Lady detective Penelope Hamilton must navigate a labyrinth of 1880s politics, high society, and murder.
On a January night in 1887, trouble comes knocking at Pinkerton detective Penelope Hamilton’s door in the form of a sulky young runaway. The girl turns out to be the grandniece of an influential senator, who hires Pen to escort her and her friend from Chicago to his Washington, DC home. What seems a simple assignment takes an alarming turn when a hired thug shadows them on the train, and Pen stays on the case in Washington for the girls’ safety. But in the days that follow, the senator’s home is broken into, his driver goes missing, and she is pursued along dark city streets and nearly captured. Obviously, Miss Hamilton is thwarting someone’s plans, and such an encumbrance must be removed. In a search for answers to keep herself and her young charges safe, Pen must tread carefully within the confines of 1880s back-room politics and business tycoons with a lot to lose, while resisting the attentions of an attractive but not-quite-reformed jewel thief who knows far too much about her. She’ll need more than her lockpicks and derringer this time, if she is to save them all.
When a killer crashes the honeymoon, three’s a crowd…
It’s the summer of 1899, and Professor Concordia Wells—now Mrs. David Bradley—eagerly anticipates their honeymoon in the Hamptons. She has one errand along the way, to visit a former student seeking advice. About a love interest, no doubt.
If only it were that benign. The young lady, now employed as a switchboard operator, inadvertently eavesdropped on a murder plot involving the high finance world of the Stock Exchange Luncheon Club. How to notify the police without losing her position? Before Concordia can think of something, the girl is murdered.
Without proof, the police give little credence to second-hand conspiracy tales. David convinces Concordia to leave the matter to the authorities and go on with their honeymoon. Little do they know that trouble will follow them to their peaceful getaway, and entangle them in secrets and long-standing grudges until they are fighting for their very lives. “’Til death do us part” may happen sooner than the couple ever imagined.
Read More About (CW6) Unseemly Honeymoon, A Concordia Wells Mystery #6→
Missing jewels...a haunted inn...a long-held secret...
Penelope Hamilton Wynch, one of the few female operatives employed at the Pinkerton Agency in 1886, is sent to the Adirondacks to investigate the mysterious happenings at Schroon Lake Inn, newly renovated to cater to New York City's upper crust on summer holiday. Rumors of ghosts are bad enough, but when expensive jewelry disappears, the owner's livelihood is at stake. A woman's touch is needed.
Pen's boss, William Pinkerton, thinks he has given her the perfect cover. She is to play the part of an eccentric spirit medium, eager to experience the purported ghostly manifestations.
Unfortunately, her cover will not remain intact for long, and there are those watching who do not want the secrets disturbed.
A stolen blueprint, a dead body, and wedding bells….
Change is in the air at Hartford Women's College in the fall of 1898. Renowned inventor Peter Sanbourne—working on Project Blue Arrow for the Navy—heads the school's new engineering program, and literature professor Concordia Wells prepares to leave to marry David Bradley. The new routine soon goes awry when a bludgeoned body—clutching a torn scrap of the only blueprint for Blue Arrow—is discovered on the property Concordia and David were planning to call home. To unravel the mystery that stands between them and their new life together, Concordia must navigate deadly pranks, dark secrets, and long-simmering grudges that threaten to tear apart her beloved school and leave behind an unseemly trail of bodies.
Read More About (CW5) Beloved and Unseemly, A Concordia Wells Mystery #5→
Murder aboard the Overland Limited…
It is the summer of 1898. Professor Concordia Wells is eager to accompany her friend, Pinkerton detective Penelope Hamilton, on a cross-country train trip to San Francisco. Breathless vistas and exciting locales will be a welcome change from a fiancé impatient to set a wedding date and the threat of revenge from the remaining Inner Circle members back in Hartford.
But Concordia should know there is no such thing as a free ride. When the Pinkerton Agency switches assignments at the last minute, she and Miss Hamilton have their work cut out for them. Fellow passengers prove to be both help and hindrance: a lady reporter in hiding, a con man…and a corpse or two. Then there is the handsome gentleman with the dark hair, green eyes, and a secret agenda of his own. Good thing Concordia is an engaged lady. Or is it?
