Mini Mystery #5 Stand and Deliver!

Stand and Deliver!

You have probably heard of Dick Turpin, but who was he and what happened to him?

Dick Turpin was baptised on 21 September 1705 at Hempstead, Essex. He established himself as a butcher, stealing stock from local farmers. Later, while on the run, he resorted to robbing smugglers who roamed the local coast.

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On 4 May 1737, Turpin murdered Thomas Morris while out poaching. With a £200 bounty on his head, Turpin fled to Yorkshire. Apparently, he rode the 200 miles from London to York on his mare, Black Bess, in fifteen hours, but this feat was probably achieved by John Nevison, aka Swift Nick, another highwayman.

Under the name of John Palmer, Turpin dealt in horses. Unsuccessful, he ended up in York’s Debtors’ Prison where, on 6 February 1739, he wrote to his brother-in-law asking for help. However, his brother-in-law refused to pay the sixpence delivery charge and returned the letter to the post office where James Smith recognised the handwriting. Smith travelled to York and identified Palmer as Dick Turpin. Turpin was duly arrested, Smith pocketed the £200 reward and a legend was born.

 

Loving Someone Who Hurts You

Loving Someone Who Hurts You

My novel Sam’s Song discusses the taboo subject of domestic violence. Many thanks to Sarah Fader for this guest post.

Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects people of all races and genders. There are two parties involved in an abusive relationship, the abuser and the survivor (the abused). Some people might not understand why a person who was getting physically abused would stay in a relationship. To the outside observer this doesn’t look like love, it looks like violence. Here’s an innocent person who is being beaten or intentionally hurt in a violent manner by someone whom they’ve grown to trust and love. Why would they stay in this situation?

People stay in abusive relationships for a multitude of reasons. First, the abuser isn’t always mean. In order to gain the trust of the survivor, the abuser can be charismatic and even appear warm and loving. Once they’ve secured an attachment and gained the trust of the abused, they have power over them. Another clever trait of an abuser is that they put on a good show to the outside world. People often don’t believe survivors because the abuser is a good “actor.” They might be well-known in the community as a good father or a hard-working professional.

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There are many different forms of abuse that fall under the category of domestic violence. Physical abuse is a form of harm that can sometimes be seen. When a person is abused they may have broken bones or bruises. The abuser has to come up with clever ways to hide what they’ve done to their partner. They might threaten to harm them further if they tell a family member, friend or the authorities what’s actually going on.

In domestic violence relationships, there is a constant dynamic of power and control. The abuser wants control over the survivor. They will do just about anything to get this control and maintain it. They often cut their partner off from family, friends, and any social contact outside out of the abuse. The survivor (or the abused) feels that they need the abuser in their life, because they’re made to feel that they have no option other than to stay in the relationship. And the abuser continually reminds them of this. The abuser might say things like “you can’t do any better than me,” or “you’re nothing without me.” This makes the survivor feel like they are trapped and cannot leave the relationship. They also start to view abuse as love, because that’s all they know.

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Sometimes people do not realize they are in an abusive relationship until other people make them aware of signs of abuse. The abused person may not believe their friend at first. They might make excuses, become defensive or blame their friend for being jealous of their partner. All these behaviors make it difficult for the survivor to affectively see what is going on in their abusive relationship.

If you suspect that you are in an abusive relationship you might think to yourself “where can I find a therapist near me?” There are so many resources that you can use to find a mental health professional whether that person is an online therapist or one that you meet in person. If you suspect that a friend or loved one is in a domestic violence situation speak up and let them know that you are there to help. Nobody should suffer alone.

 

Saving Grace – The Inquest Begins

Saving Grace, an Amazon top 100 Hot New Release

Victorian Gull Inquest

Professor Vernon Pennington, called as the first witness in the Charles Petrie Inquest. Professor Pennington suspected suicide, however none of the evidence supported his theory. Therefore, the question remained: who poisoned Charles Petrie?

