A Day in the Life of Jillian Bradley by Nancy Jill Thames

Murder at the Empress HotelThe view from our restaurant was nothing short of spectacular.

At night, Victoria twinkled as if it were a fairyland with colorful illuminations reflecting in the harbor against a black sky.

White lights boldly outlined the Parliament Buildings.

On either side of its entrance, the Empress was brightly lit with red. With green ivy covered walls it was almost as if the grand hotel was decorated for Christmas.

Our meal was pleasant. I hadn’t realized Aura was high end Pacific Rim Asian food. The only thing on the menu that had appeal was the Peking-spice rubbed duck breast with ginger puree, balsamic roasted broccoli, roasted peanuts, sour cherry gastrique (whatever that was), and sesame seeds.

We chatted about the sights Arthur and Diana visited during the day. As we dined, I couldn’t help but think about the night David was murdered.

“Jillian,” Diana said, “You look a million miles away. Tell us what’s on your mind.”

I lay down my fork, tempted to offer Teddy a teeny bite of freshly grilled duck. Some restaurants frowned on feeding dogs on their premises, so I refrained.

“Forgive me, Diana. I can’t help wondering about the night David Blackwolf was killed. It must have been a night similar to this one. Yet something triggered a rage that resulted in murder.”

“What have you learned? Anything?” Arthur sipped his wine then dabbed his mouth with his cloth napkin.

“A little. I’ve spent time with Father Goodman who looks worried about something. I don’t know if it’s in regards to Rainbow Knight or her brother Badger Knight.”

“Have you talked to them?” Diana sat back after finishing her entrée.

“I haven’t talked to Badger yet. I’m not looking forward to the confrontation.”

“Why is that?” Arthur asked.

“Badger Knight has a dark sense about him. He’s angry and defensive. I’m asking Rainbow to go with me when I talk to him.”

“Sounds wise to me.” Arthur smiled. “Anyone for dessert?”

Diana and I shook our heads.

“Then I’ll be good, too.” Arthur patted his flat stomach.

After I’d eaten half of my duck, I asked the server to box up the leftovers for Teddy later.

On the way home I wanted to share about the talking stick and Raymond Crow’s leaving it in David’s room but decided against divulging information. Sergeant Stone wouldn’t appreciate it.

We’d reached the hotel. Once inside, I reached for my key.

“Dinner was delightful. Thanks for inviting me.”

“You have a standing invitation, Jillian.” Diana hugged me. “Have a good night.”

Once inside our room I took Teddy out and hugged him.

“I love you, sweet dog.” I kissed his little head. “Let’s go for one last walk after I make a call and then head for bed.”

He perked up his ears at the word “walk.”

“Woof, woof!” he barked clearly in favor of my suggestion.

I took the slip of paper Rainbow had given me and called the number.

It wouldn’t be easy arranging an appointment with her defiant brother, but I had to try.

“Rainbow?” I said when she answered.

“It’s Jillian, isn’t it?”

“Yes. I need a favor.”

“Anything.”

“Would you arrange for us to meet with Badger – say over lunch tomorrow – I need to talk to him.”

“Sure. Badger loves to eat. Tell me where and when, and I’ll make sure we’re there.”

“Any time and any place you suggest. You know the area better than I do.”

“Okay. Give me your email. I’ll text you, if that’s agreeable.”

“Perfect. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

That went well. The hard part would be talking to Badger face to face.

All I could think about was soaking in a lovely hot bubble bath and getting ready for bed. But Teddy’s walk came first.

When we were finally back to our room, I quickly removed his leash and gave him a nice brushing.

“There. Now you look dashing!”

He wagged his tail as if agreeing with me.

“Up you go,” I said putting him on his towel.

He wanted to sniff the chocolate that housekeeping left on my pillow for the turn down service.

“No chocolate for dogs. I’m sorry.” I took a small treat from my doggie bag and tossed it to him. “This will have to do.”

But I can have chocolate!

I unwrapped the truffle, popped it into my mouth, and ran a bath.

While the tub filled, I recalled what Rainbow had said at Raymond Crow’s house.

“It was a beautiful night.” Rainbow had looked out with haunting eyes. “David had the window open. That’s all I can remember right now.”

Anyone could have bludgeoned David and exited through the window.

