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Murder at Bray Manor:

a brand new series reminiscent of

the Golden Age of Mysteries.

 

Welcome! Thank you for reading.

-Lee Strauss, author of Ginger Gold Mysteries

 

CHAPTER 1 - Murder at Bray Manor

Ginger Gold folded the letter she was reading and dropped it on the side table. “Haley, do you believe in ghosts?”

Haley Higgins, an American student at the London School of Medicine for Women, lounged on the settee in the sitting room of Hartigan House as she sipped an after-dinner sherry. She arched a dark brow. “Why? Have you received mail from beyond?”

Ginger sighed as she put her feet up on the ottoman. She’d removed her strappy shoes but resisted the urge to unsnap her stockings and revert to bare legs. The lace border of her turquoise chiffon tunic draped casually over her knees. This recent frock acquisition from a well-known Parisian fashion house had thick embroidery along the bodice and a cluster of sequins that sparkled in the firelight.

Boss, her Boston terrier, curled up on her lap. She petted his soft black fur. “It’s a letter from Bray Manor—my sister-in-law, Felicia.”

“Still unhappy about living in the country?” Haley asked.

“Frightfully. And I can’t imagine Ambrosia moving from her family home. Even if Felicia was properly matched, Ambrosia would insist that the newlyweds live there with her.”

Haley clicked her tongue, commiserating. “Poor Felicia. How is the good Dowager Lady Gold anyway?

Ginger pushed locks of her red bob behind her ears, picked up the letter, and read.

 

Dearest Ginger,

I hope this letter finds you well. News of your new shop is exciting, and I’m very keen on visiting it one day—hopefully soon!

I’m writing to you because I’m concerned about Grandmama. Her nerves since we last visited you have grown worse, to the point where she now believes Bray Manor to be haunted. I haven’t seen evidence of the supernatural, but Grandmama insists there is a poltergeist at work.

Oh Ginger, you promised to visit us and it’s already been weeks! Could I prevail upon you to come speedily? I’m at a loss as to how to comfort Grandmama, and since you are so clever at solving mysteries, perhaps you can figure this one out, too.

With sincerest affection,

Felicia

 

“A poltergeist?” Haley said. A dark stray curl escaped her faux bob and her lips pursed to the side of her mouth as she blew it off her cheek. “It sounds as if the elder Lady Gold is starting to lose her memory. It’s quite probable that she moves things and forgets that she’s done it. Her only conclusion is the interference of a mischievous apparition.”

Ginger yawned, covering the chasm with the back of her hand. Since opening her new dress shop—Feathers & Flair—her days had been long, busy, and exhausting.

“You’re probably right. Though, it’s quite unfair of me to expect Felicia to bear the burden of caring for Ambrosia alone. Felicia’s young and should be free to focus on her own life.”

“You make a good point, Lady Gold.”

Ginger had acquired her title through her marriage to the late Sir Daniel Livingston Gold, Felicia’s brother and Ambrosia’s grandson. He was buried in the family cemetery behind Bray Manor. Ginger had yet to visit his grave since her return to London, but something knotted in her chest at the thought of it. She wasn’t quite yet ready to face the past.

Besides, a journey to Hertfordshire was the last thing Ginger needed at the moment. She had to fight against the irritation she felt at this new obligation.

“I just don’t know how I can leave Feathers & Flair right now,” she said. “It’s still in its infancy and needs constant attention.”

“Then don’t go.” Haley stretched, brushed down her tweed skirt that hung mid-calf, and moved to the fireplace to stoke the flames. “Surely, you can employ someone to check in on Ambrosia for you?”

“I suppose. It just seems so heartless, and I did promise to visit before winter sets in.”

“Then go.”

Ginger cast a glance of annoyance at her friend. “Everything is so black and white with you.”

Haley shrugged. “I’m a scientist.”

Their conversation was interrupted by the sound of the telephone bell sounding in the hall.

“Who could be ringing at this hour?” Ginger said.

Haley checked her wristwatch. “It’s only nine o’clock.”

