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What Evil Lurks in Monet’s Pond?:

A “Paint an Impression of Murder” Mystery #1

by Sara M. Barton

Published by Sara M. Barton at Smashwords

Copyright Sara M. Barton 2012

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Chapter One --

“If you ask me, it was a heist for profit,” said Allie. With her usual dismissive wave of a hand, she pronounced the case solved. The fifty-something doyenne of the family would probably be appalled if I told you her real name is Alberta Susan Scott and behind her back, we refer to her by her acronym of A.S.S., as in “horse’s”. That’s because her royal highness can behave like one.

“I completely disagree,” declared Bowie, her son, the only fruit of her loins. “Why not steal the more valuable paintings? Why take the lesser ones?”

“Maybe it was a crime of convenience,” suggested Aunt Clementine. “The thief only had enough time to get at those particular paintings.

We were all sitting around the long dining table at Nora and Andrew’s place in East Haddam, in the cavernous hall just off the kitchen of their faux castle. You heard me right. Faux castle. Sound like a palace? Think again. With stones as wide as my eldest cousin’s ample bottom and the thickness of her obtuse head, it took the builder, Robert McPherson, ten years to complete his replica of a castle back on the River Clyde. Started in 1892, after he made his fortune as a minor silk thread baron in Manchester, Connecticut, this place was damp, dreary, and bloody cold for most of the year, and I often had to wear my thermal underwear under my formal dress when I came for the annual holiday party. While it looked great on the Christmas Card, with Nora, Andrew, Finlay and the twins, Preston and Ramsay, the house was more than a little on the pretentious side, right down to the antique armor fixed above the massive fireplace in the living room. Everything about it screamed Scotland, the land of my ancestors, and my sister, Nora, had plenty of social gatherings to drill that point home.

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