And Dangerous to Know by Darcie Wilde EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Novel Title: And Dangerous to Know
- Author: Darcie Wilde
- Language: English
- Formats: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Available for Download
- Series: None
- Price: Free
- File Size: 1 MB
The Darker Shades Of Morning
He talks to me about the woman, and of the thing
being forgotten—is it so?
George Gordon, Lord Byron, private correspondence
Adam Harkness pushed his way into the Brown Bear public house. April’s
bright, damp dawn had just begun to seep between London’s chimneys, but
the room was already crowded with working men after a mug of beer or a
bowl of stew. Harkness touched the brim of his old-fashioned tricorn hat to
Seamus Callahan, the landlord. In answer, that worthy spared one hand from
plying his beer jug to wave Harkness toward the cellar door.
The Brown Bear was just like any of the hundreds of public houses across
the length and breadth of London, save for one thing. This house stood
directly across from the famous Bow Street police station. Down the years,
the Brown Bear had become a sort of annex to the business of the station and
its magistrate’s court. Prisoners were held here, questioned here, even
searched for stolen property here. A man might think he’d been invited in for
a friendly drink, only to find he was being called out for his crimes by a
witness sitting in the back of the room.
And sometimes, while men ate and drank upstairs, a much grimmer table
was laid out in the cellar.
“I’m sorry to have roused you so early, Mr. Harkness.” Sir David Royce
straightened up from his work.
“I’m sorry you should have to.” Harkness crossed the chill cellar to stand
beside a long table with its sad burden. He had served long enough as a
principal officer at Bow Street that the smell of death no longer alarmed him.
Neither did the sight of a corpse.
She was a pale woman, and no longer young. Not even death had erased
the lines around her mouth and eyes. But neither was she very old. A quantity
of dark hair—clean and well brushed—tumbled loose about her shoulders.
Her skin was only minimally marked by sun and wind. Her hands looked
strong, but the nails were clean and the fingers were not obviously splayed or
callused. She’d lived a life indoors, then, perhaps as a lady’s maid or a
A ring of bruises stood out sharply around her mouth.
“What’s happened here?” Harkness asked.
“This unfortunate woman was brought here in a hired wagon, around two
o’clock or so. The carters were extremely reluctant to stay while I was sent
for.” Sir David Royce was a portly, balding man with steady hands, sharp
eyes, and a methodical mind. He held the office of King’s Coroner for
Middlesex County. It fell to Sir David and his subordinates to inquire into all
unexpected deaths reported in a county that included both London and
Sir David was constantly busy.
“I owe our host upstairs a little something for holding the pair of them
spellbound with his beer and conversation.” Sir David rubbed his hands on a
piece of toweling, which he slung over his shoulder. “I began my
examination as soon as I was called, and I admit, I’ve been wrestling with
what to do since.”
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