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A Christmas carol murder

A  Christmas Carol Murder

Imagine the famous Charles Dickens at the heart of a murder investigation. Imagine him being falsely accused of being the father of an abandoned young infant named Timothy. As the plot unfolds, Charles must find a safe place with this young child whose mother is gone and whose father is unknown and keep the truth hidden from Kate, his fiancé. Added in we have the odd death of James Harley who seemed to be thrown out of a window in the same house as his business partner and the story takes off in many directions as we learn more about his business of lending money, the relationship between him and his partner Mr. Screws and the strange feeling that he’s not that upset about his death. But, as Charles is requested to give testimony and his fiancé is fascinated by the murder and wants to investigate and learn more, we also meet several others that will help with the care of Timothy, the wet nurse who milks him for money to care for the child and feed him, Julia who is now part of the team and became the maid for his friend William, his own brother and young Lucy Fair who is 14 and whose life has been hard will now be part of the team caring for Timothy.

With the constables on the case and the evidence being collected to find out just what happened to this man, the funeral is about to occur, but the coffin and the body are missing. It all started on a simple night of caroling when Charles, Kate, his brother and young children including Julia were out caroling raising money for a special charity. Things turned sad and ugly when the body fell from the window, Julia fainted, and the children had brother’s family needed to take refuge in their home. 

Charles decides to investigate the murder and questions Mr. Harley’s son, Primus whose visions and statements about his father are negative. Dealing with Mr. Screws and the counting house and then Mr. Appleton the blacksmith who has an outstanding loan out, Dickens is trying to narrow down just how this man was thrown from the window, who might have created the problems with the chains and who murdered him. At the same time dealing with Timothy’s care and the family that was caring for him before Kate finds out. 

Charles is determined to question those involved that knew Mr. Harley and hoping to investigate and solve the murder. He even goes to different residences and offices to search for the missing coffin but to no avail. Mr. Harley was a dark person and not loved nor missed by anyone. Mr. Screws seems to have mellowed a little, but things are about to take on a different turn. He still must solve the mystery of the father of Timothy or finding him a good home. 

With the murder on his mind and the body of Jacob Harley falling out of a window with chains around his neck, his ghost appearing at Charles’ home, he has a lot to deal with. As a journalist his first duty should have been to the paper but raising money for a charity, dealing with Mrs. Screws and his property and the body of this man, seems to be his primary concern since the body is stolen. Besides dealing with the murder and his newspaper job he is writing a book. Is Mr. Screws the killer of his partner? Why does Kate think he is a dear old man? Dialogue is different and the family dinners are quite unique when we meet Kate and her family. 

Just how does anyone think he is the father of this child is when he is out in Herefordshire reporting on a fire that destroyed a local mansion and servant girl sees him and tells him that her sister was employed by the marchioness and is now dead. She claims he is the father. Odd because he was never in this area before. 

The time is 1835 and the situations get more tangled  up and Kate has yet to know the truth about this child. Kate is the daughter of his boss and if he loses her he will lose his job. 

As Dickens delves into the murder of Harley other forces find out about Timothy. Did Kate tell her father? Why is he discharged from his position and how much longer will he be in the service of Mr. Screws? His life hanging in the balance in different directions, his world seemingly falling like a house of cards, will he ever get it all sorted out?

Mr. Fletcher seems to have a hold on the counting house situation and Mr. Screws wants his cousin , Mr. Pettengill to run the company. Is he the right choice and is he jumping the gun too fast? Betrayal by the Hogarth family as Kate’s father refuses to listen to Charles condemning him based on gossip and hearsay. 

Charles is determined to clear his own name but first he has decided to take on a position to help Mr. Screws and enlists the help of William to see Kate. Things get out of hand and for some reason even his own parents do not defend him when we know he is an honorable man. Just where will this take him and what will happen when he faces off with the killer. The mysteries are many as to why Mr. Screws’ had two people in his employee murdered but there is one person that hinted at something that maybe they all missed. 

As Dickens delves into the murder of Harley other forces find out about Timothy. Did Kate tell her father? Why is he discharged from his position and how much longer will he be in the service of Mr. Screws? His life hanging in the balance in different directions, his world seemingly falling like a house of cards, will he ever get it all sorted out?

Mr. Fletcher seems to have a hold on the counting house situation and Mr. Screws wants his cousin , Mr. Pettingill to run the company. Is he the right choice and is he jumping the gun too fast? Betrayal by the Hogarth family as Kate’s father refuses to listen to Charles condemning him based on gossip and hearsay. 

With another murder and now Mr. Screws not able to care for himself and Charles still on the outside with Kate’s family, he’s completing the sketches for his book, running himself ragged in many directions as the author will finally assemble the suspects do we can learn just who and why two men close to Mr. Screws were killed. 

The truth about Timothy’s parentage comes to light and Charles hopes it will end the situation with Kate’s father and mother and bring her back to him. But first he has two murders to solve and when uncovering the truth about someone close to Mr. Screws he learns the truth about who killed Mr. Harley and his nephew. Lives are at stake and one man deemed to take it all but just who was the mastermind behind the events? Will Charles get his job back now that the truth about Timothy has been uncovered? Will Kate realize her mistake? What about the real killer will that person be caught? Will Mr. Screws make amends to the people he hurt and cast aside? The author takes us inside the customs of that period and the old-fashioned thinking about life, marriage, trust and business. As the story draws to a close we wonder what murder Dickens will solve next and will he and Kate every say I DO?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews
 

 

 

 

 

 

About Just Reviews by:gabina49:

author educator book reviewer for authors reading and writing staff developer Book reviewer for manic readers, ijustfinished.com book pleasures and authors upon request blog tours on my blog and interviews with authors I am the author of five published books. I wrote three children's books in my Bertha Series and Two on Alzheimer's. Radio show talk host on Red River Radio/Blog Talk Radio Book Discussion with Fran Lewis the third Wed. of every month at one eastern. I interview 2 authors each month feature their latest releases. I review books for authors upon request and my latest book Sharp As A Tack or Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain? Is an E book, Kindle and on Xlibris.com Some of the proceeds from this last book will go to fund research in the area of Brain Traumatic Injury in memory of my sister Marcia who died in July.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “A Christmas carol murder

  1. This sounds so interesting. I listened to the show and knew then that I want to read this book!

    Posted by cherylmash | November 19, 2020, 11:45 am
  2. Thanks for reviewing my book!

    Posted by hahiestand | November 19, 2020, 7:23 pm

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