Hal Morrison is an aimless young drifter. He drifts from menial job to menial job. When he lands a job at a dingy diner called Marta's Place, Hal doesn't expect to stay more than two or three months. Usually after a few months, he quits and sponges off his buddies until he's forced to go find another job.
But Marta, a buxom middle-aged woman with baby elephant legs and a sassy mouth, likes Hal and promotes him from helper to counterman. Soon she lets him count the money at the end of the day and eventually she buys him clothes and moves him into her apartment.
Repelled by Marta's age and general unappetizing appearance, Hal nevertheless allows himself to be seduced by the easy living, the money, the new car she buys him...and the opportunity to practically become boss. Having this new authority, Hal has ideas to update the place and the menu and business begins to pick up. And along comes Ara.
When Hal spots soft blonde Ara, there's no turning back. Managing to skulk around behind Marta's back, Hal gets closer to Ara and eventually rents her an apartment. Delicately balancing his affair with Ara, his life with Marta and his buddies who hang out at The Joint, Hal does all right until Ara turns up dead, murdered.
Hal is of course the cops' number one suspect. He becomes Marta's number one suspect too, as she begins to put two and two together.
As if all that wasn't enough to drive a person to drink, Hal finds himself a hapless pawn in the game of a ruthless local drug lord. Can things get any worse? You bet!
Marta's Place ISBN 978-1-59431-903-7
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