Murder In Knoxville

Aug 6, 2017 by

Six novelettes where Sam Jenkins gets to show off his skills learned as a former New York detective.

A LABOR DAY MURDER and A MURDER IN KNOXVILLE take the reader into the world of domestic violence with a smattering of political corruption.

In BULLETS OFF-BROADWAY, the investigation leads Sam into the life of a victim who spent his leisure time reenacting the days of the old west and was killed with an antique revolver.

The hard-boiled story of SCRAP METAL AND MURDER begins with a simple larceny and quickly escalates to the murder of a building contractor, infidelity and more suspects than you can shake a claw hammer at.

And the off-beat stories, BY THE HORNS OF A COW and its sequel SERPENTS & SCOUNDRELS show the more bizarre side of police work as Jenkins looks for a stolen fourteen-foot-tall statue of a dairy cow and ends up among a group of snake handling fundamentalists who use their serpents in a deadly manner.

For more in-depth summaries please go to the novelettes section of this site.

Read An Excerpt

If I knew how to deal with women, I wouldn’t get involved with some of the things that cause me trouble.

I was minding my own business, trying to be just another small-town cop when the phone rang. Caller ID showed the number of my favorite TV reporter.

“Well, hello there.” She sounded very sexy.

“Hi, how’re you today?”

“I’m doing just fine, and I’m glad you’re in the office.”

“You sound like you’re in a good mood this morning,” I said.

“I am. I’m in the mood for love. Want to have phone-sex?”

I think I’m a pretty worldly guy, but that one threw me for a loop. “Rachel, sweetheart, you’re my best friend, but the last time I looked we were married—and not to each other. You know I try to be good where you’re concerned. So, how can you ask me that? You have no mercy.”

“You are so cute when you get flustered.”

“I am not flustered.”

“Are, too.”

“Jeez,” I said, “did you hear yourself? That was so jejune.”


“Yeah, it means…”

“I know what it means,” she interrupted. “No one on earth says jejune except you.”

“That’s not true. If I didn’t want to behave myself, I’d rent a movie, and we could watch an old Woody Allen film where they use the word more than once.”

“If you take me to that drive-in near Prospect, I’ll make out with you.”

“Will you cut that out?”

“Well, if you won’t take advantage of my invitations, I’d better get down to business.”

“You just want to stop this R-rated dialogue and talk business without skipping a beat? Is that any way to treat your buddy?”

“Oh, I love this. Little Rachel can turn her big tough-guy into an old softie.”

“Lady, you won’t get me to comment on that one. No ma’am, not me.”

“I think you just did, Sammy. Were you getting hot and bothered?”

“You’re a shameless hussy.”

“Oh, you’re so sweet. You’re the only man I’d ever leave home for.”

“Where have I heard that line before?”

“Well, it’s true. Now, if you won’t make love to me over the phone, we have to talk seriously. Will you do me a favor?”

“Of course I’ll do you a favor. Silly woman. You could have just asked instead of making me need a cold shower.”

“Do I have that effect on you?”

“Stop fishing. What do you want?”

“It’s really not for me. One of the assistant producers, Angie Valle—I think you’ve met her—is having a problem.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I need to ask something first. How do you feel about arresting another police officer?”

That’s the kind of thing a cop never likes to hear, but occasionally you do. “I’ve had to do that before when I worked in New York. Look, cops generally don’t like to lock up other cops, but if it’s necessary, I can deal with that.”

“Okay, good. Angie’s separated from her husband, a Knoxville policeman. He’s threatened her.” “He’s a Knoxville city cop?”


“Where does Angie live?”

“In Fountain City.”

“That’s Knox County’s area. I can’t do something that far away. Police work is like the garbage collection business. The local wise guys dictate who picks up trash in designated areas. Cops have their own turf. We don’t go into other districts unless we connect it to a crime where we work.”

“I know all that, Sammy. I just thought since he lives in Prospect now, you could have a talk with him.”

“Aha!” I said.


“Yes, aha. The plot thickens.”

“Don’t be melodramatic.”

“You want me to act as Angie’s hired muscle.”

“No, I don’t. Well, maybe, sort of. She doesn’t really want to have him arrested. I only thought that you could have a talk with him. You know, as one policeman to another.”

“Are you going to tell me the story, or is Angie?”

“She’s right here. I’ll put her on.”

“Wait a minute, woman. Has she been there all the time we’ve been talking?”


“She heard what you said to me?”

“Yes, she did.”

“Jeez. It’s like being filmed having sex.”

“Oh, don’t be such a prude.”

“My life was not this complicated until I met you.”

“I know, Lover. You’re so sweet. Here talk to Angie.”

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