Damien Spinelli is one of the most loved characters on General Hospital, despite his propensity for odd speech. He has a nickname for everyone, including himself (The Jackal). As Port Charles' finest computer hacker, he has decided to put his talent to good use as a private dectective. This is the story of his exploits, both real and imagined, as told to another character on the show, Diane Miller.
As with our previous partnerships with ABC Daytime, this new book will be integrated extensively into the show. The fact that Spinelli and Diane are working on the book will be included as a storyline, as well as some of Spinelli's tales themselves. His rich fantasy life is already a focus of the show, and that will play into the book itself. Additionally, the actress who plays Diane Miller, Carolyn Hennesy (our writer), is already an established author of a series of YA books.
|Product dimensions:||8.34(w) x 5.72(h) x 0.82(d)|
|Age Range:||10 - 14 Years|
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The Secret Life of Damian SpinelliAs told to Diane Miller
By Carolyn Hennesy
HyperionCopyright © 2011 Hyperion and ABC
All right reserved.
Chapter OneA Late Night Chat
Brusque Lady ...
Please meet the Jackal at the bar in the Metro Court at 10:00 PM sharp. Although it is somewhat past my his bedtime, he must speak with you on a grave matter concerning many of your clientele. Do not fail me him.
Regards, The Jackal
* * *
I'd been sitting at the tiny table for about an hour, twirling the note around in my fingers and wishing, as the minutes ticked by, that the note was Spinelli's neck. The cocktail waitress was giving me the evil eye and I didn't blame her. The look said I had better tip big for taking up a prime seat or I'd never be welcome back at the Metro Court.
I like the Metro Court. Max and I both like it ... a lot.
Ten minutes and two bowls of cashews later, I'd had enough. I was stashing my tape recorder, notepad, and Uni-ball fine tip into my purse when suddenly I got a tap, hard, on my shoulder.
The voice was soft but commanding. I turned to find my panzer tank of a guy standing in a three-piece suit, complete with matching tie and pocket scarf. Classic.
"Hi Max." I coughed. There are times when the sight of this man still does the strangest things to me. "Why so formal, handsome?"
"I hope I didn't startle you. I just came by to give you a message from the Jackal."
"Oh, sweet-Jesus-on-a-popsicle-stick, are you in on these shenanigans too? What's going on, Max?"
"Mr. Spinelli ... he apologizes for being late. Said he ran into some trouble on the waterfront, but he's on his way and asked if I would relay the message to you."
"Are you working for him too now?"
"Me? Work for Spinelli? Of course not, Diane."
"So why are you relaying a message from him?"
"Because I'm a nice guy."
He turned to go, his glutei maximi straining the seams of his Armani slacks.
"Have mercy!" I thought. "Yes ... yes you are."
"Max?" I called after him.
He turned around.
"Buy some Häagen-Dazs and warm up the sheets. This shouldn't take too long."
"You got it, lamb chop."
I unpacked my purse, laying the recorder and notepad carefully back on the table, and ordered my third Southern Comfort Manhattan ... very dry vermouth, up, with a twist. I spent the next few minutes clicking the cap of my Uni-ball and thinking about Max Giambetti's set of glutes and that getting to squeeze those cantaloupes made me a pretty lucky lady.
Suddenly my reflection in the martini glass dimmed slightly. Before I could look up, a slim figure in a cheap black suit slid into the chair across from me. More precisely, the upper half of a cheap black suit, as I noticed the cargo pants and a bizarre green shoulder sack slung across his sunken chest.
"Most profound apologies, Brusque One. The Jackal is deeply and most assuredly mortified at having kept one so prestigious as you waiting a jot past our appointed time."
Once I got past the jacket, which hung on him like a wet sheet, I took note of the pencil-thin tie loosely knotted around a tie-dyed crew-neck, and the fedora, which was also cheap but fit him to a tee. Sinatra goes to the skate park.
"Um ... that's okay, Spinelli."
"Jackal, please. Thank you for coming at my request."
