It’s summer.  Time for escaping to somewhere… how about the fictional town of Bristol?  It’s got a little bit of everything — murder, bribery, jury tampering, vote buying, and gambling!  And it’s a fun read!   Part John Grisham, part Tom Clancy, a page-turner that’s also got a lot of humor, and unforgettable, richly drawn characters.

Silent Partner is the first novel by Brad Farrar, a lawyer and Lt. Colonel in the U.S.M.C., who in his day job is a deputy county attorney in Columbia, South Carolina.  Like his protagonist, Sean Piper, Farrar (a Lt. Colonel in the U.S.M.C. Reserves) is a Marine judge advocate — but he says the similarities stop there.  “I’ve  drawn on my experiences with the Marine Corps, but I am not Piper. I can’t run as fast as he can, and he’s already figured out what he wants to do when he grows up.”

Farrar hopes Silent Partner will be just the beginning for Sean Piper.   “The plan,” he says, “is for Piper to appear in adventures that track his military service and civilian career as a federal agent. I’m finishing the second story now. We’ll see what happens from there.”  Set in Bristol, a fictional southern city, Silent Partner begins with the death of District Attorney Michael Pomerantz.  The list of suspects includes every thug he put away, jilted lovers, jealous husbands, and even disgruntled members of the defense bar.  The list narrows in a hurry when staff attorney Piper—home awaiting orders to active duty—hears Pomerantz’ killing on a supermodel’s answering machine. What’s on the tape can destroy a mega-law firm, its in-over-his-head senior partner and his billionaire client.  It could also cost Piper his life.

One of the plot threads involves gambling and a Native American tribe being exploited for the tax breaks to its casino.  “About the time I began to think about fiction writing, an interesting trend was emerging,” says Farrar. “States that traditionally had avoided gambling were getting into the business.  So you had things like government-run lotteries to fund education. That way it wouldn’t be a vice since it was ‘for the children.’  Now you see absurd commercials where the same officials promoting the games tell people how to get help if they become gambling addicts.  You can’t make this stuff up.”

So, where is Bristol?  “Anyone familiar with Atlanta or Charlotte or Tallahassee or Mobile will be able to identify with the setting,” Farrar says. “There’s hot weather, cold beer, beautiful women, uneasiness with the federal government, a slight inferiority complex and more than slight money problems. Gambling is the easy way out, which leaves Piper to follow the money.”  And also find a killer.

Silent Partner is available in paperback on Barnes and and Amazon, and also in Kindle form on Amazon.


This post and all blog content Ⓒ Copyright Janet Farrar Worthington.


Captain Crunch’s Peanut Butter CRACK.  That’s what it should be called.  I have a problem.  I love this cereal.  I’m Sherlock Holmes, it’s cocaine.  I’m our dog, Roxy, and the Captain is rawhide.  I’m not going to lie; the Captain and I have a history.  I thought it was over long ago.  Then, my son, Andy, bought some, I had a couple pieces and all bets were off.  We reconnected.  That box is gone and I just went and bought another box.   I don’t even put it in milk, I just eat it right out of the box.

Don’t  judge me.  Carl Jung would judge me.  He said:  “Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine, or idealism.”  Way to bring down the room, Carl.  Go sit on the downer couch with Edgar Allan Poe, who said, “I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge.  It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”  Edgar — or do you prefer Edgar Allan, or simply Mr. Creepy — you missed out, buddy.  If you had self-medicated with the Captain, maybe you would have cheered up a little and not written about tell-tale hearts, brick wall tombs, and ravens.  Also, you could have worked a fun maze on the back of the box.

Remember the loser couch in the snobby Omega fraternity in “Animal House,” where Larry Kroger and Kent Dorfman are taken to sit with Jugdish, Mohammat, Sidney and Clayton?  “Don’t be shy about helping yourselves to punch and cookies.”  Maybe Edgar and Carl could sit there for fun party smalltalk.

My diet is not without balance.  Because I also have Whipstone Farm.  Here in Prescott, Arizona, we have great local farms, and we bought a farm share with Whipstone.  Every Tuesday we pick up a huge bag of fresh vegetables.  We got the flower share, too, so in addition to eating greens, carrots, turnips, tomatoes, and broccoli just about every day, we will have fresh-cut flowers in the house until October.  Pretty nice!  My younger son, Josh, is my farm buddy.  He goes with me to pick up the veggies, and then he helps me find recipes.  His favorite vegetable is kohlrabi.  We never had it before we started the farm share last year.  It’s in the cabbage family, a funky-looking bulb with long stalks sticking up like antennae and leaves at the top.  We blanch the greens and then toss them in sesame oil and soy sauce, and we cut up the bulb and make a quick pickle, with rice vinegar, a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

In the movie, “The Natural,” Robert Redford plays this kind of mythic baseball player, Kim Basinger is a temptress out to ruin his game, and Glenn Close is his childhood sweetheart, who stands for all that is right and good.  She stands up as he is batting, and when he sees her in the crowd, he hits one out of the park.  I’m not saying the Captain is all bad, or that kohlrabi is Glenn Close, which would be weird.  I’m hoping for moderation in all things.

And maybe another handful of Peanut Butter Crunch.


This post and all blog content Ⓒ Copyright Janet Farrar Worthington.