The Key to Secrets

The Crime

When Constable Hector Evans returns to Chalmsley Court, he doesn’t expect the violent crime to be the murder of one of Lord Chalmsley’s guests.

His lordship wants a quick resolution, before gossip about the crime’s salacious nature and trap-like killing becomes widespread.

With no murder weapon, no identifiable clues, and no eyewitnesses, Hector has little to build a case.  He has plenty of suspects, even when he realizes the murderer must be a woman.

The suspects

Even though other guests could have killed the man, Hector finds himself focusing on the Chalmsley family. 
  • Was it compulsive Cordelia? 
  • Obsessive Portia? 
  • Mad Aunt Beth, who gives him riddling clues as snippets of ballads?
  • Hector would blame George, who grew up tormenting his sisters and torturing small animals, but George left two years ago for a rest-cure in Vienna.  He can’t have returned, can he?
  • Or is it his lost love Bee?
Bee Seddars, the girl who broke his heart, is a distraction he doesn’t need, especially as she and her cousins are among those celebrating recent engagements.  Bee is as lovely as he once thought her and seemingly the most rational member of the Chalmsley family, but he wonders if a few brief months so many summers ago could possibly give him an understanding of who she is.

The Problems

Hector can’t get Bee to open up about the Chalmsley family secrets.  Unlocking those, he believes, is key to solving the murder.  Yet she mistrusts him—while he thought she was the one who broke the trust between them, since she refused to write him after he was sent away to join the Bow Street Runners.

In his first twelve hours on the case, the murder scene is torched and the victim’s journal is burned.  
In his second twelve hours, a second fiancé is murdered with the missing weapon.  And Hector’s suspect lists remains an ell long and a grief wide.

With madness looking like the strongest motive and only circumstantial evidence to build his case, will Hector find the murderess before she strikes again? 

Or will he discover his lost love Bee Seddars is causing bloody death?

He needs The Key to Secrets at Chalmsley Court.

View the trailer here:

 

A cozy mystery of 66,000 words, The Key to Secrets is the seventh entry in the Hearts to Hazard series of Regency mysteries.  Each book is a standalone novel, complete unto itself, with loose interconnections of characters.

Constable Hector Evans was first introduced in The Danger to Hearts, the sixth Hearts in Hazards.

The place to buy

The Key for Spies ~ book 8 in the Hearts in Hazard series of historical mysteries/suspense.

Spies and traitors.  Lies and treachery.  Unexpected love where bullets fly.

One traitor destroys loyalty.  What will two traitors destroy?

The British spy Simon Pargeter scouts the terrain for Wellington’s army in French-controlled Spain.  Miriella de Teba ye Olivita, the famed Doñabella, wants to give him aid, but she must first find the traitor lurking in her band of guerillas.

Can Simon escape the French patrol hot on his trail?  With Major Pierre LeCuyer actively seeking Doñabella’s identity, can Miri hold her guerrillas together long enough to get the information Simon needs?  Can she locate the traitor before she is unmasked?

Or will the traitors reap the reward while Simon and Miri swing from a gallows?

https://books2read.com/u/3RKYpj

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MTSQTY7

trailer https://youtu.be/Ehc7VxUxCp4

Hero and Villain

Meet the protagonist Simon and one of the antagonists for The Key for Spies, a January release by M.A. Lee in her historical mystery / suspense series Hearts in Hazard.

1st April 1813, Thursday

Thieves night.

That’s what his older brother called it, back when they’d run together.  They’d taken to the dark streets, smashed locks to steal pastries or sausages, pried open windows to climb into dark rooms, and stolen locked boxes with stashes of coins.  He never knew who Mattias worked for.  Belly stuffed with iced rolls or spiced sausage, he had trailed behind his brother.  Until the gendarmes caught Mat with a hand stuck in the alms box.

