Along my indie journey, I have met an interesting variety of authors writing in many genres. One of the newest authors I've met is my guest author this week and a recent addition to my local writer's group. Abigail Keam is author of the Josiah Reynolds Mysteries. The book I'm featuring today is her fourth book in the series.
You can find purchase links on Abigail's website.
Life takes a dramatic turn for Josiah when she witnesses a death at an engagement party. Charming socialite Addison DeWitt falls into a fit after taking a sip of bourbon. That would be upsetting enough, but Josiah is sure it is murder. However, no one will believe her except for Lady Elsmere and Meriah Caldwell, the famous mystery writer. The three of them conspire to bring the murderer to justice. It turns out that the suspect is always three steps ahead of them.
To make matter worse, Josiah’s daughter, Asa, is decides to move to London, Franklin takes a powder and Jake starts singing a different tune. Josiah doubts her ability to meet the future alone. Maybe it’s time to sell the Butterfly and move to Florida with the rest of the old folks.
Excerpt from Chapter 1 "Death by Bourbon"
Doreen Doris Mayfield DeWitt tapped her tapered glossy ruby nails on the gleaming end table while watching the woman pace before her. Although she felt like swiping the woman with her claws, she remained passive, watching as her guest spewed forth countless words trying to explain her situation.
“You see, Doreen, I simply can’t go on like this. I mean . . . well, I didn’t mean to fall in love with Addison. It just happened. So I’m going to have to renege on our little agreement. It simply wouldn’t be right.”
“You mean the agreement where I paid you to seduce Addison and provide me evidence of adultery so I wouldn’t have to give him part of my fortune according to my prenuptial with him?”
Lacey Bridges batted her large blue eyes. “Well, I never asked you why you wanted me to seduce Addison.
Is that why? You want to divorce Addison? Well, that’s wonderful because I want to marry Addison. See – it works out for everyone.”
“Except for evidence of adultery or abuse, I would have to pay Addison a substantial sum of my money – my family’s money – if I initiate the divorce.”
“You could always say that he hit you.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” snapped Doreen. “No one would believe that.”
“Well, I don’t know what to say. This is a pickle for you.”
“Let’s start with the money I’ve already paid you and the video you were supposed to make for me.”
Lacey laughed. “Well, the money is gone . . . for clothes, you know. And the tapes – well, I had to destroy those, you see.”
Doreen sighed. “Do you always have to start a sentence with ‘well’?”
Lacey simpered. “It wouldn’t do to insult me, Doreen. I haven’t told Addison the truth yet, but I will . . . if you keep pushing me.”
“Afraid that he might recoil from such a gold digger as you?”
“He would forgive me but it would slow up the divorce, that’s for sure.” Lacey searched in her purse for lipstick. “Well, the way I look at it, we can all get what we want. You get rid of Addison and I get him with a little bit of money. Oh, come off it. I’m sure you can spare some
cash for Addison. Surely you want him to go out in style?” Lacey opened her compact and smeared on frosted pink lipstick. Dropping the compact and lipstick back into her purse, she stood satisfied with both her appearance and negotiation. “I’m sure we can work this out to our mutual satisfaction. All of this depends on just how badly you want to divorce Addison, doesn’t it?”
Lacey placed a card on Doreen’s antique end table. “Here’s where you can reach me. I’m sure you’ll see that I am right after thinking about it. Don’t rise, please. I’ll see myself out.” She air kissed Doreen and then pranced out of the room.
Upon hearing the front door slam shut, Doreen stared into the fireplace, losing herself to the dancing flames . . . thinking, thinking, thinking.
She’d be damned before she gave one red cent to that worthless English hustler she’d married. Absent-mindedly she fingered the heavy gold ring on her right hand until she finally felt its weight pull on her. Lifting her hand up to her face, she opened the ring’s secret compartment and smiled. Good thing she had always liked history or she never would have purchased a ring supposedly owned by Lucrezia Borgia.
Doreen laughed. “Now what would Lucrezia have done in my circumstance?”
It was very late when Doreen finally went to bed but not before she had concocted a plan. She would get rid of Addison and his obnoxious little bitch too. And no one would know that it was she who had pulled the strings of a perfect murder about to take place in the calm green rolling hills of the Bluegrass.
Kentucky is not called the dark and bloody ground for nothing.