Silence is golden until it hides a murderer’s step ~ and endangers the woman he loves
Lord Christopher Sterry is deaf in a day and age when the world regards his ‘kind’ as less than human. That doesn’t stop him from running the business of an earl in his twin brother’s name until his twin is murdered and Christopher becomes the Earl of Longford. As the person who found the body, Christopher becomes prime suspect to those who consider him no more than a well-trained animal. They threaten his title, his life, and his one true love.
Helen Grove waits at the altar while her groom, the Earl of Longford, lies murdered in the folly, but there is no time to mourn, especially since love never entered into the arrangement. His brother, Christopher, her closest friend and confident, is in danger and so, it appears, is she. Ignoring her own risks, Helen crosses into the line of fire to protect the new earl.
Lady Eleanor solves crimes more thoroughly than any male magistrate so when her godson, Christopher, is condemned without evidence, she sets out to prove both his innocence and competence as earl, by uncovering the real culprit.
Book 2 ~ Lady Eleanor Mysteries ~ Regency romantic mystery with a touch of Gothic.
Chapter 1 - Death
He couldn’t breath, fought to tamp fury. Anger, controlled and tamed since youth, had turned into a red, billowing rage, transforming him into the madman the world had always expected him to be.
Christopher trembled as he looked down at his twin, Thomas Anderson Sterry, the eighth earl of Longford, lying lifeless in a pool of blood on the silk Aubusson carpet. The carpet, meant for the great dining room, had been moved to the long narrow folly for the event. A Grecian temple with Doric columns, built by their grandfather, honoring classical history. Bright, open to the sultry breeze.
Never intended to be a venue for death.
Especially not today.
The carpet, the damask-covered table set with utmost precision—de Lamerie flatware, crystal champagne flutes and blue and gold Worcester porcelain only brought out for the most esteemed guests. All in place for a wedding breakfast of lobster bisques, salmon eggs and champagne, accompanied by laughter and thinly veiled teasing.
Thomas’s wedding breakfast.
Christopher had prepared a surprise. Though mute since he lost his hearing at age seven, he’d practiced, prepared to embarrass himself with a mangled attempt to offer a toast to the bride and groom. Moot now, for his brother, his twin, who should be standing at the altar in the chapel, getting married in front of their family and friends, was now dead.
He swallowed the chaos, conjured fierce discipline to fight the howling beast within.
Others would be coming soon to see what caused the delay. They could be there now.
Christopher spun around to a stream of people rushing toward the folly. Had he screamed, cried out? His throat was raw with suppressed emotion, so overwhelming something could have escaped. It did when he slept, nightmare prompted wails that drew servants from all quarters of the manor. Keening, Thomas had called it, like a trapped and wounded beast.
He felt trapped now, stunned and primitive as that beast, fury over the violence, the loss; fear of what could come his way, of being caged. He had found the body, stood over it, could easily have perpetrated the act.
No question what Edmund, his youngest brother, thought, charging toward him, lunging up the steps of the folly. Whatever he saw in Christopher’s eyes stopped him, one step shy of the folly floor. He braced his hands against a column, as if to thrust it out of the way. Livid, accusing eyes on Christopher, blaming him.
As everyone would do, because he couldn’t speak, couldn’t explain in a manner acceptable to them.
As if he would ever harm Thomas.
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
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