Joanna was about to dispose of the printouts still scattered
over her desk when her phone rang. She half feared it could be Grace again,
half hoped Theo would get back to her with news, but of course it was too early
for that. The connection was too vague for him to get a warrant, so he’d have
to tread carefully.
Much to his credit, he hadn’t
commented on the fact that she couldn’t give him a last name. There was no name
on the door, and in her emails and text, it only said GracieL. Theo would have to do the rest, but she figured it
wouldn’t be too hard.
“You apartment isn’t that big,”
Kira said. “Why aren’t you picking up the phone?”
Because I’m afraid it could be a serial murderer on the other end…
“Sorry,” Joanna mumbled. “What
can I do for you?”
“Call every once in a while?
You’re doing it again.”
Kira had been the closest she’d
had to a friend in prison, and surprisingly, she’d kept in touch, even after
being released eight months earlier. Life could take surprising turns, and not
all of them were bad, at least for people other than Joanna. Kira had found a
kind man, the father of two boys, and married him less than two months ago. She
often tried to convince Joanna to come to dinner, but Joanna wasn’t comfortable
around all that newfound happiness. Mostly, she thought her presence made
others unfomfortable. Not Kira—she knew her friend understood completely what
her reality looked like. The husband and kids, Joanna wasn’t so sure. She felt
like every time she was over, he was beyond wary.
“I’m not doing anything. In fact,
you’ll be glad to know that I reconnected with an old colleague.”
“Vanessa doesn’t count. You two
have a sick relationship.”
“Thank you so much, and no, I
wasn’t talking about Vanessa. I saw Theo, my old partner. He’s talking to me
again, which is a major improvement. Another officer let me talk to a witness
once I laid on the charm.”
“I don’t understand. What are you
doing with a witness? You unload trucks and lift palettes for a living—which,
I’d like to say, is not such a bad thing. I thought that part of your life was
over, and you were okay with it.”
“It’s a long story.”
“You could come over and tell it
“I don’t think Coby would
“Coby likes you,” Kira protested.
“Besides, he’s not here tonight, and neither are the boys. I’ve got Merlot and
chocolate chip ice cream. As much of it as you like.”
“You’re trying to bribe me?”
Joanna didn’t need much more. She was already in her coat.
“Works every time, doesn’t it? I
“Miss you too. I’ll be over there
Instead of staring at the walls,
waiting for Theo’s call and hoping her gut had betrayed her, she would see
Kira, and toast to the future.
Sticking to her promise, Kira
greeted Joanna with a hug and then served her ice cream and wine. It had become
something like a ritual for them after Joanna’s release, even after it became
clear that Kira and Coby were serious, and moved in together.
“This is so good. Thank you. I
“I’m glad I could help. You said
you had a story to tell.”
Joanna figured that halfway
through her glass, she couldn’t back out now.
“All right. You heard about the
woman who ran away from a man who abducted her, and was found by a truck
“Yeah, I heard about it. What’s
that got to do with you?”
“I saw her in the hospital
“You did what?” Kira exclaimed.
“Are you crazy?”
“The case is similar to one I
once worked. I had to speak up.”
“Going to the hospital is not the
same. Honey, do you realize that any defense lawyer will just love to jump on
the fact you were anywhere near her? You’re famous. You killed a murderer. As
unfair as that might be, I don’t think your colleagues want to be seen with
you, and sadly, they have a point. Someone will make the connection.”
“Theo said something like that,”
Joanna admitted. “Damn, I had hoped for some support from you.”
“This is the way I offer
support,” Kira indicated the delicacies on the table with a sweeping gesture,
“and by telling you the truth. You can’t be involved. I don’t want you to put
yourself in danger.”
Joanna finished her glass and
reached for the bottle.
“It might already be too late for
Before she could elaborate, the
vibration of her cell phone indicated the arrival of a text message.
Once upon a time, she had known
what to do, without hesitating, without doubt. After the brief conversation
with Theo, Joanna felt confused. Relieved, too. Grace had apparently fully
cooperated, told the cops she’d broken up with the boyfriend and apologized
again for the text messages. More important, she had an alibi for the night
Christina Danvers had hooked up with the couple.
Christina had confirmed that
she’d never seen Grace before.
Something had been off about her.
Joanna didn’t think her instincts would betray her so badly. She shook herself.
She should be grateful that she had avoided adding another nightmare to the
ones that never went away.
“Are you okay?” Kira asked when
she returned to the living room.
“Yeah. It’s actually good news.
Forget what I said earlier—it’s not all that dramatic. All of you were right. I
should stay far away from that case.”
Kira poured them both another
“Hey, better late than never.
Let’s drink to that. You should fall in love too.”
“Uh, no. It’s doesn’t work that
way for everyone.”
“Because you have commitment issues.
You panic when someone calls you back.”
“That’s not true.” Was it? Was
there a possibility that there was something wrong with Joanna instead of
Grace? Oh, the possibilities were endless. “Look at my life. Who would want to
get caught up in that mess?”
Kira laid an arm around her
shoulders. “Last time I checked, you cleaned up that mess pretty nicely. Back
on the inside, you could’ve gotten caught up in all kinds of bad stuff, but you
stayed out of it. You have a job that pays for a roof over your head and more
booze and cigarettes than you should have.”
“I sense some criticism coming
“Just give it a chance sometime,
Joanna took another spoonful of
“I like fewer complications in my
life. Simple pleasures, you know?”
“I really don’t know. You hook up
with some bizarre people. That’s the only part you haven’t quite figured out
You don’t know the half of it, Joanna wanted to say. Then again,
she hadn’t been so great at relationships before she and Decker crossed paths.
For some things, she had no one to blame but herself.
Barbara Winkes writes suspense and romance with lesbian characters at the center. She has always loved stories in which women persevere and lift each other up. Expect high drama and happy endings. Discover a variety of genres, serial and standalone. Women loving women always take the lead.
Corey found the local
police chief and a forensic team from Hyannis on the sandy shore below the
wooden deck of the Boatslip, one of the most popular spots in Provincetown. The
size of the hotel meant that many guys were in one place and near the crime
scene. Not good. The Boat Slip’s afternoon tea dance brought even more people
crowding onto the outside deck, which also served as a dance floor. Even now,
several men peered over the railing at the activity on the beach below. Soon, more would follow.