“Really?” Ginger responded with another yawn. “It feels much later.”

Pippins tapped on the door of the sitting room and stepped in. “Telephone for you, madam,” he said. He was tall and slim with a bald head and skin sagging as it does when one is in his seventies. A loyal servant of the Hartigan family since Ginger was a child, she held the butler in high esteem and with much affection.

Ginger placed Boss on the floor. The dog stretched his hind legs then situated himself on the round Turkish rug in front of the fireplace and promptly went back to sleep.

“Who is it, Pips?” Ginger asked, using her pet name for him.

“Miss Felicia Gold, madam.”

A pang of concern spread across Ginger’s chest. First a letter and now a telephone call? She hurried to the hall and placed the receiver of the candlestick phone to her ear. “Felicia?”

“Oh, Ginger.” Felicia’s voice sounded thin and worried through the wire. “I’m afraid.”

“Why? What’s happened?”

“I thought Grandmama was losing her mind with her tales of moving objects, but now I’ve seen it for myself. The coat rack has moved, and I know Grandmama didn’t do it because it’s too heavy for her—and none of the servants admits moving it either.”

Oh, mercy,” Ginger muttered. “Don’t panic, Felicia. I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation.”

“I don’t mean to cause trouble, but would you come? Tonight?”

“Tonight? That’s awfully short notice.”

“Tomorrow then? Please, Ginger, I don’t know what to do, and Grandmama is just beside herself with nerves.”

“Very well,” Ginger said, resigned. “I’ll come tomorrow.”

“Thank you, Ginger! I don’t think I’ll sleep a wink until you get here.”

Haley sat upright when Ginger returned to the sitting room. “Is everything all right?”

“I don’t suppose you’d like to join me on a short holiday to Hertfordshire.”

“When?”

“Tomorrow.”

“Oh, dear.”

“Felicia is losing her head and I promised to come straightaway.”

“It is soon the weekend,” Haley said, “and as it happens, I don’t have any classes tomorrow.”

“So you’ll come?”

“Only if we take the train.”

“I’m not a bad driver!”

“I’m sorry, Ginger, you know I get ill when you drive, and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to traffic running on the left-hand side of the road.”

“Fine,” Ginger huffed, annoyed that Haley didn’t trust her driving abilities. “We’ll take the train.” She was too exhausted to concentrate on the road for that long anyway. She might even be able to sleep a little on the way there. The rhythmic churning of the train wheels as the steam engine pushed on could make one quite drowsy.

Ginger patted her thigh and called to her pet. “Hey Bossy,” she said as she scrubbed behind his pointy ears. “How would you like to go ghost hunting?”

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CHAPTER 2 - Murder at Bray Manor

Ginger hurried down the wide staircase, circled from the second-floor where the bedrooms were to the marble floor of the entrance hall. Her newly painted fingernail trailed along the banister. She should have had her maid, Lizzie, to wake her earlier. As it was, she dressed quickly in a white Habutai silk blouse, with its fashionable flat collar, tucked into a low-waist velour skirt with a hem at mid-calf. She usually wore something with more flair for the shop, but this outfit suited the train ride scheduled for later that morning. She chose a mushroom-shaped hat trimmed with black glycerine feather pompoms. Her shoes, black T-straps.

She nearly lost her footing on the emerald staircase runner and clung to the banister, preventing a turned ankle.

Lizzie, with Boss at her heels, had entered the hall in time to see Ginger slip.

“Are you all right, madam?”

“I’m fine.” Ginger studied her nails, relieved to see she hadn’t damage her work. Lizzie usually painted them for her, but she’d been walking Boss—a new morning ritual.

Ginger smoothed out her skirt and turned on one heel to look behind her. “Are my seams straight?”

Lizzie drew closer, the nose on her youthful pixie face wrinkling as she squinted and examined the back of Ginger’s legs.

“The right one’s a bit crooked.”

Ginger nodded, giving her maid permission to rectify the wayward hose. She hoped she hadn’t forgotten to attach one of the garter straps in her hurry. She pressed a palm against the four points around her thigh until she was satisfied they were all properly fastened.

