Winifred Merryweather loves mysteries. She believes her sleuthing abilities, while certainly not on par
with London’s most brilliant detective, are nonetheless extremely capable. After all, when she meets with
the members of her reading club at Lord Nelson Chatham’s estate, isn’t she the first to deduce the
identity of the villain in the books they discuss?
But when the whole of her reading club, along with newspaper reporter Remington Hawthorne, is
kidnapped and thrust into a mystery not of their choosing, Winifred must use every skill she possesses
to uncover the clues. Who is their abductor? What is the meaning of the nonsensical riddles? How can
they survive the dangers of revolving rooms and tricky trapdoors?
And why does Remington’s flirtatious charms annoy her so maddeningly?
The answers don’t come easy and Winifred soon learns that solving a real-life mystery is anything but
“He’s a reporter.” Not entirely understanding her reason of why she should, Winifred biased. If he hadn’t
been here to discuss this situation rationally, would any of us have considered the possibility of Xavier?”
“We don’t know that Xavier is responsible for any of this.” The countess waved the newspaper page that
contained Remington’s article. “But we know Mr. Hawthorne’s contempt for one of the greatest minds in
London, if not the world.”
“That is giving Mr. Holmes too much credit, ma’am.” Winifred spoke the words rashly, regretting them as
soon as they’d left her mouth.
“Ah. Yes. How could I have forgotten?” Like a cat readied to pounce, the countess switched her attack
off Remington and onto Winifred. A chill ran down Winifred’s spine as she imagined the older woman
flexing her claws. “You’re not an admirer of Holmes either. You prefer the talents of his arch-enemy,
“What!” Remington spun on his heel, staring at Winifred with stunned eyes. “Moriarty?”
“This is neither the time nor the place to debate the matter.” Winifred rose to her feet, hoping the stony
look she gave the countess might quell her acid tongue. “There are far more important issues at the
She turned her back and walked to the spot beneath the wall clock. From behind her came Lord
Chatham’s gruff rebuke. “Edwina, I thought a heart used to beat inside your chest. Did it disappear
when you received that dratted title?”
Winifred tuned out the sound of the countess’s angry gasp, for Remington appeared beside her. His
mouth twisted in a lopsided smile.
“I believe this situation is affecting all our nerves. But I’d like to thank you for not taking the countess’s
position against me.”
“No need to thank me, sir.” She grasped her hands together so tightly she flinched from the pain. “I
believe in fairness, and the countess seems determined to condemn you unjustly.”
“My dear Miss Merryweather.” Remington leaned an arm against the wall, his elbow grazing the bottom
of the clock and nudging it aside. “If there’s one thing I’m learning about you…” His words shut off as the
wall moved from under him. Knocked off balance, he stumbled back. Like a pendulum, the wall swung
around, striking Winifred and crashing her body against his. Together, they dropped through an
opening that yawned beneath them.
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Book One of the “Dear Winifred”
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