Police Chief Richard
Stewart greeted him as he checked in with the officer guarding the scene.
“Damn! You didn’t waste
any time getting here, Shaw,” Chief Stewart said, looking at his watch. “Where
were you when I called? Orleans?”
“Close enough,” Corey
winked at his friend.
“Are you ever going to
tell me how you move around the state so fast?”
Chief Stewart shook his
head and led Corey to the corpse.
“John Doe. Strangled,” he
said. The grim look on his hard-lined face told Corey that something had
rattled the chief’s staunch reserve. “And he was tortured before being killed.”
Having had frequent
contact with the chief in the past, Corey had never seen him so shaken by a
As they knelt next to the
victim, the chief pulled back a tarp covering the naked body of a young man
lying face down in the sand.
He pointed out disturbing
aspects of the murder. “Rope burns on the ankles, wrists, knees, and across the
chest and upper arms where he was tied up. The deep cuts indicate that the
bonds were tight.”
He motioned toward the buttocks. The man had a narrow waist and a well-rounded ass, which had been slashed many times. Long gashes crossed the tanned cheeks, drawing blood that had long since dried.
“Looks like he was caned
or severely whipped while he was tied up,” the chief continued. Similar slashes
covered his back and legs, but not as severe as those on the ass.
“This has been done to
him before, hasn’t it?” Corey asked.
“What do you mean?”
Stewart gave him a quizzical look. He glanced at one of the forensics agents
who knelt down on the opposite side of the body. “Corey, this is Carolyn Seger
from the Massachusetts State Bureau of Investigation.”
Corey shook hands with
“You’ve got a good
eye,” she said, directing their attention to several old wounds concealed
and healing among the fresh ones.
Judging by the look on
the chief’s face, Corey surmised that he hadn’t experienced anything like this
in Provincetown before.
Carolyn picked up the
story where Stewart left off. “From the angle of the rope wound around the
neck, it appears that the victim was hung until dead. There are very few signs
of a struggle, which is strange.”
not so strange, Corey thought.
She pointed to the
bruising on the neck. “The visible side of the face appears purple, a gruesome
contrast to the white skin of his shaved head.” She frowned while mumbling the
latter under her breath. “Look at these.” The agent indicated to marks crisscrossing
his back. “It appears he was wearing a leather…” She hesitated, as if searching
for the right word.
finished. “I have one that’s almost the same as the one he wore. Do you think
it played a role in his death?”
Seger shook her head.
“Preliminary indications all point to strangulation by hanging.” She looked at
him. When his eyebrows furrowed in concentration, she asked, “What is it?”
He pointed to faint, red
markings on the back of the victim’s neck that resembled the ones on his back.
“It looks like he wore a leather collar, as well.” He shifted his position to
“We noticed that, too,
but I don’t think it contributed to his death, either.”
“Can we turn him over?”
The agent nodded and donned plastic gloves. With the help of another forensic
team member, they rolled the corpse on its back. The hideousness of the crime
became more apparent. The entire face, covered in purple blemishes, was
contorted into a grimace as he had struggled to breathe in his last few seconds
of life. His tongue protruded grotesquely from the mouth. Corey’s gaze shifted
lower. All the pubic hair was shaved away.
“Look at this.” Seger’s
eyes widened at the new discovery. “There’s scabbing just above the penis, and
it seems as though it goes all the way around the scrotum. Something’s
irritated his skin because it’s broken out and re-healed, like the marks on his
“He wore a cock ring,”
Corey said and added, “I have that same trouble if I wear mine too long.” Eager
to contribute to the investigation, he’d let out more personal information than
the chief or agents wanted to hear. To divert attention from his momentary lack
of discretion, he took another tack. “Are you sure this was murder?”
“What else could it be?”
The chief’s jaw clenched.
“I’m thinking it could be
an extreme BDSM session that went a bit too far.”
Chief Stewart and Carolyn
stared, jaws dropping.
“In all my years in
Provincetown, I’ve never heard of something like this, and I’ve heard and seen
some pretty weird shit.” The chief shook his head.
“Many guys have execution
fantasies, where the only way they can get off is to experience a near-death
situation. In such a case like this, execution by hanging,” Corey explained. “The
victim is hung to the point when he comes and then is released by the
‘executioner.’” He used his fingers to form quotation marks in the air. “This
might have been one time when the executioner didn’t move fast enough.” He
paused for a few seconds. “Or wouldn’t.”
“You mean this guy let
someone hang him to death?”
“No,” Corey replied.
“More than likely, he just wanted to experience a high similar to the choking
game that’s somehow gotten to be popular. But here, instead of doing it
himself, he got a bigger rush by having someone do it for him. The idea is to
release the rope or garrote before death. It’s an incredibly dangerous game.”
“So this could just be a
tragic accident?” Seger asked.
Corey held out his hands
in supplication. “Perhaps. Otherwise, we may have to look for a guy who has to
kill to get off. But there’s something odd here.”
“What?” The chief sounded
as though he didn’t think it could get any stranger.
“Whether or not his death
was accidental, where are his harness, collar and cock ring? If his executioner
didn’t kill him on purpose, why remove his accouterments? Or if it was
intentional, a murderer would’ve dumped the body and not worried about removing
everything, unless he left his DNA on everything.”
“Maybe the leather
belonged to the executioner and he took it back?” Chief Stewart said. “You
know, like a master/slave thing?”
Corey considered that
explanation for a minute. “Perhaps, but not likely, I would think. Cock rings
are more personal items, and since they’re relatively cheap, guys buy them for
themselves or someone they’re romantically involved with.”
“Could this be a lovers’
spat?” Carolyn asked.
“I hadn’t thought about
that, but you may be right. And the murderer removed everything to keep as
mementos, or because they had a sentimental value?”
“Some serial killers do
that, too,” Chief Stewart muttered. Corey and Carolyn looked at him. “They will
take something from each of their victims as a trophy.”
“Or the harness could
hold some concrete evidence to the identity of the murderer,” Corey mused.
“Something other than his body fluids.”
More about author, Alex Morgan:
(aka Alex Morgan) was born and raised in western Oklahoma. He majored in
chemistry in college and moved to Dallas
to get his master’s degree. Later he received a PhD in analytical chemistry. He
now lives in the Baltimore area.
