The Mystery of the Crimson Lady: A Spacefarer’s Tale

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The blurb.

One hundred years ago the pirate ship Crimson Lady terrorized the space lanes, then she disappeared without a trace, leaving behind nothing but tall tales and legends. Until Tara Wyndham finds an artifact from the lost ship

Rys Kovas made a mistake when he left Fleet to take over his uncle’s tourist business. He jumps at the chance to hire out his luxury yacht to go hunting for a ghost ship with the lovely Tara and her grandfather. But murder, sabotage, and accidents mar their journey.  It’s clear somebody doesn’t want them following the trail. As the danger ramps up Rys suspects there’s more to the mystery of the Crimson Lady than a long-lost spacefarer’s story.

Can Rys, Tara, and her indomitable grandfather unravel the mystery and escape with their lives?

Here’s a snippet

For context, Tara is a historian. She attends garage sales and the like in search of interesting pieces. When the story starts, she is attending a sale at a deceased estate.

Tara drifted away, into the second room. This appeared to be where the woman had placed what she figured were the least valuable items. More crockery, a few tasteful modern ornaments, some reasonable furniture, and a few boxes of this and that sitting on the floor. Sutton was there, examining an inscribed trophy, which he took out to Miz Jepson. Tara glanced inside one of the boxes and caught a hint of red. She picked up a cracked mug with a picture of a woman in a flowing red dress wrapped around the outside.

Tara’s hands trembled. She knew that design. This was the Crimson Lady, mascot of the famous ship. Just as well Sutton had his hands full. It was good quality porcelain, with a fine texture, basically white, with a red and gold rim. The handle had broken off and it was cracked, the line running down through the woman’s head almost to the base but even so, if it was genuine, if it came from the legendary Crimson Lady, it would be worth… she sucked in a breath… thousands. She turned it over, reading the words on the base. ‘Beecher Designs, Kendon.’ She didn’t know what the symbols meant, but Archimedes, Grandfather’s house IS, would be able to find out.

Tara took a couple of deep breaths and tried to look blasé, then went back to Miz Jepson and held up the mug. “How much do you want for this?”

She stared at Tara. “You know it’s broken?”

“Yes. But I like the design. We might be able to get it fixed.”

She pulled an ‘if you say so’ face. “Take it. You can have it.” The woman obviously had no idea. Tara smiled, thanked the woman, and forced herself not to hurry out of the house.

There is a romance threading its way through this story but it’s mainly a mystery, a puzzle that takes our three protagonists to various planets in the Dryden Universe.

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