Is that dog doing what you think it is on the cover … secret doggy business?
If so, how could this possibly prove the Tasmanian Tiger exists? You’ll find the answer in this poignant, funny mystery novel. With a quirky character lurking around every corner, everyone has something to hide — including the two old men who come up with the dog solution, the new Irish manager of the Tasmanian Tiger museum who has something to hide about his past, the owners of the museum who have an even bigger secret, and Moose Routley who returns to town as a villain.
The mystery man arrives
THE HUGE irishman looked out the open front passenger window of the taxi.
A row of street lamps doused parts of the long street in dim, yellow light but the building in front of him looked dark and deserted. The only noise was the click-click-clicking of the cooling engine.
He turned around to the driver, ‘Are you sure this is it?’
The cabbie reached up and turned on a light, and examined a slip of paper through his coke-bottle glasses. Jaysus! He had to be eighty years old and probably less than nine stone! ‘Yep. This is where I was told to drop you, Moose.’
The passenger rolled his eyes, then unbuckled his seatbelt. ‘Just pop the boot, pops.’
The old man raised his fists in a boxing pose. ‘How dare you call me pops! I don’t care how big and hairy you are, Moose, I’m not scared of you, and you need to be taught the meaning of respect!’
‘You want to fight me? Seriously?’ He scratched his beard. ‘Look, I haven’t got a clue who you tink I am? All I know is you’ve been calling me Moose since you picked me up at the airport!’
The old man’s eyes were fixed on him from behind his guard as if he was trying to work out when the first punch would come.
It’s a wonder the ancient eejit had even been able to see over the steering wheel. His checked shirt and brown suspenders might have been the only things holding his skin and bone together, and his magnified eyes through his coke-bottle glasses were the biggest part of him.
The old man continued in a tremulous voice: ‘Is this the thanks I get for being the first trainer on the scene when you strained your hamstring in that footy match twenty years ago?’
‘You’re mistaken, mister. I was growing up in Dublin tenty years ago. I was tirteen.’
‘Don’t think you’re fooling anyone by stacking on that phoney accent either! I won’t be the last person in this town who recognises you.’
The passenger bit his bottom lip and unlocked his door. ‘Look, I don’t want any trouble, fella. If you’ll open the boot, I’ll get my cases.’
He had barely slammed the boot when the taxi screeched away, leaving behind a stink of exhaust fumes.
He waved a fist as the car disappeared into the yellow murk. ‘Happy New Year to you, too, you silly old fart.’
His ponytail swished from side to side when he looked around.
Where was everyone?
He heard footsteps. But when he turned all he saw were two elongated silhouettes that melted into the dappled shadows on the other side of the road and clip-clopped away.
Jaysus! Two people out for a midnight stroll hardly counted as revellers!