Murder As You Like It Mystery Conference

Murder As You Like It Mystery Conference

Join me on Saturday, August 11th, for the Murder As You Like It Conference presented by Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Murder As You Like It is a one-day conference for mystery readers/fans. I’m one of the participating authors. We’ll be talking about writing our novels and you’ll have a chance to ask questions. Throughout the day, we’ll be autographing our books.

Register here.


An Absentie Investigator and An Empty Booth

An Absentie Investigator and An Empty Booth

In chapter 9 of his newest crime thriller, The Woman in the Yellow Dress, Special Agent Edwards is set to convene with Patrick Atwater for their first ever intel meeting. However, when it appears that Patrick is running late without the slightest phone call the whole crew at Barney’s By The Sea knows something’s up. In this excerpt, Special Agent Edwards has a gun to his face once again but this time the person whose safety is in question is Private Investigator, Patrick Atwater. A FREE Kindle version is available on Please add a review after reading this excerpt, and enjoy the community of the Forte Fan Club.

Excerpt Chapter Nine – The Woman in the Yellow Dress

Copyright 2016

“Would you mind placing both of your hands on the table please?”

“On the table? Can I ask why?”

“Just do it mate,” said Jake as he poked Agent Edwards from behind on his left

shoulder with the point of a double barreled shotgun.


“All right,” said Agent Edwards.


Agent Edwards slowly placed his two hands flat onto the table.


“I’ll take that piece you’re carrying” said Barney as he reached into Agent

Edwards’s holster and removed his handgun.


“What’s this all about?” asked Agent Edwards.


“We’re not used to strangers entering my establishment carrying weapons,” said



“My weapon is a government issued M1911 and I am Special Agent Clovis

Edwards with the FBI. Sir.”


“I know an M1911 when I see one, shorty but the FBI? That’s bullshit,” said



“It’s not bullshit. I can assure you.”


“You can’t be with the FBI. You’re three feet tall, for Christ’s sakes. No one your

size would ever be hired by the FBI.”


“As I said, I can assure you, sir, I am the correct height and I have identification to

that fact in my inside right hand pocket.”


“Do you now?” said Barney.

“Yes. I do. I can show it to you.”

“Betty here will fetch it.”


Barney nodded to Betty and she reached in and took out Agent Edwards’ ID and

badge and opened it.


“Holy crap. This guy is the real McCoy, Barney. He is Special Agent Clovis

Edwards,” said Betty and held the ID up for Barney and Jake to see. “Just like he says.”

Jake and Barney stretched their necks and looked at the ID.


“Looks real to me, Barney,” said Jake.


“It is,” said Barney.


“Nice likeness,” said Jake. “Makes him look taller.”


“Sorry mate,” apologized Barney as Jake moved the shotgun and Barney placed the

M1911 on the table.


“We didn’t know you from Adam and Patrick Atwater is never late for any of his

new client meetings.”


“Never?” asked Agent Edwards as he put his gun back into its holster and Betty

handed back the badge and ID.

“Never,” repeated Betty. “I saw your gun when you sat down and didn’t know what

to make of it.”


“Better safe than sorry,” said Agent Edwards. “I’m not a client. Mr. Atwater and I

are sharing information on a case. Has Patrick called here? Saying he’d be late?”…


“May I sit down?” asked Betty.


“Please,” said Agent Edwards.


Betty slid in across from Agent Edwards and straightened the napkin holder.

“Something is clearly wrong,” she said. “If Patrick told you nine o’clock and

couldn’t make it here on time he would have called us.”


“You’re sure about that?” he asked.


“Dead sure,” said Betty. “Patrick Atwater is a stand-up guy. He’s also a man who

keeps his word and his integrity. Always. I know him. If Patrick tells you he will meet you

at nine and he doesn’t show? Then I know something is not right.”


“Maybe he’s having car problems?”


“No matter, he would still call. Something’s happened. Something bad. I know it.

Something has happened to him and it’s not good.”


“All right, let’s give him another twenty minutes or so and if he doesn’t show I’ll

make a few calls and we’ll try to locate him. How does that sound?”


“That sounds good.”


Agent Edwards took another sip of his coffee and smiled at Betty.