Hidden behind a dark column, he’d frozen when the gendarmes appeared.  Then black wings flapped before his face.  He ran until his sides hurt and his too-tight shoes split along the worn sides.  He’d abandoned his brother, a betrayal that had never left him.

The next day he ran on to Marseilles.  There, he re-invented himself as Pierre LeCuyer.

Continue reading “Key for Spies ~ Meet Hero & Villain”

Start January off Right!

Three Books to Enjoy!

From M.A. Lee, we have two Regency mysteries with a dash of suspense.

From Remi Black, we have the second novella in the Fae Mark’d World series, Spells of Air.

We also have the audio Podcast from The Write Focus.

 

Mysteries Fused with Romance

First up, we have two of the three Key titles in the Hearts in Hazard series. All three have strong male protagonists. With The Key for Spies, Lee also achieved 1.5 million published fiction words. With all the titles that she’s published since 2019, she’s over 2 million published words.

The third book in the subseries is The Key with Hearts. We’ll celebrate that novel in February.

On January 15, The Key for Spies.

Spies and traitors.  Lies and treachery.  Unexpected love where bullets fly.

One traitor destroys loyalty.  What will two traitors destroy?

Here are three links.

  • View the trailer for The Key for Spies: https://youtu.be/Ehc7VxUxCp4 

The ebook and paperback can be published at online distributors everywhere or ask for it at the library:

A Trio of Keys with Intriguing Men

On January 20

The Key to Secrets, book 7 in the Hearts in Hazard series, published in 2018 and featuring one of Lee’s recurring characters, Constable Hector Evans.

Dark Hearts and Sharp Knives.

Hector Evans has plenty of suspects for a bloody death—including the woman he once loved.

View the trailer at this link: https://youtu.be/1Sj7NfvxzXg

The ebook and paperback can be found at online distributors or ask for it your library.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0795F86YW

B&N / Kobo and more: https://books2read.com/u/mZj0Ke

Fantasy Fused with Romance

On January 25 is Remi Black’s To Charm the Wind,  published in 2021 and now 2 years old!

To Charm the Wind has entered the terrible 2’s!

When Haven isn’t a Sanctuary—

When the untried wizard Orielle enters the Wilding on her journey to Iscleft Haven, she expects threats from bears and mountain lions, vipers and hornets.

Published January 31, 2021

She certainly doesn’t expect the creatures of legend: wraiths and gobbers, shape-shifting wyre, and the Dark Fae called the Kyrgy.

Grim, an outcast from Iscleft Haven, is the keen steel that stands with her against these dangers.

Yet when they reach the Haven, the elder arrests Grim. The Haveners aren’t interested in a renewed alliance with the Wizard Enclave.

Is her mission for the Enclave in vain?

Will she ever escape the Wilding?

 

For Writers, the January series of The Write Focus.

January starts with a free opening scene.

  • Last year was Remi Black’s short story, “Godriana’s Font”. You can get the entire story free with this Book Funnel link: click.
  • The year before was M.A. Lee’s “The Lion’s Den”, also available as a freebie through Book Funnel: here.
  • This year, things are little hectic. (Okay, a LOT hectic.) If we manage the recording, it will be the opening scene from “The Poisoner and the Faerie Huntsman”. You can access the story as a freebie through Book Funnel: also here.

The starting series for 2023, our fourth season, is Discovering Characters. Enjoy!

Visit The Write Focus website for more information and links to every episode.

Here’s the link to the blog site: https://thewritefocus.blogspot.com/

Enjoy January and look forward to February.

The thaw is coming!

start 2023 with a freebie.

Jack Portman had never forgotten Filly Malvaise. Then she walked into his local pub and into the clutches of a loan shark. Can he rescue her before she falls victim to evil?

The Lion’s Den is connected by a single thread to the Into Death series, which features the artist Isabella Newcombe. Jack and Filly first appeared in the mystery Christmas with Death.

Read this novelette and join the newsletter with Book Funnel: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/wc84divkre