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A sound of water haunts the cottage of Gothic novelist Joanna Larne, and a ghostly man who resembles her lost lover appears on the beach.
When Joanna saves the life of a tourist, she finds herself in the middle of an old unsolved murder mystery and a real ghost
Between cherries and Mac’s praise for my book, I’d almost forgotten to ask him about Ned Seymour. “When I bought my cottage, I didn’t know that Spearmint Lake had a ghost.”
He cast me a teasing smile. “That has to be the Ned Seymour Case. I don’t know as I’d call him a ghost, though. It’s just an unsolved murder that attracted several embellishments over the years.”
“Do you know what happened?”
“I do. Twenty years ago this month, a passing motorist found Lieutenant Seymour’s cruiser abandoned on White Pine Road--right near where you were standing the other day. She reported it, and the police found Seymour’s body in the woods. He’d been shot in the head.”
“So he left his car, probably to pursue someone.”
“That’s the best theory.”
“And you never found the killer?”
I detected a morsel of condescension in his smile. “I wasn’t on the force at the time, ma’am. No, the case remains unsolved to this day.”
Apparently Mac wasn’t one of the embellishers.
“Those are the bare facts, but do you know anything else about the case?” I asked.
“About the ghost, you mean.”
Mac understood me, and I felt that he was secretly amused by my curiosity. But why? Who didn’t love a ghost story? Besides, the incident was practically ancient history.
“First let me ask you something,” he said. “Do you believe in ghosts--or do you just write about them?”
“I’m not sure.” I smiled, recalling the moment when I’d wondered if Mac was a phantom policeman. I should tell him that. Maybe I would some day, but not until I knew him well. “I’ve never seen a spirit in real life, but I’m open to being convinced.”
“Isn’t a real life spirit an oxymoron?”
“I guess so, but it sounds right.”
At that moment, I remembered the sound of falling water in the cottage, but that had nothing to do with the supernatural. I simply hadn’t found its source yet.
“That’s an intelligent attitude,” Mac said. “I deal with facts, Joanna. Ghosts are for Halloween and the gullible.”
“And the tourist?”
He laughed. “And for ladies who write stories.”
“Then you can tell me all about Ned Seymour’s ghost.”
The candles cast their shadows, and the rain continued to batter the Grill. Pie, coffee, and thunder set the stage for spirit talk. Mac lowered his voice. The gleam in his eyes was a wicked, teasing light. “I do know a few other details, Joanna. If you bring your pie and coffee over to my table, I’ll tell you the real story--the one we don’t want people to know. Unless they live here, that is. You’re a cottage owner, so...”
“I can be trusted with the town secret?”
He moved his jacket to the back of a spare chair. “You catch on fast.”
He might be teasing me, but the invitation was genuine. I brought my cup and plate to his table just as the waitress served him another piece of pie. Mac had a pillar candle too. Conscious of a delicious chill, I held my hand above the flame.
Mac said, “One day, shortly after Ned was buried, his little sister, Natalie, claimed that she saw him. For a long time afterward, she refused to believe he was dead. She kept looking for him.”
“How little was Natalie at the time?” I asked.
Dorothy Bodoin lives in Royal Oak, Michigan, with her black collie, Holly, who appears in the Foxglove Corners cozy mysteries as Halley. After attending Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where she earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English, she taught secondary English for several years. Now she is a full-time writer of cozy mysteries and novels of romantic suspense. At present she is working on a novel of romantic suspense.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 348
Paper Weight (lb): 14.6
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