A funny Australian mystery about Adelaide and football and fishing and voodoo and wives.
When down-at-heel Adelaide private detective Bruce Bilger accepts a curious but seemingly trivial case from a local Australian Rules football club, the Centralian Galahs, he has no inkling of the bizarre and perilous circumstances into which he is about to be plunged.
Will his survival instinct and street wisdom make up for his lack of social graces, and will his curiosity ultimately kill him or break the case?
Find out and come along for a wild ride with the wisecracking private eye as he flirts with the supernatural and dives into the seedy lower depths of the world of Adelaide sport, in Football Mambo!
Also available in paperback.
I drove back to the office, stopping on the way to get some Vietnamese prawn rolls, and started searching for the odd couple.
Nobody answered the phone number Simon had given me, but it only took a minute of searching the net to find an old photo of Wally Grunt in his football kit, arms crossed and eyeballing the camera like a blue heeler staring down a wayward sheep. Then I found the website of Modern Angler, a magazine he now edited.
On the “Contact us” page there was a phone number. I rang it. A young woman answered. I asked for Wally. She put him on. He said he was flat out trying to make the deadline for the next month’s issue, but he would be happy to talk to me after that. We settled on one p.m. the next day, in his office. He didn’t ask me what I wanted, even after I told him I was a private detective.
There was an online readers’ poll on the website. The sixty-four-dollar question was: “Is fishing better than sex?”
There were four possible answers:
3. No, but it’s a lot safer
4. Fishing IS the new sex!
I clicked on Number 2. That brought up a graph showing that I was a member of a tiny minority. Possibly an even smaller and more marginal group than the ‘bring back the drop kick’ mob.
Then I started looking for Lucas. I rang the landline number on Steve’s list. A woman answered.
“Hello, could I speak to Lucas Stokes please?”
“With regard to what?”
“Well, it’s in relation to football—and physics.”
“Really?” She sounded half-curious, half-amused. Then there was a long silence. “Are you a colleague of his?”
I paused for a moment too. Maybe I could try to bluff my way through this one, but my inner bookie told me the odds weren’t good. Her accent wasn’t exactly posh, but it was cultivated. It came out of a throat that could tell burgundy from brake fluid. So I decided to level with her.
“No, I’m a private detective.”
“You’re kidding!” Sometimes it’s an uphill struggle to stay on the level.
“No, fair dinkum. I’ve got a licence and everything.”
“I see! So what exactly are you investigating, and what’s it got to do with football and physics?”