Lizzie went to work, and Ginger felt the maid’s adept fingers pushing the seam until it ran up the centre of the back of the leg.

“There you are, madam.”

“Thank you, Lizzie. You’re a brick. Now can you do me a favour and pack a suitcase for me?”

“You’re going away?”

“Just to Hertfordshire. I plan to catch the last train home tomorrow evening, but do be sure to include a little of everything, just in case. My Schiaparelli evening dress, the silver Vionnet, and my new Kate Reily.”

“Yes, madam.”

“And throw in several headbands. I’ve already packed my hats. The boxes are stacked by the dressing table.” For such a short trip, Ginger would only take along a few hats. Hat boxes were cumbersome to travel with, especially when one wasn’t taking their own motorcar. Headbands did well in a pinch.

“Yes, madam,” Lizzie said. Her eyes strayed to the dog sitting obediently at her side. “Will Boss be going with you?”

Ginger perceived the attachment that had grown between Lizzie and Boss over the last couple of months. “I’m sorry to separate the two of you,” she said sincerely, “but it’s only for a couple of days.”

Ginger called for Boss to follow her into the kitchen. A trip to the countryside would be good for the dog and, though she was grateful to Lizzie for minding Boss, Ginger thought the time away would do to remind him that she was his mistress.

As usual, Madame Roux, the shop manager Ginger had employed for Feathers & Flair, was at the Regent Street store, preparing for opening. She always arrived first to turn on the lights and review the receipts from the previous day.

“Hello, Madame Roux,” Ginger said warmly.

“Good morning, Lady Gold.” Yvette Roux was a thin woman in her mid-fifties. She maintained a perfect posture and carried herself with grace and sophistication. Today, she wore a navy-blue French crepe dress with her black and silver hair partially covered in a matching velvet hat.

Feathers & Flair was bright and inviting with tall windows that let in natural light. The floors were polished white marble. The walls, creamy white. Electric crystal lamps hung from high ceilings that sported intricate mouldings painted gold. All the trimmings in the room were gold, a design choice Ginger had made to honour her family name.

The white brightness of the room was a perfect backdrop for displaying the latest in women’s fashions. Ginger wanted to provide for those eager for a new frock immediately by supplying factory-made dresses. And for those willing to wait and pay for the service—she sold one-of-a-kind gowns.

Madame Roux hadn’t been keen on a shop that sold both factory-made dresses and unique designer dresses. She felt it would confuse the customer. “Who is the client?” she questioned. “Society women or the middle class?”

Ginger had convinced her that, since the war, fewer women could afford personal fashion gowns, but still wanted the quality that many well-known designers were providing in factories. And the younger crowd actually craved the rack dresses, wanting the experience of choosing a dress and walking out in it in the same hour.

Ginger admired the dresses gracing the mannequins in the window. She found the jade Molyneux particularly pleasing and decided she must order one for herself.

“Is everything up to your expectations?” Madame Roux said. Her dark brown eyes grew bright as she gave Ginger her full attention.

“Yes, of course. Only, I’m afraid I’m needed in Hertfordshire for the weekend. I know it’s sudden, and that the shop has just been open for a short while …”

Madame Roux laid a reassuring hand on Ginger’s arm. “Do not worry, Lady Gold. I have years of experience running dress shops exactly like this one. It is why you employed me, no?”

Ginger smiled at the competent woman, her worry lessening to a certain degree. “Indeed, Madame Roux. I’ll be back on Monday, so it’s just for a couple of days. Hopefully, before the Paris order arrives.”

“I’ll look after that for you, Lady Gold, should you be detained.”

Typically, Ginger would inventory the new product herself. She held in the sigh she felt building in her chest. This was why she employed Madame Roux. She should trust her to do her job.

“Perhaps you can swap a couple of the older dresses from the window. It’s important to keep the showcase fresh.”

“Yes, madam.”

“When I return we can plan a Christmas sale.”

“An excellent idea, madam.”

