The Swick and the Dead
It’s natural for human beings to want to feel good about themselves, so it should come as no surprise that most good people find it hard to say no to a good cause, even if the whole thing looks just a little too good to be true.
After finding the body of a murdered colleague, amateur sleuth Ginny Forbes agrees to assist the police in their investigation. Her efforts bring her to the attention of the shadowy figure behind the pipeline of death running from south of the border to her home on the banks of Loch Lonach. The resulting conflict puts Ginny squarely in the line of fire, forcing her to choose between common sense and courage.
"The story is brilliant! If you like a good murder mystery, this is the book for you!”
"Another great read from newcomer, Maggie Foster.”
“Fresh plots and twists enough to delight even the most seasoned mystery fan.”
“Love the Scottish details, especially the superstitions!”
“I want to know these people better.”
"This story really delivers. Not only is there a satisfying collection of red herrings, all of whom have to be eliminated, and a surprise twist I didn’t see coming, but there are two other story lines running parallel to and eventually merging with the murder investigation. . . . Read it and buy a second copy as a gift. Buy several. Loan it to everyone you know. Blog about it. Accost strangers in bookstores. Ask for it at your local library. And hold onto your copy because you’re going to hear about this author again!"
Texas had always been a place for emigrants to go when things got tough. Davy Crockett’s famous line, “You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas,” was plastered everywhere. Three-quarters of her own ancestors had arrived in the area before it became a Republic and the last quarter not long after, all seeking a chance for a better life.
The Texas of that time, however, was not a place that welcomed newcomers. The government was (to put it politely) constantly in flux. The neighbors were hostile, and the land was wild and dangerous. It had taken a special breed to settle here and build the nation that was to become a legend.
Times had changed, of course. In the Texas of today, over a hundred years’ worth of laws were in place to safeguard both natives and newcomers. To judge by what she had just seen, however, the pressure of change still had the power to stir emotions.
Ginny found it interesting that many of the same complaints she had heard today mirrored the complaints found in the records of those early years. She stood for a moment on the edge of the rise and looked across the cemetery to the city beyond. The place had history. Especially here. In this quiet corner devoted to the honored dead, the echoes of war could be heard. Texas had seen a lot in the way of conflict, and had forgotten none of it.
The rosy tints of evening had gone and the last pale blues were fading from the sky as Ginny turned and made her way down Heroes’ Hill toward the gates and the parking lot. She was startled (and almost twisted her ankle in consequence) by the sound of an explosion. Several, in fact, in rapid succession. She looked around, but at first could see nothing. Then a column of smoke caught her eye, followed by tongues of flame which seemed to be growing, reaching into the darkening sky.
In the gloom, it took her a minute to figure out which direction she was facing. Once she had identified I-35, however, she knew what she was seeing. The Texas State Capital complex was on fire.
Excerpt from The Swick and the Dead by Maggie Foster.
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