He has been
an avid reader, particularly mysteries, after being introduced to the Hardy
Boys in grade school. After reading his first Agatha Christie novel, Murder on the Orient Express, in junior
high, mysteries have been one of his biggest enjoyments. He has always enjoyed
reading comic books and loves the super-hero genre just as much.
these two concepts, he has written four mystery novels introducing gay,
paranormal sleuth Corey Shaw. Under the pen name Alan Scott, he has written a
novel continuing the paranormal detective series with “Inside Passage to
Murder” and the forthcoming “A Faire Day for Murder.” He is also the author of several gay erotica
a teenager suffering from insomnia, I spent many late nights on my passion
(It’s not what you think)—reading cozy mystery novels. I loved the quirky
characters, plot twists and turns, clues, red herrings, captivating
investigations, romance, humor, and of course the surprise yet justified
endings. Even at that young age, I suspected Sherlock Holmes and John Watson
were more than companions. They seemed to understand each other as only a
couple could, and their devotion to one another was heartwarming. Hercule
Poirot and Arthur Hastings seemed to share the same level of commitment. C.
Auguste Dupin and his nameless companion, Lord Peter Wimsey and his valet Meryn
Bunter, and Inspector Morse and Detective Sergeant Robbie Lewis exhibited
similar close connections. It didn’t take me long to question why there were no
openly gay characters in my favorite mystery series. So, I created my own.
Since I am a college theatre professor, I decided to explore that wacky and
wonderful world. (Try saying that three times fast with a tongue ring.)
those of you who haven’t yet been baptized in Nicky and Noah land, the Nicky
and Noah mysteries is a gay cozy mystery comedy series, meaning the setting is
warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, and
there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages
turning faster than a priest going to altar boy orientation (as Nicky would
say). At the center is the touching relationship between Associate Professor of
Directing Nicky Abbondanza and Assistant Professor of Acting Noah Oliver. We
watch them go from courting to marrying to adopting a child, all the while head
over heels in love with each other (as we fall in love with them). Reviewers
called the series hysterically funny farce, Murder
She Wrote meets Hart to Hart
meets The Hardy Boys, and captivating
whodunits. One reviewer wrote they are the funniest books she’s ever read!
Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s
Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary
Novel of the Year) Nicky directs the school play at Treemeadow College—which is
named after its gay founders, Tree and Meadow. Theatre professors drops like
stage curtains, and Nicky and Noah have to use their theatre skills, including
impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. In Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) Nicky and Noah don
their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out why bodybuilding
students and professors in Nicky’s bodybuilding competition at Treemeadow are
dropping faster than barbells. In Drama
Cruise it is summer on a ten-day cruise from San Francisco to Alaska and
back. Nicky and Noah must figure out why college theatre professors are
dropping like life rafts as Nicky directs a murder mystery dinner theatre show
onboard ship starring Noah and other college theatre professors from across the
US. Complicating matters are their both sets of wacky parents who want to
embark on all the activities on and off the boat with the handsome couple. In Drama Luau, Nicky is directing the luau
show at the Maui Mist Resort and he and Noah need to figure out why muscular
Hawaiian hula dancers are dropping like grass skirts. Their department
head/best friend and his husband, Martin and Ruben, are along for the bumpy
tropical ride. In Drama Detective,
Nicky is directing and ultimately co-starring with his husband Noah as Holmes
and Watson in a new musical Sherlock Holmes play at Treemeadow College prior to
Broadway. Martin and Ruben, their sassy office assistant Shayla, Nicky’s
brother Tony, and Nicky and Noah’s son Taavi are also in the cast. Of course
dead bodies begin falling over like hammy actors at a curtain call. Once again
Nicky and Noah use their drama skills to figure out who is lowering the street
lamps on the actors before the handsome couple get half-baked on Baker Street.
In Drama Fraternity, Nicky is
directing Tight End Scream Queen, a
slasher movie filmed at Treemeadow College’s football fraternity house,
co-starring Noah, Taavi, and Martin. Rounding out the cast are members of
Treemeadow’s Christian football players’ fraternity along with two hunky screen
stars. When the jammer, wide receiver, and more begin fading out with their
scenes, Nicky and Noah once again need to use their drama skills to figure out
who is sending young hunky actors to the cutting room floor before Nicky and
Noah hit the final reel.
My spouse and I had vacationed in Alaska and
Hawaii. Hence the settings of books three and four. Since we recently stayed in
a real Scottish Castle, I knew book seven would take place there. So, in Drama Castle, Nicky is directing a
historical film co-starring Noah and Taavi at Conall Castle in Scotland: When the Wind Blows Up Your Kilt It’s Time
for A Scotch. Rounding out the cast are members of the mysterious Conall
family who own the castle. When hunky men in kilts topple off the drawbridge
and into the moat, it’s up to Nicky and Noah to use their acting skills to
figure out whodunit before Nicky and Noah land in the dungeon. Nicky and Noah
are joined by their best friends and fan favorites Martin and Ruben, and by Noah’s
eccentric parents. Book seven adds a number of captivating new characters like Brody
Naughton, the hunky head of Housekeeping with a red beard and roving eye for
the oldest Conall brother, Barclay, and for Donal Blair a waiter in the
castle’s Great Hall dining room. Each of the three hunky Conall brothers
(Barclay, Magnus, and Fergus) have a surprising secret, and Noah makes a
I am joyous and honored to join the other
wonderful writers who post in this group as we share our gay mystery stories. So
take your seat. The curtain is going up on steep cliffs, ancient turrets,
stormy seas, misty moors, malfunctioning kilts, and murder!
Theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza is directing a historical film at a castle in Scotland, co-starring his spouse, theatre professor Noah Oliver, and their son Taavi. When historical accuracy disappears along with hunky men in kilts, Nicky and Noah will once again need to use their drama skills to figure out who is pitching residents of Conall Castle off the drawbridge and into the moat, before Nicky and Noah land in the dungeon. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining seventh novel in this delightful series. Take your seats. The curtain is going up on steep cliffs, ancient turrets, stormy seas, misty moors, malfunctioning kilts, and murder!
Wearing a canary
polo shirt that highlighted his olive-colored skin and black hair, Taavi looked
adorable with his legs dangling off the high bed. “Grandma and I explored the
castle.” His dimples appeared. “I found a secret passageway.”
“A sleuth, like
your dads,” Dad said.
“And like your
grandfather,” Mom added.