Read More About (CW4) Unseemly Haste, A Concordia Wells Mystery #4→
Although Penelope Hamilton Wynch doesn’t especially miss her estranged husband, she does yearn for the excitement of the old days, when they worked together on assignments from the Pinkerton Agency. So it is no surprise that, despite their irreconcilable differences, she finds herself agreeing to help him on a case once again. He needs her to infiltrate the household of H.A. Comstock, a wealthy industrial magnate who has been the victim of factory sabotage and an assassination attempt.
As Pen works the case while dodging her husband’s attempts at reconciliation, she encounters another old flame who is looking more and more like the prime suspect. Pen must resist her renewed feelings for the man, as she races against time to stop the saboteur and would-be assassin before he tries again.
Read More About (PD1) Never Sleep, The Chronicle of a Lady Detective #1→
A murder…a missing boy…a secret society’s bold and deadly plot…
It is 1898, and Professor Concordia Wells has come to expect the hectic routine of classes, clubs, teas, and the inevitable student pranks at the women’s college. If only she could avoid the cantankerous dean, Randolph Maynard, who has learned about her past experiences as a “lady sleuth.” To Concordia’s dismay, he scrutinizes her every move for evidence of unseemly conduct.
The dean will certainly scowl over the lady professor’s behavior when a disastrous turn of events affects those she loves. First, a mysterious woman claims that Concordia’s young friend, the eleven-year-old Eli, is her long-lost child. Soon after, they find the woman murdered and the boy gone.
Lieutenant Capshaw is given the case, only to be abruptly replaced by a junior associate. An innocuous reassignment, or something more?
Concordia calls upon a former ally, Penelope Hamilton, for help. As they search for the child and untangle the mystery of his mother’s death, Concordia realizes that not even her own colleagues are above suspicion. Not knowing whom at the school to trust as she attempts to side-step Dean Maynard’s continual scrutiny, she must tread carefully. Far more is at risk than the loved ones she seeks to protect, and there is no turning back.
Read More About (CW3) Unseemly Ambition, A Concordia Wells Mystery #3→
A deadly secret that won’t stay buried…
It is the fall of 1896, and Miss
Concordia Wells is hip-deep in the usual tumult of a lady professor’s life:
classes, clubs, student pranks, and the unending drama generated by the girls
she lives with on campus. Complicating this normality is the new Lady Principal,
whom the students have nicknamed “the Ogre.” The woman seems bent on making
Concordia’s life miserable.
Events take a grave turn, however, when an
ancient Egyptian amulet donated to the college mysteriously disappears, the
donor is found murdered, and his daughter - Concordia’s best friend - confesses
to killing him.
Desperate for answers, Concordia unravels a 20-year-old
secret, closely guarded by men now dead. But such secrets can be dangerous for
the daughters left behind, including Concordia herself. Can she make sense of
the mystery that has bound together their fates, before it’s too late?
Absorbing in its memorable characters, non-stop plot twists, and depiction
of life in a late-nineteenth century women’s college, Unseemly Pursuits is the
sequel to the first book in the series, Dangerous and Unseemly. Fans of Harriet
Vane and Charlotte Pitt will find in Concordia Wells a new heroine to fall in
Read More About (CW2) Unseemly Pursuits, A Concordia Wells Mystery #2→
An unseemly lesson…in murder.
The year is 1896, and college professor
Concordia Wells has her hands full: teaching classes, acting as live-in
chaperone to a cottage of lively female students, and directing the student
But mystery and murder are not confined to the stage,
especially when the death of Concordia’s sister, Mary, appears to be foul play.
To make matters worse, the women’s college is plagued by malicious pranks,
arson, money troubles, and the apparent suicide of a college official. With her
beloved school facing certain ruin, Concordia knows that she must act. As she
struggles to seek justice for her sister and discover who is behind the college
incidents, there are some closest to Concordia who do not appreciate the
unseemly inquiries and bold actions of the young lady professor. Can she
discover who is responsible…before she becomes the next target?
its memorable characters, non-stop plot twists, and depiction of life in a
late-nineteenth century women’s college, Dangerous and Unseemly is a suspenseful
and engaging contribution to the cozy historical mystery genre. Fans of Harriet
Vane and Maisie Dobbs will find in Concordia Wells a new heroine to fall in love
Read More About (CW1) Dangerous & Unseemly, A Concordia Wells Mystery #1→