Victorian Crowd

Crowds gather outside the Seabank Hotel as the inquest into the poisoning of Charles Petrie reveals sensation and scandal. People are so keen to get into the courtroom that they are bribing police officers and court officials.

Victorian Florence Upset

Grace Petrie breaks down while questioned by advocate Lewis Murdoch. Murdoch is convinced that Grace poisoned her husband, Charles, and his questions lead the jury to share his opinion. With the gallows rope beckoning, can Grace’s advocate, Daniel Morgan, save her?

Victorian Verdict

As the witnesses reveal the scandals in Grace’s life, the press make eager notes for their newspapers, and the search for justice is lost amidst the sensation. The courtroom drama of the Victorian Age, everyone had an opinion on who poisoned Charles Petrie. I have constructed the courtroom scenes in Saving Grace from these newspaper reports, each authentic word adding detail to the drama.

Victorian Inquest Gull

The inquest into the poisoning of Charles Petrie reaches its conclusion. Will Grace hang for the murder of her husband, or can Daniel Morgan and Professor Vernon Pennington, called to give last minute evidence, save her?

Victorian Foreman

The court of inquiry has heard the evidence and the foreman of the jury rises the deliver the verdict. Is Grace guilty? Who poisoned Charles Petrie? You can discover the answers and the solution to the greatest poisoning scandal of the Victorian Era in Saving Grace, available now for the special pre-order price of $0.99/£0.99/€0.99.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving Grace – Prelude to a Poisoning

Victorian Dinner

Easter 1876. Charles Petrie sat down to dinner with his wife Grace and Grace’s lady‘s companion, Mrs Jennet Quinn. Charles dined on whiting, roast lamb, eggs and anchovies, washed down with four glasses of burgundy. Two hours later, he was gripped with the symptoms of acute antimony poisoning. Did the food or the burgundy contain the antimony?

Victorian Stairs

Charles Petrie was in the habit of drinking water from a jug at bedtime. Here, Florrie Williams, the maid, climbs the stairs to Charles’ bedroom, carrying the water jug…and the fatal dose of antimony?

Victorian Bedroom

Charles Petrie’s bedroom. Charles and his wife, Grace, were sleeping apart because Grace had suffered two miscarriages within the space of three months. Did this strain on their relationship have any bearing on the poisoning of Charles Petrie?

Victorian Bed

Easter, 1876, Charles Petrie lay in bed tended by his wife, Grace, and Grace’s lady’s companion, Mrs Jennet Quinn. Over three days, six doctors were called and they concluded that Charles had swallowed poison. How? Who poisoned Charles Petrie?

Victorian Inquest Room Cox

The inquest room at the Seabank Hotel, crowded with legal personnel, advocates, reporters, spectators and witnesses all keen to learn the answer to one question: who poisoned Charles Petrie?

 

Based on a true story, Saving Grace, “the courtroom drama of the year.”

Saving Grace will be published as an eBook, paperback and audio book in English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese with more languages to follow. The book will be backed by a major promotional campaign in America, Australia, Britain, Canada and Europe. Reserve your copy now for the special pre-order price of $0.99/£0.99/€0.99.

Saving Grace – The Prime Suspects

Victorian Charles 25

Easter 1876. Who poisoned wealthy banker, Charles Petrie?

Victorian Gully Spy

Prime Suspect #1, Dr James Collymore, a man familiar with poisons, a man harbouring a dark secret that, if exposed, would ruin his career. Did Dr Collymore poison Charles Petrie?

Victorian Mary Ann Keeber

Prime Suspect #2, Florrie Williams, an innocent-looking maid. However, Florrie supplied Charles with his final bedtime drink. Did Florrie Williams, pictured at the inquest, poison Charles Petrie?

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Prime Suspect #3, Bert Kemp, a disgruntled groom, a man sacked by Charles and thrown out of his home, a man who used poisons in his work, a man who four months previously had predicted Charles’ dying day. Did Bert Kemp, pictured at the inquest, poison Charles Petrie?