Taavi wiped his palms on his sky-blue shorts.
“I can’t wait to shoot my scenes.”
Noah smiled. “Will
you steal them from me?”
“That’s the plan.”
Taavi offered his father a hang loose sign and a huge grin.
Mom said, “Judy
was very impressed with our little Taavi’s acting in that slasher film you all
did last year.”
“As she should
be,” Dad said as if he were Taavi’s agent.
“Judy said that
little Dung’s chocolate coloring would show up well on film.”
“Too bad Tommy and
Timmy aren’t in the movie business like our Nicky and Noah,” Dad said.
Mom and Dad
laughed together triumphantly.
I noticed a gold
necklace around Dad’s neck as it danced over his flabby chest. “I’ve never seen
that before, Dad.”
He stuck out his
already protruding stomach. “What, my sexy physique?” Dad winked at Noah. “I
may be giving you a run for your money tonight, Noah.”
cheeks turned crimson.
I walked over to
Dad. “I mean your necklace.”
“He’s worn that
thing around his neck since I met him,” Mom said.
Taking it in my
hand, I admired the fine craftsmanship of the gold two-leaf clover.
“It’s really a
four-leaf clover,” Dad explained, “but the other two leaves broke off.”
“Where did you get
“In a little shop
on a glen in a valley in the highlands of Scotland. A year before I met Mom, I
visited the land of my ancestors to find my roots.”
“While I was covering up mine with peroxide,”
Mom said with a smile.
“But my ancestors
didn’t come from a place like this.” Dad explained, “They were sheepherders.”
The dairy farmer added, “Milking is in my blood.”
“So is high
cholesterol from all the cheese he eats,” Mom said as if speaking about a death
Dad patted his
stomach. “I like food.”
“Me too, Grandpa.”
Taavi patted his stomach too.
“Did you all eat
dinner?” Noah asked with concern showing on his handsome face.
Mom nodded. “A
sweet young waiter named Donal served us in the dining room.” She giggled like
a young girl. “He paid extra attention to me.”
jealous?” I asked Dad.
He waved me away
like a color guard on speed. “Donal was a nice-looking guy. But he reminded me
of you and Noah, if you know what I mean.”
My father-in-law developed gaydar?
Taavi’s dark eyes
glistened in delight. “We ate cock-a-doodle-doo soup, blood pudding, green
fish, and bread for short people.”
As if a United
Nations translator, Mom said, “Taavi means cock-a-leekie soup—”
Okay, it’s not
what you’re thinking. It’s a soup with chicken, bacon, leeks, and spices.
Get ready to be
grossed out. It’s pork fat, pork blood, oatmeal, and oat and barley groats.
cabbage and green apple sauce, and shortbread.”
“I texted all my
friends from school. I can’t believe we’re living in a real castle!”
Giveaway: Post a comment below
about why you love men in kilts. The one that raises our kilt the most will win
an Audible code for the Drama Queen
audiobook, the first Nicky and Noah mystery, by Joe Cosentino, performed by
Praise for the Nicky and Noah mysteries:
“Joe Cosentino has a
unique and fabulous gift. His writing is flawless, and his use of farce, along
with his convoluted plot-lines, will have you guessing until the very last
page, which makes his books a joy to read. His books are worth their weight in
gold, and if you haven’t discovered them yet you are in for a rare treat.”
“a combination of Laurel
and Hardy mixed with Hitchcock and Murder She Wrote…
Loaded with puns and
one-liners…Right to the end, you are kept guessing, and the conclusion still
has a surprise in store for you.” “the best modern Sherlock and Watson in books
today…I highly recommend this book and the entire series, it’s a pure pleasure,
full of fun and love, written with talent and brio…fabulous…brilliant” Optimumm
“adventure, mystery, and
romance with every page….Funny, clever, and sweet….I can’t find anything not to
love about this series….This read had me laughing and falling in love….Nicky
and Noah are my favorite gay couple.” Urban Book Reviews
“For fans of Joe
Cosentino’s hilarious mysteries, this is another vintage story with more cheeky
asides and sub plots right left and centre….The story is fast paced, funny and
sassy. The writing is very witty with lots of tongue-in-cheek humour….Highly
recommended.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews
“This delightfully sudsy,
colorful cast of characters would rival that of any daytime soap opera, and the
character exchanges are rife with sass, wit and cagey sarcasm….As the pages
turn quickly, the author keeps us hanging until the startling end.” Edge Media
“A laugh and a murder,
done in the style we have all come to love….This had me from the first
paragraph….Another wonderful story with characters you know and love!” Crystals
two are so entertaining….Their tactics in finding clues and the crazy funny
interactions between characters keeps the pages turning. For most of the book
if I wasn’t laughing I was grinning.” Jo and Isa Love Books
fun from start to finish, for me this series gets stronger with every book and
that’s saying something because the benchmark was set so very high with book 1.” Three Books Over the Rainbow
“The Nicky and Noah
Mysteries series are perfect for fans of the Cozy Mystery sub-genre. They mix
tongue-in-cheek humor, over-the-top characters, a wee bit of political
commentary, and suspense into a sweet little mystery solved by Nicky and Noah,
theatre professors for whom all the world’s a stage.” Prism Book Alliance
is one hilarious series with a heart and it just keeps getting better. I highly
recommend them all, and please read them in the order they were written for
full blown laugh out loud reading pleasure!” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Bestselling author Joe
Cosentino was voted Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of
the Year by the readers of Divine Magazine for Drama Queen. He also
wrote the other novels in the Nicky and Noah mystery series: Drama Muscle,Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity,
Drama Castle; the Dreamspinner Press novellas: In My Heart/An
Infatuation &A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The
Perfect Gift,The First Noel,The Naked Prince and Other Tales
from Fairyland with Holiday
Tales from Fairyland, the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing
Back,Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi
Cove: New Beginnings, Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings (NineStar Press);andthe Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin
Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). He has
appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite
stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and
Jason Robards. Joe is currently Chair of the Department/Professor at a college
in upstate New York, and he is happily married. Joe was voted 2nd
Place Favorite LGBT Author of the Year in Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice
Awards, and his books have received numerous Favorite Book of the Month Awards
and Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions.
GIVEAWAY: Post a comment below about why you love men in kilts. The one that raises our kilt the most will win an Audible code for the Drama Queen audiobook, the first Nicky and Noah mystery, by Joe Cosentino, performed by Michael Gilboe.
