Book Title: Breakfast at Timothy’s
Author and Publisher: Richard Tyler Jordan
Cover Artist: Darlene Dixon
Release Date: September 9, 2023
Genres: Mystery, Rom-com, Contemporary M/M Romance, Comedy
Tropes: Wide-eyed innocent, Fanboy, Fish out of water, Amateur sleuth
Themes: Innocence vs. experience, allure of fame, trust & betrayal, ambition and aspiration, complexity of human nature.
Heat Rating: 2 flames
Length: 85 000 words/ 311 pages
It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.
In a city of stars, who cast the shadow of death?
Fresh-out-of-college aspiring novelist Timothy Trousdale can hardly believe his good luck when he lands a job in New York City as a live-in assistant to his all-time favorite showbiz diva, Mercedes Ford. He’s seen all her movies. Spent oodles on tickets to her Broadway shows. And now, he gets to live and work in her swanky Tribeca penthouse. Surely, he’ll be leading the glamorous life rubbing elbows with A-Listers, who may even be able to help him fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a famous writer. But rats … after just a few days on the job, Mercedes’ odious manager, Jared Evans, is found dead. Murdered, actually. And Timothy is a suspect!
Timothy had better find the real killer, and fast; otherwise, it’s bye-bye to ever seeing his name on the New York TimesBestsellers List and hello to a stretch of 25-to-life in the slammer. And that great guy he’s just started dating? Who’d ever want to get involved with someone whose address is The New York Penitentiary for Blood-thirsty Killers and Maniacs for crying out loud? Desperate to keep his life from completely shattering into a gazillion shards, Timothy sets out to worm the truth from an oddball cast of characters—including a sourpuss housekeeper, a vindictive former employee, a wacko Brit with delusions of grandeur, and even Mercedes’ unfaithful toy boy husband. Each of them may hold the keys to unlocking the mystery. Timothy is caught in a seemingly inescapable trap and must fight to save himself—and his favorite movie star, too.
First days on new jobs are generally fraught with anxiety and diarrhea. It was no different for aspiring novelist Timothy Trousdale, who had just landed a job as an assistant to his all-time favorite movie star, Mercedes Ford. He was excited and nervous and panicked and jittery because not only was he going to his new office but his new home as well. Curiously, the position required that he live in Mercedes’ super-swanky Tribeca penthouse, The Colton. That was totally cool with Timothy, who was thrilled that he could finally escape the hell of sharing an eight-hundred- square-foot studio apartment with two present—and future—losers.
However, August mornings in Manhattan have no respect for auspicious beginnings, and this one was punishingly hot and humid. Timothy had taken an MTA bus from 45th Street, and by the time he arrived for work— wearing his only pair of dressy jeans, a classic Oxford powder-blue button- down shirt, and used-to-be-white tennis shoes—he was more wilted and stinky than poised.
Dressed in a pseudo-military livery, the grouchy doorman casually surveyed the splotches of perspiration leeching through Timothy’s shirt. After a phone call to somewhere within, he unlocked the building’s front entrance and allowed Timothy inside.
Ahh! Heaven! Timothy had walked out of the sweltering steam of the city jungle and into an oasis of refrigeration that was the building’s two-story, glass-atrium lobby. He instantly and affectionately dubbed the space Arendelle in honor of his favorite animated movie, Frozen. “Let it go, let it
go,” he whispered, lyrics from the film’s hit song, trying to stave off a full- on panic attack. Other than that, and the squeaking sounds made by the gooey melting rubber soles of his shoes meeting the cold, polished marble floor, the place was as quiet as a mausoleum.
Timothy had been instructed to meet with the concierge, Mr. Fulton, who would provide him with the key to the penthouse. Key? He quickly found that with all the super-rich and famous people living here, access to their condo units was only possible if you had a bunch of technological ways to be individually and specifically identified and authorized.
After Timothy provided his Alabama driver’s license, a debit card desperate for an infusion of paycheck funds, and a Piggly Wiggly supermarket rewards card that he’d retrieved from the bottom of his rucksack as proof that he was indeed Timothy Truman Trousdale, Mr. Fulton tapped some numbers into his cell phone. Timothy heard him whisper the cryptic words “Du jour” and “two weeks, tops.” In a short moment, a burly man with a high forehead and no discernable neck, wearing a blue police-like uniform, appeared through a doorway marked Authorized Personnel Only.
Without so much as a goodbye from Mr. Fulton, Timothy was turned over to this imposing, no-nonsense guard whose badge read Griffin. Timothy couldn’t tell if it was a first or last name, but he was nonetheless intimidated by the guy. Griffin ushered Timothy into a suite of rooms that looked the way he imagined the Pentagon’s War Room must look. There were half a dozen computers and television monitors and an equal number of uniformed people watching screens and typing notes, presumably reporting the contents of their video displays: mainly empty corridors, the front entrance, and side exits of the building.
“Palm there,” Griffin said, pointing first to Timothy’s hand, then to a device that looked like an ATM. But where a keypad on an ATM might be, there was a flat, white surface with a red-lighted outline of a hand. He touched the pattern, then splayed his fingers between the lines. A moment later, the outline turned green.
Griffin then cocked his head to another device that resembled what Timothy’s eye doctor used during exams. “Retinal scan,” he said (although Timothy initially thought he said something a bit more personal and anatomical) and indicated for Timothy to place his chin on a rubber pad just below two lenses. He peered in, and a mesmerizing kaleidoscopic lightshow of colors swarmed before him. It was so hypnotic that he would have loved to watch it for hours. But, after a muffled ping sound, the machine automatically went dark.
“Voice encoding,” Griffin said, holding a digital audio recorder. “Speak clearly into the mic. State your full name, address, and the home telephone number you had as a kid.”
“What’s next? A microchip in my neck?” Timothy said. “Arff-arff!” The joke bombed. “How now, brown cow?” he added, enunciating each word distinctly. That, too, failed to elicit anything more than a look of irritation on Griffin’s face, so Timothy got totally serious and followed the instructions. Shortly afterward, with all the warmth of the monotone voice in a GPS app, Griffin said, “Your personal body characteristics have been extracted. You can go.”
About the Author
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