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Profit and Loss:
Three Tales from the Profit Log Books
by Bruce Davis
CreateSpace, $4.99, 108pp
Published: June 2015

This is a collection of three stories set in the universe of Zack Miele, his ship The Profit and his crew, Cleo, Deuce and Eddie.

These tales are delightful tidbits and well-worth the read. The first tale is “A Respectable Profit” and deals with someone from Zack’s past, Akira, who was killed in a raid.  Zack is going to meet up with Akira’s brother, a cop named Tanaka.  Whom Zack hopes can give him some info on what happened.  Tanaka wants to know where Zack got some files his brother had. These files have to do with the glowgems. Stones everyone wants for their lovely ability to glow…and of course, they’re rare and valuable.  Zack and Tanaka meet up and are ambushed in a bar. The attack has something to do about Akira’s past.  And a shocking reveal about the nature of glowgems…

The second tale is “From Ceres With Love”. Deuce is on leave and as he passes a bar, he sees a name: “Grace Tyler.” She's a blast from his past and when he goes in to reacquaint himself with her; she greets him with a knee to the groin.

Deuce doesn't go ballistic but pulls her close. He knows why she's angry; he left her abruptly last time they met. At that time, her contract as a singer was held by the conglomerate, Kwai Hong holdings. And the younger brother of the nightclubs owner had taken a shine to Grace, but she was indifferent to him. A member of a nasty gang called the Dragons confronts Grace as she's walking with Deuce, saying she owes a bigwig in the Dragons for her implants (she's actually blind). But Grace doesn't agree and Deuce fights off the attackers. Grace is trying to leave Ceres on a Kwai Hong ship, but the Dragons don't want her to leave because Grace was supposed to seduce Wu, head of Kwai Hong…but she's says he's a cold fish and it's not going to happen. The Dragons think otherwise.

Good ol’ Deuce is going to help Grace escape. They reach the ship to take them to Delilah and spend the next three days together.  But just as they reach Delilah, Deuce finds out Grace has had her own agenda all along and they have an acrimonious leave-taking.  And now, years later…Grace wants to tell him something important…but time is of the essence and Deuce has to leave…never finding out what it was Grace wanted to tell him.

The third story is “Initial Profit” and takes place after Zack’s escape from Bruneault prison with Deuce and Eddie Conejo. It's about the three of them commandeering a ship, but first they must deal with Lu Chin from the Martian navy who got to the ship first. What she's doing there and what is going to happen to the platinum stored away is the meat of this story. A nice tight tale.

If you haven't read Davis’ other novels in this series  “Glowgems for Profit” and “Thieves Profit”, this is a perfect introduction. ~~ Sue Martin

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