**Winner must have an active Audible.com account to receive**
Aubrey Grant lives in the tropical paradise of Old Town, Key West, has a cute cottage, a sweet moped, and a great job managing the historical property of a former sea captain. With his soon-to-be-boyfriend, hotshot FBI agent Jun Tanaka, visiting for a little R&R, not even Aubrey’s narcolepsy can put a damper on their vacation plans.
But a skeleton in a closet of the Smith Family Historical Home throws a wrench into the works. Despite Aubrey and Jun’s attempts to enjoy some time together, the skeleton’s identity drags them into a mystery with origins over a century in the past. They uncover a tale of long-lost treasure, the pirate king it belonged to, and a modern-day murderer who will stop at nothing to find the hidden riches. If a killer on the loose isn’t enough to keep Aubrey out of the mess, it seems even the restless spirit of Captain Smith is warning him away.
The unlikely partnership of a special agent and historian may be exactly what it takes to crack this mystery wide-open and finally put an old Key West tragedy to rest. But while Aubrey tracks down the X that marks the spot, one wrong move could be his last.
Burt Tillman was
not too tickled to see Jun. Or me. In fact, he probably could have gone the
whole day without even thinking of either of us.
“Agent Tanaka,” he
said, offering a stiff handshake. “I am
in the middle of a homicide. I hope you understand my time is precious.”
“I’ve no intention
of taking you away from your case,” Jun replied. “It so happens that Mr. Grant
and I ran into a few of Cassidy’s friends this morning and gathered a bit of
information that might be of value to you.”
Tillman eyed Jun,
glared at me, then nodded and turned to lead us down a hallway. We entered a
large room that had several desks with plain-clothed officers sitting at them.
Each had towering piles of papers spread across their workspace, and a phone
seemed to always be ringing from somewhere. Tillman walked toward the back,
grabbed two plastic chairs, and hauled them up in front of what I presumed was
his desk before he sat behind it.
Jun and I both
took a seat.
Jun took over this
part, and I was only more than happy to let him. Keep this between lawmen, you
“We spoke with a
few people down at Barnacles today. Curtis Leon, Peg Hart, and Josh Moore.”
rolling a pen between his thumb and index finger.
“Seems that Curtis
was already aware of Cassidy’s death.”
“Yes, he was
having breakfast with Glen Porter, Cassidy’s employer, when I went down to
speak with Glen.”
“Were you aware
they are amateur treasure hunters?”
“I vaguely knew,”
Tillman replied. “I know Peg—she owns her own boat. I’ve heard a few stories
about the four of them going out to search for sunken treasure.”
Jun leaned back in
his chair, crossing his long legs and seeming completely at ease. “Peg
mentioned a diary that Cassidy had, about Captain Rogers.”
his eyes. “I’m not familiar with this man.”
“He was captain of
a merchant vessel from 1854 to 1871,” I piped up.
Tillman looked at
me. “Let me guess. The skeleton is Rogers and he killed Cassidy?”
“I think the
skeleton might actually be Smith,” I corrected. “Thanks, though.”
Jun cleared his
I didn’t roll my
eyes, but man, I came close to it. “Cassidy got the diary because it mentions
Smith and One-Eyed Jack supposedly being one and the same, and I told you
yesterday how hell-bent he was about proving me wrong. The point is, that diary
was stolen a year ago from a museum in St. Augustine.”
“I suspect a man
that’s stolen from at least one museum, with the intent of perhaps stealing
from Aubrey’s,” Jun began, “likely has more than one hot item in his
down at his mass of paperwork, thoughtful. “We’ve been to his apartment.
Nothing like an old diary was found.”
“I know an Agent
Dixon in Miami who works with the Art Crime Team,” Jun stated. “I’m sure she
would be more than happy to assist.”
Tillman sat back
in his chair. “This St. Augustine museum would first need their local law
enforcement to submit an entry to NSAF.”
Tillman knew more
about FBI policies than I did. Check.
Jun smiled. “Of
course. But I’m sure with a few phone calls, I can get the ball rolling,
considering the situation down here. What do you say, Detective?”
Ha, ha, ha, checkmate.
“I’m not looking
to take over or interfere with your case,” Jun stated. “I’m only here for a
week and half, and when I leave Aubrey, I want to sleep at night knowing that
he’s not being harassed or in danger at his place of business. That’s all.”
between the two of us.
I nodded and
offered a smile.
After a beat,
Tillman let out a heavy sigh and shifted some of his papers around. He picked
up a small evidence baggie that held a key fob. It was bright orange and seemed
to have some sort of room number on it. “We found this in Cassidy’s apartment.
It belongs to a unit at Store Yourself in New Town.” He offered it and Jun
“What’s the chance
of getting a search warrant?” Jun asked, turning the fob around absently.
this time and held up a form. “Just got it, twenty minutes ago. Cassidy has a
record of theft. Appears he’s been obsessed with this pirate Jack guy most of
his life.” He stood. “As a courtesy to you, Agent Tanaka, and because I’m not
well versed in the diaries of merchant sailors from the 1800s… I’ll extend the
offer of you being present while I serve this. Unofficially, of course.”
“Of course.” Jun
stood, and they shook hands again. “I suppose we’ll bump into each other there.
It just so happens that Aubrey is qualified to offer assistance regarding
anything you might find in the unit.”
Tillman looked at
me. “That he is,” he said tersely.
Tillman from Stock Island to New Town and parked outside of Store Yourself
about thirty minutes later. Jun turned the car off, leaned over me to unlock
the glove compartment, and revealed a gun and holster.
“Whoa, you came to
Jun looked at me
briefly before grabbing it. “I don’t go anywhere without a service weapon.”
vacation?” Because I found that sort of… sad.
respond, just put the shoulder holster on. He opened the door and said, “Would
you grab the suit coat in the back seat?”
climbed over the console to reach the folded G-man coat before getting out of
the car. “You came prepared.”
Jun adjusted his
weapon as he came toward me, took the coat, and hid the gun as he slid it over
“You think there’s
something dangerous inside the unit?” I asked, looking up.
“I’d rather not
take any chances. Stay behind and out of the way, okay?”
out of his car beside us and removed the folded warrant from an inner pocket
before leading the way.
