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Authors: Joyce Lavene,Jim

A Touch of Gold

BOOK: A Touch of Gold
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Table of Contents
 
PRAISE FOR A Timely Vision
“Grabbed my attention on page one. A psychic mayor who finds lost things—and dead bodies? A secret room locked for decades? Puzzles are unraveled and secrets spilled in a fast-paced paranormal mystery full of quirky characters you’ll want as friends.”
—Elizabeth Spann Craig, author of
Pretty Is as Pretty Dies
 
“A delightful yarn! Few amateur sleuths are as charming as this psychic mayor sleuth in a small coastal town where murder stalks the dunes and ghosts roam the Outer Banks. Kept me turning pages until it was done.”
—Patricia Sprinkle, author of
Hold Up the Sky
 
“Filled with likable (if eccentric) characters and boasts a vividly realized small-town setting.”

Booklist
 
“A quaint setting and leisurely pace make this a fun read. The characters’ interactions reflect the intricacies of small-town living. The mystery unfolds cleverly with a well-rounded group of suspects.”

Romantic Times
 
“This opening act of a new amateur sleuth is a wonderful mystery due to memorable eccentric characters including Duck. The whodunit is complicated enough to keep readers entertained and stymied . . . The heroine is sassy and spunky . . . Joyce and Jim Lavene have . . . another hit series.”

Midwest Book Review
 
“A leisurely mystery that had me guessing almost ’til the very end . . . It was fun and the characters were likable . . . I could almost smell and feel the salty sea air of Duck as I was reading. The authors definitely did a bang-up job with the setting, and I look forward to more of Dae’s adventures and the hint of romance with Kevin.”

A Cup of Tea and a Cozy for Me
 
“The Lavenes have launched a wonderful series, with a great deal of opportunity for future books . . . All of the characters in this book . . . are delightful. This is a mystery with strong characters, a vivid sense of place, and touches of humor and the paranormal.
A Timely Vision
is one of the best traditional mysteries I’ve read this year.”

Lesa’s Book Critiques
PRAISE FOR
Wicked Weaves
“Offers a vibrant background for the mysterious goings-on and the colorful cast of characters.”
—Kaye Morgan, author of
Ghost Sudoku
 
“Fast-paced, clever, [and] delightful.”
—John Lamb, author of
The Treacherous Teddy
 
“Jolly . . . Serves up medieval murder and mayhem.”

Publishers Weekly
 
“[A] new exciting . . . series . . . Part of the fun of this solid whodunit is the vivid description of the Renaissance Village; anyone who has not been to one will want to go . . . Cleverly developed.”

Midwest Book Review
 
“Joyce and Jim Lavene have teamed up for yet another terrific mystery series . . . A feast for the reader. . . . Character development in this new series is energetic and eloquent; Jessie is charming and intelligent, with . . . saucy strength.”
“I cannot imagine a cozier setting than Renaissance Faire Village, a closed community of rather eccentric—and very interesting—characters, [with] lots of potential . . . A great start to a new series by a veteran duo of mystery authors.”

Cozy Library
 
PRAISE FOR THE PEGGY LEE GARDEN MYSTERIES
Poisoned Petals
“A delightful botany mystery.”

The Best Reviews
“A top-notch, over-the-fence mystery read with beloved characters, a fast-paced story line, and a wallop of an ending.”

Midwest Book Review
 
“Enjoy this pleasurable read!”

Mystery Morgue
 
Fruit of the Poisoned Tree
 
“I cannot recommend this work highly enough. It has everything: mystery, wonderful characters, sinister plot, humor, and even romance.”

Midwest Book Review
 
“Well-crafted with a satisfying end that will leave readers wanting more!”

Fresh Fiction
 
Pretty Poison
“With a touch of romance added to this delightful mystery, one can only hope many more Peggy Lee Mysteries will be hitting shelves soon!”

Roundtable Reviews
 
“A fantastic amateur-sleuth mystery.”—
The Best Reviews
“For anyone with even a modicum of interest in gardening, this book is a lot of fun.”

The Romance Readers Connection
 
“The perfect book if you’re looking for a great suspense.”

Romance Junkies
 
“Joyce and Jim Lavene have crafted an outstanding whodunit in
Pretty Poison
, with plenty of twists and turns that will keep the reader entranced to the final page.”

Fresh Fiction
 
“Complete with gardening tips, this is a smartly penned, charming cozy, the first book in a new series. The mystery is intricate and well-plotted. Green thumbs and nongardeners alike will enjoy this book.”

Romantic Times
 
Perfect Poison
 
“A fabulous whodunit that will keep readers guessing and happily turning pages to the unexpected end. Peggy Lee is a most entertaining sleuth and her Southern gentility is like a breath of fresh air . . . [A] keeper!”

Fresh Fiction
 
“A fascinating whodunit with unusual but plausible twists and plenty of red herrings.”

Genre Go Round Reviews
Berkley Prime Crime titles by Joyce and Jim Lavene
 
Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries
PRETTY POISON
FRUIT OF THE POISONED TREE
POISONED PETALS
PERFECT POISON
A CORPSE FOR YEW
Renaissance Faire Mysteries
WICKED WEAVES
GHASTLY GLASS
DEADLY DAGGERS
 
Missing Pieces Mysteries
A TIMELY VISION
A TOUCH OF GOLD
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196,
South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
A TOUCH OF GOLD
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the authors
PRINTING HISTORY Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / March 2011
 
Copyright © 2011 by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions. For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-101-47731-1
BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY
®
PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
We’d like to thank our editor, Faith Black, for her help and understanding. We’d also like to thank the rest of the team of editors and artists who made this book better. You guys are great!
Chapter 1
“O
n a dark night in 1812, the schooner
Patriot
vanished with all hands onboard, never to be seen again.”
The story always started the same way when Max Caudle told it. Any story that had to do with dark and stormy nights and the sea had particular appeal for this group of first-graders. They lived on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, an island with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Currituck Sound on the other. They knew how bad and scary storms could get.
“Theodosia Burr Alston was on that ship, trying to reach her father, the infamous Aaron Burr, in New York. She’d sailed from her home in South Carolina during the war with the British. The soldiers let her ship pass because she had a special letter from her husband, the governor of South Carolina. But it might have been better for her if the British soldiers had captured her. Because right after that, a terrible gale hit and the
Patriot
was assumed lost at sea.”
“Was Theodosia Burr killed in the terrible gale?” The little girl’s eyes were wide in her pretty, tanned face. “Or was she killed by pirates?”
Despite the fact that all of these children had heard the tragic tale of Theo Burr the way most kids on the mainland listened to “The Three Little Pigs,” there were always questions.
BOOK: A Touch of Gold
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