A brand new story in Heather Graham’s Krewe of Hunters series is out this week, and I have a little sneak peek for you.
The great doors to the central tower burst open as Jackson drove the car along the horseshoe drive to the castle.
Moira stepped out.
Angela saw the relief and excitement on her cousin’s face and smiled. Moira was truly lovely with sweeping, long, reddish-gold hair, green eyes, and beautiful features. From all Angela knew, she was a good person. She was also on her way up as an actress, having been hired for several commercials and guest spots on series. But she’d come back to Ireland because her grandmother was failing. She longed to act, but in her everyday life, she seemed to have no ego and was in awe that Jackson and Angela were in the FBI and worked to save lives—and when they couldn’t, they found justice.
“You’re here!” Moira cried excitedly, coming down the steps from the grand entry. She gave Angela a heartfelt hug and then embraced Jackson as she began to gush. “Thank you. I don’t know how you got here so fast, but I’ve heard you’re miracle workers. I’ve been told they’re going to do an expanded autopsy. I am so grateful. I’d like to believe I was only hearing things, and something natural happened. I mean, before…we know elderly Mr. Adair drowned, water in his lungs, and I can’t help but be sorry. And we know the thief crushed his skull when he fell. And I…um, of course, to Granny, a banshee was perfectly natural. But then I haven’t had any leprechauns running around to give me a pot of gold and… Geez, I’m just rambling now.” She exhaled loudly and then continued.
“You must be tired. Come on in. Two of the towers, including the Great Tower here, are kept for tours, historical investigations, and the like, but the great hall connects it to the tower we live in—Darien Tower. It’s a cool place. At one time, they had grand festivities there. Granny said they kept the prisoners in the third tower. And there is a scary basement—the catacombs are down there. And…I’m still rambling.” She chuckled nervously.
Both Angela and Jackson laughed. “We’re just fine, but thanks so much,” Angela assured her. “Our boss, Assistant Director Adam Harrison, is the real magician. He was able to get us here quickly.”
“Oh, yes. The inspector called me. He said he’d be here around nine.”
“Good,” Angela said.
“Honestly, we’re fine,” Jackson assured Moira. “We had an easy flight, and I realize it’s growing late here.”
Moira shrugged. “I’ve been wide awake waiting for you, so grateful you were coming. But my housekeeper, the castle steward, his wife, and their son are sleeping, I think. Of course, I canceled the tours for the night, though the company believes the woman’s tragic death was by natural causes.”
“Is there a reason you don’t think that?” Jackson asked her.
Moira paused, shaking her head and looking genuinely distressed. “Something was just…different.”
“Different?” Angela pursued gently.
Moira nodded. “Please, you must believe me. I heard the banshee before Granny died, but the sound was just mournful. Not…I don’t know how to explain it. This time,” she said, hesitating with a wince, “was like before. Like I told you when I asked you to come. When the man drowned, and the thief fell. It sounded as if she were trying to warn me.”
“We don’t disbelieve you,” Angela assured her.
“Anyone else would,” Moira insisted. “Even here, where we all hear the stories and legends from the time we’re born. Even I can’t help but be—”
“Suspicious?” Jackson said, nodding his understanding.
“Afraid,” Moira whispered.
“Well, we’re here now, and we’ll be here until this situation is resolved. That’s a promise,” Jackson said.
Moira managed to smile. “Thank you,” she whispered. “Let’s head through.”
They did. Jackson glanced at Angela as they passed the area Moira had called the great hall. Paintings and plaques bearing coats of arms lined the walls—some with real swords, daggers, and other weapons.
From Jackson’s look, Angela knew he was pinpointing the potential dangers in the hallway. It was long and expansive, and Angela could almost envision the elaborate balls and entertainment that might have been held here in the past with dancing, music, and all the things that were the joyous parts of life.
They finally arrived at the household tower, and Moira showed them the lift they would use to reach the second floor.
“I’m a stair person, usually,” Moira said. “But with your bags…”
“The lift is fine. But we’d like to do something tonight once we get this stuff into our room,” Angela told her.
“Oh?” Moira asked.
“We need to see the bathroom where you found Mrs. Robertson.”
Moira lowered her head for a minute but then looked at them, almost as if she’d inwardly squared her shoulders.