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Death at the Races

Release Date: January 2015

Chapter 1: The Honeymooners

Inspector Rodney Wilson fumbled in his trench coat pocket. His fingers groped for two vital slips of paper, the key to what he hoped would be a week of wedded bliss. The train tickets had not spared his wallet. But he considered them a worthwhile investment in a life free of lawful impediments. A new life sanctioned by the Church and sealed in the marriage register that morning. His promising future, coupled with a well-earned promotion, made for a heady optimism. The kind of optimism shared by the impressionable, the faith-filled and the newly wed. Preoccupied with his rosy prospects, Rodney didn’t see the train coming.

The young detective looked up, alerted by the strident squeal of metal on metal. A sleek, electric locomotive slithered along gleaming tracks. With a loud hiss, the train’s pneumatic brakes released enormous pressure. Eighty tons of steel ground to a halt before reaching the end of the line.

The train’s serpentine body dragged with it the tail of a squall that lashed Rodney’s face with ferocity. He eyed his shivering bride of a few hours and shielded her from the abrasive wind, while continuing to probe his pockets. A triumphant grin spread across his face as he extracted the elusive first-class return tickets to York.

“Found them.” He brandished the flimsy tickets, his extravagant exit strategy from the London hubbub.

“You’ll lose your head one day,” Diane said. “I knew I should have kept them in my purse.” And thus did his new bride christen their marriage with her first reproach.