Tomorrow I would take a closer look.

A spray of perfume on my throat and wrists, a quick brush through my hair, and I was ready for bed.

I laid out an outfit for the next day, turned off the light, and climbed wearily into bed.

As I lay back on the soft pillow my mind was in a whirl.


Murder at the Empress Hotel is the tenth book in the “Jillian Bradley” mystery series,

Meet the author
Nancy Jill Thames writes the Jillian Bradley mystery series, beginning with Murder in Half Moon NANCY JILL THAMESBay, featuring a feisty garden columnist and her clue-sniffing Yorkie, and has been listed in the Amazon Author Watch Bestseller List.

When Nancy Jill isn’t plotting Jillian’s next perilous adventure, she travels between Texas, California, and Georgia finding new ways to spoil her grandchildren, playing classical favorites on her baby grand, or having afternoon tea with friends.

Learn more at www.nancyjillthames.com.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Murder at The Empress Hotel. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end January 21 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

58 responses to “A Day in the Life of Jillian Bradley by Nancy Jill Thames

  1. Doward Wilson

    This series is on my TBR list, so thanks for the chance to win. Another great post keeping us on our toes with our reading.

  2. Sounds like a fun series…love dogs and female tecs – pro and amateur…

  3. New author for me to read! Thank you!

  4. I have not read this series and would like to win this book to get started! Thank you.

  5. Barbara Hackel

    Sounds great! Thanks Dru for featuring this book, and Nancy for the opportunity to win a copy! I am anxious to read more, 🙂

  6. Yes please Dru. This is a new to me author so I’d love to win the book and maybe add her to my reading lists.

    • Hi Nora,
      If you like dogs, fine art, and afternoon tea with your mysteries then you may like Jillian Bradley and her Yorkie companion Teddy. ☺️
      Thanks for entering to win!

      ~Nancy Jill

  7. Sounds captivating and wonderful. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway.

  8. I would really like to win this one. The setting is as interesting as I’m sure the story will be.

    • Hi Amy,

      I based the story on a visit to Victoria with our young family and both sets of grandparents. We had such a lovely time that I wanted to preserve the memory by writing “Murder at the Empress Hotel.”
      Good luck on the drawing!

      ~Nancy Jill

  9. I”m amazed. I don’t know this series.
    But I want to.

  10. I love these posts, bring you right in to the store. New to me and now on my TBR.

  11. I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve read in this series, as I did the excerpt from Murder at the Empress Hotel~ Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. The Empress Hotel looks like a grand hotel to have in a series. Thanks for the info. robeader53@yahoo.com

  13. Stayed in the Empress Hotel in the 80’s. Had High Tea. It was lovely.

  14. Have not read any of this series yet….but am on the lookout for them now 😉

  15. Ooh, I love Yorkies! I want this series.

  16. Peggy Hyndman

    Another “new to me” author … thank you for the introduction, Dru Ann! Murder at the Empress Hotel sounds like a wonderful read.

  17. Claudia Blanchard

    Love your books! Would love to win this one!!

  18. I’ve not read any of your books yet. I do have one downloaded to read. This one sound intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Thank you for the chance to win the giveaway and having one! I haven’t read the series yet but I would love too and will in the near future if I don’t win. Looks like a great series and very interesting also!

  20. candace knight

    This book sounds great. I will start the series right away. Thank you for the chance!

  21. elainehroberson

    I’m always looking for new-to-me authors to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  22. I love finding new authors. Sounds like a fun read.

  23. Vicki Highley

    Great sounding series. Can’t wait to start reading the series so I can read Murder at the Empress Hotel.

  24. This is a new to me series and I liked the description of the book! Thanks for the chance to win!

  25. This sounds like a really fun series! The characters sound great.

  26. This little dog seems like it will have a special part in the book. I’d like to read to find out if I’m right.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  27. Indeed he does play a part, Sue. Thanks for posting!

    ~Nancy Jill

  28. Della Williamson

    New author for me. Loved the blurb. Very much, would like to read this. Love the cover. Especially the little dog. I see he will have a part in the story. Love that

  29. Another series I will need to binge-read!!!

    Thank you for the giveaway…..

  30. Thanks Nancy for commenting and interacting with my readers.
    Contest is closed.