Mr Mottley & the Dying Fall begins on October 21, 1932, as Mottley encounters his old friend George Parton reading a newspaper article about the mysterious disappearance of an eccentric millionaire.
The region of Devon and Wales, and the islands in the Bristol Channel are rich in folklore. October is the season of ancient Samhain rituals, so the legends of spirits, fey folk, and the Wild Hunt in the autumn wind figure prominently in the story.
What better time than Halloween to offer a special discount? In case you missed it on my Facebook page, the second Mister Mottley novel is on sale half-price for the rest of October. If you liked Gets His Man and were waiting for a good time to grab your copy of Dying Fall, now’s your chance!
Here’s a little excerpt to whet your appetite:
Sunrise blazed across the water and flooded the sitting room. Baker plonked a coffee tray onto the piano. “Oh, hell, sir. Let’s go home.”
Mottley snorted and fell off the settee. Baker poured steaming coffee into Mottley’s cup and held it out. Mottley sniffed and raised his head. He groped for the cup, took a swig and opened his eyes. “Because of a little scrap? That’s not like you, Baker.”
“I’ll show you why, sir. Follow me.” He hauled Mottley up.
Mottley clasped his bandages. “Carefully!” He drained his coffee before following Baker through the core of the house. “You’ve found the right passage at last?”
Baker pointed. Along the floor were small chalk marks at each doorway. “K for kitchen, you see?” They followed the chalked “K”s. The glass-fronted cabinet that was smashed the night before had simple linen curtains replacing its doors. The table held six eggs in a wire basket, an uncut country loaf, a covered butter dish and matching stoneware cream jug, and a water tumbler full of hardy cottage flowers: foxglove, monkshood and daisies. Beads of sweat were just beginning to form on the jug.
Mottley nodded. “Up early, were you?”
“Yes, sir, but… I mean, no, sir. I mean… I found it like this, sir.”
“Someone’s come in the night, sir. We’ve had a nocturnal emissary.”
Mottley covered his ears. “No, Baker. No. Never say that again. Ever. About anything.” He waved the thought away. “Besides – an emissary from whom, Oberon, King of the Fairies?
Baker’s face was eloquent. “The door’s locked, sir. You slept in front of the other. And there’s this.”
He showed Mottley the door. Rows of needle-sharp scratches marred the surface all around the lock and down the panelling. Mottley squatted to peer at them. “I’m sorry, Baker. There’s no question of leaving now.” He looked up, his eyes sparkling. “Not when things are starting to get really interesting.”