I’m in a mess, in real danger of losing Carraigfaire Cottage. My landlord plans to sell it to a slick hotel developer who wants to turn this lovely, historic home into a tacky tourist trap. So, instead of resting over the Christmas holidays—my reward after I solved a string of murders and won an important music competition—I’m trying to find a way to stop the sale.
My one hope to nix the deal is to scare the developer away. He’s terrified of ghosts and Carraigfaire is haunted. Was haunted. I haven’t seen my ghost—Eamon McCarthy, the famous composer—since I proved he didn’t murder his wife or kill himself. This is no time for him to rest in peace. He shared Carraigfaire with his wife until they were murdered and he loved it. I know he’d want to save it. But I’ve no idea how to get him back. I tried a conjuring spell Father Tim gave me but, so far, it hasn’t worked. Other than a few disembodied footsteps upstairs, I’ve gotten nothing. It’s like a recipe with a few key ingredients missing.
As if all that weren’t bad enough, my brother-in-law, Jackson, is coming for a visit. He’s curator of a textile museum back in Virginia. He’s coming here to bid in an auction on an antique sampler embroidered by a free black schoolgirl in the eighteenth century in Williamsburg, Virginia. The sampler’s priceless. I hope Jackson’s too busy trying to win the sampler to pay attention to my ghost conjuring. He’s a skeptic, like I used to be. I’d never be able to explain Eamon to him. If the auction isn’t enough to distract him, maybe I can get him to help Niall—Inspector O’Reilly—with his art fraud investigation. Seems a gang of art thieves is stealing genuine antiques and paintings and replacing them with forgeries. Honest customers are unknowingly buying the forgeries. Dishonest ones are cooperating with the gang to buy the fakes cheap, have the gang steal them back, then file bogus insurance claims. It’s a complex scheme and, if the prices in Jackson’s auction catalogs are anything to judge by, a lot of money is involved. The kind of money people would kill for.
On second thought, maybe I don’t want Jackson to help with the investigation. I’ve dealt with enough murders for a lifetime. I don’t want to be even peripherally mixed up in another one. With my luck, someone would try to pin it on me. So I’ll let Jackson stick to museum work and I’ll stick to trying to save Carraigfaire. If I could just figure out the secret to making this spell work. I’d hate to mess things up and conjure the wrong ghost.
You can read more about Gethsemane in Death in D Minor, the second book in the “Gethsemane Brown” mystery series.
Gethsemane Brown, African-American classical musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders, led a school orchestra to victory in a major competition, and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy over the Christmas holiday. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord’s about to sell her cottage to a hotel developer, and her brother-in-law is coming for a visit—with one day’s notice.
She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from certain destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with a garda investigator to go undercover as a musician at a charity ball and snoop for evidence linking antiques to a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the investigator’s help clearing her brother-in-law. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. With the captain’s help, she races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself and her brother-in-law. Then the killer targets her. Will she save herself and bring a thief and murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?
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About the author
A writer since childhood, I put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU’s Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, released July 11, 2017.
Murder in G Major won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best New Novel, and was selected one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Debuts.
I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at www.missdemeanors.com, voted one of Writers’ Digest magazine’s 101 best websites for writers.
All comments are welcomed.