Please welcome this week’s Guest Author –Beverley Bateman
Thanks so much Leanne, for inviting me here today. In my latest book, A Murder To Forget, set in and around Miami, Florida. It’s the second in my Holly Devine, Assistant PI series. My hero is an Interpol agent. I thought people might be interested in a little information about Interpol as it’s not one of the better known agencies.
INTERPOL, or the International Criminal Police Organization, like the name says is an international organization to facilitate international police cooperation. The headquarters are in Lyon, France. It is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations by member states. It has 190 participating members.
To keep Interpol politically neutral, as much as possible, it’s constitution forbids it, at least in theory, from undertaking activities of a political, military, religious or racial nature. It focuses primarily on public safety, terrorism, crimes against humanity, environmental crime, genocide, war crimes, organized crime, piracy, illicit traffic in works of art (my hero in this book), illicit drug production, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, child pornography, white-collar crime, computer crime, intellectual property crime and corruption.
The current president is a woman, Mireille Ballestrazzi. Most of the agents have a police or similar background.
Here’s an excerpt from A Murder to Forget.
“Hi, it’s Holly Devine. I’m from the Capelleti Detective Agency.”
It was a few seconds before the buzzer rang.
Holly opened the door and stepped into a small entry. There was no elevator. She trampedup the well-worn stairs. On the second floor, she checked the numbers on the doors and started down the hall.
A door to her right opened.
“Yes?” A woman in her early thirties stood there.
She was taller than Holly, maybe five feet six and heavier. Her brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail. She wore no makeup or jewelry.
“Can I help you?” Her icy blue eyes stared at Holly.
“Holly Devine, from the Capelleti Detective Agency. Mr. Capelleti asked me to look into your report that your sister is missing.”
“You don’t look like a detective.”
“I’m a newer member of the team. These cases are my specialty.” Holly crossed her fingers behind her back.
“I see. Do you have identification?”
“Oh, sure,” Holly opened her purse, fumbled through her wallet and eventually found an old photo ID card. She’d rummaged through some old boxes in the attic and found it. Mickey said he should have her
replacement identification ready by the weekend.
“Here you go.”
The woman accepted it and stared at it and then at Holly. She handed the card back.
“Thank you. Please come in. I’m Millie Gudron. I was afraid Victor might have sent you to try and keep me quiet.”
The woman stepped to one side. Holly edged past her into the living room. The furnishings were simple and older; an overstuffed beige corduroy couch and matching chair, a rocker, a wood and glass coffee table and a corner shelf.
“Please, have a seat. Thank you for coming. I didn’t know what else to do. I’m afraid that something has happened to my sister.”
Holly sat in the handcrafted rocking chair the sister indicated.
“Victor? Why would he want to keep you quiet?”
“Because I’m sure he’s done something to my sister and he doesn’t want anybody to check on her.”
Holly perched on the edge of the chair to prevent herself from rocking. “I see. Maybe youcan tell me what makes you think your sister is missing.”
“I haven’t heard from her in over a week. Can I get you a cup of tea?”
“That would be lovely.” Holly dug out her notepad and pencil.
“Is chamomile all right?”
“That sounds perfect. A week isn’t long. She might be busy and forgot to call.”
“I know it doesn’t sound like it’s a long time, but my sister and I are very close. When our parents died, I looked after Mitzi. I’m five years older. We talk every day or every other day at the latest. Even if she’s away somewhere, she always calls me.”
Millie returned with a small tray and placed it on the coffee table. She poured Holly a cup and passed it over carefully. “Help yourself to the cream and sugar.”
“No, I’m good.”
“Would you like lemon? I think I have some.”
“No, clear is fine. Thank you.” Holly took a sip and burned the tip of her tongue. She put the cup down.
“When I talked to her last week, she told me Victor was angry. She said she was frightened. She didn’t know what he might do to her. She planned to tell me why when she saw me because Victor often listened in on her phone calls.
“When I didn’t hear from her for two days, I called and talked to Victor, her wonderful husband. He was abrupt and told me Mitzi had gone and hung up on me. I was frustrated. I went out to see him. He was furious that I’d come and wouldn’t let me in the house. When I pressured him, he said she’d run off with the
golf pro and good riddance to both of them.”
