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A Burning Truth - print View larger

A Burning Truth - print

A Cady Delafield Mystery

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

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    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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    A Burning Truth - print

    A Burning Truth - print

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


    “My plans!” 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.

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