It was only when I spent any length of time with Spinelli alone that I remembered that he talked like an idiot ... an idiot right out of Dashiell Hammett. And Star Trek ... with maybe a little Shakespeare thrown in.
"Did you ever find it?" I asked.
"Humble apologies once again ... I don't understand. Find what?"
"The Maltese falcon."
I laughed. Hard. He just smiled and tried to straighten his sad little tie. I got a queasy feeling in my stomach. There was no way Spinelli could afford to buy drinks in this saloon, and I'd just hurt his feelings with a bad joke. Nice, Diane. Nice way to start off.
"Sorry. You just ... you look ... great. You look great."
"I know, and thank you for agreeing to pen my memoirs. I think you'll find ..."
"Whoa! Your what? Wait just a second, Spinelli ..."
"Jackal. Or Grasshopper, if you prefer."
I took a sip of my drink and wondered if a "trip to the ladies' room" could actually get me out the door.
"Look ... Jackal. I haven't agreed to pen anything. I didn't even know what this meeting was really about."
I tossed his note across the table.
"I find this under my office door ... You say you have information of a serious nature about my clients. That's why I'm here, Spin ...Jack ... hop ... Jackalhopper. Not to write the story of your life ... as if I even have time ..."
"The tiniest of interruptions, She Who Stands For Justice ... This is not the story of my life. These are the stories of my life. And they all involve your clients or those close to them; their actions and behaviors in times of crises and triumph. These are tales of incredible cases ... episodes ... actions yearning to be told. While I don't feel that anything would be of an embarrassing nature to those you know ... I ... I ... I harbor the strongest hope that you will find what I have to say worthy of notation. I'm staking much upon it, in point of fact. I am to embark on a journey upon the morrow from which I may return or I may meet my untimely fate. It is on the chance that I will not return that you must listen to what I have to say tonight." He ran his forefingers across the brim of his fedora.
I was silent for a moment.
"My clients, you say?"
"And those connected to them in intimate and not-so-intimate relationships."
Well ... damned if the skinny kid didn't have a point.
"Yes, well, I don't necessarily want or need to know where you're headed tomorrow morning, but if you have something to say about Sonny ... or Jason ... or anyone else for that matter, whether I represent them or not ... it's ... it's probably best that you do tell it to me. I can afford you attorney/ client privilege, thanks to Jason Morgan's wide-spreading umbrella of protection and Sonny's generous retainer. But I don't know about creating a memoir. I don't have time to turn around, Mr. Grasshopper, let alone ... Why are you ... why are you dressed like that?"
His face fell and nearly oozed across the table. I kept forgetting; this guy bruised easily ... like a banana.
"To what do you refer?"
"OF Blue Eyes meets Tony Hawk. The combination of gangsta and suave, if slightly ... extra large ... sophistication?"
"I am not clothed cap-a-pie in any one period ... this is true and an astute observation on your part, solicitor. But I was attempting to fly under a certain radar tonight, hence the post-Depression togs, and I found that when I had completed the assignment and returned to my base camp ... some of my clothes had been poached by hoodlums of the night."
"I'm sorry. The pants, the shirt ... you look like a regular Joe. But the jacket and the hat say you've been watching Sunset Boulevard. A lot. It's just that it's so ... so ... of a certain period."
"The era in which I like to think I would have flourished to my fullest potential. The American late 1930s and '40s. Most of my exploits, which involve your clientele and hence are the reason you are here, as you will see, are, to no credit of my own, almost rotogravure reproductions of the feats of daring and action that dotted that landscape. It's almost as if the Jackal is channeling Sam Spade!"
I was getting a headache.
"Okay ... but why me? Why don't you just write these yourself?"
"My prowess and forte is in the technical arena. Words fly out of my mouth, but when I attempt to put pen to paper, as it were, my fingers go numb and nary a line is written. Also ..."
Suddenly, a slow sly smile wiggled its way across his chin, and damned if there wasn't a twinkle in his eye. I chalked that up to the Manhattan, but then the smile broke into a grin, and suddenly I found myself in Wonderland.
"... I've read your work."
"My what? What work?"