Moore,” Jun said, the scuff of his shoes on the pavement echoing over his
words. “Aubrey hired him to paint the first floor of the Smith Home. He finished
that two weeks ago.”
“Is that so.”
“It might account
for the broken window in the parlor,” Jun continued.
and turned to face Jun.
“He’s similar in
appearance to the description Aubrey gave of the second intruder.”
Watching Jun work Tillman
was pretty awesome. I think his good-cop thing was making it difficult for
Tillman to even be properly annoyed, since Jun was technically helping. Just,
you know, sort of passive-aggressively.
“I don’t suppose
he shared yesterday’s whereabouts with you?” Tillman asked.
“He did not.”
Tillman looked at
me briefly before nodding and walking toward the business once more. “I’ll look
into it.” He opened the front door, held it for us, then approached the
counter. He flashed his badge at a disinterested woman.
“I’ve a search
warrant, ma’am,” he said, sliding the form over. “Unit 513, belonging to a Lou
She chewed her gum
loudly, popping a bubble while glancing over the legal form—like anyone
actually read that mumbo jumbo. “Fine with me,” she stated after a moment.
“He’s a week late on payment. Will the police be paying that?”
smiled. “Do you have bolt cutters?”
She sighed and got
to her feet. “Yup. Head on through that door,” she said, indicating a door to
our right. “Unit 513 is down the middle aisle on the left side. I’ll be there
in a moment.”
Tillman said, and I swore if he had a hat on, he would have tipped it.
Jerk never used
his hat-tipping voice on me.
Then again, I had
been sort of a sassy smartass with him the last few—er, all the meetings we’d
had so far.
Jun opened the
door leading to the units, holding it for Tillman and me before bringing up the
rear. “I must admit,” he said quietly. “Curiosity is getting the best of me.”
“You and me both,”
Tillman called. “Man’s apartment is a shrine to all things nautical. I can only
guess as to what’ll be in here.” He stopped outside an orange door about four
by four feet. He looked at me and Jun. “I’ll be disappointed if it’s Christmas
The office door
opened behind us and echoed loudly as it slammed shut. The woman from the
counter was walking toward us with a hefty pair of bolt cutters. “Here you are,
gentlemen,” she said, handing the tool over to Tillman. “Please don’t make a
mess. I’ll be in the office if you need anything.”
her and waited until she’d slammed the door again. He took the clippers to the
combo lock on the door, quickly snapping it. He slipped it free and pocketed
the lock pieces before setting the cutters down on the floor.
Jun took my arm
and gently maneuvered me to stand behind him. He removed his gun and took a
readied stance as Tillman yanked the door open.
The missing skeleton from yesterday came tumbling out, breaking as it
smashed into the linoleum floor.
C.S. Poe is a Lambda Literary and EPIC award finalist author of gay mystery, romance, and paranormal books. She is a reluctant mover and has called many places home in her lifetime. C.S. has lived in New York City, Key West, and Ibaraki, Japan, to name a few. She misses the cleanliness, convenience, and limited-edition gachapon of Japan, but she was never very good at riding bikes to get around. She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued two cats—Milo and Kasper do their best on a daily basis to sidetrack her from work. C.S. is a member of the International Thriller Writers organization. Her debut novel, The Mystery of Nevermore, was published by DSP Publications, 2016.
It’s Thursday morning, the 2nd of October in 1947, and Ronnie Grisham and his pal, Tom Jarrell, are now married… To women, of course…
And, for appearance’s sake and to get a much-needed break from work, Ronnie figures they really should go on a honeymoon.
So, the two couples board the southbound Champion for Miami. It’s all aboard for romance! But not in the way their fellow passengers would imagine, no doubt.
Once there, they get a chance to see Miss Doris Day, who is touring with Les Brown and his Band of Renown. And a good time is had by all!
But all good things must come to an end and, after dropping the gals off at the airport, the guys rent a car and hit the Overseas Highway to head down into the Florida Keys.
Just when it looks like Tom and Ronnie will finally get some time to themselves, a friend of theirs comes across a dead Cuban and is found holding the gun. He says he didn’t do it, but the State’s Attorney isn’t convinced…
Looks like it’s back to work for Daytona Beach’s most infamous lawyer and his private dick!
The Blue Parrot was at the end of a little alley off Fleming Street. The only indication of the place was a blue electric light bulb over a white door with a blue parrot painted on the front. Ronnie was only able to find it because Tom had run into the jail and asked Claud where it was and then ran out with the address. Turned out that it was only a couple of blocks away.
Ronnie pulled open the door and was greeted with the sound of Perry Como singing, “When You Were Sweet Sixteen,” a song that Ronnie had mixed feelings about. He liked the man’s voice and liked to listen to his singing on The Chesterfield Supper Club program on the radio. His voice was smooth and could, at times, get him in the mood. But the song reminded Ronnie of his first meeting Tom because Tom was 16 at the time they met. That had always been a melancholy memory. But, as he moved into the dimly lit bar, he grinned as he realized it wasn’t melancholy anymore. There was no doubt the two were in love with each other and Ronnie was more in love with Tom than ever.
Grinning like a goddam fool, Ronnie walked up to the bar. Looking around, he realized he was only one of four people in the place. A couple, two gals, were sitting in the back at a booth, side by side, and seemed to be whispering sweet nothings to each other.
The other person was the man behind the bar. He was about 5’9″ or so and had a head full of thick graying blond hair that was slicked back with a heavy dose of pomade. He had a friendly expression and bright blue eyes. Wearing a starched white shirt with rolled-up sleeves, open at the neck, and under a bright blue apron, the man walked over. “Are you one of us?” asked the man as he looked up at Ronnie.
With a grin, Ronnie replied, “If you’re wonderin’ whether I prefer Joes over Janes, I do.”
“Welcome, then. What’ll you have?”
“Comin’ right up.” The man’s voice had a slight Irish accent to it.
Ronnie parked himself at the bar and looked around. It was a small place but friendly, clean, and inviting. He’d been to a similar kind of spot a few weeks earlier in West Palm Beach, but it wasn’t nearly as clean or as welcoming. It had been more like a spot to be ashamed of.
The man placed a bottle of Jax in front of him along with a bowl of peanuts. “Where you in from?”
“Daytona Beach,” replied Ronnie as he took a drink of the cold brew.