“I see.” Holly scribbled furiously.
“I know she didn’t run off with the golf pro. She would have told me if that was her plan, or dropped by here before they left town. She’d never even told me she was interested in the golf pro. I know Victor is a liar. He’s done something to my sister. I know he has. I don’t know what, but I have to find out, whatever it is. Can you help me?” Millie asked.
“Look, I didn’t know you or your sister, but are you sure there’s no way she would have run off with a man without telling you? It might have been a spur of the moment thing and once they’re settled in Mexico, or wherever, she’ll call and let you know where she is.”
“No, she’d never do that. I know Mitzi.”
“I’ll talk to the golf pro and see what he says.”
“I understand what you’re saying. I know I sound a little over protective. Some peopleconsidered our dependence on each other abnormal. I know Victor hated it. It’s just we were all we had, for so long. When our parents died, we sort of looked after each other, even though I was older. Mitzi brightened up my life. We never go more than a day or two without keeping in touch. It’s who we are.” Millie shrugged.
“Her husband says she’s run off with the golf pro and isn’t too worried. Did he sound angry or upset?”
“Victor? No. Victor would never sound upset. I think he was angry because I phoned to check on Mitzi. He was mad at me, but basically Victor is cold and calculating. He married Mitzi because she is gorgeous. She won the Miss Miami Orange contest. She’s talented, too. He wanted her for an adornment when he entertained. Other than that he didn’t have much use for her. For that matter, I don’t think he has much use for any woman. He didn’t love her.”
“Did Mitzi love him?”
“I think she did when she first met him. He showered her with gifts and expensive trips. She was young and easily impressed. He turned her head. It didn’t last long.”
“I see. Why didn’t she leave him?”
“He would have killed her. She was his property.” Millie replied.
“But even if he didn’t love her, if someone’s run off with his property, wouldn’t he be upset?”
Millie sighed. “No. He’d be furious; the same as if you walked into your home and found a thief had violated it. He’d kill them both if it happened. Then find another ornament to decorate his arm.”
“So, you think he’s killed your sister?” Holly asked.
“Yes. I’m afraid that’s what he’s done. There’s no other reason she wouldn’t have called me. And it wouldn’t be because she ran off with someone. There has to be another reason.”
“Oh God, you didn’t say anything about a murder.” A shiver twisted snake-like down Holly’s spine. “If you think she’s been killed, you should talk to the police. They’re the ones who should look into this,
not a private investigator.”
“I talked to the police. They’re not interested. She hasn’t been missing that long and Victor says she’s run off with the golf pro.”
“But did you tell them what you suspected?”
“Yes, and they laughed. Victor Santiago has money and power and is an important man. I’mnobody. The police say it’s a domestic issue. Even when husbands say they plan to kill their wives, they usually don’t. They did talk to Victor. He was very convincing about her disappearance.”
“So you want me to find out if Victor murdered your sister.”
“Yes. A part of me hopes that she has run off with the golf pro, or that Victor has locked her in her room, to teach her a lesson, but I’m sure he’s killed her. I have to know the truth.” Tears spilled over and trickled down Millie’s cheek. She swiped at them with the back of her hand.
“I’m sorry. I’m probably being a nuisance, but honestly, I don’t know what else to do.”
“Don’t be sorry. You’re doing the right thing. Do you have a picture of Mitzi?”
“Of course, I’ll get it for you.” Millie swiped at her eyes and left the room.
“Do you know any of her friends?”
“She didn’t have any. Victor made sure of that. He kept her isolated from friends and family. She went to the country club to play golf and she went shopping. That’s about it. And she had a chauffeur for those activities. There were a couple of girls at the country club that she played golf with. I’ll write their names down for you.” Millie came back into the room and handed a photograph to Holly.
Holly looked at the photo of a young woman, maybe in her late twenties, with long blonde hair and soulful blue eyes. “She is beautiful.”
“Yes. That’s what got her into this mess. She was young and naïve. Victor overwhelmed her with his money. She expected to live the life of Cinderella. It turned out to be more like Rapunzel, but Rapunzel escaped. I don’t think Mitzi did.”
