But I do have a cover to share with you. It's still in progress but this is the latest version. I think it's perfect and you'll see how well it fits the story. (Am I giving you some clues?)
And as to what I'm working on next.... I can't tell you that either. It's a big secret.
I'm going to share a seasonally appropriate excerpt from AWAY IN A MANGER, my new Molly Murphy book.
Macy’s windows lived up to Bridies’s expectations. She stared at each one, wide-eyed, her nose pressed against the glass until her breath steamed it over, hiding the scene inside. In have to confess if I hadn’t experienced the shop windows in Paris earlier in the year I might have been equally impressed. There were mechanical rabbits eating carrots, figures skating on a frozen pond, an old toymaker sitting at his bench making toys. They were wonderful automatons with the toymaker’s eyes moving and his toys coming to life as he finished them.
Bridie would have stood there all day, I suspect. “Come on, my dear. We still have the toy shop to visit,” I said.
She had just torn herself away reluctantly to join us when a strange thing happened. Daniel gave a shout. A skinny youth looked up and took off at great speed with Daniel hot on his heels. It was a mercy that Liam had just started fussing in Daniel’s arms and he’d handed him over to me or I don’t know what he would have done. If it had been an out and out running race I suspect that the boy would have gotten away, but he was hampered by the crowd dawdling along the sidewalk as they examined the windows, then a trolley, coming to a halt made him change direction and slow enough for Daniel to grab him.
‘Got ya, my boy,” Daniel said, twisting his arm up behind his back.
“Let go of me,” the boy shouted. “I ain’t done nothing.”
“If you haven’t done anything, why were you running away?” Daniel demanded as the boy squirmed and fought.
“Wouldn’t you run if a crazy lunatic started chasing you? Get your hands off me. I’ll call the police.”
“Oh, that’s a good one. I am the police.” Daniel almost looked as if he was enjoying himself. “Captain Sullivan. So I’m not only the police, I’m one of the most important policemen you’re likely to meet.”
“I ain’t done nothing,” the boy insisted. “Let go of me. You’re hurting.”
“I saw your hand going into that lady’s bag,” Daniel said.
“Go on then, search me!” the boy said belligerently. “You won’t find nothing.”
“Of course I won’t. I stopped you in time. One more second and you’d have slipped her wallet under your jacket and been off through the crowd with her none the wiser.”
“You can’t prove that,” the boy said. “And you’d better be careful, going around and accusing people of things they didn’t do. There’s such a thing as wrongful arrest, you know.”
“Constable Macarthy!” Daniel boomed and a stout man in uniform forced his way through the crowd toward them.
“A spot of trouble, Captain Sullivan, sir?”
“Do you recognize this young ‘un?” Daniel asked.
“Never seen him before, sir. What’s he been doing?”
“Helping himself to people’s wallets,” Daniel said. “No, there’s no point in searching him. I spotted him in the act of lifting a purse, but I suspect he’s smart enough to have tucked others into hiding places to be retrieved later—just in case he was ever caught. Is that right, young fellow?”
“I said to get your hands off me,” the boy snarled. “You’re going to be sorry, you know. I got friends.”
“Oh no, I think it’s you whose going to be sorry,” Daniel said. “I never forget a face and my men will be on the lookout for you now, all over the city. If you’re smart you’ll stay indoors until after Christmas. Handcuff him, Constable.”
“What do you want me to do with him, Captain?” the constable asked as the pair of them wrestled handcuffs onto the struggling and cursing youth.
“Take him to the nearest station house and get his name, address and finger prints,” Daniel said. “If he gives you any sauce you have my permission to lock him up for the night until he can learn some manners.”
“You can’t do that. I told ya, I ain’t done nothing,” the boy said, looking slightly more worried now.
“If you cooperate like a good boy, then you’ve got nothing to worry about and you’ll be free as a bird in a little while,” Daniel said. “But if any of my men catches you picking pockets again, remember we’ll have your finger prints on file and you’ll be heading straight to jail. Understand me?”
A crowd had gathered, standing not too close but watching with interest.
“What’s the boy done?” a thin clergyman in a black suit asked.
“Pick pocket,” Daniel said. “There are too many of them around this year. You should all make sure you keep a watchful eye on your cash.”
“But he’s only a boy,” the clergyman said. “Surely handcuffs aren’t necessary. If you’d let me have a word with him, I know I could make him—“
His speech was cut off by a scream from somewhere in the crowd and a woman cried out, “My money is missing. Someone’s taken my purse.”
AND TWO NEWS FLASHES TO SHARE:
THE TWELVE CLUES OF CHRISTMAS is currently on sale for $1:99 on Amazon. If you want something to get you into the holiday mood download, make some hot chocolate and enjoy.
AND if you are feeling cold and sun-deprived....
There are only two slots left on my workshop in Tuscany next summer. If you know someone who is a fledgling mystery writer or you'd like to know details, please check it out at: www.Minervaeducation.net