Murder on Oak Street
A Cold Case Comes to Light
I. M. Foster
New York, 1904. After two years as a coroner’s physician for the city of New York, Daniel O'Halleran is more frustrated than ever. What’s the point when the authorities consistently brush aside his findings for the sake of expediency? So when his fiancée leaves him standing at the altar on their wedding day, he takes it as a sign that it's time to move on and eagerly accepts an offer to assist the local coroner in the small Long Island village of Patchogue.
Though the coroner advises him life on Long Island is far more subdued than that of the city, Daniel hasn’t been there a month when the pretty librarian, Kathleen Brissedon, asks him to look into a two-year-old murder case that took place in the city. Oddly enough, the case she’s referring to was the first one he ever worked on, and the verdict never sat right with him.
Eager for the chance to investigate it anew, Daniel agrees to look into it in his spare time, but when a fresh murder occurs in his own backyard, he can’t shake his gut feeling that the two cases are connected. Can he discover the link before another life is taken, or will murder shake the peaceful South Shore village once again?
Book Excerpt or Article
Daniel O’Halleran sneered down into the cup of coffee that sat before him. An hour ago, he’d been overjoyed, waiting in eager anticipation for his meeting with the lovely Miss Brissedon.
He’d made it a point to visit the library every Tuesday and Thursday during his lunch hour for the past month, hoping to summon the courage to ask the pretty librarian if she would consent to having dinner with him. So when Dr. Tennyson had proposed he look into the death of her stepbrother’s father, it seemed like fate had intervened.
What a complete dolt he’d been to hope there might have been more to the lady’s request. Had he not already learned his lesson? Still, he remembered the Cornelius Desmond case all too well, and it continued to stick in his craw that the district attorney had discarded his findings without so much as a second glance. He welcomed the chance to prove those bureaucratic nincompoops wrong, even if he didn’t stand a chance with Kathleen Brissedon.
He sighed and leaned back against the chair, his large form causing it to creak. He checked his watch again before scrubbing a hand across his face. What was he thinking? Even if she had come, the meeting never would have ended as he’d hoped, for either of them. His uncle had looked into the case at the time, and he was as thorough as they came. Truth be told, there was little chance he’d uncover anything to alter the official report, especially after two years. Was he just giving her false hope, agreeing to take the case to bolster his own ego? No, the evidence was there. He just needed a reason to dig into it a bit more.
The bells from the nearby church struck one. He stood and threw two bits on the table, then, with a nod to the bald-headed waiter, he walked outside, heading north on Ocean Avenue. As he walked, his annoyance grew. She could have at least sent him a note and not left him sitting there like a complete fool. Not that it was the first time he’d been stood up, but somehow this stung a bit sharper. Sharper than being left at the altar? He turned onto East Main Street, still mulling the question over in his head.
At least something good had come out of that. Too humiliated to stay in Brooklyn, he’d taken the job on Long Island. Breathing in the clean, fresh ocean air, he recalled his mother’s words when they’d realized his bride wasn’t coming.
Everything happens for the best, darling. She’d stood on her toes and kissed his forehead, soothing his wounded pride.
Perhaps this was for the best as well. Stopping short, he turned around and headed back to Ocean Avenue, where the library temporarily sublet a room in the George M. Ackerly Block. What if she was ill? Would she have left a message for him there? A sudden surge of fear hastened his feet to the door. What if she’d been injured? Swallowing his pride, he walked up to the desk and bid the fastidious young woman a good afternoon.
I. M. Foster is the pen name author Inez Foster uses to write her South Shore Mystery series, set on Edwardian Long Island. Inez also writes historical romances under the pseudonym Andrea Matthews, and has so far published two series in that genre: the Thunder on the Moor series, a time-travel romance set on the 16th century Anglo-Scottish Borders, and the Cross of Ciaran series, which follows the adventures of a fifth century Celt who finds himself in love with a twentieth century archaeologist.
Inez is a historian and librarian, who love to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogically speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. Inez is a member of the Long Island Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.
You can keep track of her upcoming releases and tidbits about her books on the following sites:
Website: www.imfostermysteries.com - for her mysteries, and www.andrea-matthews.com – for her romances.
You can also find her on Facebook at IMFosterMysteries or Andrea Matthews Historical Romance.