Ginger double-checked the cash drawer, counted the float, straightened the scarves on a display rack, and ran a finger along the velvet hats to ensure they were dust free. She studied the stock in the back room where the extra dresses, hats, and accessories were stored. One corner was reserved for dress creation with a brand-new Singer sewing machine set up and ready to go.

Ginger walked the white floor tiles one more time taking everything in. Pride bloomed in her chest. She loved her shop and already felt a sense of anxiety at leaving it creep in.

“You go on,” Madame Roux said. “The girls will be in shortly. Everything will be fine.”

The “girls” were her three other employees: a seamstress, a fashion student at the Royal College of Art, and the floor clerk.

“I’ll leave you the telephone number where I’ll be staying,” Ginger said. She found a pencil in the cashier drawer and scribbled on a small notepad. She pushed it over to Madame Roux. “In case you need me.”

Coming soon! ~ Book 4 of the Ginger Gold Mystery series

 

It’s 1924 and war widow fashionista Ginger Gold’s new Regent Street dress shop, Feathers & Flair, is the talk of the London fashion district attracting aristocrats from Paris to Berlin to Russia.

Ginger is offered her first job as a private detective when a well-known stage actor goes missing, and though the dress shop takes most of her time, Ginger takes the case.

But when a Russian duchess dies at the shop’s official Grand Opening event, Ginger ignores the missing person to chase a killer. It's a decision she will live to regret.

Preorder on NookKoboiBooks or Amazon!

CHAPTER 3 - Murder at Bray Manor

Ginger bought tickets for a private first-class compartment made from polished mahogany and lit with shiny brass lanterns. The seats were upholstered in olive-green though Ginger wouldn’t have minded if the padding was a tad thicker.

Haley, comfortable in her customary tweed suit, sat across from Ginger, her nose tucked in a medical textbook. Boss was curled in a ball on Ginger’s lap, snoring softly. The gentle rocking of the carriage had lulled the small dog to sleep in minutes.

Haley nibbled on the tip of a strand of curly dark hair which had escaped its faux bob, a bad habit Ginger had scolded her for on more than one occasion.

“Why don’t you get your hair cut properly?” Ginger said.

Haley snorted. “With curls like this? It would be a nightmare to manage. I’d look like a chimney broom.”

Ginger’s gaze returned to the passing landscape before her, pastoral scenes of open fields dotted with farmhouses and small villages comprising of red brick houses.

The whistle blew, casting a billow of grey smoke across the moody autumn sky. Soon they would arrive. A wave of anxiety washed over Ginger and she placed her perfectly manicured fingers over her chest. Similar to when she had arrived at Hartigan House, Ginger braced herself to face the memories of her late husband, Daniel. The last time she’d visited Bray Manor, she’d been with him.

The train slowed as it chugged into the station.

“Bossy,” she said as she clipped his leash onto his leather collar. “We’re here.”

The train came to a stop, and Haley snapped her book shut and stuffed it into her handbag.

“Interesting reading?” Ginger asked.

“ABO blood groups. Scientists are learning a lot about blood analysis now.”

“That is interesting.” Standing, Ginger smoothed out her autumn jacket, adjusted her hat and pushed one side of her short bob behind her ear.

Ginger hired a porter to remove the suitcases and hat boxes from the overhead racks. The doors to the platform opened and they stepped off into a small crowd of travellers, some going and some coming.

“I’ll wave down a taxicab,” Haley said, arm extended. A rickety black motorcar, at least a decade older than the taxicabs in London and barely more than a horse carriage on wheels, stopped in front with a skid and a wake of dust.

The porter and the driver each opened a rear door allowing Ginger and Haley to climb in and then tied up the luggage in the back. Ginger leaned forward and instructed, “Bray Manor, please.”

The shock absorbers of the old taxicab were in need of repair, and the ride through Hertfordshire was bumpy. Ginger doubted the old thing even had inflatable tyres.

In the distance, cows and flocks of sheep dotted the low-lying hillsides. The darkening skies opened, wetting the road. Worn wipers scratched across the windscreen.

