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It was one of the rare times that even Zach, the silly intern, wasn't quite sure how to react.

Maggie, the clueless intern, had the television on, tuned to Fox News. Her nose was inches from the screen and her eyes were transfixed on the images. A tinfoil hat was perched on her head.

"Obama was born in Kenya," Maggie announced loudly.

Sarah, the smart intern, had just walked into the offices of and found herself staring at Maggie as curiously as everyone else.

"Only socialists like national healthcare," Maggie intoned.

Girl Next Door

"What the heck has gotten into her?" Sarah asked, then narrowed her eyes at Zach. "What have you done to her?"

"Nothing. I just told her that Brad has been nominated for the Lefty Award," Zach said. "She immediately ran over to the TV. She's been like that ever since."

"If we keep getting in debt like this, our grandchildren are going to be indentured servants to the Chinese!" Maggie yelled.

Sarah went over and passed her hand in front of Maggie's face to get her attention. She didn't blink.

"Maggie, what are you doing?" Sarah asked.

Maggie waited for a commercial break to tear her eyes off the screen, then said, "I'm practicing being conservative. Zach told me about the Leftist Award, and, well, it's nice that the liberals have decided to nominate Brad for an award, but Republicans buy just as many books as Democrats, you know. So I'm learning to talk Republican. Our messaging needs to be bipedal."

"You mean bipartisan?" Sarah asked.

"Yes, that too!"

"Okay, but what's with the tinfoil?"

"Oh, that was my addition," Zach said. "I told her it would help blend in with certain, ah, more fringe elements of the Grand Old Party."

Sarah was shaking her head. "Maggie, it's called the Lefty because it's awarded at the Left Coast Crime conference every year. It has nothing to do with politics. The Lefty Award is given to the best humorous mystery of the year."

"It... it is?" Maggie said.

Sarah nodded her head.

"Oh. That's a relief," Maggie said. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go call Karl Rove and tell him 'never mind.'"

The Good Cop

As Maggie accomplished that errand, the rest of the interns continued their feverish preparation for the March 5 release of The Good Cop, the fourth Carter Ross thriller. The book is available for pre-order online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, IndieBound, or in person at your local bookshop.

If you want a signed, personalized copy, click over to Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, where Brad will be on March 6—just one of the stops on the Khaki is the New Black Tour. Events are still being added, so make sure you keep checking the website for updates.

As for the Lefty, voting will take place at the Left Coast Crime conference in Colorado Springs at the end of March. Only conference attendees can cast a ballot (thwarting Zach's Jersey-style plan to stuff the ballot box with votes from residents of a nearby graveyard). Brad is vying to become the first author in history to have won the Lefty, the Shamus and the Nero.

And that would be no left-handed compliment.

Yours in Bipartisanship and Bipedalism,
The Interns

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