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A Burning Truth - ebook

A Cady Delafield Mystery

In the fight for justice, murder victims are not the only casualties.

There’s no shortage of deadly deeds in 1881 Chicago as school administrator Cady Delafield and entrepreneur Doyle Flanagan plan their wedding. When one of Doyle’s workers is brutally killed he must use his considerable power to stop a mysterious enemy bent on destroying his reputation and business empire. But as Cady and Doyle struggle to keep their marriage on track, the murder victims might not be the only casualties.

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    Excerpt 

    He jolted away from her. Grunting, he dragged the heavy couch from the wall. A hand drawn over the cool metal of the wall safe assuaged his fear. “Thank God. All my notes and original drawings for future projects are still locked up.” With a parting thankful pat to the safe, he said, “Let’s find out where Tatter is.”

    They checked several more offices. It was as if someone had swiped a hand across the top of all the desks and whisked everything to the floor. Except in an odd twist, all the desk lamps remained untouched.

    “It’s a good thing those oil lamps didn’t get knocked over,” Cady said, amplifying his very thought. “All that fluid soaking into the wood floor.”

    Adding to the risk of fire.

    How strange someone should have gone out of their way to create chaos but held back from burning the place down.

    “Let’s continue on,” Doyle said, and pushed the horrific notion of fire from his brain as he ushered her back into the corridor. He opened another door and swung the lamp inside. “Stay back!”

    “What is it?” She lurched to the side, peeking around him before he could stop her. Clamping a hand over her mouth, she made a gulping noise like she might lose her dinner.

    He threw an arm about her shoulder and drew her some distance away then held her close, trying to quiet her trembling and drawing comfort from the nearness of her.

    After she’d collected herself, she said, “Is it Tatter?”

    “Yes.” He tucked her head into the hollow of his shoulder, regretful she’d seen the dead body and wishing to God it wasn’t the old man.

    “Who would do such a thing?” she mumbled, her cheek pressed against his coat.

    “Some monster.”

    Wasn’t it bad enough to kill the man but to… Doyle flinched and gagged. Tatter sat on the closet floor, one leg stretched out while the other angled at the knee, the toe of a scuffed boot under his calf. His head lolled against the wall. White hair fell over his forehead while his right hand, severed at the wrist, was shoved into his mouth. The fingers stuck out like a rooster’s tail.

    “Go downstairs and wait for me,” he said, sickened by the image. He gave her bottom a gentle pat.

    She stiffened, her shoulders drawing in. Expecting her objection, he was shocked when, without argument, she hurried off, skirts flapping behind her. When she was out of sight Doyle, seething with a need to avenge the old man’s death, turned back to Tatter. He extracted the dog-eared pamphlet from the man’s serge vest and scanned the notice with a frown. Doyle’s blood chilled.

Reviews

Grade 
10/8/2017

Little Women meets Sherlock Holmes

A Burning Truth is Little Women meets Sherlock Holmes in 1881 Chicago (though it may take more than one character to equal the sleuthing ability of Sherlock, the gist of this statement remains true).

Cady Delafield, a strong-willed, sometimes bull-headed, school administrator, and her romantic partner, Doyle Flanagan, a shipping mogul who made his fortune rebuilding Chicago after the Great Fire in 1871, find their relationship suffering due to the murder and mayhem that seems to also have a special affection for Doyle. Even though the couple’s first meeting happened over a dead body in Cady’s office (in A Deadly Truth, the first book of the Cady Delafield Mystery series), both had hoped to put the tragedy behind them. The discovery of another gruesome murder forces Cady to extremes in defense of Doyle’s good name and finds Doyle scrambling to solve a murder, save his business, and, at the same time, protect Cady from the trauma currently surrounded his life. The burning truth may be that Cady can more easily handle the emotional turmoil of a murder mystery than facing the possibility of giving up her independence for a man, even a man she so passionately desires.

Though A Burning Truth is the second book the Cady Delafield Mystery series, a fact I was unaware of when I chose to read this book, the storyline, told in third-person limited and alternating in the perspectives of our two main characters, stands well on its own. Choosing which is the main plot, however, can be confusing. If Cady is viewed as the main character, then the main plot is a love story interrupted by a murder. If Doyle is our main, then the plot is a murder mystery that includes the parallel-plot of a love story. Doyle is the one digging into the mystery of the burglary of his business and the subsequent murder of his security guard. Doyle’s nemesis, Chief Inspector Middendorf is also investigating the case which only adds to Doyle’s frustrations. He doubts Middendorf has any real motivation to solve the crime that is threatening his business, his reputation, and his relationship with Cady. I personally found the murder mystery focus to be the more enjoyable and more skillfully written plot-line to follow.

Overall, I think that this book would be found enjoyable by those who enjoyed reading Little Women. I personally found no attachment to Cady’s character and found the dramatic language to be draining during scenes from her perspective. I found the same fault with the revered classic Little Women which means this is simply an issue of my personal tastes and by no means the fault of the Proell’s writing style. I did, however, enjoy Doyle and the murder mystery story-line which made setting aside my own prejudices towards the character of Cady worth it.

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A Burning Truth - ebook

A Burning Truth - ebook

In the fight for justice, murder victims are not the only casualties.

There’s no shortage of deadly deeds in 1881 Chicago as school administrator Cady Delafield and entrepreneur Doyle Flanagan plan their wedding. When one of Doyle’s workers is brutally killed he must use his considerable power to stop a mysterious enemy bent on destroying his reputation and business empire. But as Cady and Doyle struggle to keep their marriage on track, the murder victims might not be the only casualties.

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