Lt. Plate and Daphne face a new mystery taking them back generations but find the answer cannot be categorized by time. The world is changing in the 1980s and the new generation is having to cope with the legacy of the old. Elites would like to forget the past and proclaim the new social order. But the boast is premature. Intolerance leads to the the murder of an innocent woman. Prejudice leads to murder in a mystery which reaches back a century, finding the age old motives devaluing lives of some, while enhancing others are the same as ever. Innocents are the victims when sin becomes legal.
The Ruler of the Toys- Review-
Enter the world of political futures, prejudice, fame, and fortune, all collected under the roof of Edward York in Sand Waves. A member of the family is shot, not just once but multiple times and is found dead in the pool. To make things more complicated, Edward York, the owner of the York compound, was on a mission that night. Interrupted by his exwife Grace, his plan is stopped before it can get worse. From there on the story will have you thinking you know who dun it, but the question is…Will your inklings be right or wrong? You’ll have to read to find out. The book is well written and the author presents the 1940’s through the 1960’s well. I enjoyed this book very much and feel certain I will read some more books by this author in the future.
A fire crackled cheerfully in the dining room fireplace. Edward York stood near it, letting its flames warm his hands. On either side, nestled in floor-to-ceiling shelves, priceless miniature figurines watched over the room, interspersed with small antique bottles in various colors- amber, green, cobalt blue and some were clear.
Ignoring the gaze of the miniatures and the sparkle of the bottles as firelight sent occasional showers of sparks at him, Edward poked at the fire with a stick. It flared up, then died back. Its glow fell against his head causing the gold and silver of his hair to shine as if it were really the precious metals spun into fine strings.
“Funny,” he said, never taking his eyes off the blaze. “How easy it can be to come to the conclusion that the only course of action left is murder.”
“Yes,” said Grace.
Grace sat, almost buried in a huge velvet chair that seem to mold itself around her, sweetly supporting her aching muscles. “Yes. I can’t analyze it anymore now. I’m too tired. But you are right. It’s damned easy.”
“When did they say they would get here?”
“How are we going to explain all this?” Edward turned to the figurines picking up the statuette of a Napoleonic era Maréchal.
“We are not. We are not going to explain anything.”
“We have to.” He twisted the figure in his hands, thinking how it might have resembled his French ancestor who had held such a rank in the Napoleonic army.
“No we don’t. We don’t know why Ray and Regina were drugged. We just know we can’t wake them.”
“What about Corina? So we just-? Just what?” The statuette was rough porcelain crudely painted, the face looking like a theatrical character in makeup.
“We were out. Meeting secretly. I came home with you at your invitation.”
“Why would I bring you home?”
It was the minor details that made the figure so impressive. One hand wore a white glove, so was unpainted, left white to represent the covered hand.
“Right. Scratch that. Well, you found the body and called me. That’s what you must say. Or we met somewhere and then came here. Something. We will work out our story. The important thing is to stick to it, whatever we decide to tell the authorities,” said Grace.
“All right. I don’t think that will go very far. Why would I call you?” He wondered at the fragility of the sword carried in the hand how easily it could be broken. But it was not.
“Yes it will. You called me because you knew that I know someone in the police department. When I called, I asked them to send him.”
“Who do you know?” The other hand that carried the glove was painted a pale flesh color, the glove remaining white.
“A Lieutenant Plate.”
“I don’t remember knowing a Lieutenant Plate.”
“You don’t know him. I know him. You must say that you knew of him through me.”
“How do you know him?”
“I am seeing him.”
“Seeing him?” Although Edward heard the words that he spoke to Grace, the image in his mind remained the statuette. Its eyes were painted blue and its hair, painted a light brown, was slipping out from behind the Napoleonic triangular hat in a ponytail almost reaching past the shoulders.
“Yes, dating him. We are divorced. Remember? For two years. You’re remarried. Remember? I haven’t taken up the convent, you know.” She watched for any reaction to her dig at his religion.
There was none. “On what level could you possibly know an ordinary cop?” In Edward’s mind, Grace’s constabulary friend took on the image of the Maréchal.
“Don’t be such a snob. Besides this cop is a little different.”
“What do you actually mean by dating?”
“What do think I mean by it? I am divorced, thanks to you. I see men. This man, Lieutenant Plate, happens to be a man I am seeing right now. Stop playing with that statuette. It’s worth several thousand dollars.” Grace felt her old role as protector of the family valuables slipping back on her shoulders.
“He must be a great deal to you if you came back here to kill me tonight.” Edward sat the figurine back on the shelf where it belonged, picked up an amber bottle and held it so that he could see the light of the fire through it.
Whatever liquid it had originally held when the container was first sold 60 years ago, was almost gone. But a little residue remained.
Grace did not reply.