Stable manager, eh? And not any old stable manager but the stable manager to the Dowager Countess, Lady Edith Honeychurch at Honeychuch Hall. Blimey! Not every man gets a second chance in life especially after spending a number of years off and on at various establishments at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
Now, I’m not proud of my track record but it wasn’t as if I ever killed anyone. A few forged passports and paintings, a couple of stolen cars, a handful of burglaries—you get my drift. Nothing special.
But I’m a changed man. I don’t want to let Iris down—she was the one who got me the position here in the first place—and I definitely don’t want to let the dowager countess down. She has no idea I’m on parole. As far as her ladyship is concerned I’ve been working on the Continent with retired circus horses for the past few decades. That’s what Iris told her. You’ve got to hand it to my sister. She spins a yarn and that’s probably why she’s made such a success as Krystalle Storm, the international bestselling romance writer of the Star-Crossed Lovers series (not that I’ve read any). In fact, it was my idea to funnel all Iris’s earnings into an offshore account in the Channel Islands so she can avoid paying taxes.
When her daughter Kat found out about that you would have thought I’d robbed a bank! Now don’t get me wrong, I like her but she really needs to lighten up. Sure, she’s had her heart broken but from where I’m looking, he was a dodgy bloke. It was good riddance to bad rubbish. She needs someone to make her laugh. Kat’s a nice girl though and the fact that she moved out of the smoke to the sticks to keep an eye on her mum means a lot to me. Mind you, Iris definitely needs keeping an eye on. Even when we were kids on the road with Bushman’s Traveling Fair and Boxing Emporium she was always getting into trouble.
But those days are over and now her stuffy husband Frank is dead and gone—a tax collector no less, you’ve got to laugh at the irony—we’ve both got fresh starts.
Well, it’s nearly seven in the morning and time for me to head downstairs to feed the horses. Did I mention I’ve also got my own flat here, too? Her ladyship is so damn generous which is more than I can say for her son Lord Rupert. His wife, Lady Lavinia is one slice short of a loaf if you get my meaning—but their young son Harry is the bees knees even if he does walk around dressed as a World War One fighter pilot.
Yes, I’m a lucky man. I love my new life and I’ll do anything—and I mean anything—to keep things just the way they are.
A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall is the third book in the Honeychurch Hall mystery series, published by Minotaur Books, May 2016.
When antique dealer Kat Stanford stumbles upon the partially mummified body of a young woman in an abandoned wing at Honeychurch Hall, suspicion falls on those who had been living there many years ago. And it appears that the deceased had been murdered. Given her mother Iris’s checkered past, Kat is not surprised to learn that Iris knew the victim.
Meanwhile, the unexpected appearance of former lothario Bryan Laney sets female hearts aflutter. Despite the passing years, time has not dampened his ardor for Iris, but the feeling is not reciprocated.
With stories of hidden treasure and secret chambers, past and present collide. As Kat becomes embroiled once more in her mother’s mysterious and tumultuous bygone days, she comes to realize that life is never black and white, and sometimes it is necessary to risk your own life to protect the lives of the ones you love.
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About the author
British born, Hannah originally moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting. She has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight attendant and Hollywood story analyst. Now living in Portland, Oregon, Hannah continues to teach mystery writing at UCLA Extension and still works for a west coast advertising agency. Hannah writes the Honeychurch Hall Mysteries (Minotaur) and the Vicky Hill Mysteries (Constable Crime) both set in the wilds of the English countryside.
Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end May 25, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!
All comments are welcomed.