Eventually, they turned a corner, and Bray Manor came into view. The massive stone structure stretched out along green gardens. The rain darkened the red roof. Several chimneys belched smoke. The hooded attic windows bulged like watchful, sinister eyes.

Haley shivered. “I think I believe Ambrosia now.”

“It’s much less ominous looking in the summer,” Ginger said.

The taxicab driver parked near the entrance. Ginger paid him and then, with Boss in her arms, hurried out of the rain to the front door and rang the bell. A five-tone chime could be heard, and the wooden door soon opened to a serious-faced bald-headed butler on the other side.

Ginger didn’t recognize the man. He was new since she’d been here last.

“Hello, I’m Lady Gold. Dowager Lady Gold is expecting me.”

“Of course, madam,” the butler said. “Do come in.”

A damp Haley followed, rain dripping from her hat brim. The butler’s lips twitched in barely concealed disapproval.

Bray Manor was vast, making Hartigan House feel like a doll’s house in comparison. Felicia’s voice echoed as she crossed over to her new guests.

“Oh, Ginger, you made it! I’m so glad you’re here!”

Felicia Gold was what the rags called a “bright young thing.” Just twenty-one, her skin was porcelain smooth, and her straight-cut chiffon dress shimmered with the kind of energy that Ginger missed. Felicia had a teardrop-shaped face with eyes that reminded Ginger of Daniel, without, of course, the dramatic eye shadow and mascara Felicia wore.

Ginger embraced her sister-in-law. “It’s good to be here.”

“And Boss came, too,” Felicia said, patting the dog on the top of his small head. “Perhaps you can sniff out our poltergeist.” Boss let out an agreeable whimper and licked the top of Felicia’s hand.

Felicia turned to Haley. “Nice to see you again, Miss Higgins. So good of you to come.”

“It’s a pleasure,” Haley replied.

Turning to her butler, Felicia instructed, “Wilson, do take Lady Gold and Miss Higgins’ things to their rooms.”

Wilson began hauling Haley’s suitcase and Ginger’s bags upstairs. A second trip would be necessary, perhaps even a third.

“Grandmama is in the drawing room,” Felicia said, waving for them to follow her. “She’s just dying to tell you all about the ghost.”

“Do you actually think Bray Manor is haunted, Felicia?” Ginger asked.

“Logically, no. But this old place is so dreary, especially when the weather is poor. The way the wind whistles through the windows, it’s easy to let the imagination go wild.”

The drawing room was lost in the Victorian era. Thick curtains framed tall windows, a lush Turkish carpet—immediately claimed by Boss—sat on the wooden floor in front of an elaborately designed fireplace. Plush furniture with smooth, curving wood trim encircled a long oval tea table. Wallpaper, in a green and gold geometric design was covered, ceiling to floor, with framed paintings of various sizes. It hadn’t changed in ten years.

As if Ginger had stepped into the past, Daniel was there, sitting in the chair with the pincushion back, the legs of his well-pressed tuxedo suit crossed languidly, a pipe gripped with one confident hand. Ginger remembered that they had dressed for a hoity-toity event with the Duke and Duchess of Berkhamstead, and how Daniel’s jaw had grown slack when she entered, his eyes glistening with pleasure as he took her in.

“Mrs. Georgia Gold, the most beautiful of women.”

Ginger had smiled at the use of her new legal name. She’d shed Georgia Hartigan that summer of 1913 when they wed. Ginger was a pet name given to her by her mother.

“Oh, Georgia. Thank goodness you’re here.”

Ginger snapped back to the present. An elderly white-haired woman in a high-collar blouse and a brown, floor-length velvet skirt, sat on the edge of a green, velour high-back chair. Her brass-top walking stick was propped up beside her. She wrung a white lace handkerchief between wrinkly, aged-spotted hands. Ambrosia often reverted to the use of Ginger’s Christian name when she was wound up.

“Hello, Grandmother,” Ginger said.

The older woman didn’t waste a moment for pleasantries. “I just can’t bear it any longer. Not only are strangers continually underfoot, now this. A poltergeist! I’m barely mistress of my own home!”