“Sounds to me like you and Patrick have known each other for some time,” he said.


“We have some history,” she replied. “Ancient history.”


“Before the war?” he asked.


Betty smiled broadly.

“Yes,” she said.


“Good friends?” he asked.


“Very good friends,” said Betty. “How do you know Patrick?”


“We just met each other today. By accident.”


Betty stared at Agent Edwards.

“It wasn’t by accident. You’re both working the same cases.”


“Something like that.”


“Can I get you more coffee?” she asked.


“Please,” he said.


Betty got up and walked to the bar.


Agent Edwards glanced down at his watch and noticed it was almost nine-thirty. If

Patrick was in trouble Agent Edwards wondered where he might be and just how much

trouble he might be in. Agent Edwards pondered what his next move should be and how he

might assist his new-found friend.


Betty poured more coffee and stared anxiously at the clock on the wall.



Death of an Accountant

Death of an Accountant

In chapter 5 of, The Woman in the Yellow Dress, author Robert Forte introduces the reader to a death of an accountant. On the surface, it’s an open and shut case, however, it would not be that by a long shot. In this excerpt, LAPD partners, Detective Blaine and Detective Munoz determine three details that signify a murder. A FREE Kindle version is available on Please add a review after reading this excerpt, and enjoy the community of the Forte Fan Club.

Excerpt, Chapter 5 – The Woman in the Yellow Dress

Copyright 2016


“What are you thinking, partner? Open and shut?” Detective Munoz asked,

although already knowing the answer.


This one wasn’t going to be open and shut, not by a long shot.

Detective Blaine looked up at his partner. Detective Munoz had seen that look and

heard that familiar sigh many times before on numerous past cases. They had been partners

with LAPD for over ten years and were a good team. An honest team. And both men had

the uncanny ability to sniff out the truth when a suspicious death like this masquerades as

something it’s not.


“Come on. Give. What do you see?” he asked again.


“I see three things. What we have here, partner, on the surface is an open and shut

case,” replied Detective Blaine. “Our number cruncher was sitting here, hard at work,

having himself a quick belt when he suddenly has some type of seizure or maybe his heart

gave out. And? Then? He and his drink wind up there on the floor.”


“I can see that and I agree. Now give me the explanation for why you are about to

say the word but.”


Detective Blaine nods yes and both men smile.


“But. I have to ask myself? Why did this guy, a working stiff accountant, suddenly

rate a penthouse suite here at the Beverly just to go over some ledgers? It’s not tax time.

That’s my number one.”


“Good point, partner. He must have been looking for something very special?



“I would say so. It had to be something very specific because he was being treated

much too well for the process. We should check with the desk and see how long he had

this room rented.”


“Definitely,” said Detective Munoz and jotted a note down on his pad. “What’s

your number two?”


“Number two. I looked through every one of these files. These are all numbered

files. And? They are all numbered in order. But right here?”


Using his pen, Detective Blaine holds up a corner of one of the ledgers.


“File number 318 is missing. Two uniforms are searching for it, but I think

whoever killed Hollowell? Also took the file.”


“Killed Hollowell?” questioned Detective Munoz. “Definitely killed is your

number three?”


“Most certainly,” answered Detective Blaine. “It wasn’t any heart attack.

Somebody killed this guy.”


“And we know this how?”


“There is a smell of almonds coming from his opened mouth. Bend your ass down

there and take a whiff. I did.”


“Seriously? You’re asking me to smell a dead man’s mouth?”


“Just do it.”


Detective Munoz knelt down and sniffed at Hollowell’s dead opened mouth.

“You’re right. It smells like almonds to me too,” Detective Munoz said, standing

back up. “Cyanide? Right?”



“But not suicide?”


“No. If this was a suicide he would have finished his drink. He would have also left

a note somewhere. And when he bought it, his glass would have some residue of the

poison in it.”


“The glass is clean?” asked Detective Munoz.


“Yes. Pure cyanide burns. People ingest it by mixing it with something. Makes it

go down easier. Hence there should be some trace of it on his glass. But there is not even a

slight hint of it there. My gut tells me cyanide is what killed him. I’m sure of it.”