Rachel Cord, PI   A fictional private detective
Confidential Investigations Mysteries
I’m Rachel Cord, a fictional private detective. I exist only here and in my Confidential Investigations mystery novels and stories. It may seem strange that I exist at all, but some philosophers and many others believe that everything is illusion and nothing is real. Or, everything is real. Whichever. All that counts is that I'm here. There is precedent, after all. Max Headroom for instance, or, better yet, Kilgore Trout. Kurt Vonnegut gave Trout his freedom, and Kilgore went and authored a novel. And what about Kinky Friedman? Is he real, or not? I mean, a fictional Kinky written by Kinky? What’s up with that? He even ran for governor of Texas. So my having a website shouldn’t seem too strange. Check out my stories and RANTS. Thanks for dropping by. 

 Hangman's Oak: A Confidential Investigations Short Story
On Oct. 1, 1947, Paul Jasper Monroe, decorated WWII veteran, was murdered. He was Black and also gay. Were these the reasons he was lynched and left hanging at Hangman's Oak? Despite rumors, no one was arrested for the crime. However, 68 years later on the anniversary of Monroe's murder, George Armstrong Cutter was found hanging from the same tree. Cutter, from a well-regarded city family, was often suspected of being one of Monroe's killers. Was Cutter's death revenge or justice? PI Rachel Cord seeks the truth.



Rachel Cord PI and the 'Bad Bitch Blues'          

"Life's a crapshoot. We don't know the result until we roll the dice." ~ Rachel Cord, PI

The hard-boiled detective with an attitude twice as large as her over-sized bosom returns solving cases and targeting bad guys. Now, someone's targeting her.

(R)ising toward my face was the muzzle of a semiautomatic pistol. I stepped back and tried to close the door deflecting his hand, but the closeness of the muzzle-blast partially blinded and deafened me. I . . .

She got the Bad Bitch Blues
Said, She got the Bad Bitch Blues
Oh, better take warnin'
Better take heed
Listen to me ~ I tellin' it true
Don't mess with no woman
Got the Bad Bitch Blues

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 Still a Bitch 

Life isn’t all hearts and flowers. It’s pain and suffering too. It’s dirty little secrets buried deep in the muck and mire where the grubs and worms feed. Secrets I unbury. –-Rachel Cord

Life looks bright to private detective Rachel Cord. She has a new lover. Nasty memories are safely buried. A new job. The job seems simple enough: find a man and deliver some papers. But for Rachel Cord, life is never simple. Finding this man means crossing the river again and facing the demons of her personal hell. She does it to convince herself she's still in control; that she's still tough enough to take on Life's nasties.

One job leads to another--find another men--keeping Rachel on the wrong side of the river to become entangled with a sexy bartender thus endangering her budding relationship. Then, like a ghost from the past, the police are looking for Rachel's ex-lover, Karen Tanaka. Has Karen returned, and is she murdering other women? Rachel races to find the answers and prove, once again, that she's Still a Bitch!

Private detective Rachel Cord returns with a vengeance chasing multiple threads through a labyrinth of missing persons, buried bodies, kinky sex, new love, and an ex-lover who may be a serial killer. Threads that threaten to bind Rachel within a tight cord preventing her from getting the answers she needs and saving the woman she loves.

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Life's a Bitch. So am I.

I stared into the dark. Far-off lights reflected, shimmered and danced on the roiling water. The river washed everything downstream while the lights sparkled in one place. It was all illusion. Somewhere, deep below, hidden within the weeds and muck, buried, lurked other things. Things that wouldn't, couldn't, be washed away. Unseen. Unknown. Waiting. Life had moved on, but, like the lights on the water, I was stuck in one place. And I dread the horrid things buried within.

Hard-boiled, private detective Rachel Cord pursues multiple threads seeking a runaway teen and why gay performers are being beaten at Miss Kitty's Kathouse Kabaret. Threads that twist and bind Rachel within a tight cord of lost love, child pornography, rape, murder and near insanity. Leaving her to question her personal credo that "Life's a Bitch. So am I."


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Read Chapter One


Reviews of 'Life's a Bitch'

"great detective novel with sarcastic humor and gritty realism"

The mystery is solid and complex, and Conary does an excellent job of presenting several different threads...and painstakingly weaving them together, so that the resolve at the end is deliciously satisfying. The book is loaded with well defined and interesting characters, and the writing is clean enough to stay out of the way... Conary does a wonderful job describing the details of Rachel's investigations which are always my favorite part of a detective novel.

POD Book Reviews and More

“Nothing like this ever happens to Kinsey Millhone!”

In an unnamed city in the middle of the American Heartland, Rachel Cord, ex-Army MP, plies her trade as a private investigator. Female private investigators sometimes have a tough time being taken seriously, especially when they are as busty as Rachel, which is perhaps why her business cards are emblazoned with the slogan “Life’s a bitch.  So am I.”  In spite of the fact that Rachel likes to present herself as a hard-boiled detective, readers will find that she’s a lot more vulnerable than she wants to admit and the events in this, her first book, will shake her to the foundations and possibly break her.

In Life’s a Bitch. So am I Rachel has been hired to track down a missing teenager and investigate a series of assaults in the vicinity of a gay nightclub. She also works periodically on a personal case – the disappearance of her lover Karen, who up and left without explaining why several months previously. This third mystery keeps to the background and promises to play out in future novels, while the first two cases quickly dovetail into a tangled web of pornography, underage sex trade, and shady real estate deals. Readers should be prepared for graphic sexual violence and a shocking attack on the main character.

I have to say, the author, R.E. Conary took a big risk with this novel. I was blown away by the surprising turn of events, and my first thought was: “Nothing like this ever happens to Kinsey Millhone!”  However, the utter predictability and formulaic nature of Sue Grafton’s novels are why I gave up on them before she got halfway through the alphabet. After reading Life’s a Bitch. So am I. I can say with certainty that R.E. Conary plans on being anything but formulaic. I could not have predicted in advance where she would take this book, and I have no idea where she will take Rachel Cord in the future.  In my mind, that makes R.E. Conary an author to watch!

---Dianne Salerni

Reader Views

 "one of the most memorable P.I.’s that I have ever encountered"

I have read many, many detective novels over the years and some are really good, but few have such well-developed characters as this one. The story was very well written, with lots of great detail and some huge surprises! It had me sitting on the edge of my seat to the very end.

Rachel Cord, P.I., is certainly one of the most memorable P.I.’s that I have ever encountered in a story. She has strong opinions, is surprisingly sarcastic, can be very funny and vulnerable and is completely frustrated when her oversized breasts capture the complete attention of people she is trying to question. She is very tough in her detective work, but shows a much softer side in her personal life. Throughout the story, she is still trying to come to terms with her live-in girlfriend leaving without a word several months before.

There are several storylines going on during Rachel’s investigations in “Life’s a Bitch. So am I.” The author does an excellent job of tying them all together. The story starts with a missing young girl and a series of beatings at a gay night club. The hunt leads Rachel to other brutal crimes, some real shockers and a very satisfying conclusion. The fast pace things happen in this story often left me breathless and unable to put the book down.

---Cherie Fisher


Support RAINN

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network through its free, secure, 24/7 National Sexual Assault Hotline has helped more than 1.8 million sexual assault survivors toward recovery and has increased the number of victims who report attacks to police. Some called minutes after being attacked; others called decades later. RAINN was there to help each one because of active supporters.

Learn more about RAINN at rainn.org.

If you are a victim of rape, abuse or incest, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline direct or call 1-800-656-HOPE. If this is an emergency call 911.

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