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Fortunately, resourceful young Englishwoman Miss Jane Turner (“I am not only a femme fatale, I am also a Pinkerton.”) is pursuing her own angle on the investigation, and possibly pursuing Phil Beaumont in the process…
When Masquerade was first published in the USA, Kirkus Reviews called it ‘A decorative, dizzying trifle that’s chock-full of the stuff that made the Twenties roar’ and Publishers Weekly described it as ‘a witty and beguiling mystery – a terrific imaginary junket’.
Escapade was the first volume in the trilogy to feature ‘The Pinkerton Pair’ – the handsome American Beaumont and the deliciously innocent English rose Jane Turner – as they solved crime across Europe in the early 1920’s. Along with Masquerade and Cavalcade, the trilogy is published by Ostara in the UK for the first time.
When first published in the USA in 1995, the Los Angeles Times called Escapade: ‘A classy and classic whodunnit…A seemingly effortless, beguiling style and a mesmerizing story smartly told.’
Sixteen-year-old Amanda Burton is thrilled to be spending the summer in New York City at her glamorous uncle John’s apartment in the Dakota while her parents are off visiting Tibet. It’s 1924, the decade is roaring, and she’s out on the town every night with her father’s flamboyant younger brother—seeing Broadway shows, going to fancy restaurants and speakeasies, meeting John’s rich and famous friends, and even an occasional gangster.
It’s all great fun—until the morning she stumbles upon her uncle dead on the floor with a hatchet blade buried in his skull. And with Amanda as the prime murder suspect, the New York City cops consider the case as good as closed.
Luckily the hapless teen has an old ally in town: the infamous—albeit acquitted—alleged axe murderess Lizzie Borden. Miss Lizzie and her new pal, the renowned acerbic wit Dorothy Parker, are on the job faster than you can say, “Forty whacks.” But trolling the glittering New York night scene and underworld for a killer can be a dangerous occupation for an old lady with a shady past, a sharp-witted literary icon, and a teenager with a history of violently losing relatives—especially when they keep turning up dead bodies.
A conversation with a jewel thief draws Croft into an insurance investigation.
It is April in Santa Fe, and a blizzard draws near. Private investigator Joshua Croft sits bored in his office, hoping he'll get home in time to avoid the storm. Just before closing, a man enters, wearing jeans, a Stetson, and a hard-eyed squint that tells Croft he wears the outfit for work, not fashion. A friend of the cowboy's possesses of a haul of stolen jewels, and wants Croft's help selling them back to the insurance company. Croft humors the cowboy, fishing for information on the heist, but the stranger leaves without giving away the scheme. The next day, the cowboy is found stone-cold dead, riddled with bullets.
The owners of the stolen jewels hire Croft to find their missing property. Along the way he dips deep into Santa Fe's underground, looking for the killers of the cowboy who came in from the cold.
After an attack on his lover, Croft scours New Mexico for vengeance.
Ever since a bullet smashed her spine, detective Joshua Croft has tried to entice Rita Mondragón away from her house. For years the response from his boss and unrequited love has been the same: 'I'll go into town when I can walk there.' When she is finally strong enough to walk, their relationship blossoms into love. Rita and Croft are basking on the patio outside her mountain home when a helicopter swoops overhead. A single rifle shot erupts, and Rita is struck down again.
After hours in the operating room, the surgeons are able to remove the bullet from Rita's brain, leaving her comatose but stable. As she fights to wake up, Croft starts on the trail for the gunman. Avenging Rita will require him to look back into their past, to the beginnings of their relationship, and the birth of a love that is too young to die.
Croft combs New Mexico for a Navajo who's been dead since 1866.
On a fishing trip in the mountains outside of Santa Fe, private detective Joshua Croft hears pistol fire. He finds an elderly Navajo encircled by a trio of trigger-happy yokels, demanding the old man dance for them. Croft disarms them, sends them packing, and returns to Santa Fe a few days later. He has nearly forgotten about the incident by the time the Navajo turns up in his office to ask him to find a body.
Missing since the 1920s, it is the corpse of a long-dead victim of an American campaign against the Navajo. For years nightmares have plagued one of his descendants, who wants the body found so that the dead man's soul can rest. As Croft searches for the remains, he learns that there are still those who will kill to keep New Mexico's bloody past buried.
