And now, an excerpt from part 10 of "Agent Murdock," tenatively titled, "Finding Allies," currently in progres...

When Matt first rang his doorbell, his initial reaction was just an annoyed mutter. But Matt knew the instant he looked through the peephole, and that he’d been recognized. “I want to talk about Pretzel,” he called through the door. “She’s going to need your help.”

“Oh, wonderful,” Tommy sighed, though at least he sounded less frightened, and he opened the door. “Get in, and if you try anything, I have a knife on me.” Matt had smelled the metal already, but didn’t say anything.

He decline an offer of a drink, causing Tommy to growl, “You think I’d spike it?”

“I’d be able to tell if you did,” Matt said coolly. “I just don’t want to drink anything right now, especially since I’ve got a bit to explain to you, and not much time, so we should just sit down.”

Tommy did so without further protest, and listened as Matt explained the situation to him as quickly as he could. When he’d finished, he said, “These days, I wish I hadn’t followed her here.”

“But you’re here now,” said Matt. “And I can tell you want to save her.” He genuinely could too; the man wasn’t hard to read at all.