Ginger and Haley sat on the settee.

“Oh, hello Miss Higgins,” Ambrosia said as an afterthought. She didn’t share Ginger’s enthusiasm in bringing the lower classes into their confidences, especially foreigners.

“Hello, Lady Gold.”

Felicia rang the bell and ordered tea.

“Strangers underfoot?” Ginger asked. “What do you mean by that?”

“I’ll explain,” Felicia said as she sat in the vacant chair next to her grandmother. “As you know, Bray Manor has been under considerable financial difficulties.” Felicia kept her gaze averted at these words. Everyone in the room knew that Hartigan money had been keeping Bray Manor afloat since Ginger married Daniel. And Ginger had been reticent to pour more of her inheritance into what appeared to be a perpetual money pit.

“Well,” Felicia continued with a smile, this time locking her gaze on Ginger, “I came up with a plan. Bray Manor is a large dwelling with many unused rooms—why not rent them out? A short advertisement in the local paper produced many takers. In fact we now have three associations that meet regularly; the knitters’ circle, the stamp collectors, and a gardeners’ association.”

Ginger was impressed with Felicia’s ingenuity. “What an ingenious idea,” she said.

Ambrosia knocked her walking stick on the floor. “It is not an ingenious idea. It’s sordid and dreadfully humiliating. If we’re that hard up, we should just let the place out and move elsewhere.”

“Grandmama,” Felicia said with a tinge of impatience. Ginger had no doubt the two of them had discussed this topic ad nauseam. “We’ve tried that. No one wants a big house like this.”

Ambrosia snorted and stared out of the window. “Still, I can barely raise my head in public. It’s like living in a museum with strangers plodding along, staring, and making comment. On my things.”

“We’re no longer in Victorian times, Grandmama,” Felicia said, her tone haughty. “We live in the modern world now. Scandals are perfectly screaming.”

Ambrosia huffed. Ginger found it interesting that Ambrosia had let Felicia go ahead with her plans. As the matriarch, she could’ve stopped her granddaughter if she really wanted to. Ginger grinned. The dowager always liked to put on a good show.

“Next we’ll be letting out Livingston Lake,” Ambrosia muttered. “Every Tom, Dick an Harry cluttering the jetty.”

Haley followed Ambrosia’s gaze. “Jetty as in a dock? Is there a lake nearby?”

Ginger motioned to the long narrow windows. “There’s a rather large pond out the back.”

Ambrosia twittered. “It’s a small lake. Bray Manor does not have a pond.”

Ginger smirked at Haley. “My mistake. There is a rather small lake out the back.”

Haley strolled to the closest window and peered outside. “I see. How fortunate.”

“Renting out the lake is a splendid idea, Grandmama,” Felicia said with a mischievous twinkle in her eye. “That would be one way to get the men together. I could invite my single female friends over and we could ‘fish’ for husbands.”

“Such cheek!” Ambrosia said. “See what I put up with, Georgia? An insolent child and strangers in my home.”

“Come now, Grandmama,” Felicia said. “You find it convenient, too.” To Ginger and Haley she explained, “Grandmama is a member of the knitting circle. They meet here at Bray Manor.”

Ambrosia harrumphed. “One has to do something to keep occupied. Besides the parish is damp and draughty. My joints ache when I’m there, and quite frankly, I don’t enjoy the smell.”

The maid returned with a tea tray in hand and placed it on the elegantly engraved sideboard. Starting with Ambrosia, she delivered cups of tea one by one. She then put a plate of biscuits on the low table the women encircled before leaving them once again.

Ginger sipped her tea and placed the cup on its matching saucer. “So tell me about this ghost, Grandmother.”

“It’s quite dreadful,” Ambrosia said. Her teacup rattled against the saucer. “My nerves are shattered.”

“Things . . .” Felicia hesitated. “Small things began to go missing.”

“Theft?” Haley asked.

“I thought so at first, but then the items would turn up again, but in places where they don’t belong. Like flower arrangements in the cloakroom. Framed pictures off the wall and on the floor. The staff are quite flustered.”

