Shell Scott. He's a guy with a pistol in his pocket and murder on his mind. The crime world's public enemy number one, this Casanova is a sucker for a damsel in distress. When a pair of lovely legs saunters into his office, he can't help but take the job, even when the case is a killer.
Man oh man is she a looker. That's Shell's job, to just look at her -- day and, of course, night. But it gets kind of hard to check out those legs that just don't stop with a 350-pound thug in the way. Yeah, the big boss wants Shell out of town, preferably in a bodybag, but Shell's got a job to do and nothing is going to come between him and that vision of absolute beauty.
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December 01, 2003
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Excerpt from Darling, It's Death by Richard S. Prather
I WAS LOOKING at the lovely blonde in the one-and-one-half-piece swimsuit, thinking that if she got any curvier she'd be banned, and then, just as if she knew exactly what I was thinking, she got up and started walking toward me. Possibly to slap me.
I'd been soaking up hot afternoon sun alongside the amoeba-shaped pool at the Hotel de las Americas in Acapulco, wearing a pair of violet trunks decorated with big red passionflowers, which were fine for starting conversations that might lead to almost anything, and sipping a coco fizz from half a huge coconut while I wished I'd ordered a plain bourbon and water and feeling somewhat silly, what with passionflowers and coco fizzes.
It was one of Acapulco's beautiful days; sun splashed from the bright yellow hibiscus and red bougainvillea around the pool and filtered down through the limbs of the royal poinciana trees. It was hot, with only a little breeze, and I could feel rivulets of sweat trickling down my bare chest. A few people were in the pool, more around the sides and in the shaded open-air bar a few feet beyond the pool's shallow end. There was a lot of garish, exotic color and a constant buzz of conversation laced with sudden laughter. It was peaceful and beautiful, but over it all the shabby dark vultures, which are as much a trademark of Acapulco as the plush hotels along Las Playas, dipped and soared with an ugly grace.
My Los Angeles office with "Sheldon Scott, Investigations" lettered on the window seemed as far away from Mexico as Mars, but the blonde might have stepped right off Wilshire Boulevard or out of Earl Carroll's. And she was still stepping.
She came toward me with a walk that wouldn't have been allowed back home on Hollywood Boulevard. And even if it had been allowed, I doubt that anybody else could have duplicated it. She went this way, and then she went that way, and most important of all, she kept coming my way. All she did was put one foot forward, then the other foot forward, but at the same time there were about a dozen other lovely little movements that it was difficult to watch at the same time, and all of it barely concealed by the wisp of bandanna floating on her breasts and the equally wispy piece of printed fog that did its inadequate chore around her hips, if that could be called a chore. She had long blonde hair that brushed her shoulders and a nice smooth tan that you wanted to touch, and she stopped right in front of me.