"Jackie Boy" by Sam Roseme, in West Coast Crime Wave, edited by Brian Thornton. BSTSLLR.COM, 2011.
West Coast Crime Wave is an e-anthology that was published last year. I'm not a big iPad book-reader, so I am just getting around to it now.
This is a private eye story but you can kick that Humphrey Bogart image right out of your head. Jackie Giacomo is 300 pounds of grumpy and he got into the business by helping some friends in the mob.
This is how it works: a firm -- either some mobsters or a hedge fund -- buys a bunch of shares in a company. If that investment doesn't provide the returns they were expecting, they find dirt on the CEO or chairman of the board. You know, drugs, cheating on his wife, sex with boys, that kind of stuff. That's where I come in. I follow Mr. CEO around for awhile with my camera and take pictures of him doing his dirty deeds. My client shows the offender snapshots of him playing priest to a choirboy and gives him an offer he can't refuse: buy the shares back at a premium and the photos don't accidentally find their way to the New York Post.
So speaking of choirboys, fat Jackie ain't one. He is also living in San Francisco, in exile from New York because of a disagreement with a mobster friend. As the story opens he has a new case but it turns out to be connected to his New York troubles, which come from protecting one of the few people he actually cares about.
It is a fun twist on the P.I. story.