Whirlwind Romance

A rush of emotion dropped a veil over all but the tiny world of the two people in seats 11A and 11B, in a jet plane floating somewhere over the Atlantic, in a still moment in time.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

An Antique Train, a Mysterious Corpse, and a Frightened Girl--The Penhallow Train Incident


Want to read an intriguing excerpt from my mystery, The Penhallow Train Incident? Your wish is my command.



An antique train, a mysterious corpse, a bank robbery, a treasure map, and romantic rumblings make for passion and adventure in small town Maine.

In the sleepy coastal Maine town of Penhallow, a stranger dies on a train, drawing Historical Society Director, Rachel Tinker, and curmudgeonly retired professor, Griffin Tate, into a spider’s web of archaeological obsession and greed. With the help of the victim’s rival, they set out to locate the Queen of Sheba’s tomb. Their plans are stymied when a war erupts between the sheriff and a state police detective who want to arrest the same man for different crimes. It’s up to Rachel to solve a mystery that includes two more murders, if she wants to unlock the soft heart that beats under Griffin’s hard crust.

Maine train tracks


Maine, like many states,  is crisscrossed with old railroad beds. The Penhallow Train Incident refers to the fictional Penhallow and Moosehead Railroad. Much like other railways, its heyday came during the 19th century, when it ferried goods, mail, and passengers to many small towns in central Maine. As the story opens, several tourists are enjoying an excursion, complete with a reenactment of a train robbery, when the corpse of a mysterious foreign man is discovered.



Preoccupied with leads relating to the dead man’s presence in Penhallow, our heroine Rachel Tinker is confronted with a new clue. What she doesn’t know is whether it is connected to the victim or to some other mystery.
 
The Clue
Excerpt (PG): The Clue

            Feeling restless, Rachel decided to go back to work. She let herself into the historical society, turned the sign over to OPEN, and went to her office. Immersed in a treatise on the Scottish roots of Penhallow, she didn’t hear the entrance bell ring below. She looked up from her desk to find the woman from the photo standing in her door, her purse clutched to her bosom, staring at her. “Are you Rachel Tinker?”
“Yes. Can I help you?” Rachel thought frantically. How do I call Toby without spooking her?
“You’re the town historian?”
“Yes.”
The front door dinged again. The woman glanced over her shoulder. Then, eyes wide with fear, she tossed the purse at Rachel and ran. Rachel picked it up and, without hesitating, hid it in the file cabinet. Then she went out to the hallway and walked down the spiral iron stairs to the ground floor. The woman stood near the door pretending to examine an exhibit on Main Street businesses. Beside her, the man from the photo whispered rapidly in her ear, his hands balled into fists at his side. She cringed a bit but stood her ground.
Something told Rachel not to mention the purse. “Hello there—can I help you two?”
The man turned. His face was no longer bland. In fact, the rage sluicing from him forced Rachel to take a step backward. He spat out, “Who are you?”
Excuse me? “I am the director of the Penhallow Historical Society. Who are you?”
This seemed to throw him. The woman touched his arm. “Dad, this lady simply showed me where the restroom is. There’s no need to be rude.”
Rachel made a quick calculation. “That’s right. No trouble finding it, I hope?”
“None at all. Thank you.” She took her father’s arm. “This looks like a very interesting museum. It’s too bad we don’t have time to look around right now. Thanks for your help.” She walked out, accompanied by a now rather subdued parent.
Rachel stood in the middle of the hall. What the hell was that all about? Finally she flipped the sign to CLOSED, locked the front door, and stumped back up the stairs to her office. She moved deliberately to the cabinet and pulled the purse out. For a short minute she considered taking it straight to Toby. Then she opened it.
In the main compartment, she found a packet of tissues, a pen, a ten-dollar bill, a comb, and a piece of yellowed paper, folded in half. She unfolded it. It was a deposit slip from the Penhallow Bank and Trust made out for $233.68, dated August 2, 2005.

~~

The Wild Rose Press, 3/30/2016, Crimson Rose Line
Contemporary romantic suspense/Cozy Mystery; Sensual (PG-PG13)
Ebook 79,665 words, Print 334 p.

Buy Links:
Pre-order as of 2/6/2016; release date 3/30)



3 comments:

C.B. Clark said...

Great excerpt! Very exciting. Hope your book does well. All the best.

Melissa Keir said...

Exciting excerpt! Now I'm wondering what Dad knows!

M. S. Spencer said...

thanks for reading--the plot is thick and gets thicker! M. S.