The Mysterious Bookshop


Lieutenant Jones and the Smoke-Filled Room


The cigar smoke came thick and fast in the conference room at the Astoria hotel. It was almost a scene out of a satirical cartoon; twelve men, portly, jowly, dressed uniformly in vests and watch chains, some holding top hats, all smoking big fat cigars. They were all talking at once, and for once, they were in agreement.

‘Monk’s our man!’


‘He’ll sail into the White House before that fool Abercrombie can turn around!’

‘Kissing babies works every time!’

‘Speaking of babies, let’s not forget to plant that story of Abercrombie’s love child in the Tribune!’

‘What!  Abercrombie has a love child?’

‘No, ya dope!  But all we have to do is make people think he does, and that means more votes go our way.’

‘Have you looked at the stock page today?  How did Amalgamated Puppy do?’

‘No change.’

‘Boy, just wait until Monk gets in office!  Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if it doubled or tripled in a year!’

‘Weapons!  That’s the real growth business!  And who would ever suspect, with a name like Amalgamated Puppy?’

‘That’s the beauty of it.  Once Monk invades Pavonia, demand for the weapons of war shoots up, and we shareholders make a fortune!  It’s brilliant!’

‘Brilliant it is.  Don’t forget to have Bennett keep at those stories about Pavonian atrocities!’

‘No sir!  Before we’re through, we’ll have good Americans hanging those Pavonian devils from the nearest tree!’

To raucous laughter, the men exited the room in a cloud of pungent Cuban smoke.  Lieutenant Jones had been exercising his favorite remedy for a cold by taking two aspirin and lying down on the beach in Bermuda when he felt the by now familiar sensation of time and space displacement. He found himself in what appeared to be a hotel kitchen and the next thing, he was one of two white-coated waiters refilling glasses and emptying ashtrays while trying not to cough while the movers and shakers were deciding the nation’s future.


Join us as we follow the Lieutenant, time and space traveller, through the twists and turns of an upcoming election.


Meanwhile, take a look at thrilling stories involving the vote:

The Labour Party has unexpectedly won the latest vote in the 2018 UK elections. But the party is divided and the Prime Minister is already unpopular and struggling. (Sound familiar?)  Some of the party members longing to return to the storied past want to replace the PM with someone more malleable who will do their bidding. Intrigue and betrayal at Westminster!


Benjamin Weaver is convicted for a crime he didn't commit, and soon realizes that there are conflicting forces at work over a conspiracy to influence an upcoming election.


Questions/Comments/270 electoral votes?

Written by Ian Kern — August 04, 2016

Specializing in Mystery Fiction and all its subgenres, including Detective, Crime, Hardboiled, Thrillers, Espionage, and Suspense.

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