Petchy Maligula

8 Oct

A GSP release from Author of the Week Stanley Bruce Carter.


When handsome TV archaeologist Faladan Pala disappears while taping an episode of “I Dig the Past,” it’s up to Petchy Maligula, grrl detective, to bring him back alive. Petchy is big and tough, and more than a match for any man, but she does have one weakness: She’s madly in love with Faladan Pala. When she hears an evil cult called the Sisters of Inner Beauty may have abducted Faladan so they can sacrifice him to the ancient serpent goddess Quatakexel, Petchy vows to save him at all costs. As she contends with ghost gangs, demon wannabes, eccentric professors, reclusive millionaires and snotty babes, she must draw on all her power―both muscular and magical―to learn the truth. But as she delves into the case, she uncovers a secret that knocks her for a loop and threatens her love for the man of her dreams.  


The flesh of Adono Phrebus was a delightful shade of blue—often referred to as “sky blue,” although that phrase was meaningless in the city of Betroit—and his wavy hair had a coppery tinge. His sharp, angular cheekbones were offset by an inviting rosebud mouth, and his eyes resembled sapphires (stolen sapphires, of course).
     Petchy Maligula liked pretty men, but she had been forced to make some alterations to Adono’s face—adding some purplish bruises and puffy skin, and splitting open those rosebud lips, causing cyanish blood to trickle down the cleft in his chin and stain his expensive peach-colored shirt. Since Cygnians had a high pain threshold, she knew Adono wouldn’t break down and cry from a few love taps, but the damage to his looks and his wardrobe was definitely getting on his nerves.
     Petchy was lucky; she never had to worry about her own looks. Because she didn’t have any. If forced to describe herself, she would compare her blotchy skin to sandpaper, while her reddish-brown fuzzy-buzzy hair resembled rusted Brillo and her eyes were pea-soup green. Her facial features lacked Adono’s finely chiseled look; “hacked” would be a better word—hacked out of gnarly wood by a bad carver with a dull knife.
     And while Adono’s body could be described as lithe, Petchy’s was . . .
     Very unlithe.
     But she couldn’t complain. This was the way the Goddess had made her. And in Petchy’s line of work, size came in handy—especially when you needed to lean on a slimeball to loosen his lips.
     “OK, Adono,” she said. “I’ll ask you one more time. Where the hell is Faladan Pala?”
     She twisted the collar of his emerald-green suit and heard a satisfying ripping sound.
     “Stop that!” Adono replied in his thick Cygnian accent.
     “Sure. As soon as you tell me where Pala is.”
     “I already told you, I don’t know anything about Faladan Pala.”
     “So why does the SIB want the dagger?”   
     “Come off it. Everyone’s heard of the Sisters of Inner Beauty.”
     He smirked. “Sisters of INNER beauty? Heh. With a name like that they must be ugly as sin. I’m surprised you’re not a member.”
     She whacked him again. For a second she thought she saw a tooth fly out of his mouth, but it was only a blob of phlegm. Too bad.
     “That was cute,” she said. “Nearly as cute as you. Oh wait, I forgot. You’re not that cute right now, are you? I hope you don’t have a hot date tonight, ’cause with that messed-up face you’ve got as much chance of scoring as the Betroit LionCubs.”
     “What would you know about hot dates, Maligula?”
     She hauled off to hit him again, a real good wallop right on the chin, but thought better of it; she might knock him out cold and then he couldn’t talk.
     “Come on, Adono. Make it easy on yourself. Why did you come here? Who’s the dagger for?”
     “I dunno.”
     “Bull. You’re not the kind to work blind. You know who Bardoko’s buyer is.”
     “I didn’t bring the dagger here. I found it on the floor when I arrived.”
     “Then why did you come here?”
     “Just a social call. Garek’s a friend.” He glanced at the massive blob of goo on the floor behind him. “Uh . . . he WAS a friend.”
     “Can the crap. You don’t hang out with people unless there’s money involved.”
     “Shows how much you know. I’ve got lots of friends. But you wouldn’t know what that’s like, would you?”
     “If Bardoko was such a friend, why did you kill him?”
     “I didn’t. I’m not into violence. That’s your line.”
     “Oh yeah? Then why did you try to stick me with the dagger?”
     “You startled me. I thought you might be the killer returning to the scene of the crime. You should know better than to sneak up behind people. I was just trying to defend myself.”
     Petchy gave him a dirty look and let go of his collar, then turned around and walked a dozen steps to the other side of the living room, dodging the contents of a book shelf that were strewn across the floor.
     Maybe “living room” wasn’t quite the right word, for there was a dead body lying in the middle of it, or the remnants of one, melted by a beam gun into an ash-colored blob that resembled a big wad of gum someone had tossed on the ground and stepped on. Only this wad of gum had a face at one end—smeary eyes and a crumpled nose and fused lips—and at the other end was part of a foot, still clad in a shoe; an Abidas, judging by the tread pattern.
     The blob could have been anyone, but Petchy assumed it was Garek Bardoko, although the name on the mailbox downstairs identified the tenant of Apartment 613 as “Mr. Johnson.” 
     She wasn’t well acquainted with Bardoko, and had never been to his place before (he moved fairly frequently), but she knew he was a first-class fence and one of Adono’s main contacts in Betroit.
     Bardoko was a Deshian—a humanoid race with dimpled, slate-colored skin and tufts of orange hair protruding from odd places—and even though the beam gun had erased all those distinctive characteristics there were other clues pointing to the blob’s identity. The TV set was on, the DVD player set to Repeat, showing a music video of a Desh group called Slof. Mercifully the sound was muted, but Petchy had heard The Slof before; their shrill squeaks and whistles were the kind of cacophony only Deshians would call music.
     Another clue was the newspaper on the coffee table: The Strident, a rag put out by the Deshian Protective Front.
     Then there was the pile of cat heads in the wastebasket. Deshians considered cat brains a delicacy. They’d cut the heads off and drill a hole in the top of the skull—with a special tool purchased from a Deshian food shop—then suck out the brains and toss the heads away. Petchy didn’t remember what they did with the bodies. And didn’t care to find out.


