Last Call - A Paul Costa Mystery
Published and available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble March 20, 2020 - Don't take my word for it, it's all about the character.
In “Last Call,” Paul Costa is flawed and vulnerable — but he’s also dangerous. Costa is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, with street smarts that do not come from books. Following the death of his wife, Costa has become a bartender to find anonymity and solitude. Now he’s been hurled into the headlines when he’s accused of the murder a U.S. Congressman in the men’s room of the very bar where he works. Dana Kilroy is an FBI agent and she’s been tasked with pinning the murder on him. Primal heat develops between when they collide and Costa steps outside of the law to negotiate a world of strip bars and Washington, DC, elites. The novel is peopled with unlikely heroes who help Costa along his way, and malevolent villains who have raped, murdered, and plundered their ways to power.
Nunes’ story is a refreshing throwback to the old detective stories with flawed protagonists and vulnerable women. It ran itself like a film noir, in my head, as I read it. Accompanied by interior monologues from the main character. If they had made his novel into a movie in the 1940s, Humphrey Bogart would have been Paul Costa.
John Silviera is the past senior editor of Backwoods Home Magazine and the author of “Danielle Kidnapped,” and “The Devil You Know,” the plights of a starving writer and an inept alien who looks like Satan.
Removing drunken louts from a bar is part of a bartender’s job. After closing, one’s found murdered in the restroom with all the evidence pointing to the bartender, widowed, single dad, Paul Costa. It gets worse when the dead man turns out to be a U.S. Congressman, and Paul is confronted by a beautiful FBI agent and the full power of “the establishment.” He can only rely on his bartender’s insight into people, a small circle of friends and his past to save his family and life.
With intriguing characters set amidst the backdrop of an old-money summer in Newport, “Last Call” is like the drinks (and customers) Paul serves: classic, with a twist.”
Connie D., BFA, MBA, MLS (Master of Liberal Studies,) Asst Prof Humanities, Retired