Title: The Haunting of Mount Cod
Author: Nicky Stratton
Release Date: 28th June 2018
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Lady Laura Boxford lives with her pug, Parker, in the retirement complex of Wellworth Lawns, formerly her family home.
One day she and her friend Venetia see the ancient actor Sir Repton Willowby arriving. He’s Venetia’s cousin by marriage and Venetia says he murdered his wife.
He lives at the Edwardian pile, Mount Cod and he says he’s being haunted by the ghost of an eighteenth century serving wench called Rosalind.
Laura is convinced he’s a charlatan using the ghost as a ruse for finding a new wife.
She determines to get to the bottom of the mystery on account of Venetia’s daughter, who stands to inherit Mount Cod.
But did Sir Repton murder his wife and is the house haunted?
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Lady Laura Boxford folded the Telegraph obituary page, put it back in the drawer of her desk and took out the local paper.
“Spectacular Death of Heroic Military Gentleman,” stated the Woldham Herald.
She sat down on the sofa next to Parker, her old grey pug and began to re-read the article.
‘Dear Arthur, what a way to go,’ she said, as Parker began to snore. She patted him, noticing the rich patina of age spots on her once elegant hand and then the glint of the slightly insignificant ruby and diamond ring on her finger.
Laura Boxford had only been engaged to Brigadier Arthur Stanway for three weeks when he was killed at Woldham’s annual Spring Agricultural Show and “Spectacular,” was not a word she would necessarily have chosen to describe her late fiancé’s fatal encounter with the marauding Limousin bull. It had broken loose from the young farmer who was handling the beast as they made their way to the main arena for judging.
‘Christ Boxford, that brute’s going to stampede the children’s play area,’ were the Brigadier’s last words to her before he had removed the red silk spotted handkerchief from the pocket of his tweed jacket and waved it at the bull. At eighty-six, he did not have the agility of a Spanish matador and that was that. Children saved, Brigadier trampled to death.
‘I wonder if he’d have stopped calling me Boxford after we were married?’ Laura pondered aloud.
About the Author
Nicky Stratton came second in a short story competition when she was twenty; the prize was a brown typewriter called The Underdog 2000, but rather than become a novelist, she embarked on a thirty year career as a copywriter. Alongside work, Stratton raised two children plus a veritable menagerie of animals, including a hawk; she also took an Open University degree in Humanities, graduating at the age of fifty with a 2.1. She finally published her first novel, The Weight of Death, in 2016. Nicky Stratton lives in Stratford upon Avon with her partner Myles.