Robert Thornhill
Lady Justice Takes A C.R.A.P. 3rd



City Retiree Action Patrol 

Third Edition

Eleven years ago, at the age of 66, I wrote my first novel, Lady Justice Takes A C.R.A.P.

In the ensuing years, I have penned forty-four novels in the Lady Justice mystery/comedy series, seven chapter books for children in the Rainbow Road series, a cookbook and a mini-autobiography.

When I re-read that first novel, and then read #13, Lady Justice and the Assassin, it was almost like the books were written by different authors.

This third edition of that first novel was done to bring that first story of how 65-year-old Walt Williams becomes a cop, more in line with the writing style that has developed over time.

My fans that have read that first book might enjoy seeing the changes that were made.

For readers new to the series, this is an opportunity to be introduced to Walt, Maggie, Ox, Mary and Willie in the new format.

Robert Thornhill

Autographed  Copy



Reader Reviews

                                                                  CHAPTER 1

    My name is Walt Williams and I’m a sixty-five year old rookie cop.
    I know how that sounds and if somebody told me that, I’d be skeptical too, but it’s true!
    Wearing the badge and the uniform had never been a dream of mine. In fact, a career in law enforcement had never even entered my mind, but sometimes life takes you down a path that you would never have suspected.
    That’s what happened to me.
    After thirty years as a real estate agent and twenty years as a landlord, I was eagerly anticipating the day that I could put all of that behind me and enter into the bliss that was to be my golden years.
    I was totally fed up with the demanding schedule of real estate sales and every time that the phone rang I just knew that it was going to be a tenant sharing the news that their toilet was stopped up.
    It always seemed to happen on holidays. For most people, Christmas evokes images of decorated trees, mistletoe and holly. For me, it was the image of a toilet spewing its contents on a newly laid tile floor. You have no idea how difficult it is to find a Roto-Rooter guy on Christmas Day!
    Everything finally fell into place when I found an eager young couple willing to buy my entire rental portfolio --- well, most of it. I still own the three-story six-plex that I live in and a flophouse that they wouldn’t take.
    With the income from the sale of the rental property and Social Security from Uncle Sam, I was ready to hang up the old briefcase and retire.
    I soon discovered that retirement isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
    I couldn’t wait to jump out of bed on that first morning and not have to rush off to work or worry that I would get a call telling me that a limb had fallen on the roof of a rental.
    I leisurely poured my bowl of cereal, brewed my coffee and read the morning paper.
    When all of that was done, I showered, shaved and dressed.
    I looked at the clock and it was only eight-thirty.
    Unfortunately, I had neglected a very important part of retirement --- what I was going to do with all of the extra time.
    After two weeks of retirement I was bored to death.
    I found myself making daily trips to the grocery store. I live alone so I could have purchased everything that I needed for a week and brought it home in one bag, but it gave me something to do.
    Then came the day that changed my life forever.
    I had picked up a magazine from a newsstand and read an article that said something about beets containing some substance that’s good for your health.
    I don’t like beets, but I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to have a can of them in the cabinet in case I needed something to make me healthy. It was as good an excuse as any to get out of the apartment.
    When I entered the store, the produce guy tossed me an orange. “Morning, Walt.”
    You know you’ve become a ‘regular’ when the produce guy knows you by your first name.
    I wandered down the aisle and an old fellow was standing behind a skillet. Little bits of something that he had fried were on a paper plate. They must have been there for a while because the grease was starting to congeal.
    When I approached, the old guy flashed a big smile revealing a missing incisor. “Would you like to try one of our pork sausages?”
    I really didn’t, but I couldn’t resist the pleading look on the old guy’s face.    I figured it might make his day and hoped the thing wouldn’t kill me. I plopped it in my mouth and he watched me expectantly.
    “Mmmmm, tasty,” I lied. “You been doing this long?”
    “About ten years now --- ever since I retired.”
    As I walked away, I tried to picture myself behind the greasy skillet hocking fried pig meat to passersby, and I got a cold chill.
    I found the beets among the other canned vegetables and realized that I had a decision to make. Not only were there several different brands, but I also had to decide whether I wanted them sliced or whole. After a moment’s reflection, I realized that I probably wouldn’t eat them anyway, so I chose the one with the prettiest can.
    I was about to head to the checkout when I thought I heard something faintly calling my name. I looked around, but saw no one. Then I spotted the Ding Dongs on the shelf. I couldn’t resist their siren call and soon I was at the register with at least one thing that I knew would be consumed.
    While the girl was ringing me up, I noticed the old fellow sacking my purchases. I looked at his name tag.
    “Hi, Mort. How long have you been sacking groceries?”
    He thought for a minute, “Maybe eight years --- since I retired.”
    As I headed to my car, I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s what the future had in store for me. I knew that I was going to have to do something or go stark raving mad.
    I had just thrown my can of beets in the back seat when I heard a scream.
    I looked for the source of the scream and saw an elderly woman struggling with a scruffy young man with long straggly hair.
    She had been pushing her cart loaded with groceries with her purse slung over her arm. The kid had grabbed the purse, but the old woman wouldn’t let go.
    I watched in horror as the kid slapped the woman across the face, knocking her to the ground. As she fell, he ripped the purse from her arm and took off across the parking lot.
    I ran to her side, but the creep had already disappeared into an alley by the time I got there.
    I helped the woman to her feet. Her mouth was bleeding from where he had struck her and her elbow was scraped where it had hit the pavement.
    “My purse?” she mumbled.
    “I’m afraid it’s gone,” I replied.
    “I had just cashed my Social Security check,” she moaned. “It’s all I had to live on this month.”
    I was on an emotional overload. I wanted to weep for the poor woman, but I was so angry I could hardly contain myself.
    This was the most violent thing I had ever personally witnessed and I was appalled that someone could commit such a cruel act. The kid would probably get away scot-free.
    I wanted to run after the kid and bring him to justice, but who was I kidding. He was long gone and there was nothing that I could do.
    Then the old woman threw her arms around my neck and wept.
    I held her until she stopped sobbing.
    “Thank you, young man. You’ve helped me more than you know.”
    “Young man!” I thought. “I AM still a young man and I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend my remaining years sacking groceries!”
    I knew what I wanted to do, I just didn’t know how I was going to do it.