"Your contributions to the Law Review. Your articles for American Jurisprudence. Law Today. Attorney Style. You write particularly well."
Come to think of it, I had always liked the boy.
"Also," Spinelli went on, "in many of our brief interactions, I have come to feel as if you also share in my deep appreciation for the noir, yes? The darker side of things. I occasionally hear it in your own patterns of speech. The less than fragrant underbelly of society."
"I'm a lawyer. A working one, you understand, not just some name on an office shingle. I've seen it all. I'm jaded for my years, I've lost whatever idealism I once had and I watch Sunset Boulevard. A lot. Patter like this is standard issue. Ask Max."
The cocktail waitress set down a bowl of potato chips and an orange soda in front of the brother from another planet. And she slammed down another Manhattan for me.
"Thanks, Madison," said Spinelli.
"'Madison.'" I laughed as she sloped away. "Have you noticed that everyone around here has a name you'd only hear on a soap opera? I got off the elevator tonight and Carly brushes by me. Jax was just paying the check and he calls out, 'Carly, hold the lift!' And she just giggles and says, 'I'll race you up to the penthouse, Jax!' The elevator doors close, boom, just like that. And Jax dashes out of the stairwell, laughing like he's going to the circus! And then I realize, I can't remember: Are they divorced? Are they back together now ... again? How many times? The back and forth ... well, of everyone, really. The whole place is a roller coaster, but those two are ridin' at the front."
"The Valkyrie and the White Knight."
Maybe it was the Manhattans ... or maybe it was the fact that, with that fedora so close I, too, was really mouthing it like Jimmy Cagney ... but I was starting to get the hang of this guy.
"Carly ... the Valkyrie and her White Knight, Jax ... are the subjects of my first tale. How the White Knight was taken from his ladylove and she, being the unstoppable warrior maiden of myth, decided to find him. She engaged the Jackal in the quest only to fall madly in love ... shouldn't you be writing any of this down?"
I looked at my Uni-ball and my notepad. I looked at my watch and thought about Max and the pint of Vanilla Swiss Almond he was already scooping into. Then I looked at the eager face of Mr. Spinelli aka Jackal aka Grasshopper aka certifiable nut. And yes, there were a thousand different things I should have been doing at that moment. But I uncapped the pen, just in case a thought struck me, positioned the notepad, and hit the "record" button on the tape recorder. I wasn't going anywhere.
"What the hell, Mr. Jackal ... talk to me."
Chapter TwoDamian Spinelli and the Case of the Vamping Valkyrie
I had just walked back into the offices of Spinelli/McCall, P.I. The corned beef on date-nut bread with sweet pickles and extra mayo was sittin' heavier than usual in my tummy ...
"Tummy?" I interrupted.
"Not if you're a fourth-grader."
"But I always refer to my gaping maw as my tummy," Spinelli said.
"How far could this guy's face fall?" I wondered.
"If you're gonna do this," I said, getting into the feel of the memoirs, "then do it right."
"I bow to your intellectual magnificence."
"You bet you do. 'Gullet.'"
"Oh, Ms. Miller! That's sheer ..."
... sittin' heavier that usual in my gullet. I chalked up the ringin' in my ears to the six orange Nehis. Too much sugar for an already sweet guy. Then the ringin' became a fivechime train whistle on a diesel headed straight for my head.
"'Cabeza,'" I said.
... I realized the phone was ringin'. I picked it up, but the call had already gone to voice mail. A good thing, too ... because if I had actually heard her voice, I wouldn't have been able to say no. Ultimately, I didn't say no anyway, I just wouldn't have said it a lot sooner. I tossed my hat onto the hat rack, un-holstered my rod, put my feet up on the desk, and hit a button on my cell. "Listen to your messages," the nice lady said. "Yes, I will, Gladys," I thought. One new call. It had to be from a minute ago. I had only heard the first few frightened words when, from the sound of shatterin' glass, the outer office door blew off its hinges.
I grabbed my heater, levelin' it at my private office door. A silhouette loomed large in the yellow light from the hallway.
"Stone Cold? That you?" I called. "Timmy Two-Fingers? Mister Sir? Joey the Squirrel?"
