Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement to Madeline Parker. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.
Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the victim's double life, but what does the solicitor's murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem--except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin.
Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn't at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?
Excerpt from Death by the Book:
Drew examined the body. The victim was a placid-looking middle-aged man, with a sedentary paunch in his jowls and belly. Rather well off, too, if a bit out of touch, judging by his clothing. There were tobacco stains on his fingers and tiny burn holes in his coat.
"No cigarette case," Drew mused.
He scanned the neatly clipped grass at his feet. It seemed pristine still. The body must have fallen where it lay; there were no marks that would have indicated it was dragged or even shifted. It would take someone with nerves of steel to stab a man here on the green at the first hole at in the afternoon with dozens of potential witnesses.
Drew looked about again. The trees were a good ten or fifteen yards away. The clubhouse was in plain view. He gave a quick wave to the men sitting up there with their gin and tonic, and they were obliging enough to wave back. He hadn't a clue who they were, but they could certainly see him.
How was it that no one had really seen the murder?
Drew looked at the body once more. Like the last time, the pin holding the note was stabbed into the victim's heart. Kentish wisdom would have him paid so. It was the same graceful writing, the same aged parchment as was used on the body in the hotel room, fastened by another antique hatpin. This one was larger than the first, looked to be silver with an amethyst set into it. Drew read the words again. What did the killer mean by "Kentish wisdom"? And what had that to do with the first murder?
"Kentish wisdom would have him paid so," Drew murmured. "Advice to Jack."
What was the connection?
"I don't know, Inspector. Why did you call me into this anyway?”
“I saw your car parked here, and you were involved with the first murder. Your solicitor.”
“I wouldn’t exactly say involved, Inspector. I merely had an appointment with the man. He was dead well before I arrived.”
“Fair enough,” Birdsong allowed. “But you were some little help on that matter at
Drew rather badly concealed a smirk. “I see.”
Birdsong drew himself up with a sniff. “It’s part of my job to make use of any source of information as may become available in an investigation.”
“Look here, Inspector, if you want my help, all you need do is ask.”
Birdsong scowled. “No, I do not want your help, Detective Farthering. I do not want you mucking about interfering with my official duties. No, nor your friend, young Dennison. Nor your young lady. All I want is for you to tell me if you’ve noticed anything besides these blasted bits of writing that would connect the two murders.”
Step into time . . . Historical Fiction by DeAnna Julie Dodson
Also, writing as Julianna Deering, The Drew Farthering Mysteries:
Rules of Murder (Now Available from Bethany House)
www.deannajuliedodson.com https://twitter.com/deannajuldodson https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJuliannaDeering