Read Tomorrow's Vengeance Online

Authors: Marcia Talley

Tomorrow's Vengeance

BOOK: Tomorrow's Vengeance

Table of Contents


Recent Titles by Marcia Talley

Title Page





Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Recent Titles by Marcia Talley

The Hannah Ives Mysteries Series
















* available from Severn House

A Hannah Ives mystery
Marcia Talley

This ebook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.


First published in Great Britain and the USA 2014 by


19 Cedar Road, Sutton, Surrey, England, SM2 5DA.

eBook edition first published in 2014 by Severn House Digital
an imprint of Severn House Publishers Limited

Copyright © 2014 by Marcia Talley.

The right of Marcia Talley to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

Talley, Marcia Dutton, 1943-

Tomorrow's vengeance. – (The Hannah Ives mysteries series)

1. Ives, Hannah (Fictitious character)–Fiction.

2. Murder–Investigation–Fiction. 3. Retirement
communities–Maryland–Fiction. 4. Detective and mystery

I. Title II. Series


ISBN-13: 978-0-7278-8364-3 (cased)

ISBN-13: 978-1-78010-549-9 (ePub)

Except where actual historical events and characters are being described for the storyline of this novel, all situations in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to living persons is purely coincidental.

This ebook produced by
Palimpsest Book Production Limited,
Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Betty Lee Talley, 1922–2005

Kathryn Lucille Fosher, 1922–2013


Mary Lillian Dozier Darden, 1921–2013

‘And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.'


William Shakespeare,
, Act 5, Scene 2

Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd Came to my tent, and every one did threat Tomorrow's vengeance …'

William Shakespeare,
Richard III
, Act 5, Scene 3


Writing is a solitary business, yet it takes a team to put a novel into the hands of readers. With thanks to my incredible team:

My husband, Barry Talley, who understands what it's like to live with a woman who ‘always seems to have a term paper due.'

My editor, Sara Porter, my can-do publicist, Michelle Duff, chairman Edwin Buckhalter, publisher Kate Lyall-Grant and everyone else at Severn House who makes it such an incredibly supportive place for a mystery writer to be.

Tyson Bennett and Elaine Broering, whose generous bids at charity auctions benefitting the Annapolis Opera Company and the United Church of Christ in Lovell, Maine, respectively, earned them the rights to play roles in this novel.

Barbara Jean, for performing her original song, ‘Tell Me Your Name,' within the pages of this book. Listen for yourself at

Sisters in Crime, for the week-long retreat at the Lodge at Ballantyne in Charlotte, NC, where the final draft of this novel was written.

And once again, thanks to my fellow travelers at various stations on the road to publication – the Annapolis Writers Group: Ray Flynt, Mary Ellen Hughes, Debbi Mack, Sherriel Mattingly, and Bonnie Settle for tough love.

To Kate Charles and Deborah Crombie. When the time comes for me to join a retirement community, I hope you'll be sitting on the porch with me, rocking and knitting and still telling tales.

And, of course, to Vicky Bijur.


‘Continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs … offer three types of senior housing in one location, so that older residents can move from one to the other as their need for care increases throughout retirement. These communities allow seniors to stay among friends and near their spouse during the aging process, and for that reason they have grown in popularity over recent decades. The number of older adults living in CCRCs has more than doubled between 1997 and 2007 and now totals 745,000 seniors living in over 1,800 CCRCs. With the boomer generation retiring, we can only expect this number to grow.'

Testimony of Senator Herb Kohl before the Senate

Special Committee on Aging, July 21, 2010.

ou can accomplish a lot on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay while stretching your calves in the downward-facing dog pose. What to buy your husband for his birthday. How to use up a bumper crop of early August tomatoes.

After a few minutes of staring at my feet, wondering in a Zen-like way whether I should replace my beat-up Nikes, I shifted to the sphinx position. Once my head cleared, I gazed out over the waters of the bay, tea-brown and placid beneath a cloudless sky baked to a pale blue by the sun.

A sailboat ghosted by as I arranged my limbs in the side plank pose, looking to the casual observer, I supposed, like a woman who'd been knocked to the ground while hailing a cab. I breathed deeply, tensing my abdominal muscles as I'd been instructed.

My stomach rebelled and rumbled, reminding me that it was almost time for the lunch I'd planned to have at Spa Paradiso, the spa that dominated the hill behind me, owned and successfully operated, I'm proud to say, by my daughter, Emily, her husband, Daniel Shemansky, and their relentlessly cheerful and capable staff. Did I want soup or salad, or both?

I folded myself into a lotus position, closed my eyes and tried to focus on my mantra –
kerim, kerim, kerim
– but other thoughts kept intruding, messing with my
, like where the heck had I stored the folding beach chairs?

Sweat slithered down my temples and trickled into my hair. I considered, briefly, diving into the tepid water, but didn't fancy being stung to death by sea nettles, those nasty pearlescent jellyfish that invaded the upper reaches of the bay every mid-summer when the salinity got too high.

Kerim, kerim, kerim
. I tried to ignore the splintered spot on my bamboo mat that was digging into my thigh and the dampness of the grass I'd spread the mat upon.
Kerim, kerim, kerim
… Damn it!
Did I really want to practice yoga three times a week?

Through half-slitted eyes, I considered the serpentine brick wall – about five feet high – that meandered gracefully along the slope of the manicured lawn down to the wide, white sand beach that Spa Paradiso shared with its immediate neighbor, Calvert Colony. Named in honor of Lord Cecil Calvert, the guy who'd founded Maryland back in sixteen-hundred-and-something, the sprawling continuing care retirement community had only recently opened its doors. It was a geritopia so posh – according to my husband, Paul – that if you had to ask how much it cost to buy in there was no way you could afford it.

Kerim, kerim, kerim.
The sun warming my cheek. The gentle buzz of bees flitting around a nearby bed of red
and golden
. The drone of a power mower in the distance and the smell of fresh-cut grass.

A jet ski rooster-tailed by, shattering the quiet. ‘Damn,' I muttered again, giving up.

alive, then, Hannah,' a familiar voice said.

I turned, squinting, shielding my eyes from the late morning sun. ‘Naddie!'

‘Am I interrupting?' my old friend asked.

I unfolded my legs and struggled awkwardly to my feet. ‘Not really. I was about to call it quits anyway. Honestly,' I said, gesturing toward the jet ski that was departing with all the stealth of a Boeing B-57, ‘those things ought to be illegal.'

‘He had a kid with him, too,' Naddie added. ‘No helmet, no seatbelt.'

As she rattled on about the irresponsible driving habits of jet skiers – getting no objection from me – I rolled up my mat and tucked it under my arm. ‘Are you coming or going?' I asked, indicating the entrance to Spa Paradiso.

‘I've just had a facial. Can't you tell?' she said, patting her cheeks with the fingertips of both hands.

Naddie – Nadine Smith Gray, retired mystery writer – was in her mid-eighties but had the clear, smooth complexion of someone half her age. From the fresh pinkness of her skin I could tell she'd had a facial, but I also suspected she'd had her hair done, too. Her silver waves had been coaxed into a neat pageboy cut that framed her face and curled gently under her ears, showcasing a pair of art deco earrings acquired, I was sure, at one of the craft shows she liked to frequent. Naddie wore what I always thought of as her summer uniform: an A-line denim skirt that hovered several inches below the knees, a pale pink three-quarter-sleeve scoop-necked T-shirt, and sensible leather sandals. I smiled. ‘Join me for lunch?'

She slid her sunglasses up to her forehead, disrupting the orderly march of bangs across her brow. ‘No thanks, Hannah. Gotta get home for an appointment with my decorator. Your nose is red,' she added.

I tugged on the brim of my floppy hat. ‘And I slathered myself with SPF30, too. Skin cancer doesn't appeal.'

Naddie and I went way back. More than a decade, in fact, to the time I was hired to catalog the novels and personal papers she'd donated to St John's College. For various reasons I hadn't seen Naddie for months, so I was disappointed that she couldn't join me for a meal and some good gal-to-gal gossip. ‘Can I walk you to the parking lot, then?'

‘I didn't bring my car. I walked.'

‘Walked?' My mouth hung open. Naddie lived in Ginger Cove, a retirement community at least eight miles away.

Naddie furrowed her brow. ‘You didn't get my change of address card?'

I shook my head, puzzled. ‘You've moved? My gosh! Where?'

Naddie stood at the head of a concrete path edged with
that curved gently down the hill from Spa Paradiso and led through a gate to one of the neat brick Georgian-style buildings of Calvert Colony. She pointed vaguely in that direction. ‘I bought one of the town homes over there,' she told me.

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