“Nice place up there. Love that flat beach where you can have a nice stroll. Dodging the cars can be a little tricky, though,” he added with a smile.
“I drive up and down there all the time, but I try to keep my eyes out for any tourists who don’t realize the beach is a road.”
“Good man. What brings you to Key West?”
“Well,” said Ronnie as he picked up a couple of peanuts, “I’m down here with my guy.”
“Lucky man, he is.”
“I don’t know about that.” He popped the peanuts in his mouth and then asked, “Are you Johnny Donahue?”
“The one and the only.”
Ronnie extended his hand across the bar. “My name is Ronnie Grisham.”
“Call me Johnny,” said the man as he shook with a wink.
“And I’m Ronnie.” He leaned in. “Claud Wallace asked me to come over and talk to you about Benny Ibanez.”
Johnny’s smile faded. “I see.”
“What can you tell me about Benny?”
Screwing up his mouth, Johnny looked hard at Ronnie. “And what might your interest be in the matter?”
“I’m trying to find whoever it was who really killed Benny.”
Author Frank W. Butterfield:
Frank W. Butterfield is the Amazon best-selling author of over 20 books and counting in the Nick Williams Mystery series, stories about Nick & Carter, a private dick and a fireman who live and love in San Francisco.
To learn more about Frank W. Butterfield’s novels, Nick & Carter and their ongoing adventures, click here for his website.
“Ah, Doctor Smith,” the shopkeeper
said as Billings walked tentatively into the dimly lit shop. “How are you? So
nice to see you again.”
“I am well, thank you.” Billings’
face was tense and his hands were trembling. He clenched his fist behind his back
and gritted his teeth. He instantly regretted entering the shop. “I believe you
have a new series in,” he asked.
“I do indeed, I do indeed. I have
it right here.” The shopkeeper crouched down and took a large brown paper
envelope from beneath the counter. He was a short corpulent man with dark, oily
skin. Of Arab descent, perhaps. Or maybe Greek. He called himself Al Bull, but
Billings knew that that wasn’t his real name. He smiled sleazily, almost
mockingly, as he pulled a series of cabinet cards out of the envelope and
displayed them one by one on the counter. They were albumen photographs of
young, nude men, practising various sports in a forest meadow. There was one of
a naked discus thrower looking like a Greek statue. There was one of two men
wrestling by a river, and one of a naked man leaning against a tree holding a
javelin. Billings could feel the blood rush to his face as he looked at the
“They’re from a German sports
camp,” the shopkeeper said. “They have the young men exercise in the nude, in
keeping with the custom of the original Greek Olympics.”
looked away, desperate to conceal his blushing. “These will do. Thank you,” he
“I thought they would.” The
shopkeeper smiled as he collected the pictures and pushed them back into the
envelope. “Are the anatomical classes going well, Doctor Smith?”
“Very well, thank you.”
“I’m sure these photographs will
be of great benefit to your students.”
“I’m sure they will. How much are
“Seven and sixpence, please.”
ruffled in his pockets for the money.
“I also have a series of
photographs from the South Seas,” the shopkeeper continued, “of very young boys
in provocative poses. Would that perhaps be of interest to your anatomy
“No, thank you. Just these will
do.” Billings lay the money on the counter and picked up the envelope. He tried
sticking it into the inside pocket of his great coat, but it wouldn’t fit. He
folded the envelope and tried again, but still it was too big.
shopkeeper watched with an amused glint in his eye as a flustered and harried
Billings continued to struggle with the envelope. “You’ll damage the pictures
like that,” he said.
didn’t reply and tried one more fold.
“Is it just muscle structures your
students are interested in?” the shopkeeper asked after Billings finally
succeeded in putting the envelope away. “Or do they like young, lithe physiques
as well? Because if so, I have some pictures in the back room which might
“No, thank you, Mr Bull. I’m in a
“Oh, it won’t take long, Doctor
Smith. My assistant Charlie will gladly show you. You haven’t met Charlie yet,
have you? He is a very pleasant young man. I am sure you’ll like him –
young man pulled open the black curtains which divided the shop from the
storage room and moved to stand behind the counter next to the shopkeeper. He
had a gleeful and cocksure expression in his hazel-green eyes. His thick, dark
blond hair was ragged and uncombed (it was so thick, it was practically
uncombable). His shirt was only half-tucked into his trousers and the top
buttons were undone, revealing pale flesh and a few curly chest hairs.
Billings, who had been desperate to turn his back on the shopkeeper and rush
out of the shop, raised his head to look at him and was instantly infatuated.
Everything about the young man displayed confidence and carelessness, the exact
qualities Billings never possessed, and he was fascinated.
“Charlie, this is Doctor Smith,”
the shopkeeper said. “Doctor Smith is an expert in anatomy. Doctor Smith, this
is Charlie,” he now pointed to his assistant, “who, as you can see, has a very
lovely anatomy.” He laughed. And Charlie laughed along with him. But Billings
was not amused and looked away embarrassed. “Go on, Doctor Smith,” the
shopkeeper continued. “Let Charlie show you what he’s got. It won’t take long,
but I’m sure it’ll be to your satisfaction. Ain’t that right, Charlie?”
“That’s right, Mr Bull,” Charlie
answered with that nasal Cockney twang which Billings always found so ugly, but
which now sounded so lovely coming from Charlie’s lips.
is an intricate link between delusion and depravity, Billings thought
afterwards. The one always precedes the other. He’d had a deluded notion that
it was better to love and lose than never to love at all; that a man needed to
be touched and held regularly in order to function properly; that all men were
entitled to some carnal satisfaction, regardless of their preference or
inclination. These deluded notions had passed through his mind shortly before
committing the act of depravity which was to follow.
followed Charlie into the back room. The room was packed with crates and boxes.
Billings stood in the middle of the room rigidly, pale and nervous, while
Charlie closed the black curtain and turned around to face him.
“Well then, Doctor Smith,” he
said, looking at Billings with that cheeky smile. “What do you want to do?”
“Do?” Billings was trembling and
sweating. “I thought you were going to show me some more pictures?”
“Pictures?” he laughed. “What do
you wanna see pictures for, if you can have the real thing? It’s a bob for a
rub, a shilling and sixpence for a bagpipe, and a half crown if you want the
full story. But we’d have to do that somewhere more discreet. Mr Bull has a
room with a bed available upstairs which you can rent for a shilling. So what
will it be, then?”
