– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘A Lethal Arrogance’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
D.S. Lang, a native Ohioan, has been making up stories since she was a little girl, and she still is! Along the way, she studied English and social studies as an undergrad. After graduate school, she went on to teach government and American history in high school. She also taught English at the junior high, high school, and college levels. In addition, she has worked as a program coordinator, golf shop manager, and online tutor.
Now, she spends much of her time reading, researching, and writing. Most recently, she has delved into the Great War era and the years immediately after it. Her Arabella Stewart Historical Mystery Series was inspired by her Great Uncle Brice who served in the American Expeditionary Force during World War One, and by her love of historical mysteries. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with family and friends, including her dog Izzy.
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After returning home from her service as a United States Army Signal Corps operator in the Great War, Arabella Stewart’s goal, to save her family’s resort, seems within reach as the summer season progresses. She and her business partner, Mac MacLendon, look forward to re-establishing a successful championship golf tournament, once the signature event of the resort’s year. Problems arise when one of the contestants, an overbearing snob who has created problems at other competitions, clashes with more than one person. When he is found dead, the victim of a suspicious automobile crash, Bella once again helps Jax Hastings, the town constable and her childhood friend, investigate. As they pursue answers, Bella and Jax find several suspects who might have wanted to make the victim suffer for his lethal arrogance.
In A Lethal Arrogance, the third book in my Arabella Stewart Historical Mystery series, Bella again partners with Jax Hastings, the local constable and her childhood friend, to solve a crime. Since the Great War, when Bella served as a United States Army Signal Corps operator and Jax was an officer with the American Expeditionary Force, they have an uneasy relationship. Even so, joining forced to investigate a suspicious vehicle accident in their hometown, where one driver died and another left the scene, becomes necessary. During a road trip to interview suspects and witnesses, Bella and Jax have plenty of time to chat. That leads to Bella bringing up a sore subject.
Jax and Bella exchanged small talk as she drove out of the city and toward their next stop. After a time, she returned to the case. “It sounds like Mr. Smith’s cousin lives just outside Mohawk. It’s too bad Mrs. Smith couldn’t tell us exactly where or even what the house looks like.”
“It’s a very small town, so we should be able to find someone to give us directions.”
“That’s likely to be true,” Bella commented. In their hometown of Moreley, finding a certain house was easy because people knew their neighbors. The same would happen in an even smaller village. “I wonder if Chaz has visited this cousin recently.”
Jax hesitated only a moment before responding. “I’ve wondered the same thing. He could have visited his father last week during the tournament. After all, Chaz wasn’t angry with Mr. Smith.”
“Boys usually want to be around their fathers and vice-versa.”
Several seconds of silence filled the car before Jax spoke. “My dad would have liked for me to take more of an interest in his profession, but I never did. I imagine he’d be shocked to learn I have that same job now.”
Once again, Jax provided an opening into a more personal conversation. Bella knew there were hazards in following that lead, but she proceeded anyhow. “My dad and Matt would be shocked about you being constable, too,” she suggested. Out of the corner of her eye, Bella saw Jax turn toward her, but she kept her attention on the road.
“I suppose they would. Sometimes, I’m surprised myself.”
“You do a good job, but do you like it? I mean, I know you probably don’t love it like golf. How could you?” Although he’d turned down the offer of the golf pro job at Ballantyne, didn’t some part of him still love the game? Or maybe not. Jax seemed increasingly comfortable in his role as town constable. That could be a front or the truth.
“Spoken like a tried-and-true golf lover,” he observed with a chuckle, but his amusement fled quickly, and his next words were serious. “I don’t dislike being constable, and it has its good points. I get a steady paycheck, for one.”
“You could be a club pro and get a steady paycheck.” Bella still didn’t understand his refusal to go back to his previous career. His ideal career. Had he really relinquished his dreams? The thought made her profoundly sad.
“We’ve talked about this, Bella.” His voice held a sharp, accusatory edge.
“You don’t want to try.” Bella heard the note of challenge in her voice. She shouldn’t feel so personally invested in his decisions, but she didn’t apologize or back down. Understanding the changes in him was a Herculean task. Although Jax remained loyal to her brother’s memory, his decision to leave his dreams behind disturbed her in ways that she couldn’t quite explain, even to herself.
A harsh breath left him. “There is no point in chasing after vain hopes and wishes. It’s a waste of time and energy. I have a job, a good one, so that makes me a lot better off than many veterans. I won’t live in the past. No adult should.”
Bella flinched at his caustic tone and unyielding observations. “I’m being an adult,” she protested, immediately taking his statements as criticism. “I’m simply trying to keep Ballantyne from failing, which will help Moreley. That’s not living in the past. That’s planning for the future.”
“I’m not talking about that,” he shot back. “I’m talking about how you continue to ask me why I don’t go back to golf as a career. When you offered me the job at Ballantyne, I said you need someone who can represent the resort at big tournaments. I can’t do that because I’m physically unable, and I don’t appreciate you continuing to hound me. I’ve told you more than once that I’m not the same man who left for France. I can’t be…not for you or anyone else.”
His words stung so badly that Bella flinched. She’d already said playing in tournaments wasn’t a requirement, so she didn’t repeat herself. “I’m not asking you to do anything for me,” she said in a muffled tone. “I just wondered…” Her voice trailed off. Obviously, he didn’t cherish old memories like she did, so Bella hurried on. “I’m sorry I brought it up. Your life is your business.”
“Yes, it is. Please keep that in mind.” His icy tone fell between them like shards of sleet.
A hot flush invaded her cheeks while sadness gripped her heart. Bella focused on the road. “I most assuredly will.”
The Magic of Wor(l)ds