Kill-Devil And Water: A Pyke Mystery (A Pyke Mystery series Book 3)
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During an afternoon stroll, daughter Xenia is dragged away by bandits, only to be rescued by an elegant gentleman and his oriental sidekick. The passing heroes introduce themselves as Fandorin and Masa, but panic ensues when they realise that four-year old Mikhail has been snatched in the confusion. A ransom letter arrives from an international criminal demanding the handover of the Count Orlov, an enormous diamond on the royal sceptre which is due to play a part in the coronation. Can the gentleman detective find Mikhail in time?
Novels of Nineteenth Century Europe
A dark and decadent detective story from the master of Russian crime fiction. An intrepid newspaper reporter, Zhemailo, begins to uncover the truth behind the phenomenon — that the victims are linked by a secret society, the Lovers of Death. But Zhemailo is not the only investigator hot on the heels of these disciples of the occult.
Especially when the spin of the Russian roulette wheel decrees that our dashing hero be the next to die by his own hand. Pelagia and the White Bulldog by Boris Akunin. Canine conspiracies, spurned lovers, murderous greed, jealousy, politics, power and knitting: Pelagia and the White Bulldog marks the beginning of an addictively entertaining new crime series from the internationally bestselling author, Boris Akunin.
In the dying days of the nineteenth century, the small Russian town of Zavolzhsk is shaken out of its sleepy rural existence by the arrival from St Petersburg of a Synodical Inspector with a hidden agenda and a dangerously persuasive manner. Meanwhile, in the nearby country estate of Drozdovka, one of the prized white Bulldogs — prized because of its one brown ear, and its propensity to drool — belonging to the cantankerous lady of the house has been poisoned.
The old widow has taken to her bed, sick with fear that her two remaining dogs may face a similar fate, and the many potential beneficiaries of her will wait fretfully to see whether or not she will recover. But her investigation soon takes a far more sinister turn when two headless bodies are pulled out of the river on the edge of the estate. Sister Pelagia, bespectacled, freckled, woefully clumsy and possessed of a not very nunnish aptitude for solving crimes, returns in a tale of monastic intrigue, murder and adventure.
Just as the dust from the case of the White Bulldog begins to settle in the small Russian town of Zavolzhsk, its sleepy rural existence is shaken up once again by the arrival of a desperately frightened monk who seeks the help of the bishop, Mitrofanii. The monks have been troubled by visions of a dark, hooded figure that appears to walk on the waters of the vast Blue Lake surrounding their monastery.
Sceptical of ghost stories, Mitrofanii sends first his clever young ward, then two of his most trusted advisors, to investigate the mystery. All meet with unexpected fates. Finally Sister Pelagia takes matters into her own hands and, adopting a number of ingenious disguises, she ventures across the Blue Lake in search of answers. As she delves deeper into the layers of secrecy that cloak the islanders, and as the body count continues to rise, Pelagia begins to realise that an encounter with a ghost may be the least of her problems….
Murder on the Leviathan by Boris Akunin. But is the murderer really at the table, and can Erast Fandorin discover his or her identity before Gauche? As more passengers are murdered and the Leviathan heads towards Calcutta, Fandorin needs all his investigative skills to find the truth. Next Page.
Kill-Devil And Water
Availability Arrow Icon New Releases. Coming Soon. Pyke Mystery. Mattie tries resuscitation, but Hazel is dead. Doctor Geoffrey Nicholson is an officious man on the hospital board who makes Hazel's life a misery, according to her and Mattie's last conversation. The autopsy shows she was dead before being hanged. Nancy Carmody tells the police she was upset about her grades from Dr Mahoney, so Carol had taken Dr Mahoney's record book in an effort to make the grades better; when Blake sees Nancy, he knows that Nancy is not a suspect, and needs some help herself.
Joy McDonald appears in town to do a story at the request of Patrick Tyneman, who is on the hospital board, about Blake, but he talks her into digging about Dr Nicholson. At the board meeting, Blake embarrasses himself by accusing Nicholson. Joy offers to help find Blake's long-missing wife and child.
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Jean is upset at Blake's behaviour, telling him he is making his own troubles. Then he opens a letter telling him that his wife has died. Blake becomes suspicious of the autopsy blood tests and draws his own sample at the mortuary; Gus darkens the room and challenges Blake, but Blake challenges Gus that he is a morphine addict, learned from the records of the hospital pharmacist.
Dr Mahoney knew and had offered to help him. Lawson comes in the nick of time to stop the action and take Gus away. Blake gets a telegram saying his daughter is alive, so he leaves by taxi, headed for Shanghai to meet her. He leaves a new placard in his own name for his medical office, to replace his father's name plate, as Ballarat is feeling like home. Blake returns from Shanghai just as Ballarat's re-elected mayor Graham Trevorrow is murdered.
