A Barney Moon, P.I. Mystery Thriller

by Thomas B. Sawyer


Book Details

“In Tom Sawyer’s lightning-paced thriller, A MAJOR PRODUCTION!, non-driver Manhattan P.I. Barney Moon is again reluctantly in La La Land, his Hell-on-Earth, where his simple investigation quickly explodes -- into humor and mayhem. From a vengeful mob boss convinced Barney murdered his actress-wife, to massively bored Homeland Security Agents, fake terrorists, a glory-hound DA, Hollywood Wannabe’s and a thieving talent agent. With wit and unbounded creativity, Sawyer gathers these disparate, desperate characters into a totally satisfying, smile-on-your-face finale.” Dick Lochte, award-winning author of SLEEPING DOG

In A MAJOR PRODUCTION!, New York Private-eye Barney Moon’s latest reluctant-but-hopefully-very brief journey to his least-favorite city in the World quickly becomes complicated – and terrifyingly, uniquely extended as he finds himself in the middle of several serious, whacko, very dangerous cases of WEBIT? (Where Else But In Tinseltown?) For starters, there’s the pair of desperately bored Homeland Security Agents who see a way out via Hollywood Success (almost their only areas of agreement), plus a crooked talent agent, an obsessed/ambitious ADA, an ineptly-planned, fake-terrorist plot – based on a stolen screenplay – to attack Los Angeles, harried LAPD Homicide Detectives, their already overflowing plates made maddeningly worse by Barney’s latest intrusion(s) onto their turf – until he unexpectedly and weirdly makes them look like heroes, the murder on Sunset Boulevard of a mob boss’s actress-wife, wannabes with outsized Movieland Dreams – and for Barney, a ticking clock – its deadline: his life. With smart, gorgeous Melodie Seaver at the wheel – and on his case – Barney Moon, with his customary wit, tenacity, ingenuity, and hilarious attitudes about-and-reactions-to LA, manages to clean up all of it – in ways not possible or even thinkable anywhere else – barely in time to rescue himself from execution by the mob – before making his narrow escape back to Civilization (aka New York City). Well-l-l, Almost…


Book Excerpt

“Excuse me, sir, but---” The harassed, weary car rental clerk’s name-badge indicated she was “Ava.” Annoyed, she uncupped the phone pressed to her ear, voice-raised to compete with the ambient late-morning chatter as another shuttle-bus load of customers arrived from the LAX airline terminal. “Ma’am, I said I’ll get back to you in a minute!” She quickly cupped it again, re-addressing the clearly weary, disagreeable customer at the now even more-crowded counter: “…I mean what is so awful about a new, bright red Toyota with 284 miles on it? I mean god knows at least it’ll be easy to find in a parking lot!” “It isn’t god I’m worried about, Ma’am…” Barney Moon tossed a reproving look at the woman on his left who’d just jostled him impatiently, jamming him even more tightly against the cranky, elderly man on his right. Which further pissed-off the old guy because he lost his grip on his credit card. The female would-be car-renter gave him a brief artificial smile: “Sorry, but would you mind just – moving things along?” Barney ignored her, stooped to retrieve the man’s credit card from the floor, returning it to him. As he straightened, Barney again craned to quickly scan the doorway area beyond the new arrivals, then, somewhat anxiously – and annoyed – returned to his negotiation with Ava: “Hey, I understand – really – that it’s hard to believe in this town, but Ava, I’m not looking to draw attention to myself. Which is why I specified ‘white.’ I mean anywhere else it’d be grey, but since three-quarters of the cars on the road around here are…” “Oh, alright…” Ava glanced at her monitor. “Space 141. White Camry sedan.” “Thanks.” Barney mumbled, still grumpy after being forced to spend most of the night flying to his least-favorite spot in the world, shoved his credit card at her. “I’ll need to see your driver’s license.” “I---” Once more he glanced to his left, then his right, attempting to see past fellow renters’ heads. “Here.” A hand holding a license was hurriedly thrust from between waiting customers, followed quickly by its owner shoving them aside as politely as possible. “I’m his driver.” Barney did a double-take. This was not the Melodie Seaver who’d driven for him the last time he’d been forced to visit Los Angeles. Gone was the tousled raggedly-trimmed hair above the t-shirt and, he noted glancing downward, the tight short-shorts barely covering her shapely bottom, feet clad in flip-flops. Instead, he noted approvingly, blonde hair attractively brushed back, secured by an ornamental clasp, clean, pressed white blouse beneath a trim dark blue jacket. And below, stylish, nicely fitted tan pants and polished brown loafers. Effortlessly sexy still, but on a way more grown-up scale. This was – he groped for the appropriate thought, rejecting “almost like a regular person,” settling instead for – “almost your cliché well-groomed young lady.” What he permitted himself to actually say was at least honest: “Wow, Melodie – you look great!”


About the Author

Thomas B. Sawyer

Edgar and Emmy-nominated novelist, screenwriter, playwright Tom Sawyer was Head Writer/Showrunner of the classic CBS series, MURDER, SHE WROTE, for which he wrote 24 episodes. Head Writer/Showrunner or Producer on 15 network TV series, he sold and wrote TV movies, 9 series pilots, 100 episodes, both comedy and drama. Tom wrote/directed/produced the feature-film cult comedy, ALICE GOODBODY. His documentary film, REUNION, was honored by the New York Film Festival, the Rochester and Edinburgh Festivals, and received national theatrical release. Tom is co-librettist/lyricist of JACK, a musical drama about John F. Kennedy which, backed by the Shuberts, and has been performed to acclaim in the US and Europe . He is publisher of STORYBASE 2.0 writer’s software. Tom’s book, FICTION WRITING DEMYSTIFIED, and STORYBASE are Writer's Digest Book Club Selections. THE SIXTEENTH MAN, his bestselling mystery/thriller about the truth behind JFK’s assassination, was Tom’s first novel. His second, bestselling NO PLACE TO RUN, the first novel to make the case that there was much more about 9/11 than we were told. CROSS PURPOSES was his first novel about New York P.I. Barney Moon. Tom’s memoir, THE ADVENTURES OF THE REAL TOM SAWYER, was published recently, along with the co-authored 9 BADASS SECRETS FOR PUTTING YOURSELF IN LUCK’S WAY. Tom has taught writing at UCLA, at Pepperdine University, at numerous major writers conferences, and online at Screenwriters University. www.ThomasBSawyer.com

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