Ginger frowned. “It sounds to me as if one of them is having fun at your expense.”

“They wouldn’t!” Ambrosia insisted. “My servants are loyal.”

Felicia nodded. “I tend to agree with Grandmama. I just can’t imagine any one of them stooping to do such a frightful prank.”

“Any new staff members since you started renting rooms out?” Ginger asked.

“That would quite defeat the purpose of earning money,” Ambrosia said, sitting stiff in her chair. “The staff is capable of cleaning one or two extra rooms.”

“What about Wilson?” Ginger asked. “How long has he been with you?”

“Wilson’s been the butler here for six years,” Felicia said. “Our previous butler fell ill.”

“When did the ‘poltergeist’ start to manifest?” Haley asked. “Would it be around the time the associations began meeting here?”

“There is a corresponding coincidence,” Felicia said.

“Does the ghost strike on the same day of the week?” Ginger asked.

“No, that’s the strange thing,” Felicia said. “I made a note of it, myself. I wondered if a member of one of the associations was involved, but it seemed to happen on any given day.”

“I’d like to see the membership lists,” Ginger said.

“I thought you would.” Felicia walked to the sideboard, opened the top middle drawer and removed a file. “This has the names and addresses of all association members meeting at Bray Manor and telephone numbers for those who have a telephone.”

Ginger accepted the file. “I’ll take a look at this later. When is the next association meeting?”

“Tonight,” Felicia said. “The Knitters’ Club. They meet every Friday.”

“And the other associations?” Ginger asked.

“The stamp collectors on Tuesdays. The gardeners on Wednesdays. Oh, and, this is so exciting!” Felicia shook her shoulders and smiled with enthusiasm. “We are hosting a charity dance tomorrow night, here at Bray Manor. You’ll still be here for it, won’t you?”

“A dance?”

“It’s to raise money for the Croft Convalescent Home,” Felicia’s eyes sparkled. “To help those poor soldiers who’ve returned to Hertfordshire with grave handicaps. Give them a leg up and that sort of thing.”

“We were going to catch the evening train,” Ginger said. “I have my shop, and Haley has her studies.”

“Oh, too bad,” Felicia said slyly. “I’ve been walking out with someone. I thought it would be fun to introduce you.”

“Walking out?” Ginger said. “With a gentleman?”

“Of course.”

“Perhaps we can meet him earlier?” Ginger said.

“Oh no,” Felicia said with a glint in her eye. “If you want to meet him, you’ll have to come to the dance.”

“Grandmother,” Ginger said. “Do you know who your granddaughter is talking about?”

“No,” Ambrosia said, her expression sour. “The child won’t tell me. Young people these days are simply outrageous. I’d never have dreamed of behaving in such a disrespectful manner in my day.”

“Well,” Ginger said, her curiosity piqued. “I do love to dance. And it does sound like a great cause, doesn’t it Haley?”

You've been reading Murder at Bray Manor

Book 3 of the Ginger Gold Mysteries series   ~   Release Date: July 31, 2017

Ginger Gold receives a letter from her sister-in-law, Felicia, requesting Ginger come straight away to her late husband’s family home, Bray Manor. Dowager Lady Gold, Ginger’s nervous grandmother through marriage, believes the old manor is haunted.
Ginger doesn’t believe in ghosts, but is haunted nevertheless by memories of her husband and the lure of his gravesite she just can’t bring herself to visit.
In order to keep Bray Manor afloat financially, Felicia and Ambrosia opened the estate to the public for club meetings and special events. Knitters, stamp collectors, and gardeners converge weekly—targets for the poltergeist that seems to find amusement in hiding small things from their owners.
Bray Manor hosts a dance to raise money for maimed soldiers who struggle with peacetime after the Great War. Felicia invites her flapper friends and her new beau, Captain Frances Smithwick, a man Ginger has met before and definitely doesn’t like.
When the dance ends with the discovery of a body, Ambrosia is certain the poltergeist is to blame, but Ginger is quite sure the murderer is made of flesh and blood.

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