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Authors: Mary Stanton

Avenging Angels

BOOK: Avenging Angels
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Table of Contents
 
 
PRAISE FOR
Angel’s Advocate
 
“Stanton packs this story with murder, mystery, and suspense . . . An entertaining mystery with a dash of the unknown.”
—Darque Reviews
 
“Stanton has melded legal procedure, medieval philosophy, and theology into a fresh, unique, and ever-expanding world.”
—ReviewingTheEvidence.com
 
“A very intriguing, impossible-to-put-down mystery.”
—Romance Junkies
 
“A brilliantly plotted whodunit . . . I couldn’t put it down!”
—Fresh Fiction
 
“Highly original and plain fun!”
—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Great new series from Mary Stanton . . . A very unique take on a cozy legal!”
—Gumshoe Review
 
 
Defending Angels
“Engaging and charismatic . . . A breath of fresh air for fans of paranormal cozy mysteries.”

Publishers Weekly
(starred review)
 
“Witty, charming, and briskly paced.”

Romantic Times
(pick of the month)
 
“Mary Stanton brings a unique mixture of charm and quirkiness . . . Bree and her unconventional employees are impossible to resist.”
—Suspense Magazine
 
“Don’t start reading too late at night—it’s one of those books you can’t put down until you finish.”
—The Compulsive Reader
 
“Packed with Southern charm and spooky foreshadowing that will delight readers!”
—Fresh Fiction
 
“This is not one of the cozies that make for some mundane reading, but instead it is a mix of hilarity, heart-stopping danger, and clever storytelling.”
—Roundtable Reviews
 
“Spooky Southern charm and a wonderfully inventive approach to the afterlife with a celestial twist makes Mary Stanton’s
Defending Angels
a real standout. Brava!”
—Madelyn Alt, bestselling author of
Where There’s a Witch
 
“Mary Stanton’s
Defending Angels
gives heavenly choirs reason to sing! From its opening scene in a haunted graveyard to its final, satisfying conclusion amid a quartet of suspected killers,
Defending Angels
successfully spices the madcap zaniness of Bridget Jones with the determined goodness of a young lawyer fighting to build her first practice.”
—Mindy Klasky, author of
How Not to Make a Wish
 
“Mary Stanton has truly captured the spirit—or
spirits
—of Savannah.”
—Don Bruns, author of
Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
“Intriguing and wholly different and original.
Defending Angels
is at once charming, erudite, and chilling. This book should give Mary Stanton the same kind of cult following usually reserved for Charlaine Harris.”
—Rhys Bowen, award-winning author of the Molly Murphy Mysteries and the Royal Spyness Mysteries
 
“Mary Stanton’s imaginative
Defending Angels
definitely has wings. An elegant enchantment with a delightful heroine and a historic setting.”
—Carolyn Hart, author of
Merry, Merry Ghost
Berkley Prime Crime titles by Mary Stanton
 
DEFENDING ANGELS
ANGEL’S ADVOCATE
AVENGING ANGELS
 
Titles by Mary Stanton writing as Claudia Bishop Hemlock Falls Mysteries
 
A TASTE FOR MURDER
A DASH OF DEATH
A PINCH OF POISON
MURDER WELL-DONE
DEATH DINES OUT
A TOUCH OF THE GRAPE
A STEAK IN MURDER
MARINADE FOR MURDER
JUST DESSERTS
FRIED BY JURY
A PUREE OF POISON
BURIED BY BREAKFAST
A DINNER TO DIE FOR
GROUND TO A HALT
A CAROL FOR A CORPSE
 
The Casebooks of Dr. McKenzie Mysteries
 
THE CASE OF THE ROASTED ONION
THE CASE OF THE TOUGH-TALKING TURKEY
THE CASE OF THE ILL-GOTTEN GOAT
 
Anthology
 
A PLATEFUL OF MURDER
For Bob and Eleanor
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.
 
AVENGING ANGELS
 
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / February 2010
 
Copyright © 2010 by Mary Stanton.
 
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 : 978-1-101-18484-4
 
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.
 
