Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Unnoticed, that is, until the day Mearns receives a parcel containing a gruesome surprise: a pair of severed human legs. The legs belong to a fellow soldier. Casting aside official protocol, Mearns and Denny decide to investigate the murder themselves, also enrolling the help of a precocious young runaway, Charlie. But soon these maverick investigators find themselves up against all manner of obstacles and danger, not the least of which is the Crown Keepers of the Peace---a unit of former soldiers headed by Mearns's nemesis, Felix Ferguson.
With more butchered body parts turning up in parcels and the number of deaths rising, our amateur investigators find themselves up to their necks in corruption and intrigue. Mearns struggles to keep Ferguson at bay, not only during the investigation, but also for the affections of the desirable Mindy, a maidservant in the castle. With the pressure on, can Mearns get to the bottom of the murders and win the heart of his ladylove?
With Dread Murder, Gwendoline Butler delivers a cleverly cunning and old-fashioned mystery that hides a gruesome murder behind its charming facade.
frightening thoughts and giving yourself a nightmare during the day. He had got enough of those at night: hands grabbing; sticks raining sharp, hard blows on his back; a kick; a slap. Without meaning to, he put his hand to his ear, as if he felt the slap now. He looked round, but there was no one there. No one following him. People passing up and down the same path, but not following him. Or even looking at him. He was observed, however. A sharp pair of eyes was watching Charlie from the
Charlie could almost hear the shouts and feel the soldier’s hot breath on his own face. Somehow this steadied him, because he knew that this scene was horrible, but not real; and horrors needed to be real to be truly frightening. He did not put this into words, but he knew inside him that true horrors were solid and walked around this earth on two feet. So he picked up the basket and laboured up the path. He certainly did know the way, and if he did not, there was Major Mearns walking towards
you want to take.’ The boy got together his small pathetic traps: a broken comb, a white cotton square with ragged edges – obviously his handkerchief – and a battered, small, black notebook. Charlie, although not tall, was strongly built. ‘Hop on my back. I’ll help – hang on. Here we go. Come on Dog!’ The strangely assorted trio climbed the hill to the Castle. Charlie knew an entrance at the side and went through. He put the boy down on a chair, which was in a recess and used by the messengers.
picture she made in another high-waisted blue dress that fitted her slim figure well. ‘It won’t be a risk. I will take Jo with me, and Charlie can keep in the background to watch over my welfare.’ Charlie and Jo sat up eagerly. Mearns caught Denny’s eye – the thought in both their minds that they, too, would be in the vicinity. On that note of agreement they fixed a time for the morrow, in the morning. The next morning Mindy and Jo, whose lameness was now cured, walked past Felix’s office,
it was their victory. ‘I remember his hurt …he was never as careful as we were.’ Years ago they had all been young; but Traddles was older than Denny and Mearns. The Major was remembering too. He turned away. ‘Aye. Cover him up again. What we’ve got of him.’ Just in time, Denny performed this service for Traddles, as footsteps sounded on the flagstones. Mindy came across towards them. She looked neat and pretty in her print dress and soft woollen shawl. She had put on a little weight over the