Set in an amusing parody of earth, a doppelganger if you will of the very place we call home is a distinctly odd but interesting mystery. There is only one person capable of finding the answers; Petchy Maligula, Private Investigator.

The heart throb of the History Channel, the host of “I Dig the Past”, Faladan Pala has disappeared. Petchy, along with hundreds of other women are absolutely devastated, he has been rumored to have been kidnapped and Petchy is on the case. Faladan is a handsome, lithe and friendly man, loved by those around him.

Petchy, as she would describe herself is definitely unlithe. In point of fact, she is not even good looking. She is a huge woman, but a very capable one. As she is drawn deeper into the mysterious absence of Faladan Pala, bodies begin to pile up. Different factions of the city and surrounding areas become immersed in the case. As each new clue turns up, it only creates further mystery.

The plot thickens as the History Channel hires an alternate host to temporarily replace Faladan, sending the investigation into false directions. It will take all of Petchy’s interesting and bizarre techniques to set the course to rescue her hero. And while it is an oddly straight forward, albeit strange and foreboding mystery, leading our heroine into untold areas, there is no way that she will have been able to foresee the bizarre and unusual ending.

In Petchy Maligula, Stan Carter has brought us an earth, in a parallel existence, just a bit different then the one that we know. It is inhabited by humans as well as aliens. Magic is still somewhat rare, but a very acceptable practice. The main setting for the story is the city of Betroit in Mechigan. Do not check your glasses, this is the correct spelling. This story is littered with this type of distinction. It is a dangerous and amusing world, so close to our own and yet just a bit off kilter. I was alternately amused and annoyed at times by the parables, but always entertained.

Petchy is an extremely interesting character and a very ample heroine. She dabbles a little in magic but is also bestowed with paranormal abilities. Her girl Friday’s are both ghosts, that do her bidding, sometimes gracefully, often times not. Lady Cresta Victaria Menden reached this state by being the thirteenth victim of Jack the slasher. Liddy McDade, her other helper was run over by a trolley. Liddy was also eleven at the time of her death, but she is a funny and willful ghost. Both have distinct personalities and add their own slant to the wild and crazy happenings in the story.

Petchy always carries her boob gun, very well encased to her bosom, and is a crack shot. She is sarcastic and crude, having belonged to a grrls (correct spelling) gang in her earlier years. She is the great, great, etc., etc. grand daughter to the Empress Maligula, a character in her own right, known for a particular appetite, and a device that was used on the male slaves that did not please her. This is also a part of the mystique of Petulanta as Petchy was christened at birth.

I enjoyed this story although it was a little difficult to get through. I generally read quickly but because of the different spelling I had to go back a few times to make sure I was correct. It is sometime a laugh out loud, maybe a chuckle, or just a slightly annoying read, but the story line is a winner. In all its absurdity, I found that I really enjoyed it. I believe that you will either love it or hate it, but it certainly captures the imagination. This is a fun and frivolous read, humor and imagination at its height.



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