The Key to Secrets

View the trailer here:

 

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.

released 2018

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.

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 trailerhttps://youtu.be/1Sj7NfvxzXg

The place to buy

Hero and Villain

Meet the protagonist Simon and one of the antagonists for The Key for Spies, the most recent 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 Opening”

 

Just because the typing is finished doesn’t mean the manuscript preparation is over.

But typing ended on January 5.

Then it was revisions (adding in and fixing things), corrections, proofreading and editing for typos.

After that, uploading to Amazon, waiting for approval and addition to their online store. and you can find it here.

The Key for Spies went live! on January 15.

January 15 will now become its official birthdate.

First comes the trailer . . . because I like creating them.

Here it is:  telling about the story and setting the tone.

 

Happy New Year! Let’s start 2021 with a freebie.

We have the first scene in the novella The Lion’s Den, set in London after the Great War. It’s from M.A. Lee, which means it’s a mystery!

Here’s the Teaser:

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?

Listen to the excerpt on Podbean or YouTube. It’s less than 15 minutes.

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.

Click here if you’re curious about the first Into Death book, Digging into Death.  (It’s a trailer!) Purchase it here.

If you enjoy this excerpt, write to winkbooks@aol.com to receive a free copy of The Lion’s Den and to subscribe to our newsletter. We won’t bombard you with emails, promise, just quick monthly announcements of what’s new and what’s relevant in the Writers Ink world, composed to M.A. Lee, Edie Roones, and Remi Black.

Visit writersinkbooks.com to find more works by these three writers.

PROMO

At the first of the year–and the end of the year–M.A. Lee always promotes the Think/Pro Planner for Writers. The planner offers daily incentives to track word counts and a project’s progression, with monthly and yearly reviews and previews to keep us advancing toward our publication goals.