Blokes on a Plane excerpt

THE OPENING SCENE

The most obnoxious man in town is missing, and someone is stealing important landmarks in Windy Mountain. In this funny mystery, elderly-tourists-to-be Oodles and Wish-Wash get sidetracked having to do some amateur detective work.

This is the next novel in the Windy Mountain Tasmanian Tiger series.

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I hear you knocking

WHEN he heard the knocking coming up from the wooden casket, the winkled old Irish priest stepped backwards into a wall of mourners. ‘What in da devil’s name, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph?’

It was also the moment Oodles sat bolt upright in bed.

Knock-knock, knock-knock. 

He realised after a moment he wasn’t at the funeral at all but was in his sweat-soaked pyjamas, and someone was banging on the front door.

‘Hold your horses, I’m coming,’ Oodles threw on his dressing gown and slippers. 

He shuffled past the grandfather clock in the hall. Who’d be visiting at 7.15 on a Monday morning?

Knock-knock, knock-knock.

‘For crying out loud. I’m not as fast as I used to be.’

When he opened the door, the blaze of colour hit him.

‘What are you doing here? I just had a dream about you.’

‘Tacky!’ Wish-Wash said.

‘Not that kind of dream, you muppet. I dreamt you had died and Father O’Boring was on the verge of doing a jig around your grave because he had outlived you.’

‘You’ve got a short memory then.’

He was right. Father John O’Rourke, a.k.a. Father O’Boring, age ninety-two, had died in the arson attack on the old wooden church two years ago. It was a nasty business, which had sullied the priest’s good name when it had come out he had not been as pure and righteous as he had pretended to be. But his death had cleared the way for Oodles and Wish-Wash to buy the Tasmanian Tiger Museum.

Wish-Wash, eighty-three, was a large man whose skin had the colour of linseed putty. He used to have a beard but he had shaved that off to try to sell to Gus Foot. Bad enough his whiskers were rejected as being too gray, when he looked in the mirror expecting to see Errol Flynn he realised he had grown two more chins over the years. So these days he cultivated the Don Johnson designer stubble look. He had started dressing a lot smarter too, except for the days he wore the black trousers with the pink and white blotches that made him look like the back end of a pantomime dairy cow. Today he was wearing a tie with horizontal stripes and a shirt with vertical rainbow-coloured hoops. 

He now lived in the flat above the museum premises, so what the heck was he doing here? 

‘I’ve won a holiday to Ireland,’ Wish-Wash blurted. ‘I want you to come on the trip with me.’

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