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by Daniel Stallings
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Attention, shoppers! Today’s special is murder!
The Minimum Wage Manhunter returns, bagging groceries — and a killer —in the delightful new mystery novel Cleanup on Aisle Six.
Liam “Li” Johnson is a different kind of amateur sleuth, who brings a fresh, young, working-class sensibility to the traditional murder mystery. Li solves the intricate murders that the cops can’t, but he’s not a refined English gentleman of the interwar period — he’s a modern California twentysomething struggling to get by in the service economy.
After solving a murder at his last low-paying job as a cruise ship waiter (in the first Li Johnson mystery, Sunny Side Up), Li is fresh out of options. Unemployed, flat broke and fighting to stay in community college, Li is desperate to find a job, any job.
Li catches a lucky break when kindly supermarket clerk Reuben Rodriguez gets him work at Esther’s Family Grocery. Li thinks he’s finally getting a chance to live a normal life and never see a corpse again. But then Li’s floor duster bumps into the body of the local newspaper’s famously vindictive restaurant critic, bludgeoned to death in the spice aisle … and the evidence suggests that Li’s new friend and benefactor might be the murderer.
Determined to clear Reuben’s name, Li sets out to find what really happened to the shopper in aisle six. But if Reuben didn’t kill the food critic, who did? The many restaurant owners the critic maligned? The critic’s psychologically abused son? The newspaper editor harassed by his most cantankerous employee? Why does the city’s shadowy political boss, the perky and commanding “Mrs. Mayor,” try to warn Li off his investigation? Li tries to answer these questions while dodging the attention of a homicide detective who hates amateur sleuths.
Can a lowly grocery clerk uncover a secret that powerful people want hidden? Once again, Li Johnson delivers fresh value and everyday high quality to the traditional mystery.
Audience: Lovers of traditional murder mysteries.
About the Author: Daniel Stallings’ love of Golden Age detective fiction inspired him to bring the style of the classic murder mystery to modern audiences. His previous novel was the first Li Johnson mystery, Sunny Side Up. In addition to writing, Stallings works in theater as a producer, director, and actor. He currently serves as President of the Eastern Sierra Branch of the California Writers Club. Stallings lives in Ridgecrest, California.
$12.95 US • Trade Paperback • 5¼” x 8″ • 200 pages