Victorian Cox Inquest

Prime Suspect #4, Mrs Jennet Quinn, a lady’s companion with a deep knowledge of poisons and a deep fear of dismissal. Did Mrs Quinn, pictured at the inquest, poison Charles Petrie?

Victorian Florence 25

Prime Suspect #5, Grace Petrie, Charles’ wife of four months, a woman with a scandalous past, a woman suspected of poisoning her first husband, Captain Gustav Trelawney, a woman shunned by polite society. Did Grace poison Charles Petrie?

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Based on a true story, Saving Grace, “the courtroom drama of the year.”

Saving Grace will be published as an eBook, paperback and audio book in English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese with more languages to follow. The book will be backed by a major promotional campaign in America, Australia, Britain, Canada and Europe. Reserve your copy now for the special pre-order price of $0.99/£0.99/€0.99

Amazon Link

 

Saving Grace Pre-Order

Based on a true story and available from today, Saving Grace, “the courtroom drama of the year.”

Saving Grace will be published as an eBook, paperback and audio book in English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese with more languages to follow. The book will be backed by a major promotional campaign in America, Australia, Britain, Canada and Europe. Reserve your copy now for the special pre-order price of $0.99/£0.99/€0.99

 Amazon Link

The Western Mail

2 August 1876

Sensation in the Charles Petrie Case!

Readers may recall that a young banker, by name Mr Charles Petrie, with every opportunity of succeeding in his profession, and commanding a not illiberal income, returned home after riding his horse to dine with his wife, Grace, and her companion Mrs Quinn. During and after dinner he had nothing to excite him save the receipt of a letter which somewhat annoyed him, and that his wife consumed rather more wine than he considered to be good for her health. Immediately after retiring to his room he was seized with symptoms of irritant poisoning, and despite every effort made on his behalf, he succumbed to its effects. An inquest was held, which vexed the minds of the Coroner’s jury to a degree without precedent in Coroners’ Inquest Law, and an open verdict was returned. However, the matter will not rest there, for after questions in Parliament, a second inquest has been called under suspicion that Mr Charles Petrie was murdered.

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Who poisoned Charles Petrie? Dr James Collymore, a man familiar with poisons, a man harbouring a dark secret that, if exposed, would ruin his career; Florrie, the maid who supplied Charles with his bedtime drink; Bert Kemp, a disgruntled groom, who used poisons in his work, who four months previously had predicted Charles’ dying day; Mrs Jennet Quinn, a lady’s companion with a deep knowledge of poisons, and a deep fear of dismissal; or Grace Petrie, Charles’ wife of four months, a woman with a scandalous past, a woman shunned by polite society.

With crowds flocking to the courtroom and the shadow of suspicion falling upon Grace in the shape of the hangman’s noose, could dashing young advocate, Daniel Morgan, save her?

 

 

Mini Mystery #4

The First Getaway Car

On 21st December 1911, a French anarchist gang made history by using the first getaway car. The car, a 1910 Delaunay-Belleville luxury limousine (pictured), registration number 783-X-3, was stolen on 14th December 1911 by four members of the gang who changed the plate to 668-X-8.

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A week later they used the car to intercept a bank messenger en route to a bank in Paris. At 8.25 am the messenger arrived by tram carrying a satchel and briefcase. A gang member grabbed the satchel and briefcase, but the messenger would not let go. Shots were fired, wounding the messenger. With the satchel and briefcase in their hands, the gang jumped into their getaway car, executed a screeching  U-turn and sped away.

They left the car in Dieppe, which suggested to the police that they had fled across the channel. However, they were still in France. In hiding, they opened the satchel and discovered 5,126 francs while the briefcase contained 130,000 francs-worth of useless cheques and bonds. If only they had looked inside the messenger’s jacket where they would have discovered a wallet crammed with 20,000 francs.