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Lady Eleanor Mysteries
BY BECCA ST. JOHN
It seemed like the perfect match: a marriage to restore the Duke of Summerton’s crumbling family estate and give the heiress Caroline Howlett the status of duchess. But the bride doesn’t give a fig for status.
Forced into the marriage, Caroline is determined to leave the duke, until a dead body—and the very real threat that she and the duke are the next targets—gets in her way.
Can the Duke’s astute aunt, Lady Eleanor, solve the mystery of the deaths before the killers strike again? And can Caroline let down her guard long enough for the Duke’s attractions to penetrate her heart?
Jane Austen meets Agatha Christie in this new Regency mystery series with a touch of Gothic romance.
Lady Eleanor Mysteries
BY BECCA ST. JOHN
Summerton gestured to the corpse. “I believe this is your Alice.”
“Alice? But that’s not possible.” Caroline pushed past him, past George, who looked like he wanted to cry rather than let her near the body. She crouched, her hand on the fallen figure.
“Are you certain she is dead?” she asked.
George grumbled something Summerton couldn’t understand. He didn’t ask him to elaborate anymore than he tried to respond to Caroline. She knew the truth of it, just needed a few moments to reconcile expectation and reality.
“Why do you think this is Alice?” she asked, frowning, studying the dress. “This looks familiar, but Alice is much smaller. She’s thin as a rake.”
Summerton hunched down beside her, lifting one hem after another, revealing finer and finer quality of clothes. Caroline fell back and sat on the ground, bewildered. Or doing a fine imitation of appearing that way. He wasn’t quite sure what to believe.
“Those are my dresses.”
“I rather gathered that.”
“But why?” she asked, then gasped. “Oh dear, that does explain…”
He watched, waited for her to finish. “Explain what?”
She shook her head, moved to lift the handkerchief. He stilled her hand, felt the coldness she’d hidden. Whatever her plan had been last night, this was not part of it. She was fighting shock.
“You don’t want to see,” he told her.
“I want to be sure it’s her,” Caroline told him.
“It’s not pretty.”
“Brutal death rarely is, but I’ve seen my share, limbs torn off, workers crushed. Factories can be very dangerous places.”
He held her hand a beat longer, to instill some warmth, then let go. She lifted the kerchief. Tears blossomed. Reverently, she lowered the cloth.
“I didn’t much care for her; she was a meager-minded soul, but no one deserves to have their life taken this way.”
“Hung herself,” George corrected.
“No.” Caroline and Summerton responded as one.
“Clear as the lines on my face,” he argued. “See here’s the rope, there’s the rest of it up there.” He pointed to a heavy branch above them, a length of rope coiled and tied around it. “She were too heavy, and it broke,” he pointed to the frayed ends. “See?”
“I don’t think so,” Summerton argued, interested to see Caroline shaking her head right along with him. “She did not do this to herself.”
“Why not?” George demanded, clearly baffled.
“Rudimentary, to a lady.” Caroline explained. “She’d not bother to steal my clothes to kill herself. She had other plans.”
An Accidental Writer ~
Writing was a tool, not a toy, until a stay in a haunted hotel and a bookcase full of dog-eared romances. Hooked, Becca read old romances, new romances, both sexy and sweet, until her own tales begged to be written.
Living in Florida, Becca divides her time between dreaming up stories, diving deep into history, kayaking, and swimming. Her husband gives her the space she needs by fishing in the mangroves and waterways, or watching football (the English sort) with his British buddies. Becca and her hubby break the routine with adventure travel; though, at heart, Becca is a homebody believing there is no greater playground than inside the mind.
Links to Becca’s website, blog, books, etc.
Buy link: http://amzn.to/1pDiV4v
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**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Becca is giving away a Regency Retro Silver Pendant necklace, along with an e-copy of SUMMERTON, to one lucky reader who comments on her **Author Peek** Interview or Killer Book Bench blogs. Thank you, Becca, for sharing your story with us.
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!