Bad News for a Ghost by Jim Guigli

What Jim has to say about Bad News for a Ghost:
My novelette, Bad news for a Ghost, started out as a short story, and quickly grew to almost eighteen thousand words.  It is now available, with a bonus story, Bart’s First Arrest, on Amazon for ninety-nine cents.
It is, as I label it, a Bart Lasiter mystery.  The main character, private detective Bart Lasiter, began life in my Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Grand Prize winning sentence:
Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said, You've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.
You see, I love classic detective noir.  I decided that my BLFC sentence should parody the great private eye stories.  Those stories often begin when a beautiful and wealthy woman enters the impoverished detective’s office and makes him an offer he can’t refuse.  The woman could be innocent, or she could be guilty, but we all know that the detective will be challenged by her feminine promise, and that she will not be telling him the whole truth.
From that sentence, I imagined Bart, a private detective who — no surprise — loved burritos and women, and has a crummy office with one small window.  He is always on the edge of poverty — that’s the only kind of detective who would pray for clients who were mysterious women instead of deep-pocketed corporations.  Though Bart loves detective movies, especially Bogart’s The Maltese Falcon, he hasn’t absorbed his movies’ cautions regarding women. 
After decades of working in Berkeley, California, I decided that Bart Lasiter had worked as a patrol officer for the city of Berkeley for twelve years before moving north to Sacramento to open his own private detective agency, Lasiter Investigations.  While Bart loves his historic Old Sacramento neighborhood, and he’s okay at investigation, he’s never been very good at finances, or women.  Bart and his adopted cat, Agamemnon, would be homeless if his live-in office were owned by anyone other than his former Berkeley PD training officer and friend, Fred Clifford, now retired and living on the Sacramento River.   

Bart is an imperfect human being who carries baggage from his teenage, summer-of-love hippie mother.  She named him after Black Bart, the Wells Fargo bandit, and then dragged him through the sixties and seventies from one People’s Commune to another.  He became a survivor and developed a vision of law and order.

As Bad News for a Ghost opens, Bart is barely managing to stay afloat in the PI business after seven years.  Bart’s savior is a beautiful Sacramento TV reporter, Marti Planker.  She offers him a small amount of money — not enough to square his debts, but it’s his only offer.  She wants him to help her catch a ghost.   


Bart is very skeptical, and the money isn’t much — but she might be offering additional considerations.  And publicity.  Though being burned by beautiful women before has made him more cautious, he can’t resist a woman who is both beautiful and counting on him.  Bart takes the case and goes deep, exploring Sacramento’s hidden Gold Rush history, while he exposes himself to unknown forces, possibly not from this life.

Giveaway: The first ten people who post a comment will receive a copy of Jim Guigli’s novelette!

About Jim Guigli:
Jim Guigli began writing in his sixties after retirement, entering the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest in 2005.  See more bio at

His first published fiction longer than one sentence is now available exclusively on Kindle.
I want to thank Marilyn for this opportunity to visit today.

Jim Guigli

 P.S. Remember, the first ten people who comment will receive a free Kindle copy of Bad News for a Ghost.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith


Malena said…
I've read this novelette and it's great! The bonus story, too. Just wanted to let everyone know.
Can't wait for a full-length Bart novel.
Keep on writing, Jim.
Jim Guigli said…
Hi Malena,

I'm writing.

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