Armed and Dangerous:
Phoenix Investigations

Available ONLY on Kindle Vella

Welcome to Wellsprings

A chain-smoking private investigator with a dark past, personal demons, and serious baggage takes a job in a small Arizona town, trying to find thirty-three million dollars. His employers don't accept failure, the locals don't accept him, and he doesn't accept the story he's being fed by everyone involved. Rory Conroy is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, even if he has to burn down the entire town to find out the truth.

Episodes are released once a week. Click here for a list and flippant summary.

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Episode List

1. Impending Investigations: Whole World Insurance Group grudgingly agrees to send an investigator to Wellsprings, Arizona, in search of thirty-three million missing dollars after a exceptionally fatal bank robbery. (Free)

2. Welcome to Wellsprings: Meet Rory Conroy, private investigator, and his husband, the much younger Zephaniah who is attending the local college while Rory works with one Detective Sam Magnusson from the local police force to track down how a pair of dead bank robbers hid a huge stash of stolen cash. (Free)

3. First Findings: Rory and Sam start talking about the bank robbers, the Stephensons, and Sam starts trusting Rory a bit. (Free)

4. The Trail Begins: Rory and Sam look around the Stephensons' apartment, and learn that they didn't really live like bank robbers.

5. Home and Habits: Rory and Zeph do what lovers do at home, alone, after a long day. No, they don't play checkers.

6. First Day: Zeph has no patience for fools and bigots. But he is polite about it. He also tries to make a friend.

7. Searching for Signs: Rory meets more locals, including Pastor Henry Gordon and his family.

8. First Impressions: Rory meets even more locals, including Pastor Gordon's pretty young wife. He is not interested, it's just a fact.

9. Searching Again: A visit to the coroner reveals more things to look at, but Zeph's eyes see something that Rory missed.

10. A Man of Faith: Pastor Gordon rebukes his son Matt for putting friendship before faith. Matt does not believe these things are in conflict.

11. No Connection: Rory uses Zeph as a sounding board for ideas, discussing what he has found so far.

12. Trials of a Different Kind: Matt wants to make a choice about his ideals and his faith, but Zeph offers him an easy way out.

13. Desert Beauty: Desert, not dessert. Rory and Zeph take a long drive and talk about the case.

14. It's Not What You See: All of Rory's ruminating brings out a new possiblity about the bank robberies and the missing money.

15. Community: Matt's decision and his father's reaction.

16. Dent: Rory tells his boss about his new idea about the robberies.

17. When Stars Align: Zeph makes a friend!

18. It's What You Don't: Rory listens to some sermons. For a clue, not anything else. Sam helps.

19. Life in a Small Town: Rory hangs out with people from the police department, like friends do.

20. The Hunt Continues: Sam learns more about Rory.

21. Entanglement: Sam hears things from Rory that he doesn't really understand.

22. Target Practice: A roof with a view leads to new sights.

23. Precision and Suppression: Rory reviews data, Zeph calls his dad, and a book fair looms.

24. Bonds and Seals and Masters: Meet Zeph's dad, a Master of the Art. Also, learn more about Rory and his arm.

25. A Fair and Balanced Day: A book fair. A church. A small scene with some secrets hidden in it.

26. In the Well: Where do wells come from, anyway?

27. In the Wall: Let's go on an adventure, they said. It'll be fun, they said.

28. Holidazed: A side story. A flashback to a past holiday celebration, just Rory and Zeph. The things you think about when you are asleep.

29. Aftermath: Rory is not a good patient. Zeph has more friends!

30. Visiting Hours: A requiem for the fallen.

31. Focus: Rory picks up a thread dropped a long time ago.

32. Friends and Future: A mother talks to her son about future plans.

33. Sage: A different hospital, different doctors, different deaths.

34. Silver and Gold: Things fall into place. Some more literally than others.

35. Fight or Flight: That most human of response choices.

36. Hooks in You: Rory faces the consequences of his actions. It's just as painful as he expected.

37. Correction: Sam faces the consequences of his choices, which he wasn't prepared for, at all.

Up Next:

38. Downer
39. Seals and Clubs
40. A Glimpse of the Future (the last episode of this arc. Hint: the future has a lot of blood in it.)


“Send your pup outside, Magus. Then you can tell me what brings you to the house of Manon.”