Thursday, September 23, 2021

A Lethal Arrogance by D.S. Lang - Book Blitz

A Lethal Arrogance-An Arabella Stewart Historical Mystery  Book 3

After returning home from her service as a United States Army Signal Corps operator in the Great War, Arabella Stewart’s goal, to save her family’s resort, seems within reach as the summer season progresses. She and her business partner, Mac MacLendon, look forward to re-establishing a successful championship golf tournament, once the signature event of the resort’s year. Problems arise when one of the contestants, an overbearing snob who has created problems at other competitions, clashes with more than one person. When he is found dead, the victim of a suspicious automobile crash, Bella once again helps Jax Hastings, the town constable and her childhood friend, investigate. As they pursue answers, Bella and Jax find several suspects who might have wanted to make the victim suffer for his lethal arrogance.

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In A Lethal Arrogance, the third book in my Arabella Stewart Historical Mystery series, amateur sleuth Bella once again assists Constable Jax Hastings in investigating a suspicious death in Moreley, their hometown. Cecil Lahey, a wealthy and arrogant snob, is found dead in his roadster after crashing into a ravine. Was it accidental? Or did another driver run him off the road? Bella’s best friend, Ida Byington, and the victim were courting but had a major contretemps only hours before his death. In Jax’s eyes, she is a suspect. However, Bella disagrees. In this scene, Bella accompanies him to interview Ida.

 During the last part of the drive, neither of them spoke. Weariness and frustration hampered Jax, and he didn’t want to do or say anything that would upset Bella more. Her optimism about the case being solved quickly was misplaced, and her confidence in her friend’s innocence might be, as well.

When they arrived at their destination, Jax hurried to open the driver’s door for Bella before following her up the front walk. He stopped on the first porch step as Bella rang the bell. When the door opened, Jax moved to stand behind her as his gaze went to Ida. A tentative smile touched her lips, but she was clearly nervous. Was her reaction due to anxiety or guilt?

“Please come in,” she said in a voice that wobbled. “Can I get either of you anything? Coffee? Tea? Lemonade?”

Both Bella and Jax declined the offer and followed Ida into the small, but tasteful, parlor. A loveseat faced the fireplace, now fronted with a pretty needlepoint screen. Two Queen Anne chairs, their upholstery faded with time, flanked it.

Ida sat on the loveseat. “Please make yourselves comfortable.”

Jax took one of the chairs while Bella settled next to Ida. She patted her friend’s hand. “I’m sure all of this came as a terrible shock.”

“Yes, it did,” the other woman replied in a low murmur. “Someone called this morning to say there had been an accident.” Her gaze went to Jax. “When you phoned later and said it might be intentional, I was stunned. The rain was heavy, and the roads must have gotten slippery. Luckily, I made it here before the worst of it, but I’m sure it would have been easy to slide off if a driver was speeding, and Cecil loved to drive fast no matter what the conditions were.”

The words tumbled out in a rush, which only reinforced Jax’s conclusion about Ida feeling anxious. Not only that, much of her statement also seemed rehearsed. If Ida had gotten here before the worst weather set in, why was she so sure conditions contributed to the crash? Summer storms were often hit-or-miss. Even if heavy rain had fallen here in her aunt’s area, how could Ida be certain the same was true around Moreley? Since he didn’t want to ask her outright, Jax made a statement. “The evidence at the scene leads us to think it might not be an accident, but we won’t make a final determination right away.” He paused for a moment. “As I said on the phone, I have a few questions for you, and Bella is going to take notes for me,” he concluded in what he hoped was a pleasant, non-accusatory tone.

Ida looked at her friend with a weak smile. “All right.”

Bella retrieved the pad and pencil from her bag. She patted the other woman’s arm again. “Don’t worry, Ida. Everything will be fine.”

Jax frowned. While he didn’t consider Ida the best suspect, he wished Bella hadn’t offered what could be false encouragement. “You left Ballantyne shortly before Lahey. According to Thaddeus Copper, you arrived at the hotel a while after he did and went up to Cecil’s room right away. At least one person heard the two of you arguing in the hall before you went in the room. Is that right?”

A slight tremor rippled through the redhead. “I got partway here and turned around. I wanted to talk with Cecil. After what happened at the resort, I knew I couldn’t continue courting with him. When I got to the hotel, I went upstairs because he’d already told me his room number.” Pink surged into her cheeks as she glanced from Jax to Bella. “I know that seems improper, but I didn’t want our discussion heard by everyone in the place. Cecil can be so loud.”

Bella patted Ida’s hand. “I understand. No one will think poorly of you.”

When Bella shot him a look, Jax added to the reassurance. “No, of course not.” Having people gossip about her lack of decorum should be the least of her worries right now.

Ida nodded, but the flush remained on her face. “Cecil acted awful when he and Floyd finished their round. Neither of them played well. Even so, they managed to stay in the match. Cecil put all the blame on Floyd. He was so nasty.”

Jax nodded. Lahey had been vile to more than one person, which was why he had several suspects.

D.S. Lang, author of the Arabella Stewart Historical Mystery series

 A Precarious Homecoming-Book One

 A Lingering Shadow-Book Two

 A Lethal Arrogance-Book Three


Author Bio –

D.S. Lang, a native Ohioan, has been making up stories since she was a little girl, and she still is! Along the way, she studied English and social studies as an undergrad. After graduate school, she went on to teach government and American history in high school. She also taught English at the junior high, high school, and college levels. In addition, she has worked as a program coordinator, golf shop manager, and online tutor.

Now, she spends much of her time reading, researching, and writing. Most recently, she has delved into the Great War era and the years immediately after it. Her Arabella Stewart Historical Mystery Series was inspired by her Great Uncle Brice who served in the American Expeditionary Force during World War One, and by her love of historical mysteries. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with family and friends, including her dog Izzy.

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