Suddenly, the silhouette shook its hair. I mean a mane-full, and I realized this was no guy ... no regular guy, anyway.
"You can come in, but just know that you won't be talkin' only to me; I got my best friend here." I patted my gun.
She opened the door and walked in. Blue eyes the color of billiard chalk and blonde hair so bouncy I wanted to jump all over it. She had legs that could cause a heart attack in a caribou, and they went all the way up under her mink mini-jacket. At least, I hoped they did.
"That's good," she said, wipin' away a tear. "Because I need a friend right now myself."
Carly Corinthos Jacks was standin' in my office. She lifted one leg onto a chair and set it down like she was stampin' out a ciggie.
"I called a minute ago, but there was no answer, so I decided to take my chances and come on by. I told myself I'd wait all night if I had to. Got a light?" she purred.
I went all tapioca inside, but kept the outside cool. In the day-to-day world, this woman wouldn't speak to me in the supermarket, she wouldn't stand five feet from me in any direction ... but now she wanted my help. They all wanted my help. Sooner or later. I had the upper hand.
"You don't smoke," I said.
"I never said it was for a cigarette."
"I'm fresh out."
She took her leg off the chair and sat down.
"May I sit?"
If she was going to play coy, she was dealin' with a master: I learned at my momma's knee.
"Jackal, I'll be straight with you, all right?"
My eyes wandered over her shapely calves.
"Your words will be the only straight thing about you, doll."
"My husband's been kidnapped and I know who took him. His brother Jerry."
"Why has Jerry become his brother's keeper?" I asked.
"The last unresolved item from their father's will has finally cleared probate. We thought that everything had been divided up years ago, but then we found out about the ... diamonds!"
My heart started beatin' a little faster. Yeah, I was all guy, but I liked the sparklies. The mere mention of ice in a cocktail sent me all a-flutter ...
"Lose this part," I recommended.
"But why? If I am going to expose to exploration and analysis the innermost workings of my soul, then it must be fully," Spinelli said, taking a tiny sip of his orange soda.
"'Cause it makes you sound like you should be served on a plate with cheese."
"If I may offer a different opinion ..."
"Never mind." I sighed, reaching for a potato chip. "No one ever listens to me until it's too late. Go on."
"Diamonds?" I inquired ... casually.
"Five flawless diamonds, perfect in color, cut, and clarity. The smallest weighs in at seven and a half carats. The largest ... is bigger than the Hope. John, Jasper and Jerry's father, left them specifically for Jasper ... I mean Jax ... God, I hate using his first name; it's like he's a five-year-old. I didn't even know about the diamonds. Jerry has been holding them up in probate for years, so Jax didn't even bother to tell me ... an oversight which he and I will discuss at a later time. Jerry has taken Jax and is holding him prisoner—torturing him so that Jax will tell him where the diamonds are!"
"How do you know this, Mrs. Jacks? How do you know your husband hasn't gone out for a shot of tequila and a redhead?"
"First of all, my husband's Australian ... He would never drink tequila. And second, I have this."
She reached in between the lapels of her mink and withdrew a scrap of paper. As she was drawin' it out, a tiny pink ribbon-end came with it. I recognized the color: "Hinky Pinky" was only found on certain items of Victoria's Secret lingerie ...