“You’re in a hurry, ain’t ya? So
I’ll give you a bagpipe. It won’t take long. You got the money on ya?”
rummaged in his pocket and took out some coins to show Charlie.
“You can pay Mr Bull on your way
out. Now, come and stand by the light.” Charlie walked towards the wall opposite
the window and turned the key on the gas lamp. Billings remained standing on
the spot, unsurely, putting the coins back in his pocket. Charlie looked back
at him and frowned. “Well, come on then.”
“I… um… I think I’d rather look at
the pictures,” Billings said.
laughed. “Will you stop going on about the pictures. Can’t you see I’m offering
you the real thing? Now come here.”
approached him reluctantly. Charlie grabbed the lapels of Billings’s greatcoat
and pulled him towards him, then proceeded to cover his face and neck with
kisses. Billings felt his heart pound as Charlie’s hands reached into his
greatcoat and grabbed hold of his chest. He closed his eyes and clenched his
fists as Charlie proceeded to slide his hand down towards his crotch.
Goosebumps rose all over his body and shudders rushed through him like electric
current when Charlie knelt down before him and started unbuttoning his
trousers. He took a deep breath and flung his head back when suddenly, through
his closed eyelids, he saw a flash of light which woke him from his erotic
“What was that?” he said, pushing
Charlie’s fumbling fingers away from his trouser buttons.
looked up and frowned. “What?”
“There was a flash of light.”
“I didn’t see nothing.”
heart was still pounding, but this time with alarm, rather than titillation.
“There was a light,” he said as he rushed towards the window and opened the
shutter. “I clearly saw a light.”
“It was probably lightning.”
Charlie was still on his knees by the gas lamp.
“It can’t have been lightning.
It’s not raining.”
stuck his head out of the window and looked up and down the narrow alleyway
which led from the shop’s back entrance to Praed Street. There was nothing
there other than a few empty crates which had been stacked against the wall.
“It must’ve been dry lightning,
Doctor Smith. Nothing to worry about. Now, come over here and let me finish
giving you your bagpipe. I ain’t even started yet.”
turned to look back at Charlie, kneeling on the cold brick floor. The gaslight
flooded his head and Billings could see the dirt on the back of his neck and
his shirt collar. He also saw black specks crawling through his unruly hair.
Was it lice? Charlie suddenly didn’t look so appealing anymore. That cheeky,
cocksure smile was replaced by a bored and impatient frown and Billings felt
dirty and sleazy. The thought of that dirty boy’s hands all over him suddenly
made his whole body itch. How could he have allowed himself to sink to this?
“I had better go,” he said,
buttoning up his trousers and tucking in his shirt.
“Ain’t you gonna let me finish
giving you your bagpipe?”
“I’m sorry. I have to go.”
“You are still gonna pay me ain’t
dug into his pocket and took out some coins. “I have two shillings,” he said
and held out the coins to Charlie.
“You gotta pay Mr Bull at the
“Why don’t you take them off me?”
“I don’t know, Doctor Smith,”
Charlie said hesitantly. “I ain’t supposed to. You gotta pay Mr Bull at the
approached him, grabbed his hand and placed the two shillings in it. “Keep the
money for yourself.” He closed Charlie’s fingers over the coins. “I’ll tell Mr
Bull that I changed my mind and that nothing happened. Which is the truth.” He
then turned his back on Charlie, cut through the black drapes and walked back
into the shop.
“Finished already?” the shopkeeper
“I have to go, Mr Bull.”
Billings rushed passed him and out of the
shop. As he crossed the corner into Edgware Road, he bumped into a man carrying
a heavy black leather case over his shoulder, knocking the man’s hat off his
“Oh, I do apologise,” Billings
said while the man crouched down to pick up his hat.
man lifted his head and looked at him. Then a broad smile appeared on his face.
“You again!” It was Jeremiah Rook. “What a coincidence!”
looked at him suspiciously. Was it really a coincidence that he should bump
into the reporter twice on the same day, in two different towns?
“You should watch where you’re
going, Mr Billings,” the reporter continued. “You nearly made me drop my
looked at the leather case hanging from the reporter’s shoulder and wondered
what it contained.
“’Ere, you’re not shadowing me, are
ya?” the reporter asked with a cheeky smile.
“I might ask you the same
question?” Billings replied tersely.
“Why would I shadow you? Have you been doing
something you shouldn’t have?” There was a mocking glint in the reporter’s eyes
as he asked this, and Billings’s attention was again drawn to the suspicious
case on the reporter’s shoulder.
“I expect it’s just a coincidence, then,” Billings
concluded. “We must’ve taken the same train back from
Oxford and we must both be on our way home.”
“I expect that must be the case.”
“Well, good day to you then, Mr
Rook.” Billings tipped his hat at him.
“I’d best be on my way.”
“Good day to you, Mr Billings.”
he got back home, Billings rushed straight to his room, took the envelope out
of his pocket, grabbed a box of matches from the windowsill, crouched down
before the fireplace and set fire to it and its contents. Watching the cindered
remains disappearing down the roster, he decided he’d take a generous dose of
morphine that night. He was determined to sleep soundly. He’d sleep so soundly
that, when he’d wake up the following morning, it would be as if this whole day
had never occurred. As if the day had just been a bad dream. Like one of those
morphine-induced nightmares he sometimes had. He hadn’t given in to temptation.
He hadn’t soiled his consciousness. He hadn’t plotted to maltreat another
fellow human being. He hadn’t risked jeopardizing his career. It had all been a
bad dream, that’s all. A bad, disturbing dream, the likes of which he’d had
many times before.
‘The Ornamental Hermit’ is a thrilling mystery which leads the reader on a colourful journey into Victorian England.’
The year is 1890. Detective Sergeant John Billings is a Quaker. He sees God in everyone and takes other people’s suffering to heart. He is an honest and hard working man who has risen swiftly through the ranks to become one of Scotland Yard’s youngest detectives. But in his private life he struggles with the demons of loneliness, morphine addiction and homosexuality.
More about author Olivier Bosman:
Born to Dutch parents and raised in Colombia and England, I am a rootless wanderer with itchy feet. I’ve spent the last few years living and working in The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sudan and Bulgaria, but I have now finally settled down among the olive groves of Andalucia.
For updates on my latest projects and the occasional freebie, please join my mailing list.