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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
  • Language:English
  • Pages:838
  • Hardcover ISBN:9781667803333

Mary Eliska Girl Detective Book 546 The Lady From Nowhere

Girl Detective Tale of Murder Mystery and Romance

by William Stricklin

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On the night of July 24th, between the hours of eleven and twelve, Grangebury, a little-known suburb of London, was wrapped in slumber, as became a respectable neighborhood whose inhabitants retired regularly shortly after sunset. Not that they had done so on this particular night, for the unusual excitement of a lecture on Dickens, delivered in the tiny Town Hall, had kept them from their beds later than was customary. At a quarter to eleven, a stream of instructed pleasure-seekers, discussing lecture and lecturer, filled the narrow streets; but gradually the crowd diminished until highways and byways were left deserted, save by watchful policemen and vagrant feral cats. The lamps were then extinguished by order of an economical municipality, the few lights still twinkling from the upper windows of various houses disappeared, and the little town lay under moon and stars as silent and almost as lonely as the spell-bound cities in eastern fables. Every now and then the footsteps of policemen making their rounds, could be heard echoing along the streets, and sometimes an official lantern would be flashed into dark corners to search out possible burglars or homeless beggars. But no thieves or vagabonds could be discovered; for, on the whole, Grangebury, being a comparatively new suburb, was free from such criminal pests, and the police force there, under the command of Mr. Inspector Lackland had a very easy time. There was nothing on this night to indicate any ending to this Arcadian Age of security and innocence; yet, shortly after eleven o'clock a yawning policeman, leaning against a convenient wall, heard a word cried aloud which told him of crime and danger. The word was "Murder!" "Murder!" repeated the constable, looking up and down the street. "Murder!" shrieked the voice again; and then there came the sound of running feet, cries for help, and the quick panting of an exhausted creature.
An elderly woman dies in a room that seems to be right out of the Arabian nights. The policeman could not decide in which direction to move, a disheveled woman, screaming and gesticulating, came at full speed round the corner, and almost fell into his arms. Her face was pearly white in the moonlight, her eyes were filled with terror, and an almost continuous cry issued from her open mouth without any motion of the lips. "'Ere! 'ere, wot's this?" said the policeman, seizing the flying creature by the arm. "Wot d'ye mean, screeching out murder like a loonatic? Come now!" Trembling violently, the woman grappled with the policeman, shrieking the while, and evidently beside herself with terror. Not being gifted with brains, the officer of the law shook her vigorously as an errant child to brighten her intellect; and she wavered limply in his grasp like a dummy figure. "Murder!" she whimpered, clawing and clutching at the man. "Lord! it's awful! Ugh! Ugh! I've seen her dead!" "Seen 'oo dead?" demanded the policeman, stolidly. "My lodger! Dead! Strangled! Ugh! Ugh!" cried the woman, breathlessly, raising her voice higher at each word. "A corpse in the Yellow Room! Paradise Row! Come and see--come and---- Oh, poor soul!" and she fell to wringing her hands again, quivering and panting. Mary Eliska Girl Detective takes over the case and must determine who this woman is, where she came from, and why she was killed. Mary Eliska is helped in this endeavor by a former detective, Simon Parge. Though the two disagree strongly about the motive and perpetrator of the crime, they do come to the solution. The story focuses mostly on the adventures that Mary Eliska Girl Detective runs into and the interplay between Mary Eliska and Parge, who functions a bit as a deus ex machina, popping up when Mary Eliska hits the doldrums and can't find a fresh trace. Though the two disagree strongly about the motive and perpetrator of the crime, they do come to the solution. Readers of this book accurately will conclude that Mary Eliska Girl Detective was the writer's daughter to whom the writer endeavors through fiction to give life - a daughter whose life was abbreviated by an automobile accident September 12, 1963, in Clifton Springs New York. Few stories have the power to captivate more than a mystery that remain unresolved. Codes, puzzles and cryptic public art tease us with their intrigue: Why is their message coded? What great secrets do they hide? Despite the efforts of our best historians, cleverest cryptographers and determined treasure-hunters, history is filled with riddles that confound us, some left unanswered in this book until resolved by the diligent detective work of Mary Eliska Girl Detective. The Lady From Nowhere is a quick read with quite beautiful or striking turns of phrase. A worthwhile read for those who enjoy Victorian or classic mysteries.
About the author
Bill Stricklin is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar who earned his AB with honors Phi Beta Kappa at the University of California, Berkeley. He was Cal student body president and selected as the outstanding cadet of the United States Army ROTC program at UC Berkeley then trained at Fort Lewis, Washington, then Infantry Officer Training School at Fort Benning, Georgia, cloak-and-dagger training at Counterintelligence School, Fort Holabird, Maryland, learning Cold War spy-craft, hence six years active and reserve military service -- followed by his earning a doctor of laws JD degree at Harvard Law School in Class of 1964.

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