Keeping Bad Company (A Liberty Lane Mystery)
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Private investigator Liberty Lane faces the most challenging case of her career in this absorbing mystery - London, 1840. Private investigator Liberty faces a conundrum when her younger brother Tom, an East India Company employee, is unexpectedly summoned to London to give evidence at an official enquiry into the murder of a wealthy merchant’s assistant, found with his throat cut en route to Bombay. A connection between the dead man and escalating rows with China over the lucrative opium trade has caused the government concern. Can Liberty solve a murder that took place six months previously almost five thousand miles away?
here. I’m going to find a hansom.’ ‘And carry me into it with a sack over my head?’ ‘If necessary, yes.’ Mr Calloway gave a diplomatic cough. He’d collected my cloak and had it over his arm. ‘Mr Lane, may I suggest that we both escort your sister home.’ He had such a reasonable air about him that my angry brother unbarred his eyebrows and lowered his voice. ‘May I ask who you are, sir?’ ‘Malcolm Calloway, of the Foreign Office, at your service. I had the honour to be introduced to Miss
legal document. He turned it over. The writing on the outside was also in a clerkly hand, but not the same as the one on the covering wrapper. LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF EDMUND GRIFFITHS ESQUIRE. ‘When did this arrive?’ ‘By the morning post. I’d have rushed it round to you, only I didn’t think it was important.’ ‘Why has he sent me his will?’ Tom stared at me then at the still-folded document, getting no answer from either. I picked up the wrapper. There were two lines of writing on the
When it came sideways on to me I had a glimpse through the window and saw the man in white. There were other people in there with him, in darker clothes, two of them I thought. Before I could see more, a hand in a white glove pulled down the blind over the window. It wasn’t the man’s hand. He hadn’t been wearing gloves. This was a long glove, a woman’s, and the hand inside it was small and slim. I watched as the carriage rolled slowly away. ‘They’ll be needing a farrier,’ a voice said from
to ask him. But the blood can’t keep on boiling and I was very weary from a fast walk to Ludgate Hill and back. I turned over a few more pages of manuscript, hoping to come across the name of McPherson, but my eyes rebelled against reading so much by lamplight and kept shutting. I marked my place in the pile of manuscript, stacked it up tidily and went to bed. Around mid-afternoon next day, Tom Huckerby was at the bottom of my stairs, hat in hand, hair disordered. ‘It’s gone. Somebody just
dilute carbolic and cotton gauze. They arrived on a tray together and the girl went away with my cloak to brush. Miss Sand poured generous glasses of what turned out to be good dry sherry, tucked the terrier under her arm and efficiently bathed its ear. I asked if she liked this part of London. As much as she liked any of it, she said. It was quiet at least. ‘A relative of mine knew the gentleman opposite,’ I said. ‘The one who died.’ I liked her and had decided not to lie to her. ‘How