New senior constable Charlie Davis has taken Danny Parks place on the force; he interviews councillor Adeline Campbell, who first saw the mayor's body on the stairs, and the next morning interviews the contentious Bruce Beattie, who failed to win the position of mayor the day before. Lawson thinks that Davis may have been sent by Melbourne to watch over the Ballarat police force. Mrs Campbell wears the lipstick color found on Trevorrow's handkerchief. She is an independent councillor persuaded to vote for Trevorrow by his ally Doug Calahan.
Lawson brings Blake from home to see Joy McDonald, dead in the same place as the mayor; the sight removes the happy smile Blake has had since his return. Blake speaks with Laidley at the jail cell; Blake does not believe Laidley did it, nor does Lawson. Tyneman disliked Trevorrow, backs Beattie. Blake visits town hall and sees blood up on a ceiling light fixture; Doug Calahan enters the office and then runs from Blake, falling over the stair railing.
Calahan killed the mayor after he bragged about being with Mrs Campbell; the self-centered politician took one thing too many.
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Joy's death was an accident, though Calahan was struggling with her. He is charged. Once it is over, Jean asks about his daughter, Lee. He shows the photo of her at She was not happy to see him, settled with the family that took her in years ago, though he was pleased to see her thriving.
He is told that his wife did not survive. Bobby Lee, lead singer of a rock and roll group, dies in an alley, of a single stab wound, outside Ballarat's concert hall amongst his fans, including Mattie.
The police do the autopsy in the basement of the cellar of the nearby pub owned by Mr Bowen, saying the police morgue is full, and the hospital cannot accept the body. Blake does the autopsy with the aid of Charlie Davis, finding Lee was stabbed and he died after the stabbing, but not instantly. The police investigate his fans including the pub owner's 16 year old daughter Peggy, another young female fan, other band members and a preacher with a violent past who hates rock and roll, the devil's music.
One of his band mates, Tony the piano player who started the band with Bobby Lee, argued with Lee after the performance, and was overheard outside the venue. He tells them Bobby Lee is the stage name for Gunther Hansen. Mattie spends the day in a cell, next to Tony, after accidentally assaulting senior constable Davis while assisting a year-old girl, Shirley Freedman, who is heartbroken at the death of Bobby Lee.
Constable Ned Simmons makes calls on the background of Preacher McArthur, who has prior arrests, including using a knife. Using photographs taken by a man outside the venue, Blake and Charlie Davis walk through the time from when Lee left the building and when he collapsed. It becomes clear that Lee was stabbed inside the venue.
Shirley's father comes looking for her; she is at the police station being questioned. She found Lee-related items outside the venue, and she pulled the ring off his finger when he fell down dead. Blake realizes the items belonged to Peggy Bowen, and when her father comes downstairs, Mr Bowen admits that he stabbed Lee when he brought the complimentary beer to the band. Peggy thought she had been pregnant by Lee, and lost the baby, though Mattie learns from her that she never met him. Her father is arrested. Back at home, Blake comes home to find Jean listening to some of that rock and roll music.
Two women from the local library and historical society find the body of a man by a tree in the botanical garden, having been there overnight. The autopsy reveals he died by cyanide, which Blake identifies by its odor during the autopsy and a rhyme learned in WWII on how to identify poison gases. The clothes on the body have no labels. The trail begins when a key is recognized as one from a locker at the train station, where his destination in Ballarat is identified, and a page from a book of poetry by A D Hope is found.
People at the botanical garden saw the man kissing a blonde woman under the tree the day before he was found. When his wife, Mrs Lola Lundqvist from Castlemaine, appears at the station, they believe they have his name, Sven Lundqvist, born in Sweden. A mentally impaired man, Aaron, had been hiding in the bushes, and he recognises that Mrs Lundqvist was not the woman seen with the victim in the botanic garden, not the same shape.
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The librarian tells the police the man was Dutch, because he said so while talking about poetry by A D Hope. The book from the library was not on the shelf; he gave it to the woman who ran his rooming house. There is a page of coded writing in the book. Meanwhile, Lawson has taken calls from several women giving a name for the dead man, their lover or husband; the names belonged to infants or boys who died long before: Sven, Tor Olsen and Niels van der Berg. Blake tries to decode the message in the book; Jean recognizes a phone number in the message and calls it, reaching the historical society.
Blake admits to Jean that he spent time after the war working as a government agent, when she tells him that her husband is buried in a foreign country, where he died in WWII. Blake re-enacts the crime scene in the park with Jean, who remarks that the woman may have held the man to hide his body reacting to cyanide.
Mattie and Blake find Aaron again in the garden; he wears the coat from the dead man, and a blonde hair from a wig is on the coat. It begins to make sense now. Miss Martha Harris of the local historical society, and in the local communist party, had been his lover and she left the message in the book. She confesses after Blake stops her from taking a cyanide pill. While wearing a blonde wig owned by her ill aunt, she killed her lover because he was unfaithful to her.
His name is never known for sure, an agent for another government, perhaps the Soviet Union. Alice Harvey, a new pathologist joins the Ballarat medical team. Cec Drury of the Colonists Club is standing outside the club about pm when a man falls on to the roof of a car, and dies with serious internal injuries, and a packet of loose tobacco on him.