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Mini Mystery

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.

 

 

Categories
Ann's War Mini Mystery Sam Smith Mystery Series Saving Grace

Mini Mystery #3 – Piltdown Man

In September 1912 Charles Dawson, a respected country lawyer, made a shocking discovery. He found a prehistoric humanoid skull in a gravel pit near Piltdown Common, Sussex. The skull proved Charles Darwin’s 1859 Theory of Evolution. Or did it?

Dr Arthur Smith Woodward of the British Museum joined Charles Dawson on his archaeological dig. Together, they found fossilized bone fragments, flint tools and fossilized teeth. Experts were called in and they confirmed that Piltdown Man was half a million years old and the missing link between ape and man, a fact they announced to the British public on 18th December 1912.

However, in November 1953 a group of palaeontologists tested the skull and pronounced it a fake. The skull was indeed human, but the teeth and jawbone came from an orang-utan.

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Who perpetrated the hoax? The prime suspect is Charles Dawson, a man ambitious to prove his credentials as a geologist. But what of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (pictured), a man interested in science, a neighbour of Dawson’s and the creator of Sherlock Holmes? Did Conan Doyle perpetrate the hoax and thus create a real-life mystery?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Ann's War Books and Background Mini Mystery Sam Smith Mystery Series

Books and Background #6

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Published today, Invasion, book two in the Ann’s War Mystery Series. Invasion is a novella set in July 1944, at the time of the D-Day landings. The story centres on an American army camp located on a stretch of South Wales sand dunes. The soldiers have been at the camp for nine months, preparing for the landings. Ann becomes involved when a colleague at the Women’s Institute is concerned about Adeline, the colleague’s daughter. Adeline has been walking out with Sergeant Glenn Henley, an American soldier. But what has become of them? Meanwhile, Ann is concerned about her husband, Emrys, who is missing in action. When news of Emrys arrives on Ann’s doorstep, will it be bad or good? Invasion is priced at $0.99, £0.99 and €0.99, and is available as an eBook and paperback from all major retail outlets. Betrayal, book one in this series, is currently available FREE. Audio book versions of these stories will follow later this month.

A Parcel of Rogues has been added to my store. Brand new, mint condition paperbacks from only £0.99 😃 https://hannah-howe.com/mystore/

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Streams. When I started promoting only one stream seemed viable – social media to Amazon. While that stream still plays an important part, it is just one of many options open to my books. My promotional goal for 2018 is to increase my streams, so that they lead to iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, the Welsh Books Council, local outlets, independent bookstores, my website and Amazon. To achieve this, I already have partnerships in place with local and national businesses, cultural groups and more. These streams will augment twenty-five promotional streams already in place, and I’m currently in discussion with businesses and individuals to add more. Many of these streams are based on partnerships, which makes this the most exciting phase of my writing career to date.

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A sneak preview of my first article for the Seaside News. Plus, a five-star review for Sam’s Song. “Fantastic read! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves plot twists, with characters you can identify with. Love this book.” 😃

 

 

Categories
Mini Mystery

Mini Mystery #2

A Murderous Affair

In March 1855 well-to-do Madeleine Smith, aged 19, met a humble clerk, Pierre L’Angelier, aged 31 and, against her father’s wishes, entered into an affair. The couple exchanged a stream of passionate love letters. However, because of the gap in their social status they found it difficult to meet.

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In an effort to keep their affair secret, Madeleine burnt Pierre’s letters, but he kept the 198 epistles she sent to him. The letters reveal that the couple consummated their affair on 6th May 1856. Madeleine’s father, James, found out and forbade any further contact.

Madeleine asked Pierre to return her letters. Besotted with her, he insisted that the affair should continue, or he would send them to her father. Then, on 23rd March 1857, L’Angelier died of arsenic poisoning. The letters were discovered and Madeleine was arrested.

At her trial, Madeleine admitted that she bought arsenic, but insisted it was for cosmetic purposes, not for murder. The evidence placed the Scottish jury in two minds and they returned a verdict of ‘not proven’. Madeleine walked free. Later, she began a new life in America, where she died, aged 93.

Hannah Howe, author of the Sam Smith and Ann’s War Mysteries.

 

 

Categories
Mini Mystery

Mini Mystery #1

The FA Cup Stolen

On 20th April 1895, Aston Villa beat West Bromwich Albion 1 – 0 in the first all-Midlands FA Cup final. Bob Chatt scored the winning goal, after only thirty seconds.

Valued at £20 and made of silver, the FA Cup was placed on display at William Shillcock, Boot and Shoe Manufacturers, Birmingham, where it attracted an adoring crowd. However, as night fell, it also attracted a burglar.

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The second FA Cup, used between 1896 and 1910

With Inspector Dobbs on the case, the police interviewed members of the criminal underworld, to no avail. Despite an extensive search, the cup was never found, and the FA fined Aston Villa £25 for negligence, using the money to buy a replacement.

The mystery remained unsolved until 1958 when Harry Budge, a career criminal who had spent 46 of his 81 years in gaol, confessed to the theft. He informed the police that he’d melted down the cup to make fake half-crowns. However, the police decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute and the case remains open to this day.

Hannah Howe, author of the Amazon #1 Sam Smith and Ann’s War (1944-5) Mystery Series.