This day started with a simple case of hunting down another deadbeat dad. Not the most fulfilling of jobs, but, hey, it pays the bills. But things really began to get crazy when one of Camden’s friends, a Good Old Boy named Rufus Jackson, received a letter from his ex-wife, Bobbi, telling him he’s the father of her baby girl, Mary Rose. Since Rufus was reluctant to get involved, I agreed to check it out, even though I have mixed feelings about children. I lost my own daughter in a car accident, and my growing relationship with Kary Ingram involves her deep desire to adopt a child, something I’m still working on. But when I got to Bobbi’s house, the police were already there. Bobbi had been murdered and her baby was missing. Of course I had to take the case, even though I was warned off, as usual.
Doing Rufus a favor was the start of a never-ending series of bargains. When I took Camden to the Carlyle House to sing for a concert, we encountered Delores Carlyle, a troubled spirit trapped inside a huge mirror, who wanted to see her daughter Beverly one last time. Beverly Carlyle agreed to come to the house on two conditions: that I find a home for her surly teenage son, Kit, and a band for her obnoxious daughter, Frieda. We had room for Kit at 302 Grace Street, but to secure a spot for Frieda, I had to ask the Slotted Spoons, a friend’s girl group, if they’d take her on. They would, if I got them a gig at a local nightclub. The nightclub owner agreed to let them play if Camden, who can easily pass for a teenager, would spy on a rival club. Camden said he’d do it only if I took him back to the Green Valley Home for Boys to search for answers about his past. Is your head spinning yet? Mine certainly was. And I haven’t even mentioned the ghost haunting the hot dog restaurant, Rufus hell bent on revenge, and the return of Camden’s telekinesis.
Doing someone a favor? It can be murder.
Baby, Take a Bow is the fifth in the “Grace Street” mystery series featuring PI David Randall, his psychic friend, Camden, Randall’s love interest, Kary, and Camden’s career-driven wife, Ellin, as well as the many colorful Southern characters who move in and out of 302 Grace Street.
Camden’s friend Rufus Jackson receives a letter from his ex-wife, Bobbi, and he’s surprised to learn he’s the father of a baby. When Bobbi is found murdered in her home and her baby stolen, Rufus becomes suspect number one. PI David Randall immediately takes the case.
But Randall is almost sidetracked from the case by a series of what appears to be never-ending favors. When he takes his friend Cam to the Carlyle House to sing for a concert, Cam encounters Delores Carlyle, a troubled spirit trapped inside a huge mirror, who wants to see her daughter, Beverly, one last time. Beverly Carlyle will come to the house on one condition: that Randall find a home for her surly teenage son, Kit, and a band for her obnoxious daughter, Frieda. Kit is welcome at 302 Grace, but to secure a spot for Frieda, Randall has to get a local girl group a gig at a local nightclub. The owner agrees, if Cam will pose as a teenager and spy on a rival club. Cam agrees if Randall will take him to Green Valley to answer some questions about his past. And another ghost is haunting the hot dog restaurant, refusing to talk to Cam.
In addition to the tangle of deals, Randall has to contend with Rufus being hell-bent on revenge, the return of Cam’s telekinesis, and growing concern that if the baby-a girl named Mary Rose, as it turns out-is found, Rufus, might not want to keep her.
But where is Mary Rose?
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About the author
Jane Tesh, a retired media specialist, lives in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, Andy Griffith’s hometown, the real Mayberry. She is the author of the Madeline Maclin Mystery series featuring former beauty queen, Madeline “Mac” Maclin and her con man husband, Jerry Fairweather, as well as the Grace Street series, featuring struggling PI David Randall, his friend Camden, a reluctant psychic, and an ever-changing assortment of tenants who move in and out of Cam’s boarding house on Grace Street.
Her mysteries are set in fictional North Carolina towns and are on the light side with a little humor and romance. They are published by Poisoned Pen Press. She is also the author of three fantasy novels, Butterfly Waltz, A Small Holiday, and The Monsters of Spiders’ Rest, published by Silver Leaf Books. When she isn’t writing, Jane enjoys playing the piano and conducting the orchestra for productions at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
All comments are welcomed.