Title: Murder Under a Twilight Roof
Series: Adele Gossling Mysteries: Book 5
Author: Tam May
Genres: Historical Cozy Mystery
Release Date: April 29, 2023
In 1905, the Barry Circus makes its way to Arrojo, an event filled with chills, thrills, and enchantment. The whole town is buzzing with excitement to see Julius Rowe, the “daring young man on the flying trapeze”. To the crowds, he’s the handsome and dashing star of the show. To his fellow performers, he’s arrogant, demanding, and a little too ruthless. But who cares, as long as the crowds can’t get enough of him?
Then on opening night, the unthinkable happens — Julius misses that third somersault and falls into the net, instantly killed.
The police are baffled. Was it an accident? Was it murder? And if it was murder, who did it?
Was it the husband of Julius’ latest conquest or the lady herself, proving that a woman scorned can be a dangerous thing? Or was it one of the other performers for reasons of his or her own? It’s up to Adele Gossling and her friend Nin Branch to help when the circus closes ranks against the police.
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Jackson looked annoyed, tapping his pipe on the arm of his chair. “I told Hatfield we should have run him out of town.”
“I’m glad you didn’t,” she said. “He has some very illuminating insights into his co-performers.”
“He’s no performer,” Jackson grunted. “He’s a charlatan.”
“But a very useful and observant one,” she said.
He eyed her. “I’m assuming you got information out of him that might help our investigation.”
“Mr. Sipes had some interesting observations about opening night.”
“Julius visited Calvin’s wagon,” Adele said.
Jackson filled his pipe with tobacco. “I’m certain many performers visit the man on opening night. He does take care of their salary, after all.”
“I highly doubt Julius would slip into Calvin’s wagon for an hour just to get his pay,” Adele said dryly.
Jackson heaved a sigh and put his paper down. “All right. And why, according to the amenable Mr. Sipes, did he spend an hour in Calvin’s wagon?”
“He couldn’t tell me that.” Adele jumped as she pricked herself with the lacing needle, “But he did say the man emerged with a big grin on his face.”
“Perhaps they were talking about salary after all,” Jackson said. “If Calvin agreed to a substantial raise, that would cause Julius to come out grinning.”
“Julius just renewed his contract a few weeks before,” Adele pointed out. “One would think they would have discussed salary then.”
“All right, Del, what are you really getting at?” Jackson chewed on the edge of his pipe.
“‘A smile well above him,’ according to Mr. Sipes,” Adele added.
Jackson’s eyes narrowed. “It would seem Mr. Sipes is well versed on the idea of thinking well above oneself.”
“Calvin has been hiding something,” Adele insisted, “something he knew about Julius that night.” She rose, going over to the desk in the corner. “I found these behind the curtain.” She handed him the two halves of the broken pencil.
“You think they belong to Calvin?”
“I know they do,” she insisted. “It’s his brand. And Cora told us he broke a pencil that night, remember?”
“What would this smug smile on Julius’ face have to do with a broken pencil? It makes no sense, Del.”
“I think you ought to talk to Calvin again,” Adele said. “You remember his words when he saw the body, Jack? ‘That wasn’t supposed to happen.’ Find out from him what was.”
About the Author
Tam May writes stories about powerful women set in the past. Her fiction gives readers a sense of justice for women, both the living and the dead. Tam’s stories are set mostly around the Bay Area because she adores sourdough bread, Ghirardelli chocolate, and San Francisco history. Tam is the author of the Adele Gossling Mysteries which take place in the early 20th century and feature sassy suffragist and epistolary expert Adele Gossling. Tam has also written historical fiction about women breaking loose from the confinements of their era. Although Tam left her heart in San Francisco, she lives in the Midwest because it’s cheaper. When she’s not writing, she’s devouring everything classic (books, films, art, music) and concocting yummy vegan dishes.
Social Media Links
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Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16111197.Tam_May