A Curiously Embellished Casket (Book 1)
Two hundred years is a long time to hold a grudge, but on Lanark Island the past refuses to go away quietly. Antique dealer Kate Hamilton returns to the Lake Champlain island where her husband died, determined to repair her relationship with his sister, proprietor of the island’s historic inn. The islanders gather for the Tartan Ball, eager to celebrate a banner season. A recently published novel about the death of Flora Arnott, child bride of the island’s first settler, has brought hordes of tourists to the tiny Scottish-heritage resort community. Kate has hardly unpacked her toothbrush when her sister-in-law is murdered under circumstances eerily similar to the infamous murder described in the novel. Kate is devastated, but when the gentle, cognitively disabled man who tried to save her husband’s life becomes the prime suspect, Kate teams up with Tom Mallory, a visiting Detective Inspector from Suffolk, England, to find a killer working from a playbook hidden for more than two centuries.
This portrait of Lady Selena Meade by the English artist Thomas Lawrence (1769 – 1830) is my idea of what Flora Arnott would have looked like–the perfect Regency heroine. Just look at those eyes!
The Curse of Finchley Hall (Book 2, in progress)
Antique dealer Kate Hamilton finds herself in the tiny hamlet of Long Barston, Suffolk, England, where her tempestous daughter, Christine, has a summer internship in the family archives of Lady Diana Finchley-fforde. Finchley Hall is famous for three things: its thirteenth-century roots, a fabulous treasure trove discovered on the property in 1881, and murder. The superstitious villagers believe Finchley Hall is cursed, and when a body is discovered in Finchley Hall’s famous pond, Kate can’t disagree. Her daughter Christine is one of the suspects. This time Kate must deal with Tom Mallory, the Detective Inspector she met on Lanark Island. Long Barston is on his patch. Will he be friend or foe? And will their friendship be rekindled or fall victim to the curse of Finchley Hall?
The Chinese Vases (Book .5 in progress)
Recent widow Kate Hamilton owns Antiques At The Falls, a shop specializing in fine antiques of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. As she and her employee Charlotte prepare for the prestigious Western Reserve Antique Show, a wealthy recluse offers to consign a pair of very old and valuable Chinese vases, hinting that she may allow them to dispose of her late husband’s entire antiques collection. Kate and Charlotte are thrilled. This is what the shop needs–a source of high-quality stock without the financial investment they can’t yet afford. But when the vase is stolen and the body of the recluse in found murdered in the stock room, the shop’s reputation is at serious risk. And that isn’t Kate’s only concern. Her daughter, the impetuous Christine, home for the summer from Oxford University, has lost her heart again–this time to the disreputable son of a local auctioneer. Facing personal heartbreak and professional ruin, Kate fights to protect her daughter while tracking down a ruthless killer.
Murder at Fouroaks (Book 3, proposed)
Kate Hamilton has been invited to spend Christmas at Fouroaks, the family home of Detective Inspector Tom Mallory’s eccentric uncle, Nigel Hartley, an eighty-year-old bachelor with a penchant for fast cars, French wine, and anything in a skirt. The estate is entailed on Tom’s cousin, an indolent ne’er-do-well. When the body of the nephew is found hanging on the Christmas tree, Kate finds herself swept into the investigation. This time her friend Tom Mallory can’t help. He’s the prime suspect.