“Is your father here?” Delaney asked.
I miss you so much... even when you’re right here
The Book of Ashes
A new Delaney & ASha mystery from Sam Hawksmoor
Hammer & Tong - ebook & Print
"Great characters, a gripping mystery and the wonderful return of Rufus the dog" BH
'an immensely satisfying story' - Walli Leff on Goodreads.
'a fun read with unique elements ... exemplary in its voice and style'
'Judge, 10th Annual Writer's Digest E-Book Awards
“My father doesn’t know it’s happening. He’s in Summertree.”
Delaney winced. Awkward. Summertree was the dementia clinic on Third Avenue. Expensive and inevitably long term. “That’s tough on him and you.”
“He still recognizes me. Just not all the time.”
“How can we help?” Asha asked, feeling a lot more sympathy for the guy now.
“I, um – I hired someone to write my father’s biography. Paid up front. He was supposed to deliver a finished manuscript three weeks before my father’s eightieth on Dec 9th.”
“I confess we’re not exactly literary critics if you’re worried about the quality of the writing,” Delaney remarked. “I should have paid just half, but I had put a lot of time pressure on the guy to get it done and he would have had a lot of research to do.”
Delaney frowned. “Is it the money or the manuscript you’re worried about?”
“The money’s irrelevant. $10,000 is nothing, but I wanted it whilst he was still able to function. My father has done so much for Berg City and for me. My father made a difference. He was one of the good guys. This writer, Wolfie Sigurdsson, was supposed to gather all the details of my father’s life, interview his friends. Arnold Martinet mattered, Mr Delaney. Got a shooting bronze in the ’72 Olympics in Germany. He wasn’t a nobody.”
“Does your father know about this biography?” Delaney asked, curious.
“Not really. Find the writer Mr Delaney. I want what I paid for.”
So begins a simple track and trace investigation. So ok, it’s likely the writer is a con artist preying on others need for recognition, but sometimes it hard to run them to ground, especially in a cold New England winter. Luckily almost everyone leaves a trace. Asha and Delaney get to work. Delaney has a lead to a remote writer's retreat and sets off in the snow ... it will lead to an astonishing revelation. Read the extract here - A Writer's Reputation is a precious thing.
Is it, as Asha believes, something to do with the grassy knoll? After all the old guy was an expert shooter...
"This was supposed to be a simple track and trace job. Find the writer, bank the money. Now it's a horror show."
The Book of Ashes is the second Delaney and Asha investigation – some secrets are meant to be kept forever.
*Print version available now
© Sam Hawksmoor February 2023
Read the first Delaney and Asha novel 'We Feel Your Pain -so you don't have to'