Author: Catherine Mesick
Book title: A Maryland Witch in Arthur King’s Court
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publish date: May 28, 2020
When wealthy retailer Otis Clementine is found dead in his palatial mansion, Chloe Bartlett happens to be on hand. And when the police declare his death to be a homicide rather than an accident, Chloe isn’t surprised—to her it felt like murder all along. And there’s no shortage of suspects—Otis’s many girlfriends, his wastrel sons, and even a disgruntled employee may have done him in—all hoping for a share of his vast fortune.
The handsome, if sometimes infuriating, Professor Mike Fellowes reluctantly helps Chloe investigate—but mostly counsels her to stay out of it.
But Chloe can’t do that because she knows something the police don’t—there’s a magical element to the murder, and as a witch, she’s the only one properly qualified to investigate all the angles.
Besides, Chloe has an additional reason for wanting to look into the crime—the dead man himself asked for her help.
Can Chloe catch the culprit before there’s another murder? Or will bodies begin to pile up on the glittering streets of Arthur King’s Court?
“Is that Chloe? I want to talk to Chloe Bartlett.”
The voice on the phone was high and querulous.
I recognized it only too well.
“Yes, Mr. Clementine. It’s me.”
“Don’t you take that tone of voice with me, my girl,” he replied. “I’ve donated a lot of money to that library of yours. If not for me, you wouldn’t even have the lights on in that place.”
That wasn’t quite true, but he had been a generous patron. I took a deep breath and willed myself to be patient.
“What can I do for you, Mr. Clementine?”
I asked the question to be polite, but I already knew what he wanted—it was the third Tuesday of the month.
“Now I want you to take this down,” Mr. Clementine said. “Do you hear me? Do you have pen and paper?”
“Yes, Mr. Clementine. I’m ready to write it down.”
“I want Robertson’s History of Rome, Volume One. That’s Ro-bert-son with an apostrophe ‘s’ at the end. Make sure it’s a history of Rome. Not anywhere else. And I want Volume One, not Volume Two. Do you understand that?”
“Yes, Mr. Clementine.” I glanced at the little clock on the phone. I’d only been talking to him for about sixty seconds, but it felt like ten minutes. “You want Robertson’s History of Rome, Volume One—not Volume Two.”
“I want Volume One,” Mr. Clementine said peevishly, as if that wasn’t what I had just said.
“I understand,” I said. “You want Volume One.”
“I understand,” I said again.
“Did you write it down?”
“Yes—I wrote it down.”
“Good. Because you brought the wrong book last time, and that was a complete waste of a day for me. I can’t afford to lose time because of your mistakes.”
I felt myself bristling—I had not brought the wrong book.
But I knew there would be no point in trying to explain that to Mr. Clementine.
He continued. “I want that book. Do you hear me? Bring it by my house today at eleven thirty. Don’t be late.”
Without waiting for a response, he hung up.
“The library doesn’t deliver, Mr. Clementine,” I muttered to myself angrily. “It’s not like ordering a pizza.”
But I realized there was no point in grumbling. I had gotten myself into this situation, and I wasn’t ready to get out of it.
At least not yet.
I was just sighing to myself and checking to make sure that we actually had the book he wanted in the system when I caught sight of a swift movement out of the corner of my eye.
I paused with my fingers over the keyboard.
I turned quickly.
I was just in time to see a tall form disappearing behind the stacks in the graphic novel section.
As I watched, a dark-haired, dark-eyed man peered around the corner of a bookcase.
He saw me looking at him and quickly darted back out of sight.
“Mike?” I said.
Catherine Mesick is the author of Pure, Firebird, Dangerous Creatures, Ghost Girl, A Maryland Witch, and A Maryland Witch in Arthur King’s Court. She is a graduate of Pace University and Susquehanna University. She lives in Maryland.
Visit the author’s website and her Facebook page. You can also connect with her on Twitter.