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Make Old Bones
By: Leslie S. Talley
Fifteen-year-old Connie Kittredge, a sneaky child who collects secrets, disappears in 1953, presumed drowned. Almost forty years later her
skeleton is unearthed in the disused dumbwaiter of Belgrath House, recently restored and opened as a Bed & Breakfast. The discovery coincides with the 35th reunion of her Class of '57.
The murderer could be one of Connie's school friends, now respectable leaders of the community. Or perhaps the father of Connie's unborn child, cradled within her skeleton, took action. Connie's mother, proper Southern lady Abigail Kittredge, might have discovered her daughter's pregnancy and feared disgrace.
Middle-aged innkeeper, Clarice Campion, and her permanent guest, Miss Letitia Lorraine, fabled star of the Silent Screen, join forces to help the sheriff solve the old murder.
At the wake held for Connie at Belgrath House, Miss Adler, teacher of the Class of '57, keels over from cyanide administered by cherry laurel in her
iced tea. This second murder makes the sleuths redouble their efforts, thereby exposing Clarice to a desperate killer not afraid to strike again.
Inadvertently left behind during a forced evacuation of Belgratth due to Hurricane Aphrodite, Clarice faces an even deadlier enemy and finds herself
locked in a basement with a rapidly rising river and imminent tidal surge.
Other characters include Pell Mell, a disabled pelican; assorted University of Florida freshmen; restoration committee members; suspicious bed and breakfasters; and Otis Campion, laconic, retired engineer, husband of Clarice, innkeeper, and handyman.
The book is spiced with recipes, antiques, Daytona Beach and Florida history, Florida plants and critters, and parental perplexities. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Now available  from
Wild Child Publishing, Amazon, & Barnes and Noble Nook store
 
 
 

Bred in the Bone

By Leslie S. Talley

 

In this sequel to Make Old Bones, Otis and Clarice Campion, caretakers of Belgrath House in Daytona Beach, Florida, and the live-in former owner, ninety-year-old silent screen star Miss Letitia Lorraine, answer an ad in Innkeepers Magazine to exchange places with the owners of Castle Keep in St. Augustine, Florida.

Clarice has forebodings even before clapping eyes on the octagonal towers of Castle Keep. The house has a disturbing history: built in 1870 from timbers salvaged from the shipwreck of The Mourning Dove; sold to an estranged couple, the Devizes, who purchased a defunct British title and then divided the house down the middle; destined to destroy their daughter, an unfortunate bride, on her wedding day; and finally, in modern times, burglarized several times by a homeless man.

When Clarice and Miss Letty, along with father and son mural painters Johnny and John Wallage (aged 90 and 70), discover the burned body of the homeless man in a dragon sculpture on an uninhabited island, they actively pursue the history of the house and its secrets. This leads them to the plantation from which the house was moved. Here Clarice finds a skeleton in the old icehouse and slave genealogy in the tabby remnants of a slave cabin. Add to the mix a psychic, an African-American Flagler College journalism student, the Donner wedding party, two snobbish Southerners, an obstreperous Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Charles Dickens, and an obnoxious, but unwittingly helpful twelve-year-old named Beddington.

When Clarice and Miss Letty find the connection between the homeless man, the skeleton in the icehouse, and another unfortunate bride aboard The Mourning Dove, they almost forfeit their own lives to the greed of a killer determined to reap the treasure hidden somewhere in Castle Keep!