Teaser Thursday: Fatal Interest

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By Julie C. Gilbert

FatalInterestwBadge“It’s nice to meet you. Who’s the handsome fellow?”

“Blue.”

“That’s a nice name. I see you’ve already met Dr. Ian Alton. He’s the biology teacher, but his true passion is his research into different genetic strains of grass. I don’t really get it, but he loves that grass.” Silvia shook her head like she couldn’t fathom why. “I fear watering the experimental grass has made an enemy out of Ian for Blue here, but he’ll get over it. I’ll have the kids steal his precious sign a time or two more. That’ll keep him busy.”

I raised an eyebrow at the woman.

“You had them steal the sign?”

“Not exactly, but it does make a regular appearance in my room throughout the year,” Silvia explained. “I’ve narrowed down the suspects to two young men and a young lady from my team, but I’ve not cracked the case yet. If that’s the worst of the pranks they pull, we should count our blessings.”

I looked back at the man she’d called Ian. He was kneeling next to a patch of grass, studying it carefully.

“Have you seen the pool yet?” Silvia asked, drawing my attention back her way.

“No. I decided to check out the grounds first.”

“Aside from teaching English, I’m also the assistant swim coach. We’ve got an Olympic size pool in the West Wing below the dorms. Do you fancy a tour?” Silvia slipped into a British accent as she asked the question.

Silvia’s cheer was starting to wear on me, but I gathered there was no quicker way to the heart of the school than questioning the most enthusiastic chatterbox. Consenting to the tour, I followed Silvia across the expansive back lawn back to the mansion. Keeping the pace casual, I carefully questioned my new source. She had a story and statement ready for just about everything.

Before reaching the pool, I learned that the history teacher, Dr. Bartholomew Rathbone, Jr., had taught here for thirty-five years.

“He’s a relic and a bit eccentric, but harmless enough. Don’t get him started on the Civil War unless you’ve got a three-hour chunk of time to kill.”   

After being properly impressed by the pool, I encouraged Silvia to continue playing tour guide. Happy to comply, she led me up a floor to the hallway full of creepy portraits.

“I call this the ‘Great Hall of Dead People,’” she announced dramatically, “but don’t tell Belinda. She’s like Ian and the grass to the nth power when it comes to respecting the school. Me? I’m more of a realist. Don’t get me wrong. I love working here. Most of the students are great, but a few need the silver spoon yanked out of their mouths once in a while.” Silvia winked at me. “I’m happy to do the yanking.”

What’s Fatal Interest about?

Sydney Rye doesn’t believe in ghosts … until she meets one.

Without warning, the Ghost Girl appears in her room and tells her to expect a phone call. Despite the strangest referral ever, Sydney accepts what appears to be a simple case of high class mischief at an exclusive boarding school.

The Head Mistress can’t tell her much, but she fears one of the students might be in danger. Rooms are being searched seemingly at random, and the list of potential targets stretches to nearly everybody. Still, compared to Sydney’s other cases, this one has all the markings of an open/shut one for her and Blue.

Looks can be deceiving.

Somebody has a keen interest in this small, posh school, and it’s up to Sydney and Blue to expose the bad guys before that interest turns fatal.

Fatal Interest is a Lei Crime Kindle World novella, based on characters created by BSR member Emily Kimelman. It’s also part of Julie Gilbert’s Ghost Girl Files series.

Find it exclusively on Amazon.

About the author

Teaching and writing make up about 90% of my life. The other smidgen would probably be split between Legos, Star Wars collecting, and drinking decaf coffee or a strong peppermint tea. I might also be a candy addict. I occasionally do puzzles, but crossword puzzles bore me. I’m more of a word search gal because there’s always a chance of winning those.

Visit me on:

And follow me on Twitter: @authorgilbert or @jilliananddeli.

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