Operation Hardcover by Dave Agans

Mystery Thriller Week

“Mr. Kneeland is here” said the intercom. Stephanie Crusher, head of AAH Furniture Corporation, pressed a button.

“Send him in.”

Bill Kneeland pushed through the door as if a tiger waited to pounce from the OC-55 credenza behind it. He wasn’t completely wrong. Stephanie nodded toward the hot seat, a specially adjusted model OC-23. As Kneeland settled onto the low, hard chair, Stephanie stepped around to his side and leaned against her desk. The ED-14 sported a smooth thumbnail edge which allowed her to sustain the intimidating position in comfort—and without creating a crease in her skirt.

“So,” she said, “what about Operation Hardcover?”

Of course, Kneeland tiptoed around the real issue like it was a shin-high coffee table in a dark living room.

“Well, we’ve been working with the Big 5 publishers to set the hardcover-to-paperback launch delay at 21 months, up two months from a year ago. And…

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