel Stone Barbieri was all too perfect, as if playing a role. Not really looking for help like the rest of my clients.

That was my forte, spotting the real from the not-so-real.  This woman had the unreal written all over her.

My suspicious mind and all of my thoughts of this vision in yellow clanged like the opening bell of some prize fight when she looked around the room a bit too quickly but walked directly to my table without skipping a beat or asking anyone for directions.

She approached and boldly held out one of my business cards.

“Are you Patrick Atwater?”

I pretended not to be interested. She looked at the card.

“Patrick Miles Atwater?”

Her voice is a bit too strained as if practiced, and although she carried the persona of someone clearly in trouble and in need of help, I could tell there was something very different about the entire delivery.

Something odd. Something off. Something askew.

She obviously needed someone to listen to her story, whatever it was, and then possibly provide a strong shoulder for her to cry on.

She didn’t strike me as the crying type. Not in that outfit.

She wanted someone to make this trouble, whatever it was, disappear. Make it all go away. And she came running to me.

She knew the drill and the game. And she played it out perfectly.

She smelled like fresh-cut flowers with just the slightest hint of vanilla. It was the scent of vanilla that told me immediately; I was going to be in big trouble with this one.

Deep trouble.

I felt her coming at me like the wind of some deadly hurricane. And what made it all the worse was although I knew it, I didn’t really care.

I welcomed her with a slight smile.

Something just wasn’t quite right about this one, and I could smell it on her plain as day, in spite of the freshly-cut flower scent, and that slight hint of vanilla.

This was the job. What I did for a living. My chosen profession. Helping poor lost souls who don’t know where to turn or who to talk to when everything around them starts looking like some deep dark endless hole that they just can’t get out of by themselves. Even though nine out of ten were always completely responsible for their own misfortunes.

She pretended to be clearly in need of someone, that was for sure, and that someone was going to be me, the guy with the sore knuckles, the cold Scotch, and the answers to all her troubles.

A con was written all over her and I have to admit I was feeling eager to get this case started. If she was going to try and put something over on someone, if that was her game, and given all the private dicks running around this town, I was glad she picked me.

Damn that hint of vanilla. I was ready for her. All I needed was that small first tell.

Damn the torpedoes. Full steam ahead.

“X” marks the spot at Barney’s By The Sea and whatever was going on with this sexy firecracker all wrapped up in yellow, had somehow, some way, allowed one of my business cards to drop into her hands and she found me, here at my back booth. I could see she was already thinking from the moment she entered that she had me.

She clearly thought I was going to be caught up in her sad little story.

Hook. Line. And sinker.

I quickly decided to play this one out. Go all the way.

“I’m Atwater. Take a seat,” I said, and gave her the quick once over.

She didn’t mind my stare at all. She enjoyed it, and slid in across from me.

Buy a copy of The Woman In The Yellow Dress today
and receive a free Kindle!

The “Other” Woman in the Yellow Dress

The “Other” Woman in the Yellow Dress

Flip through the first few pages of Robert Forte’s new book, The Woman in the Yellow Dress, and you’ll see an entire page with only two words, “To Evelyn.”

Married now for 10 years, Robert said Evelyn had only one thing in common with the character who plays The Woman in the Yellow Dress. The first night Robert and Evelyn reunited after knowing each other 40 years earlier in high school, Evelyn walked in wearing a stunning yellow dress. He thought, “Look at that woman in the yellow dress…That would make a great book title someday.”

Robert met Evelyn at Woodbridge High School in New Jersey. Although they dated and shared mutual feelings for each other, they parted ways in 1965. Forty years later, Robert found Evelyn online, both of them now divorced, and picked up where the sparks left off.

“We hit it off right away, like it was 40 years ago,” Robert said. “Today, our love for each other seems to grow and grow stronger every day. We may be older and slower, but we’re having fun together.”

Robert said Evelyn provides valuable input, assisting with his storytelling and feedback on early drafts. “But she doesn’t tell me how to write, and I don’t tell her how to do the things she loves to do,” he said.

Robert offered the following message about his wife Evelyn below:

“Evelyn has been extremely supportive. When our film project, Child’s Cry, fell apart after eleven months of hard work, it was my wife who suggested I step back from film production, regroup, and write a book.

I took her suggestion, sat down and wrote The Woman in the Yellow Dress. 

Evelyn has been and always will be my partner, my best friend, and the love of my life. She is a beautiful soul with a huge heart.”

Buy a copy of The Woman In The Yellow Dress today
and receive a free Kindle!

The Inspiration for The Woman In The Yellow Dress

The Inspiration for The Woman In The Yellow Dress

Robert Forte has been writing screenplays, musicals and plays for 20 years. He says, “I still love it, more than ever.” After much encouragement from friends and his wife, Evelyn, he decided to write a book, applying his storytelling skills in the form of a crime novel set in the post-World War II era of the 1940s.

Robert said he’s always loved suspense, mystery and the stories about the perfect crime. But he said he wants his stories to serve more than just entertainment. To prepare for Yellow Dress, he took a cue from his favorite movie The Maltese Falcon.

The Woman in the Yellow Dress is not just about a murder or a search for a fake object. I wanted to show how people in the 40s felt and dealt with the same issues we are facing today,” Robert said. “At the end of WWII, countries were rebuilding and also competing for power. So there was the underworld. I wanted to show both worlds through the main character Patrick Miles Atwater’s eyes, and I knew that couldn’t be told in just one book.”

This is why The Woman in the Yellow Dress will be followed by Magenta Dairy and then War of Ghosts. Through this Patrick Miles Atwater Trilogy, Robert uses fiction to help explain the state of affairs facing the world in 2018, as well as the imminent threat of another world war.

Robert said “The Woman” in The Woman in the Yellow Dress has only one thing in common with his wife Evelyn. The first night Robert and Evelyn reunited after knowing each other 40 years earlier in high school, Evelyn walked in wearing a stunning yellow dress. He thought, “That would make a great book title someday.” More on this love story coming soon.

The lead character in the Patrick Miles Atwater Trilogy is a private investigator Patrick Miles Atwater. “As I was writing, I envisioned him to be like Humphrey Bogart. But for today’s audiences, I think Christian Bale would be a good fit,” Robert said. “Atwater doesn’t have any real “super” powers. Instead I gave him admirable character traits like courage, perseverance, and even vulnerability.” More on Atwater later.

The supporting actor in this book series is FBI Special Agent Clovis Edwards, who was inspired by Robert’s father, Angelo. He too was short in stature. When he married Robert’s mother, they adopted Robert and his sister, Lori, and gave them a very good life. Robert’s parents died in 2014, two weeks apart. So Robert wanted to pay homage to them both. Robert says his mother always wanted to be a singer but never pursued it, so he created a role for her in the book. She’s played by an undercover FBI agent Loretta Davis (also his mom’s real name) who pretends to be a singer in a nightclub.

Robert says he hopes to have Magenta Dairy and War of Ghosts available in time for the Summer! Stay tuned.

Buy a copy of The Woman In The Yellow Dress today
and receive a free Kindle!