- Author: Celina Grace
- Published: November 2015 by Isaro Publishing Ltd
- Category: Mystery, Crime
The last person Detective Sergeant Kate Redman wants to see while she’s doing her Christmas shopping is habitual petty thief and homeless alcoholic Charlie Petworth. While she knows that Charlie steals small things in part to get a warm bed for the night, it’s still annoying, particularly in the season of good will.
A short story written especially for fans of the Kate Redman Mysteries, this short, seasonal mystery is from crime writer Celina Grace, author of the Kate Redman Mysteries, The Asharton Manor Mysteries and the upcoming historical mystery series, Miss Hart and Miss Hunter Investigate.
I was alerted to this book when Lizanne Lloyd chose it for her Friday Five Challenge. The seasonal short story is a free download on Amazon and although there is a Kate Redman Mystery series this can be read as a stand alone. Having just noticed the first in the series is also free I’ve downloaded that also. I liked the short glimpse of Kate’s personality and would like to know more about her back story and work life. I think this is a series I’ll enjoy.
Detective Sergeant Kate Redman is last minute Christmas shopping when homeless man, Charlie, is caught shoplifting as she is leaving the store.
Outside the shop. Kate stopped to let Charlie gather up the lead of his dog, Baxter. “Come on, then. Down to the station with you.”
Once they were all in Kate’s car, she turned the heater up to full. Charlie was shivering.
“When was the last time you ate, Charlie?” she asked. She could smell the booze on him now they were both shut into an enclosed space.
Kate has arrested Charlie on several occasions for petty theft and takes him down to the station on her way home and makes sure he gets a meal. He’s kept in overnight and released the following morning. But when he shows up again with a baby in his arms Kate is on the case. The baby’s parents are already at the station, having reported their 18 month old daughter missing. As Kate delves deeper, unwilling to believe Charlie abducted the baby, a terrible previous crime is uncovered and an investigation reopened.
Good twist at the end. Although it’s a short, a surprising amount is packed into the well written story. Hints are dropped but still, it kept me guessing. The plot unfolds realistically and I love that Kate cares about, and treats, Charlie as a person in his own right, and as someone who is just down on his luck.
About the author
Celina Grace was born sometime towards the end of the last century and wrote her first story, The Blue Ruby, at the age of seven. Although this early masterpiece was inexplicably ignored by the literary establishment, Celina persevered with her craft and a mere thirty-something years later, writes full time as the author of The Kate Redman Mysteries, The Asharton Manor Mysteries and various standalone psychological thrillers. She lives in the beautiful Georgian city of Bath in the UK.
Want some more free Celina Grace books? Sign up to her mailing list at http://www.celinagrace.com and you can immediately download a free copy of Requiem (A Kate Redman Mystery: Book 2), a free copy of A Prescription for Death (The Asharton Manor Mysteries Book 2) and a free PDF copy of her short story collection, A Blessing From The Obeah Man.
Celina is writing currently the first in a new full-length historical mysteries series, starring Joan and Verity from the novella Death at the Manor, with the first three books in the series due for publication in early 2016.