Marta’s Place

by C. M. Albrecht

Hal Morrison lives an aimless life in this noir tale. He works odd jobs until he gets sick of them. Then he takes a break and sponges off his buddies.

After a bout of unemployment, Hal nails a job as counterman in Marta’s Place, a run-down café in a run-down part of town.

Marta is in her mid forties, not unattractive, but chunky. Her legs remind Hal of a baby elephant. Marta is likable, but her rough and ready language embarrasses even Hal who thought he was pretty rough himself.

Marta obviously likes Hal and gives him ever more responsibility and say-so in the running of the place, especially when Hal offers to come in and paint the battleship gray interior.

With the place sparkling, business begins to pick up. Sexpot Ara floats in and has Hal even before “Hello”. That’s when things get complicated. Marta is jealous and Hal doesn’t want to lose his cushy job. But Ara is hot and he thinks he’s in love. Shortly complicated doesn’t begin to describe Hal’s situation. He’s suspected of murder, he gets involved with local drug kingpin, El Zurdo, and of course, can’t get away from the biggest problem of all: Marta.

ISBN 1-59431-903-0 or 978-1-59431-903-7 Cambridge Books