Don’t touch that dial! You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show that brings you interviews with the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is the owner of a small pub in Montreal. “Welcome to the show Charlene Butler.”
“Hi, Lisa. Thank you for having me today, and please call me Charlie.”
“It’s okay to say the name of your pub. Might bring in a few people.”
“Great idea! I own Butler’s Pub on Drummond Street in Downtown Montreal. The nicest pub in the neighborhood.”
“Charlie, you’re here today because there is a strange string of events in your life. Tell us about that, please.”
“Strange is a good word. Worrisome, scary, terrifying would also be good words. It started innocently enough. I received an anonymous letter in the mail from someone named Vincent, saying he’d been watching me, and we should get together for a chat. I didn’t think much of it until I got another one, with the same handwriting, from someone named Amy, saying she had been watching me, and we should get together and compare lives.”
“That’s kind of off-putting. What did you do?”
“Frank insisted I hire a private investigator. Frank is my bartender, but he’s also my best buddy, and he gets a little protective at times. I usually don’t like being fussed over, but in this case, Frank was right. I had already gone to the police, and they weren’t interested in putting too much time into a couple of mysterious letters.”
“Did you? Hire the PI, I mean.”
“I did. Some guy named Simm. I wasn’t too keen at first. I’m very busy, and I didn’t have time for all his questions. And, I really didn’t appreciate him prying into my past and the lives of my family and friends, especially when he’s so secretive about his life. But, he’s grown on me.”
“Now that’s interesting. Sounds like you’re kind of interested in him beyond your current problem.”
“What? No, not at all. I mean I guess some women would find him attractive, if they like that tall, dark, laid-back, lanky look. Not that I noticed, but I just…maybe we could move on to another question.”
“And did Simm turn up any helpful evidence?”
“He did. Actually, a lot of what he turned up was stuff I already knew, but I didn’t think it was something he needed to know. As usual, he disagreed with me. Anyway, he found out about how I became the owner of the pub. You see, it used to belong to Jim O’Reilly, who was a close family friend and mentor, like a second father to me. He taught me everything I know about running a bar. He was a very kind and generous man, and I don’t like people thinking otherwise. His connection to the Irish Mafia was a mistake and he paid for it. I’m sure he didn’t realize what he had gotten himself into. Jim’s past has nothing to do with the threats I’ve been getting.”
“You mean, like the mysterious letters?”
“Yeah, it started out as letters, but then I got a package. That was gross. I flipped my lid when I opened it up and out came a bag filled with organs. I’m talking livers and hearts, that kind of thing. It was terrible. They turned out to be sheep organs, but I still get chills just thinking about it.”
“You mean like guts and stuff? Maybe it’s time to call the police in.”
“Lisa, we talked to the police when I got the letters, and also when I got the package, and again when my apartment door was smeared with fake blood, but they just spun their wheels.”
“What did you do?”
“Simm did his thing. He contacted people, and visited people. He even made a visit to a prison to talk to some Mafia guy. He finally got us set up for a meeting with Marty Sullivan, the head of the Montreal Irish Mafia. Well, I say us, but actually it was just supposed to be him. I convinced him I had to be there too. Maybe coerced would be a better word than convinced. To tell you the truth, I know which buttons to push to get my way with Simm. He never sees me coming.
Anyway, in the end, Simm wouldn’t have gotten anywhere with Marty if I hadn’t been there. We hit it off right from the start. Marty barely noticed Simm. The guy was a bit cryptic though. Told us we had to go to Dublin and find a guy named Aidan Connelly. We have no idea what that’s about. But, honestly, you’d think a criminal mastermind would be heartless, but he was very upset about Harley’s kidnapping.”
“Wait, who’s Harley?”
“Harley’s my baby. He’s the most adorable little pug. I’ve had him for six years. He goes everywhere with me, and has his own little bed at the pub. Everybody in the neighborhood knows him and loves him. He’s so irresistible.
“Anyway, someone kidnaped him. I’m sorry. I’m getting choked up, but I still can’t even think about it without getting upset. He was gone for days. We knew it was the person who was sending me the letters, and the bloody organs…God, when I get my hands on him…and I will someday…I’ll show him what I can do with organs.”
“Now that pisses me off. Animals are innocent, and should be left out of things.”
“We’re on the same page, Lisa. So now, we’re off to Dublin. Again, Simm wanted to go on his own, and again, he found out I have no intention of letting him go without me. One of these days he’ll learn to not even bother trying. Simm seems to be an exceptionally slow learner.”
“I hope you’re going to be careful about this. Whoever is behind all of it sounds dangerous to me.”
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned. But, I feel safe with Simm. He’s an ex-cop, you know. Even though I don’t like to feed his ego, I have confidence in him, and if things get dangerous, I’ll follow his lead.”
“That sounds smart, and in more ways than one. Charlie, I could talk about this all day, but we’re out of time. I wish you all the best, and I hope Harley is okay too. Any last comments for our listeners today?”
“I’d just like to thank everyone for the support they gave me when things were rough. And, if the mystery man is listening, I want you to know that we’ll find you, and you’ll be sorry you ever laid hands on my pup. For everyone else, drop by the pub someday and say hi. Thank you, Lisa, for being such a great host. I love your show!”
“You can learn more about Charlie, and Harley’s plight in the book, Sins of the Fathers, by A. J. McCarthy. I’ll post all the pertinents on the website after I go off the air.
“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure A. J. and Charlene would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”
Charlene Butler, a.k.a. Charlie, is beautiful, independent, and a successful pub owner in downtown Montreal, but prefers not to discuss her past, or the main reason for her success. When she anonymously receives strange letters and the police don’t show an interest in the case, she is convinced by Frank, her best friend, to hire a private investigator to help her solve the mystery. However, PI Simm seems to have a few secrets of his own.
Charlie and Simm join forces when the harassment escalates from letters to explicit threats. Their investigation leads them from the safety of her home, through Montreal’s underworld, to organized crime in Dublin, Ireland. What they discover contradicts Charlie’s most fundamental beliefs in herself and ultimately makes her doubt her own character.
Pick up your copy of Sins of the Fathers
“A taut, masterly-written novel of suspense, adventure, and romance!” – David Lucero, author of Big Jim
“McCarthy has the thriller genre down to a science” – Steve Taintor, NetGalley reviewer
“Sins of the Fathers is an excellent who-done-it with great timing, personable characters and a tight story line. A. J. McCarthy brings us a novel that is difficult to put down..” – Bonnie Reed Frye, NetGalley reviewer
The author can be found living near Quebec City, Canada, and when she isn’t working as Vice-President of Finance for a manufacturing company, she will be writing, thinking about writing, or wishing she was writing. She lives with her husband of many, many years, and her Pug/Shih Tzu mix. Her two young adult daughters have flown the coop, but check in every once in a while just to let her know they’re still alive.