Excerpted from The Secret Life of Damian Spinelli by Carolyn Hennesy Copyright © 2011 by Hyperion and ABC. Excerpted by permission of Hyperion. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 A Late Night Chat....................1
2 Damian Spinelli and the Case of the Vamping Valkyrie....................9
3 Damian Spinelli and the Case of the Quartered Main....................21
4 Damian Spinelli and the Case of the Un-Tracy-able Underworld....................35
5 Damian Spinelli and the Case of the Jumping Jax....................55
6 Damian Spinelli and Great Alan's Ghost....................69
7 Damian Spinelli and Yes, Sometimes It Really IS Brain Surgery....................83
8 Damian Spinelli ... Back in the USSR....................95
9 Damian Spinelli and the Case of the Treacherous Teacher....................119
10 Damian Spinelli and the Case of the Dame Who Knew Too Much....................135
11 Damian Spinelli and the Case of the Contrived Contralto....................141
12 Damian Spinelli and the Case of the Muscle-Bound Mama....................159
13 Damian Spinelli and ... There Are Those Who Enjoy It Uncomfortably Warm....................173
14 Damian Spinelli and the Case of Dante Falconeri, DOA....................195
15 Damian Spinelli ... MIA....................211
16 Their Man in Caracas ... and Los Teques ... and Esmeralda ... and Damned Near Every Place in Between....................215
The Final Chapter Damian Spinelli and the Case of the Lady on the Train....................227
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Who doesn't love Damian Spinelli raise your hand? The price of the book has nothing to do with the book itself so those of you giving it a low rating because of the price are really defeating the purpose of the customer review process.
Thought the purpose of the Nook was to save money on books! Bought a Nook and now find yet another Nookbook actually cost more than the hard cover version. Nookbook more $$$ than hard cover = FAIL!!! Been watching General Hospital for 20 yrs, was kinda looking forward to reading this. Maybe I will buy the hard cover ... or nothing at all :(
If you haven't even read it yet, and you are marking it low because of price, thats ridiculous its showing the actual readers of the book that it isn't good, which is false. Its just pricy for the nook, go buy it in the store if your not happy about a virtual book price. Just don't score a book NOT EVEN OUT very low because of the price concerns. Give it a read, then mark it
cannot wait to read this book glad i can download ig to my nook color cannot wait until the book is release
this book leaves much to be desired. I bought it because i'm a huge fan of the show........ it's a let down to say the least.
Fell in love at the first chapter!
I'm so disappointed to see that the actual book costs LESS than the e-book. I'm starting to regret ever buying a Nook. What good is it really when I'm required to pay more for the downloads than the book?? I understand Kindle's e-books are less expensive. Maybe time for a change...
You may enjoy this even without having watched General Hospital, but many of my out-loud laughs were due to trying to picture these characters in these situations. Very funny book.
Fans of the daytime ABC soap-opera General Hospital (of which I am), will not be disappointed with this hilarious parody starring Jackal P.I. (AKA techie-goofball Damian Spinelli). Carolyn Hennesy (Diane Miller) uses her extraordinary use of description to give Jackal Spinelli the best possible mannerisms. From her different sources of inspiration, one of which was "Some Like it Hot", the collection of tales is told in a series of flashbacks (17 to be exact) sort of like "Interview with a Vampire" where the protagonist is talking to a reporter (Jackal to Diane, and is being recorded). Some liberties were taken with the back-stories of the main GH characters ¿ Carly, Sonny, Jason, Jax, and Maxie (who was described as sleeping with every man under the sun) ¿ so that they have to rely on Jackal Spinelli to get them out of harrowing situations.
If you like General Hospital, you're going to love this book. I don't like short stories, but these short stories centering on the GH characters were quite entertaining and humorous. Ms Hennesy did a wonderful job on this book. I particularly loved the Jax and Kate Howard stories.
I wuz looking for more pandora books but this sounds like something different btw dont take my rating seriously i have never read this book can someone tell me is there a pandora gets fearful also i heard the auhor is an actress and i like acting is true blood about vampires cuz i also like vampires i knw i a really wierd and i know this is a huge run on sentence my english teacher would be dissapointed espesially cuz im a nerd omg im so wierd im going to get in trouble for staying up this late i should shut up now
How could u fall in love with the book just by reding a two word summary? I think your crazy p.s. have not read it
Though i have not read the book yet i am going. From just reading the summary of what the book will be about i already fell in love i hope that the book will meet my expetations.
Not sure it will appeal to all readers but I liked it.
I love general hospital! I read the sample and love it so much
I do not understand why people are complaining about the Nook price when the ABC store lists it for over $22.00 . Be happy for the Nook price and enjoy this fantastic book!
i am a huge fan of general hospital and when i herd of the book i just went to the nearest book store and got it. Diane and Spinelli this book is awsome hope a sequel comes out soon.