From Publishers Weekly
A California used-car salesman and an obsessive pursuit of a rare coin combine in this lively debut from an author who is a private investigator in California. When Quitman O’Neil, not usually given to theft, idly pockets a silver dollar, dated 1964, the year of his birth, at the home of one of his casual girlfriends, he sets off a grizzly chain of events. Curious, he stops in at a coin shop near the showroom; his questions alert the dealer, who in turn speaks to an unscrupulous collector. Soon, Quitman’s auto-sales partner is brutally murdered. As Quitman tries to help the police find the killer, another murder occurs. Learning that the killer will be after him next, Quitman decides to exact revenge himself. Valentinetti’s spare, noir-edged style and clipped pace will keep readers turning the pages, and after the satisfying resolution, eager to deal with Quitman again.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
…trim, admirably terse…he suceeds in bringing back the clipped cynicism of the classics… — Washington Post Book World
Mr. Valentinetti has written a neat and modern morality tale. One of the better offerings… Fast moving, mind engaging… — Mystery News
Valentinetti shapes scenes with a sizzling terseness that will make you tingle… — Kirkus
Valentinetti’s excellent job of breathing life into his characters. No one is too good or too dastardly; but believably human. — Orange County Register BOOKS
In a first mystery with a twist, a silver dollar that survived a canceled run accidentally falls into the hands of a used car salesman, and he immediately finds himself running from cops as well as murderers.
Joseph Valentinetti’s “Glint” is a fine mystery, carefully and intrically plotted. What makes this novel more than a mystery is the powerful characterization of its progagonist, the wonderfully drawn and absolutely believable Quitman O’Neil, whose vulnerability and bravery beat at the heart of the story. Our first hint that we are in territory removed from the laconic, disinterested landscape of the average detective story comes early, as Quitman responds with emotional depth and integrity to a horror with which he is intimately involved.
Mr. Valentinetti draws his women with as sure a hand: Helen’s relationship with Quitman is complicated, tender, passionate and revealing; Maria, the daughter of a father threatened by her sexuality, is at once poignant and merciless. It is within his interactions with Maria and Helen that the fascination and truth of Quitman lie.
The novel’s intricacies of plot form a metaphor for the development of a man who is imperfectly aware of his own emptiness, and equally tentative when he begins to fill it with his own character. Mr. Valentinetti is a hell of a writer, and “Glint” is a keeper.
In a society that faces a skyrocketing divorce rate, Joseph Valentinetti’s I Am Diving provides a powerful message on marriage through the character of Teri, who stands by her husband through the most trying circumstances that a couple can endure and reminds readers that marriage is a sacrament. Through a dishonorable discharge, mental illness, and mysterious disappearances, Teri remains true to the commitment she made to her husband and God.
Teri’s husband, Jack, suffers from dissociative fugues, disappearing for days and weeks at a time; despite the warnings of her suspicious friends who believe that he is cheating; Teri maintains that Jack is innocent and is not playing her for a fool. Her belief in marriage is evident through her actions; however, her words offer an evocative statement for readers. When Jack questions why she is fiddling with her wedding ring, accusing her of toying with “married, not married,” Teri vehemently replies that, ““Our marriage is a sacrament, not as joke, not an example. It means something even beyond you and me and far beyond this ring.”
In a world where “irreconcilable differences” is the standard grounds for divorce, Teri is an example of someone who has endured the worst and still stands by her marriage and her husband. Even Jack’s therapist commends Teri’s faithfulness, telling her that most people who have dissociative fugues lose their entire families, who do not believe that they are truly ill and view it as a convenient lie. When Jack disappears on another dissociative fugue in which he attempts to shoot Governor Connally to avenge the deaths of the USS Thresher, a submarine for which he had approved faulty plans while Secretary of the Navy, and shoots Kennedy, instead, he returns to the supportive embrace of Teri, from which he draws strength.
Although Teri can only surmise where her husband has been to return in a maniacal state and carrying a gun, she accepts her husband for who and what he is—and his illness as a part of the man that she loves. While Teri may represent an extreme case of marital devotion and trust, she provides readers with an important message on the true nature of marriage that has been lost over time, reminding them that it is a sacrament, and not simply a legal agreement.
The story is a fiction based on fact. This letter is one of the facts the novel is based on.
Letter date: August 12, 1963. Notarized and mailed/receipted August 12, 1963
To: Hon. John Connally, Governor of Texas.
From: A Field Engineer on the Thresher project.