Holly dropped the photo into her purse. “I’ll do what I can. I don’t have a lot to go on.”
“I understand. Anything you can find out, anything at all, I’ll appreciate it. The fact you listened to me and will try to find her makes me feel a little better. I don’t know what I’ll do without her, but I don’t think I can live if I don’t know where she is or what happened to her.” Millie dabbed at the corner of her eye.
“It will probably be a couple of days before I get back to you.”
“If you think of anything else, or your sister calls, you can get a message to me through theoffice. You have the number?”
“Yes, but she won’t call.” Millie said. A tear caught in her throat. “She can’t.”
To Buy A Murder to Forget go to:
And most e-reader stores
Where to find Beverley:
Facebook Authorpage – http://www.facebook.com/AuthorBeverleyBateman?ref=hl
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Beverley-Bateman/e/B008M01F5E
Other books by Beverley Bateman:
An amnesia victim, found by the side of the road is befriended by an older woman with early Alzheimer’s. The woman takes the victim, Hallie, with her as a companion on a Caribbean cruise, Eric is an Interpol agent working on breaking up an international jewelry theft ring. He’s undercover as the ship’s doctor on a Caribbean cruise. Sparks fly when Hallie and Eric meet, but as the cruise progresses he’s thinking Hallie might be the thief stealing from the passengers. His reasoning is amnesia and Alzheimer’s make a good cover, and Lillian keeps coming up with pieces of jewelry passengers have dropped or lost. To complicate everything someone is trying to kill Hallie and she has no idea why. Eric. Lillian finds an older cowboy a who she’s interested in and then there’s the sleazy man who keeps hitting on Hallie. As the cruise progresses Hallie gradually starts to regain her memory. Eric decides she’s not a thief but has to find the real one and their romance heats up.
HUNTED is the first in the series about the Hawkins ranch and the Hawkins men. It’s a romantic suspense set in Duster, a fictional, small town in Montana. Staying alive wasn’t Maggie McGonagall’s first concern. Could she convince the man she hadn’t planned on ever seeing again, to accept and protect, a son he didn’t know about?
Cody Hawkins came running when the woman he wanted to forget called him for help. Could he help her, and walk away?
Running from a disastrous engagement, and an over-powering father, Dr. Allie Parsons agrees to help out an old friend and travels to Duster, Montana. She’s agreed to help the local doctor for a brief period of time until he can find a permanent new doctor. Raised her whole life in New York city, Allie is greeted with culture shock when she finds out how small Duster is, but she also finds a warm, friendly community. And the doctor turns out to be young, tall, dark and handsome. He sends her emotions shooting sky high. She’s welcomed into the Hawkins family and develops a relationship with his daughter. A mysterious stranger leaves notes at the clinic and Allie fears they are a warning he’s going to kidnap the doctor’s daughter.
Luke Hawkins, one of the Hawkins’ brothers is looking for a doctor to take over half the practice from the retiring doctor. He’s not expecting his temporary replacement to be a young, sexy, single woman from New York. He knows she’s the woman he’s been searching for all his life, but he also knows she won’t stay in Duster. He doesn’t believe the notes are meant for him until his daughter is kidnapped. Now he has to save his daughter and convince the woman he loves that she really is a small town doctor at heart.
“Don’t go to Canada” is a warning given to Dr. Phil Jones and his new wife Zena. The problem is while on their honeymoon, they end up finding themselves on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.
While there, Phil is attacked and partially eviscerated by an unknown animal. Barely clinging to life, he receives a visit from Alan Strange who tells him of something called a longevity virus: it keeps the infected person healthy, heals wounds rapidly, and extends life indefinitely. An unfortunate side effect is periodic mad rages that cause one to take the lives of those he loves most.
During every full moon, a wolf-like animal attacks women that look similar to Zena. The police are aided in their investigation by a man who has been searching for the people infected with the virus for years. They are closing in on Phil, but can he be caught and stopped before he succeeds in killing his wife or infecting anyone else?
Thanks Beverley for dropping by today and sharing with us your wonderful romances.