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

One
Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards
And seal the hushed casket of my soul.
—John Keats, “To Sleep”
 
 
 
Brianna Winston-Beaufort wasn’t interested in antiques, particularly, but the desk really was a beautiful old piece. Made of dark, hand-rubbed cherry, it had legs that ended in hand-turned lion’s paws. The top was inlaid with fine-grained leather, edged with a hairline of gold leaf. Gold-leaf bees danced in a fanciful design in the desk’s center. The auction people had set it on a raised dais, but it was crowded on all sides by the sheer weight of the other stuff due to be auctioned off.
Bree flipped through the auction catalog and found the desk listed on a page all to itself.
(Probable) Empire campaign desk, circa 1789. May have been carried by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Egypt campaign of 1799 .
An old silver inkstand sat to the right of the golden bees, and a cloisonné jar with a jade lid sat to the left.
“Gorgeous,” Antonia said. “I think this is part of the lot that Tully O’Rourke’s trying to buy back from her husband’s estate.” She cocked her head speculatively. “It might even be the desk where he shot himself. Russell O’Rourke, that is.”
“Ugh,” Bree said. Her sister had a ghoulish side. “So we should make a bid on it when it comes up?”
“Don’t be a jerk,” Antonia said crossly. “I’m here to . . . well . . . just sort of make contact with the widow.”
“No!” Bree said in feigned surprise. “I thought you were here to pick up some inexpensive stuff for your theater group.”
Antonia was the stage manager for the Savannah Repertory Theater. It had been her brilliant idea to attend the auction for the ostensible purpose of picking up props for the theater’s upcoming winter season. The O’Rourke estate was part of a larger (and much cheaper) sale of various items from the World of Art Auction Mart. Yesterday’s sudden announcement that the auction was to be held early Sunday morning had swept through Savannah’s gossip mills like brushfire. Bree’s aunt Cecilia had called Antonia, Antonia had called Savannah Rep’s finance guy and talked him into handing over a modest budget, and here they were.
“You know perfectly well why we’re here. Aunt Cissy promised to introduce me if we just happen to run into each other here, and how can I pass up a chance like this? But I’ll tell you this! Trying to grab her dead husband’s desk out from under her nose isn’t going to make the best impression on Tully.” Antonia poked fretfully at her hair. “I don’t know why you insisted on dragging along with me, anyhow.”
“Well, here’s a fine thing,” Bree said indignantly. “This is the first Sunday I’ve had off in weeks. I’m only here because you flat-out begged me to come.”
“I don’t want Tully to think I’m trolling for a job.”
“You
are
trolling for a job.”
“Hush
up.
Somebody will hear you.”
Bree rolled her eyes. She could be jogging along the Savannah River with her dog Sasha. She could be drinking a nice cool glass of white wine at Huey’s. She could even be catching up on back copies of the
Law Review.
Instead she was stuck indoors with a couple of hundred gawkers all trying to catch a glimpse of the notorious Tully O’Rourke and maybe grab a piece of the bankrupt estate. And on top of it, she had to put up with the company of her aggravating little sister.
Rumors about Tully O’Rourke had been flying around Savannah for weeks. The widow had recovered both her composure and a pile of insurance money after her late husband’s headline-grabbing suicide. The most persistent rumor—and the one most important to Antonia—was that she had decided to bring back the internationally known Shakespeare Players to her hometown of Savannah. But first, Tully was going to recover the contents of her several mansions from the bank that had grabbed them at the conclusion of O’Rourke’s bankruptcy.
“And since you did insist on coming along, you might have dressed up a little bit. You’ve got Sasha’s dog hair all over your sweater,” Antonia said. “Honestly. Of all the times to look like an unmade bed.”
Bree brushed futilely at the golden fuzz spread over her sweatshirt and thought about whacking her sister with the auction catalog. Antonia had changed her outfit three times before they’d set off for the auction house. Then she’d driven Bree to the screaming point about whether to wear her dark red hair up in a topknot or cascading down her back. Then she’d slugged back five cups of coffee, sending her nerves into the stratosphere. She dived into her purse for her mirror and checked her makeup every three minutes. At this point, Bree was beyond affectionate exasperation and into serious annoyance. Her little sister was beautiful, no matter how she wore her hair or what kind of T-shirt she put on, and despite the Bobbi Brown lip gloss smeared over her upper lip. Even someone as used to a celebrity-soaked lifestyle as Tully O’Rourke could see that. And Bree was really tired of telling her so.
BOOK: Avenging Angels
13.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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