A film star begs Croft to find his missing wife and daughter.
Hollywood icon Roy Alonzo has just learned that in Los Angeles there is no such thing as a simple divorce. After years of bitterness and jealousy, his wife Melissa leaves him, taking most of his money, property, and five days a week with their only child. When Roy begins dating again, Melissa accuses him of sexually abusing their daughter, and disappears with her. Alonzo asks Santa Fe detective Joshua Croft to find them and prove his innocence, but there's a problem: Croft thinks Alonzo is lying.
Croft refuses to help the star -- but a surprise visitor changes his mind. Norman Montoya, underworld kingpin of Santa Fe, is Alonzo's uncle, and he convinces Croft that the fugitives are in jeopardy. The women have been swallowed by an international conspiracy, and it will take brute force -- not star power -- to bring them back.
Croft looks for evidence to free a tarot reader accused of killing a satanist.
Strong cosmic energy and stunning scenery have long made Santa Fe a destination for New Age enthusiasts. At a gathering of New Mexico's most renowned mystics, known satanist Quentin Bouvier flaunts a priceless tarot card; a few hours later, he is found hanged from a rafter, head bashed in, the card missing. Suspicion falls on Giacomo Bernardi, a tarot reader and owner of the scarf with which Bouvier was strung up. To crack the state's airtight case, Bernardi's lawyer hires Joshua Croft, a private investigator with no patience for the supernatural but a strong understanding of earthly vice.
To prove Bernardi's innocence, Croft reconstructs the events of that strange, deadly dinner party, interviewing all the participants and finding that even the spiritually minded are capable of murder.
A savage killer haunts the lecture tour of a vaunted Irish playwright.
Though a world-renowned dandy, Oscar Wilde is not too refined for Colorado. As he travels across America on the lecture circuit, the famously witty playwright has found much to love about the western states. Whiskey, saloons, and friendly conversation with notables like John 'Doc' Holliday -- Wilde loves it all. There is even, in every town his entourage visits, a sensational murder.
In the nights after Wilde gives his talks, a man with a knife goes lurking in the back alleys and red-light districts of these dusty western towns. Each morning, the police find the remains of a savagely murdered prostitute. Booze-addled detective Earl Grigsby is tracking the killer, and suspects Wilde may be the one with blood on his hands. If he ever wants to leave America, Wilde will have to use his wit to unmask the savage killer.
A girl's stepmother is murdered, and only Lizzie Borden can find the killer .
During the summer of 1921, a strange spinster rents the seaside cottage next door to Amanda Burton and her family. The new neighbor dresses in black, does card tricks, and reminisces about a long-ago trip to Paris. Her name is Lizzie Borden, and two decades earlier she was acquitted of one of the most notorious crimes in American history. Although her stepmother warns her to stay away, Amanda has no patience for her father's doughy wife, and befriends their infamous neighbor. When tragedy strikes the seaside town, Miss Lizzie is the only one who can help.
Amanda finds her stepmother hacked to pieces in her blood-soaked bed. The police suspect Miss Borden, but Amanda knows her new friend is innocent. As the township closes ranks, Miss Lizzie and Amanda hunt for the real killer. Guilty or innocent, Lizzie Borden does not go down without a fight.
After a particularly nasty divorce, Melissa, the ex-wife of actor Roy Alonzo, accused the handsome TV star of abusing their daughter. Then she took their child and disappeared.
Santa Fe private investigator Joshua Croft has no real desire to get entangled in the sordid lives of Hollywood’s rich and famous. But a Santa Fe underworld kingpin happens to be Alonzo’s uncle and has requested Croft’s help, an offer that’s tough to refuse.
The closer Croft gets to the truth about the shocking Alonzo affair, the more urgent finding the missing mother and child becomes—especially after Melissa’s sister is killed. Croft suspects this murder could have something to do with Melissa’s association with the group Sanctuary and its refugees from Central American terror. Or perhaps it’s connected to a clandestine rescue group that protects battered wives and children.
Either way, the situation gets bleaker by the hour, with a less-than-trustworthy FBI agent impeding Croft’s investigation and even more disappearances and deaths. Apparently the adversaries in this dark affair mean serious business, and time is running out for the runaways—and perhaps for the private detective who’s on their trail as well.