Monday, September 24, 2012

Agent Pitch Finalist #46 - Death on the Cliffs

UPDATE: This entry is no longer available for requests! I'll go ahead and say good luck and congratulations, Liz!!!:)

Death on the Cliffs
Adult cozy mystery


In 1894, Camden, Maine, is a quiet coastal retreat favored by rusticators and artists. Emily Driscoll, minister’s daughter and frustrated artist, is certain nothing exciting will ever happen in her hometown. Then, one dull Sunday, she meets the handsome traveling artist, Charles Bartlett. They’ve barely exchanged flirtatious words when her best friend, Abigail, arrives with disturbing news. Her father, Captain Coatsworth, owner of lime quarries and sailing ships, has been shot dead on a cliff overlook.

After initially suspecting Emily’s good friend, Eugene, the police decide the murder was by persons unknown. Abigail and Emily aren’t convinced. For one thing, Caroline Coatsworth, the wife believed to have died at Abigail’s birth, has reappeared and laid claim to her inheritance. They also suspect Jonas Estabrook, the captain’s greedy business partner. He opposed the captain’s costly expansion plans and is said to be overextended. When an employee with information for Abigail dies in a quarry explosion before he can talk to her, it becomes clear that she’s also in danger. At her urging, Emily and Charles are drawn into solving the murder and answering the pivotal and burning question: is that lovely, seductive woman really Abigail's mother? Along the way, love and a new career blossom for Emily.

First 150 Words:

Camden, Maine 1894
    The day my best friend’s father was murdered began like any other June Sunday in Camden, Maine. That is to say, ordered like clockwork and dull beyond belief.
    Church at ten. An enormous Sunday dinner at one. Self-improvement at two.
    With a sigh, I settled down on the porch swing and opened the book of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays to “Self Reliance,” the piece I had been digesting in five-minute installments over the past month. To be frank, my attempt at these dense, scholarly essays was my friend Eugene Palmer’s idea. In his opinion, I needed to elevate my reading material, not to mention my mind, above the level of delectable dime novels like Lady Something or Other’s Secret.
     I felt like tossing the book into the lilac bushes, but since Eugene was presently playing the piano in our music room, I was trapped.

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