Shell Game

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Bill Stuart is vacationing in Florida, collecting shells, when one evening he stumbles upon a beautiful young woman hiding under a fishing pier on a deserted beach. Undaunted by her cock-eyed story, he offers her a lift into town. Valerie agrees if she can drive. When she discovers they are being followed by a gray sedan, Valerie breaks every law to shake them; and just as mysteriously does a quick disappearing act when they arrive at the bus station. The local chief of police isn’t interested in tracking his missing person, so Bill heads back to the beach to retrace Valerie’s footsteps—which just happed to lead to a cabin that is occupied by the body of a very recently murdered man!
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Aug 1, 2012
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Pages
100
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ISBN
9781440555671
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Crime
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The compelling twenty-second mystery in the bestselling Wesley Peterson series, by acclaimed crime writer Kate Ellis. 'A beguiling author who interweaves past and present' The Times

Secrets never stay buried for long . . .

When archaeologist Neil Watson unearths a long-buried mechanical figure in a Dartmoor field, he is determined to discover the truth behind the bizarre find.

Soon, however, the sleepy village becomes the focus of press attention for another reason when two people with no apparent connection to each other are found shot dead in nearby Manor Field, seemingly victims of an execution-style double murder.

DI Wesley Peterson is called in to investigate, but the two murders aren't his only problem. The daughter of a local MP has gone missing and the pressure is on to find her, especially when it's revealed that she has a connection to one of the murder victims. And Wesley's own life is thrown into turmoil when a woman he helped on a previous investigation finds herself subjected to a campaign of terror . . .

Is there a link between the double murder and the accidental death of a young history student in Manor Field twenty years ago? And just what is the true identity of the Mechanical Devil?


What readers are saying about The Mechanical Devil:

'An excellent read with lots of interesting twists and turns and a historic mystery woven through it' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars

'Another superb story from Kate Ellis . . . One of my favourite writers' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars

'This series is my all time favourite - superb . . . Intelligent and exciting stories' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars

'Kate Ellis never disappoints' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars

'Brilliant book, thoroughly enjoyed it' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars

'I really enjoy the Wesley Peterson books . . . they keep you guessing right to the end . . . a fantastic series' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars

'One of my favourites . . . Incredibly skilled plotting . . . fans of Elly Griffiths and traditional murder mysteries will love this one' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars

'Fascinating historical plot line and twists and turns all the way through' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars

'Very entertaining . . . Another great book from my favourite author' Amazon reviewer, 5 stars

Ancient feuds and new dangers bring death to the streets of Istanbul...

Set against the Gezi Park uprising of 2013, Land of the Blind is the seventeenth crime thriller featuring Inspectors Cetin Ikmen and Mehut Suleyman in Istanbul. A perfect read for fans of Jason Goodwin and Martin Walker.

'There's no one quite like Nadel... Seamlessly weaving together so many diverse threads is the work of a master with her finger firmly on the city's pulse... Gripping' - Big Issue Istanbul

In the ruins of the Constantinople hippodrome lies a body: a woman, clutching a piece of red stone. She's recently given birth, but there's no sign of the baby. Inspector Çetin Ikmen discovers she was Ariadne Savva, a Byzantine specialist on a crusade to protect the historic areas of Istanbul that property developer Ahmet Öden seeks to destroy and rebuild.

As Ikmen searches for the lost child and the facts behind Ariadne's death, the people of Istanbul rise up in protest against their government in Gezi Park. Amid the chaos, Ikmen and his colleague Mehmet Süleyman must unravel a tale of ancient hostility and modern desires, to find the truth concealed within the secret history of their antique city.

What readers are saying about Land of the Blind:

'I am always amazed at how Nadel captures the ever-changing climate of the ancient city, which is growing more modern by the day'

'If you're looking for a masterclass in how to open a thriller, I suggest you read the first two pages of Barbara Nadel's latest book, Land of the Blind. It's the start of a rich and taut mystery, expertly crafted and atmospherically set in the extraordinary city of Istanbul'

'[Nadel] seems to get right under the skin of the city of Istanbul and the people until you can almost smell the coffee'

Andy Blake’s idea of a pleasant evening was to stretch out in a deck chair, wriggle his feet into a pair of old slippers, and sip an old-fashioned. For this recipe he had, unfortunately, one too many ingredients: his wife, Arab.

Arab’s idea of fun and games was to be shot out of cannons, to participate in mob massacres, or to explore haunted houses. Any menace lurking within ten miles of Arab didn’t stand a chance of getting along without her.

It was therefore inevitable that the Blakes should go out for an evening stroll in their quiet Washington suburb, and wind up a couple days later securely tied to a bedpost in a burning building.

In the interval they are shot at, stabbed at, garroted at, and made uncomfortable in a variety of rather unusual ways. They find a priceless Renaissance pendant, a young man who is a genius at both silver-smithing and murder, and a foreigner who does nothing all day but converse with a phonograph.

In other words, Shoot If You Must displays the Blakes at top form—with Arab, as usual, sticking her nose into other people’s business (and a very nasty business it is!), and Andy preventing it from being shot off her face by the greatest exhibition of reluctant bravery on record. As Andy says: “The gun hasn’t been made that can hit me. I shake so much nobody can figure where to aim.”

Readers shake too, at the most wonderful combination of wit and wickedness since they last met Arab and Andy in Don’t Catch Me, All Over But the Shooting, and Lay That Pistol Down.
What you’re starting to read now is called a jacket blurb. Its purpose is to tell you enough about the book to steam you up into reading it. Jacket blurbs are usually written by publishers, and sometimes they fib a little about how wonderful the book is.

But this time the publisher asked me, the author, to write the blurb. I suppose that, after publishing nine other Powell novels, Simon and Schuster feel I ought to do my own exaggerating for a change. So let’s get that over with: “This is a magnificent book and you’ll love every word of it.” Now we can relax.

This is a mystery novel. The hero is a young Philadelphia art dealer who gets mixed up in dirty work in the field of art collecting. Maybe I shouldn’t call him a hero. If he ever did have the usual mystery story hero’s nerves of steel and muscles of iron, they certainly got badly rusted. He’s slow and cautious. In fact the guy admits that, in the great race of life, he’s just along for the walk. He gets scared in tough spots. I felt sorry about shoving him into so much trouble, even though I did give him a jet-propelled blonde heroine as a sort of workmen’s compensation for his injuries. Still and all, there are easier ways of winning a pretty blonde than by battling strong-arm guys, gunmen and a murderer, and I think my hero would have preferred them. I know I would.

This story took a lot of research. I read stacks of art books, and talked to artists and dealers. I prowled through museums peering at famous paintings through a magnifying glass. My new knowledge even impresses my artist friends, and it’s mighty hard for a writer to impress an artist. To most artists, a writer is a vandal who takes white space that could be used for pictures and clutters it up with words.

I’ve tried to get some of the flavor of Philadelphia into the book. That’s an elusive thing to pin down in words, but here’s an example of what Philadelphia is like. In most cities, if you owned a valuable old Chippendale chair, you would call everyone’s attention to your prize. In Philadelphia, you would sit in it.

I hope you like the book. Don’t try to please me by saying you stayed up after midnight finishing it, though. It never seems fair to me that people can read in just a few hours something that took me a year to write.

--Richard Powell
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