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Showing posts by: Chuck Greaves click to see Chuck Greaves's profile
Jun 18 2014 2:30pm

The Last Heir: A New Excerpt

Chuck Greaves

The Last Heir by Chuck Greaves is a legal thriller centered on a family's deadly battle for control of America's most storied winery (available June 24, 2014).

Philippe Giroux, estimable patriarch of the Château Giroux wine empire, has tragically lost a son. Or has he? Once confirmed by the court, Alain Giroux’s death will pave the way for his brother Phil to inherit America’s most storied winery. Or will it? Andy Clarkson, Alain’s boyhood chum, covets the Château Giroux vineyard acreage for his neighboring golf resort. Or does he? Claudia Giroux, Philippe’s hauntingly beautiful daughter, has proof that Alain’s death may not have been all that it seems. Or does she?

As the scions of a privileged California wine dynasty grapple for control of their family’s legacy, attorney Jack MacTaggart is caught in a cross fire of estrangement, betrayal, and murder. To complicate matters, Jack is being shadowed by film star Ethan Scott, who hopes to spin the dross of a family’s private travails into box-office gold.

Amid the stately oaks and sylvan vineyards of California’s fabled Napa Valley, Jack learns the hard way that while blood may be thicker than water, money is a powerful anticoagulant. As the long-buried secrets of a troubled family are finally revealed, only one question remains to be answered: Who will survive to become the Last Heir?

Chapter 1

They called it the French Laundry, but I hadn’t seen a steam iron or a sweating Chinaman all night. We were on our seventh or eighth food course, none of them larger than a nine-volt battery, and I for one was still hungry after two hours at the table.

[Continue reading The Last Heir by Chuck Greaves...]

May 2 2012 12:00pm

Nero Wolfe, Rex

Rex Stout in 1969 /photo Bruce DavidsonAuctorial influence is a tricky thing, even for those writers whose style or choice of subject is consciously patterned (admittedly or otherwise) after another writer’s work. When confronted with the question of influence, I usually mention Nelson DeMille, because it was his John Corey novels, beginning with Plum Island, that convinced me both that I wanted to write crime fiction, and that I could probably do so with some degree of proficiency.

But if you were to take a tissue sample of my writing and centrifuge it and place it under a microscope, I suspect the DNA would match to an earlier point in the crime fiction genome. To my teens, in fact, when I read, if not all, then certainly a majority of the fifty or so Nero Wolfe detective novels authored by mystery grand-master Rex Stout.

[What’s a master without acolytes?]

Apr 27 2012 12:00pm

Hush Money: New Excerpt

Chuck Greaves

Hush Money by Chuck GreavesAn excerpt from Hush Money, a legal thriller by Chuck Greaves (available May 8, 2012).

A newly minted member of Henley & Hargrove, Pasadena’s oldest and snobbiest law firm, Jack MacTaggart is assigned to handle an insurance claim on behalf of socialite Sydney Everett. Hush Puppy, Sydney’s champion show horse, has died unexpectedly, and attending veterinarian George Wells confides to Jack that the great horse’s death was anything but natural.

Jack’s investigation leads him into the high-stakes world of professional show jumping and down a path to romance, intrigue, and an old blackmail scheme that further implicates his client. After Jack reports his findings, another body is discovered. And this one is human.

Framed for the murder, with his job on the line and with the police leading a rush to judgment, Jack’s only hope for exoneration is to catch the killer himself.  And with the help of an unlikely confederation of allies and enemies, victims and suspects, Jack races toward a final showdown where all the scores, both old and new, are finally settled.

Chapter 1

It was a Thursday afternoon, almost five o’clock, and I was typing feverishly in the knowledge that by 5:01, Bernadette would be long gone. Reliability is a rare quality in a legal secretary, and when it came to quitting time, Bernie Catalano was a regular Old Faithful.

I was drafting a letter to the local claims manager of the Hartford Allied Insurance Company, which had issued a policy of health insurance to my client, Victor Tazerian. Victor was a fifty-four-year-old Armenian trash hauler whose leukemia was temporarily in remission. Hartford Allied, to the bewilderment of the Tazerian family, was refusing to pay for a new but promising medical procedure that involved harvesting and freezing Victor’s own bone marrow while he was healthy, so that it later could be transplanted back into his body when the cancer made its inevitable return.

[Read the full excerpt of Hush Money by Chuck Greaves]