A plot is underway to assassinate you. As former Secretary of the Navy you are well aware of the Submarine Thresher disaster, and how Bendix used fraudulent pressure/depth curves on equipment designed and built by Bendix for submarines of the Thresher class.
An organization…Justice For The Crew Of The Thresher is being formed.
Sir, I beg you, if you do visit Dallas and ride in an open car, please do not allow your loved ones to ride in an open car with you. If a sniper’s bullet, meant for you, was fired from a high powered rifle by one of these disgruntled former service men…
The letter’s author was questioned in August 1963 by Naval Intelligence, The FBI and postal authorities. The FBI and the other investigative agencies, failed to file a report concerning this and later failed to inform the Warren Commission.
In November of 1963 Governor Connally was shot and the president of the United States was assassinated. They were riding in an open car. They were shot by a disgruntled ex-serviceman with a high powered rifle.
Private Detective Vincent August finds of all human kindness’ love’s the deadliest. Love, murder, Elvis, Halloween, Valentinetti, Joseph, incest, jealousy, twins, private detective, private investigator, mystery, glint, Vincent August, impersonators, secrets. Vincent loves Rita. Max loves Christine. Lee loves Christine. Peter loves Peter. Reno loves Paget. Christine loves Elvis. Secrets are everywhere. Private Detective Vincent August is having enough trouble figuring out his own life when he takes on a simple domestic case to make some quick money. It is anything but simple. He’s in over his head. Things are happening faster than he can keep up with them and none of them make sense. Cascading events sweep him into a journey through love’s catalog from its purest form to its most vile. These experiences confront him with a mirror, a mirror he can’t avoid looking into, a mirror in which he must finally examine himself.
“Why here, why tonight?” he demanded, putting a fresh unfiltered cigarette between his full lips. He tapped the face of his watch. “I got ten minutes.”
He caught a glint off the knife blade from the bright coal of his cigarette. The hair on his neck stood away from his skin, but that was the only reflex Peter O’Shea had time for. The silver blade plunged into the flesh of his throat. He staggered back against the cold steel dumpster and the stench of garbage filled his nostrils. He tried to scream, but had no air to scream with. He looked down at the blood spurting out of his neck and tried desperately to clasp the wound shut in his hands. He watched helplessly as the knife punched hole after hole in his chest. Music blared from inside the nightclub. The coarse alley slapped his cheek.
Just finished. “Kill Me Tender” a private eye novel by my friend Joseph Valentinetti. Subtitled “a love story.” Strange love going on in this book, including twins who live together and over-the-top fascination with Elvis impersonators. Three faux Elvises are dispatched before the mystery is solved. Good read.
Naming the Moon
Pauly Macy came to California, with Jilly, to buy a house and settled down. But settling down didn’t work for Jilly. Jilly was gone and there he was, in a California backwater, among piles of dung, ladies auxiliaries, ministers, priests and Dutch dairy farmers. He filled his loneliness with his friends, the Madillacs, work and travel. During football season he flew to each Vikings game. At a season opener in Buffalo he met Loretta. Things between them couldn’t have been better until one night she disappeared. The police found the van she had been driving, off the road by the reservoir, but couldn’t find any evidence of a crime and soon gave up the search. Nobody was interested. But Pauly was interested. He kept searching the urban wilderness where the van had been found. Even after he himself had given up hope compulsion drove him on. One evening, in his search for Loretta, he stopped to rest on the shore of the reservoir and fell asleep. When he woke in the darkness he thought he saw a second moon reflected on the ground before him. He shook himself awake. It turned out to be a skull. Not Loretta’s but part of the oldest Caucasian human remains ever found in North America. Then everyone, from the local native Americans to the Aryan Brotherhood, was interested.
Tyler Palewhite: Soft Boiled Detective
Tyler Palewhite is a salesman who dreams of being a novelist. In fact he’s written a P.I. novel. He’s not having much luck getting it published until he hits on the idea of pretending to be a Private Investigator to impress potential publishers. He makes letterhead, prints business cards and adds it to his resume. As people he knows find out they take it seriously and begin to ask for his help. He tries his hand at a couple of simple things and has some unexpected success. As far is writing is concerned his pretense has the desired effect: It works. He gets a publisher and things are going as according to plan.
Just when he thinks, What Could Possibly Go Wrong? things begin to spiral out of control and he finds himself embroiled in kidnapping and murder. What he does to try and fix things keeps making matters worse. Follow Tyler as he tries to find a way to make things right.