Sunday, June 14, 2009

Taking a break from work long enough....

Shannon Tanner thinks she has it all until she finds out that all is not as it seems. Her trusted fiancĂ©e is a criminal who has stolen from her family and is out to kill her now that she’s found out his secrets.

Enter the FBI and Agent Rick Holden who goes undercover as Shannon’s aging aunt in order to protect her without sacrificing either of their personal beliefs or integrity.

Fear and desperation push Shannon to the limit. The question now is can life, with Agent Holden’s help, return to a semblance of normalcy as her heart begins to hope and heal?

As part of the virtual tour for Tristi Pinkston’s new mystery novel, Agent in Old Lace, I have arranged to meet local operative, Agent Fink, here at Dunkin Donuts so we can get an inside look at undercover missions and what they truly entail.

Now if I only knew what agent Fink looked like. Wait, was that a plant moving??? I get up only to discover that there is a rambunctious two-year-old pulling at the palm fronds from the other side while his mother holds his wrist carrying on a conversation with her acquaintance from her perch at the outdoor bistro set. I sigh and head back to the waiting bench.

“Hey you,… you go by the name Anderson?” asks a deep masculine voice which belies the show of femininity that sparked the shocking pink lipstick and electric blue mascara.

“Uh,…..yeah. May I help you?”

“I’m Agent Fink, Ima Fink – that’s my operative name. I thought I’d come undercover so you can get an inside view of the real job. This line of work ain’t for sissies you know…”

“I can appreciate that. I can’t imagine any sissies dressing like that. You’d have to be IMENSLEY secure with yourself and your abilities.” Agent Fink tries to cross his legs and accidentally kicks me in the shin. He mumbles and apology and quickly tries to cover up by pulling his flamingo print skirt down over his ample knee.

“My, what big feet you have….”

“The better to run after scoundrels and stomp all over ‘em with…” he smiles.

“And what hairy knuckles you have….”

“I was going to get a manicure but the business of catching bad guys doesn’t wait for good lookin’ cuticles.” He/she looks at his hands from an arm length and frowns. “They are a mess though aren’t they? Oh well I’ll try to squeeze one in at 10. So what questions do you have about undercover FBI business – non-specific of course - and my fellow ‘gal pal’ Ricky Holden. This is his story you know….”

“Yeah I know.” I look at Agent Fink’s 6’4” 290 pound frame appraisingly growing ever mindful of the curious glances and ask, “Is it commonplace for you guys to uh, ….dress up?”

“Only when the situation warrants it.”

“And does today warrant it?”

“Naw, but it’s fun to dress up every once in a while and I thought it’d be a gas to show you the finer nuances of the job as we talk about Shan and Ricky’s story.” He shifts and belches. The stench of stale glazed donuts wafts past me.

“Speaking of gas….” I say waving my hand and weakly smile. Agent Fink slaps my knee and laughs.

“You’d do well in this job. You’ve got some pretty quick wits about you…”

“So back to the story. In doing my research, I found out this is Mrs. Pinkston’s first foray into mystery/suspense. I think she did a marvelous job of telling the story and it captured me from the very first page! Is detective work always that exciting and full of bouts of adrenaline?”

“Sorry, I was just enjoying today’s law enforcement donut special,…I think they call it Glazed Over – anyways, I think they got a hit here!” He wipes the residual glaze from his mouth without ruining his lipstick. “But in answer to your question – I dunno. I’m more in the PR side of things – you know meeting with you people and splainin’ the finer points of the job. I let the experienced guys like Rick take on the more serious stuff.”

“I see, so how come you have an undercover name and a full blown wardrobe?”

“Cutbacks. This economy is killing everyone! I got myself a side job as a singer at a nightclub down the block. I didn’t want anyone to recognize me and besides, I figure if things keep going downhill, I can help fill in as an operative when needed. It’ll save the agency money since I already have the training AND the er,…ah,….’supplies’.”

“Well, Agent Fink, glad to see you have things well under control and that our safety is in the hands of such fine people as yourself…” I say as I rummage through my purse looking for my antibacterial hand sanitizer. I look up but he has disappeared into thin air. The rambunctious two-year-old points towards a dilapidated phone booth with the remnants of a pink flamingo print skirt being jerked inside by a rather large and homely guy who should be wearing pants.

If you want a story of suspense, intrigue and romance that helps you believe in happy endings even when life hands you its darkest moments, get a copy of Agent in Old Lace. By Tristi Pinkston Order it here:

It will not disappoint!!!

Author’s note: Although I had a good time with this ‘interview’ I want it noted that I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for those who unselfishly give of themselves through law enforcement as they strive to keep us safe and better our communities.