A Burning Truth
by Joyce Proell
There’s no shortage of deadly deeds in 1881 Chicago as school administrator Cady Delafield and entrepreneur Doyle Flanagan plan their wedding. When one of Doyle’s workers is brutally killed he must use his considerable power to stop a mysterious enemy bent on destroying his reputation and business empire. But as Cady and Doyle struggle to keep their marriage on track, the murder victims might not be the only casualties.
“Miss Delafield?” The young police officer’s cheeks were rosy from the cold, and she had a sudden urge to invite him inside for a warming cup of cocoa.
“Yes, this is Miss Delafield,” Doyle responded before she could even find her voice. “I’m Doyle Flanagan. What’s this about?” Within seconds he’d gone from brooding to his customary take charge mode.
“Inspector Dinsmore asked me to find Miss Delafield.” The boyish officer swung a look at her. “He’d like you to come to the police station. He requires your help.”
“Oh my.” Cady’s hand fell across the sudden nervous ripple in her stomach. “Did he say what it’s in regard to?”
“No, ma’am. He’ll explain when you get there. I’m to take you straight away. I have a cab standing by.”
“Go ahead, officer,” Doyle replied, issuing orders in his usual effortless, decisive way. “I’ll accompany Miss Delafield to the station.”
The policeman saluted as if Doyle were his superior officer then turned on his heel and jogged back into the shadows. She noticed the hack lurking beneath a street lamp a short distance down the block.
“Whatever can it be?” She shot a worried glance at the lit windows in the mansion. “Do you suppose something happened to my family?”
“It didn’t,” Doyle said clasping her elbow and handed her back into the carriage. “Dinsmore would have come personally if it was bad news.”
Spoken with utter assurance, his confident words gave her a moment’s respite from her escalating unease. Despite the warmth from the brazier near her feet, her teeth began to chatter.
“Perhaps Dinsmore knows something about young Robbie Finnegan,” he said.
If so, why send for her? The summons made no sense and none of the possible explanations rootling in her head sounded good.
“Don’t be afraid.” Doyle squeezed her hand and the firm pressure yielded the strong comfort she craved. She fought to reign in her imagination in which all sorts of horrific things like explosions, burglary, accidents and death took place.
“No matter what happens,” he said softly stirring some deep emotion. “I’m at your side.”
If she had any doubts about whether she could cope with any further adversity they were swallowed in a gush of bubbly, tender feelings.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Joyce grew up in Minnesota and attended college and grad school in Chicago. After working in mental health, she retired at a young age to write full-time. Her first book, Eliza, was published in 2012. A Burning Truth is the second in the Cady Delafield series. When she isn’t writing mysteries or historical romances, she loves to travel, walk, read, and do crossword puzzles. She and her husband make their home in rural Minnesota in her very own little house on the prairie.
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